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This is a precursor of my upcoming E-Book, “Secrets to an Epic Website” where I talk about and dig deeper into the things you need to consider doing to make your website more EPIC.
The following list of website things to-do is more of a guide for you, and isn’t necessarily something to follow 100% of the time. It’s very much based on your own judgement, but I do suggest you follow along. There’s a reason why these tips made it in the top 100 things to do to your website, and like I said, I’ll be spilling the beans in my E-Book, “Secrets to an Epic Website” coming soon!
Branding and Design (32 to-do items)
- Choose an amazing and unique domain name
I recommend this read on domain names.
- Have a great logo design, it’s the face of your brand
- Buy a premium WordPress theme
If you buy a Premium theme, you may save a ton time spent on customizing it.
If you use a free theme, you may need to do more work; up to you!
- Stick with your branding color scheme
Don’t go crazy with all the different color choices, be consistent.
- Be consistent when writing blog posts
Set a STRICT schedule to write every week. At least once a week.
Avoid being sporadic and writing “only when ya feel like it”.
- Practice the 5-second rule
People should know what your site is about in 5 seconds.
Ask friends to identify what your site is about at a glance.
- Add an about us page
- Put your face on your website
People will trust you more if you show your face.
Make sure your pic is well lit and not just a blurry and dark phone pic from a concert.
- Hire someone to write your about us page
When in doubt, hire a professional! I personally wrote my own About page, but hired someone to clean it up a bit. My point is, that it’s important to get another pair of eyes for this page.
- Add business hours, don’t make people hunt this down
- Add Google Authority
Have your face right next to your website for search results!
I recommend this article: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/google-authorship/
- Add testimonials, this will help you build trust and authority
- Add a contact us page
- Add a hire me page
Do you have a skill that can make you money?
Talk about it and let people know you’re available for hire.
- Add an FAQ page
This will cut down on multiple people contacting you with the same questions.
- Add a “best-of” page
Create a page with links to your BEST content
- Add a resources page
This is great for affiliate links and tools you want to share.
Share all your resources with your visitors.
You should have this anyways, for every website.
- Invest in copyright-free images
Buy stock images instead of stealing images from others.
I recommend DepositPhotos.com
- Check your spelling and grammar
Avoid looking dumb. Spell Cheek.
- Add online voicemail (speakpipe)
There’s something about hearing ones voice.
- Add social networking icons
- Add social bookmarking
Use this plugin: WP Socializer
- Add social proof (Facebook Likes)
- Be active in your selected social networking sites
Don’t just create a social account, use it!
- Create a How-to YouTube video and embed it
YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine.
- Write quality and useful content
- Give content away for free
Trust me, do it for free, first.
- Don’t hold any secrets back
What secrets? Everything is on the web now. Don’t hide it.
- Create an E-Book or other virtual product
Give this away for free, or sell it
- Allow comments
- Reply to all comments
Seriously folks, you should try to reply to all of your visitors comments to show that you are active and alive.
User Experience and Usability (22 to-do items)
- Use responsive themes
Responsive design means your site will look good on any platform, including mobile and tablets.
- Make your site mobile friendly
If not reponsive, try this plugin: WP Touch
- Have consistent navigation
Keep your main navigation in the same exact spot throughout your website.
- Stay cross-browser compatible
If you bought a premium theme, this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Write articles no less then 500 words
Try writing at least 1,000 words, but 500 is minimum.
- Main content above the fold
Not really – but I thought I’d still add this. If you have a static homepage and have important content, make sure it’s above the fold. This is getting less and less important as time goes by…
- Make content scannable
- Make text large enough to read, okay!
- Add a search box
- Add breadcrumbs
- Add a most recent / most popular widget
- Make links obvious, have them underlined or something
- Have hover-states on links and buttons
- Use contrasting colors
- Keep negative space
- Have a related posts section
Check out this plugin: Yet another related posts plugin
- Make it easy for others to comment
Like avoid mkaing them “register” and crap
- Break up bodies of text with tires, images and color
- Use ALT and TITLE tags for images
This will help in SEO, blind people and even if your images don’t show up
- If you’re linking to a PDF, disclose it and open in a new window / tab
- If you use CAPTCHA, make sure the letters are readable
- Add a back to top link
Site Optimization and Marketing (27 to-do items)
- Secure your website:
Follow these IMPORTANT steps: 7 Steps to Website Security
- Add a backup system
I use this plugin: Backup Buddy
- Add Google Analytics
- Cache your website
Try this plugin: W3 Total Cache
- Remove unused plugins
For security and space.
- Always keep your WordPress and plugins up-to-date
- Have clear permalinks that are SEO friendly
Good Example: www.markammay.com/100-website-to-do-list
Bad Example: www.markammay.com/category/website-elephant/to-do-list/?jargon=yes (wth is that)
- Have a call to action on every page
Look at this plugin: What Would Seth Godin Do
- Optimize your images (compress them)
- Use a descriptive link anchor text
Good Example: 100 Website Ideas
Bad Example: Click this
- Fix all broken links
- Add a sitemap via Google XML SiteMap Generator
- Only link to authoritative sites or trusted sites
Link to popular sites = awesome
Link to bad sites or sketchy sites = your stuff probably sucks too
- Use the h1,h2 and h3 title tags
- Write a list post, like this one
- Create a mega-post, like this one
- Interlink your posts, like this one
- Add an e-mail sign-up form, like the one you will sign-up for below
- Add affiliate links and images
Read more about affiliate marketing
- Add an affiliate disclaimer
You must have a disclaimer stating you have affiliate links.
- Write a guest post
- Ask your visitors a question
Comment below and tell me what your favorite animal is, and why?
- Use pretty link, to shorten links
- Understand what spam is, its a Hawaiian dish
If you get suspicious comments about very general things, it may be SPAM!
- Have a strong password
Strong PASSWORD Generator
Password Meter / Tester
- Customize your 404 page
- Hire someone to review your site, like me
Website Mistakes (19 to-do items)
- Avoid hot-linking another site’s content
That means using other peoples images by using their direct URL, instead of putting it on your own site. This can get you BANNED!
- Avoid splash pages
- Avoid flash unless needed
- Cut the distractions (music, excessive animation)
- Never put another blogger down
I mean, try to use constructive feedback and in general be nice to other bloggers. You never know, who they know!
- Never use copyright material
- Avoid article spinning
- Avoid link-exchanges
- Be careful when paying someone to write blog posts
They may be article spinning or stealing another person’s work!
- Stay away from comment drama
- Never pay for black-hat traffic techniques
- Don’t flood your site with ads
- Avoid horizontal scrolling
- Avoid too many pop-ups
I say this because I do know that popups do work, as long as it’s not too annoying.
- Don’t do it for the money
- Don’t expect to make money within a few months
- Don’t expect to have a high traffic site in a few weeks
- Don’t expect to have the best website in the world
- Don’t try to be a one-man show
There is no “i” in team, except for this team.
What did I miss? What do you think? Comment below, and if your comment is good, it may end up in my next podcast episode(s) along with your link to your site!
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