Year end is a great time for making sure all your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed when it comes to your website business. The list below outlines 5 important tasks that will help keep your website and your website business on track next year.
1. Change the Copyright Year on Your Site’s Footer
When I see a copyright date on a website that says something like “Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved”, two thoughts go through my mind.
- This is an abandoned website. The webmaster hasn’t touched this thing in 8 years.
- Is this a site a diamond in the rough? Can I buy it cheap, improve it, and sell it quickly? If the site was ever monetized (unlikely), there are likely some opportunities with new website monetization strategies to get this thing profitable in a hurry.
Do you want to leave the impression that your site is neglected? It’s time to edit the code of your site and make sure the date is dynamically inserted, such as with the PHP Date function, rather than manually added in the footer of each page.
2. Review Your Top Landing Pages for Out of Date Information
Log into your Google Analytics or other web statistics program and find your “top content” or “top landing pages”. Read each one of these pages and make sure all the information will continue to be up to date next year. If not, it’s time to do some rewriting.
3.) Search Your Site for Mentions of the Current Year
A simple Google search can help you identify pages which might be out of date. Utilize a command such as “site:yourdomain.com 2011″ to quickly find pages which could be out of date due to mentioning the current or previous years.
4.) Change Your Passwords
When was the last time you changed your hosting control panel password? If you don’t already have a scheduled frequency that you change your password, at least make year-end your time to do this important task. It can help prevent security problems due to account hacking or simply sharing passwords with outsourced teams who no longer work with you. Here’s a basic list of passwords you should consider changing
- Hosting Control Panel Password
- FTP Passwords
- Email Passwords
- Domain Registration Passwords
- MySQL Passwords
- Revenue Account Passwords Such as Adsense
- 3rd Party Tool Passwords Such as Email Marketing or SEO Tools
- WordPress User Passwords
5.) Backup Everything
If you’ve been online for any period of time and you haven’t had a hard drive fail, an account get hacked, or a programmer seriously mess up your site, consider yourself lucky. However, it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens. Even the savviest people will run into a case where they need to get a backup of their data. If you don’t have at least two copies of your data in different locations, ask yourself if you would be okay with losing it forever. Here’s a quick list of items I recommend backing up.
- Website Files
- MySQL Data
- Email Data
- Customer Lists
- Email Lists
- Transaction Logs
- Your Computer
Remember to never rely on your providers (hosting, email marketing, etc.) to back up your data for you. Get a copy of your data and have it backed up at a separate physical location from where it’s stored.
Here’s to a Smooth Next Year
I recommend taking care of these little but important tasks before the end of the year rather than after. This will allow you to focus your renewed energy in the new year on your biggest opportunities. A little preparation now can help you have peace of mind later and save you headaches next year.
Here’s to your most successful year yet!