There are a few common issues I see on web sites that I work on. Luckily, these can be easily taken care of if you know the exact steps.

Please note that this article is only a brief overview of the issues. I haven’t listed full details on solving each issue because we would need a much, much longer article to explain things fully and I wanted to keep this article short and to the point.

Here are the common (and important!) items that I often see on web sites.

1. There are no automatic backups being made.

Most web hosts make backups of your site for the last 30 days, but some might not be making backups for you. Do you know for sure what your backup and restore options are? What would you do if you lost your web site?

Even if your web host makes a backup, you still need to make your own backups that you have control over. Your web site backups should be sent to a cloud storage provider like Dropbox. You should also occasionally have backups on your local computer or an external hard drive.

Web site backups are a big topic and I’ve only listed the very basics of taking care of backups here. Please make sure you’ve got a good backup system in place. If you need help or info, get in touch with us.

2. WordPress, the theme and plugins are not being updated.

Quite often, we’re busy and we forget to do certain things…like that tedious technical stuff. Don’t ignore your web site updates. They often contain important security updates.

WordPress automatically updates itself when there are security updates. For other WordPress updates, as well as theme and plugin updates, it’s best to use some caution before updating. Make a backup of your site before you update anything. Sometimes updating plugins can “break” your site due to a plugin incompatibility with your theme.

3. Photos are too large in dimension and in file size.

Photos dimensions should be close to the actual dimensions that you want to use on your web site. Don’t upload a 2000 x 1200 pixel photo if you only need a 600 x 400 pixel photo. Yes, it is possible to resize the photo inside of WordPress, but this increases the page load time and increases the demand on your server when it loads the large photo and then resizes it on the fly.

Most photo file sizes should be kept between 60K and 100K. Smaller photos can be between 30K and 60K. You’ll need to compress them using a photo editor or online photo compressor. Photos with small file size allow the page to load faster which helps improve your visitor’s experience on your site and also helps with search engine optimization.

4. Photos are not being optimized for SEO (search engine optimization).

If you’re using the default photo file name like 17964048_ml.jpg, you’re missing out on giving your SEO a little boost. Make sure that you include at least one or two natural keywords in your file name, while also describing the photo.

Add descriptive text with a few keywords for your “alt text”, which you can add when you upload photos or edit on existing photos.

5. Photos are not aligned with text properly.

I’ve noticed that clients sometimes aren’t using the alignment features when they add photo to an article or page. Quite often, I’ll see a photo strangely placed above the paragraph, completely on its own, when it would look much better if the text were to wrap around the photo.

You can align photos to the left, right, center or none. By making use of alignment, you can control how the text wraps around your photo or you can have the photo on it own separate line.

 

Have you been taking care of these issues on your web site? If you’d like instruction on how to manage these items yourself or if you’d just like us to take care of it for you, get in touch. We’d be happy to make sure that your web site is running optimally, so that you don’t have to think about it.

Photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos