Have you looked at your website lately?
I'm serious. If you have one, when's the last time you actually looked at it?
From time to time I come across websites that are broken in some way.
Here are a few things I've seen this week.
- Videos that don't play.
- Missing pages - linked to from recent blog posts
- Entire websites that don't show up on iPhones (Flash-based sites)
- Contact forms with impossible to read CAPTCHA characters
Sometimes things are broken because of a technical glitch. Other times, things are broken because of poor design. Either way, your website won't work as well for you.
My advice: every now and then, pretend you're a visitor to your own website. Poke around. Test it out. Submit a request to yourself. Sign up for your newsletter. Make sure things are functional and understandable from a visitor's perspective. Sometimes failure's right under your nose, just a click away from being discovered and fixed. You just need to look.
Think of it as house maintenance. Your homebuilder doesn't come by regularly to check on the condition of the house. A website developer doesn't check in to see if the sites they've built are working properly three months later.
You might think that everything online should just work. For the most part, things do. Then again, with all the interconnectedness we now have, sometimes technology doesn't play well together. A core WordPress update can break a plugin leaving your website in shambles. Popular tech devices may not support your website's technology.
Your website could be failing in its most important task: to get you more leads. Checking in to make sure everything works properly is one of the easiest things you can do to make sure your online presence is working properly for you. Grab a cup of your favourite beverage (or a bar of chocolate) and take a few moments to visit yourself online.
Here's to your website's health!