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100-website-to-do-listIf you’re wondering what needs to be done to your website, or plan on building a website soon, here’s 100 website to-do items (and not-to-do) for you.

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)

  1. Choose an amazing and unique domain name
    I recommend this read on domain names.
  2. Have a great logo design, it’s the face of your brand
  3. 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!
  4. Stick with your branding color scheme
    Don’t go crazy with all the different color choices, be consistent.
  5. 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”.
  6. 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.
  7. Add an about us page
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Add business hours, don’t make people hunt this down
  11. Add Google Authority
    Have your face right next to your website for search results!
    I recommend this article: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/google-authorship/
  12. Add testimonials, this will help you build trust and authority
  13. Add a contact us page
  14. 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.
  15. Add an FAQ page
    This will cut down on multiple people contacting you with the same questions.
  16. Add a “best-of” page
    Create a page with links to your BEST content
  17. Add a resources page
    This is great for affiliate links and tools you want to share.
    Share all your resources with your visitors.
  18. Add a privacy policy page
    You should have this anyways, for every website.
    Look at other website’s privacy policy but customize it for your own.
  19. Invest in copyright-free images
    Buy stock images instead of stealing images from others.
    I recommend DepositPhotos.com
  20. Check your spelling and grammar
    Avoid looking dumb. Spell Cheek.
  21. Add online voicemail (speakpipe)
    There’s something about hearing ones voice.
  22. Add social networking icons
  23. Add social bookmarking
    Use this plugin: WP Socializer
  24. Add social proof (Facebook Likes)
  25. Be active in your selected social networking sites
    Don’t just create a social account, use it!
  26. Create a How-to YouTube video and embed it
    YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine.
  27. Write quality and useful content
  28. Give content away for free
    Trust me, do it for free, first.
  29. Don’t hold any secrets back
    What secrets? Everything is on the web now. Don’t hide it.
  30. Create an E-Book or other virtual product
    Give this away for free, or sell it
  31. Allow comments
  32. 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)

  1. Use responsive themes
    Responsive design means your site will look good on any platform, including mobile and tablets.
  2. Make your site mobile friendly
    If not reponsive, try this plugin: WP Touch
  3. Have consistent navigation
    Keep your main navigation in the same exact spot throughout your website.
  4. Stay cross-browser compatible
    If you bought a premium theme, this shouldn’t be an issue.
  5. Write articles no less then 500 words
    Try writing at least 1,000 words, but 500 is minimum.
  6. 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…
  7. Make content scannable
  8. Make text large enough to read, okay!
  9. Add a search box
  10. Add breadcrumbs
  11. Add a most recent / most popular widget
  12. Make links obvious, have them underlined or something
  13. Have hover-states on links and buttons
  14. Use contrasting colors
  15. Keep negative space
  16. Have a related posts section
    Check out this plugin: Yet another related posts plugin
  17. Make it easy for others to comment
    Like avoid mkaing them “register” and crap
  18. Break up bodies of text with tires, images and color
  19. Use ALT and TITLE tags for images
    This will help in SEO, blind people and even if your images don’t show up
  20. If you’re linking to a PDF, disclose it and open in a new window / tab
  21. If you use CAPTCHA, make sure the letters are readable
  22. Add a back to top link

Site Optimization and Marketing (27 to-do items)

  1. Secure your website:
    Follow these IMPORTANT steps: 7 Steps to Website Security
  2. Add a backup system
    I use this plugin: Backup Buddy
  3. Add Google Analytics
  4. Cache your website
    Try this plugin: W3 Total Cache
  5. Remove unused plugins
    For security and space.
  6. Always keep your WordPress and plugins up-to-date
    For security!
  7. 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)
  8. Have a call to action on every page
    Look at this plugin: What Would Seth Godin Do
  9. Optimize your images (compress them)
  10. Use a descriptive link anchor text
    Good Example: 100 Website Ideas
    Bad Example: Click this
  11. Fix all broken links
  12. Add a sitemap via Google XML SiteMap Generator
  13. 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
  14. Use the h1,h2 and h3 title tags
  15. Write a list post, like this one
  16. Create a mega-post, like this one
  17. Interlink your posts, like this one
  18. Add an e-mail sign-up form, like the one you will sign-up for below
  19. Add affiliate links and images
    Read more about affiliate marketing
  20. Add an affiliate disclaimer
    You must have a disclaimer stating you have affiliate links.
  21. Write a guest post
  22. Ask your visitors a question
    Comment below and tell me what your favorite animal is, and why?
  23. Use pretty link, to shorten links
  24. Understand what spam is, its a Hawaiian dish
    If you get suspicious comments about very general things, it may be SPAM!
  25. Have a strong password
    Strong PASSWORD Generator
    Password Meter / Tester
  26. Customize your 404 page
  27. Hire someone to review your site, like me

Website Mistakes (19 to-do items)

  1. 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!
  2. Avoid splash pages
  3. Avoid flash unless needed
  4. Cut the distractions (music, excessive animation)
  5. 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!
  6. Never use copyright material
  7. Avoid article spinning
  8. Avoid link-exchanges
  9. Be careful when paying someone to write blog posts
    They may be article spinning or stealing another person’s work!
  10. Stay away from comment drama
  11. Never pay for black-hat traffic techniques
  12. Don’t flood your site with ads
  13. Avoid horizontal scrolling
  14. Avoid too many pop-ups
    I say this because I do know that popups do work, as long as it’s not too annoying.
  15. Don’t do it for the money
  16. Don’t expect to make money within a few months
  17. Don’t expect to have a high traffic site in a few weeks
  18. Don’t expect to have the best website in the world
  19. 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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