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Is Your Website Dead or Just Sleeping? A Vital Six-Point Checklist for Your Site

by Matt Gagnon  |  
May 20, 2014

So you've asked for a yearend report on your website, and you don't like what you see. Numbers are falling off? Conversions are plummeting? Core audience is bouncing off the site? No new leads?

If you find yourself in that situation, or you're not where you need to be, chances are very good your website is sleeping. (Let's hope it's not dead...) You can take charge and turn things around by giving your creative and digital teams some productive goals.

The following site checklist, including some simple fixes, should wake your site up and give it some energy.

1. Is it usable?

Usability is a big umbrella. Everything in this article (and more) falls under usability. It sounds ridiculous to even say this... but here goes: If your site isn't usable, it won't be used!

Most experts and usability studies will suggest the following high-level best-practices for usability:

  • Use headings to mark up important topics (preferably with your keywords)
  • Use bullet points so people can scan
  • Add search to your site, and make sure it works very well
  • Make your navigation the best it can be
  • And please, please, don't use miniscule font sizes!

2. Is it responsive?

Few things are more frustrating to users of small wireless devices than scrolling every which way on a website designed for 960 pixel width. Add insult to injury by making them zoom in and out, and you've got a recipe for the back button—off your site. Responsive design is still in its infancy, but there are a few key takeaways:

  • Make some designs for different screen widths
  • Don't get hung up on specific devices; think instead about being flexible
  • Graphics should resize in a pleasing way
  • Text should reflow to be readable, with comfortable line lengths
  • Keeping the design simple and clean will allow your site to respond better

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Matthew Gagnon is an interactive developer with INK, a full-service advertising and marketing agency.

LinkedIn: Matt Gagnon

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  • by Clare Kirlin Tue May 20, 2014 via web

    Great article! I would add three things. 1. In addition to using a content delivery network (CDN), look into front-end optimization. 2. Consider the importance of perceived versus actual page load time; ask your developers to ensure that the most important content loads first. 3. If you deliver personalized content, look at what dynamic content acceleration can do to speed up delivery. (Full disclosure: I am in the content delivery business.)

  • by Maria Rodrigues Tue May 20, 2014 via web

    Dear Matthew,

    Thanks for the excellent article. The same for Clare's comments.

    I would complete with the importance of the logos, backgrounds and fonts "colours". Some colours used may not:

    . present the right combination between the background and the text - i.e. should become unreadable;

    . demonstrate the relationship with the subject (i.e. you cannot have a site for health purposes with a black background...


  • by Kimmy Burgess Wed May 21, 2014 via web

    Thanks for the article.Complete checklist of website maintenance is there to follow and tips to socialize with customers is very effective.

  • by Kayla Tue Jun 17, 2014 via web

    Great article. No one is going to want to work with a company that has a stale website that hasn't been updated recently. Your company's website is part of your brand image and should reflect professionalism and clarity.

  • by isabella Wed Jul 8, 2015 via web

    Very great points you elaborated here to check the website working. Site owners should update their sites as well as the web designs according to the latest trends.

  • by Rosie Niblock Thu Jul 21, 2016 via web

    Great article including some key features to have in your website. Just wanted to let you know I've just created a easy checklist of 131 tips and tricks to increase your website conversion!

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