School starts back next week for children in our county. This Sunday at church we’ll have the Blessing of the Backpacks, a lovely ritual where the students are prayed over by the congregation, and given a little laminated note to carry in those backpacks as a reminder they are loved and cared for by all the people surrounding them. Parents will be scurrying to the stores, buying 40 glue sticks for the class, and innumerable pens and pencils and notebooks and boxes of Kleenex. It’s a time of renewal and anticipation for good things to come.
It’s also a good time to take a look at your website and do a bit of back-to-school preparation as well. Here are some important things you may already be doing to help your website be the best it can be as you create relationships with your readers.
1. Update your plugins and themes.
If you log into the dashboard of your WordPress site and see lots of red numbers, be sure you click on Updates. It’s a matter of seconds to zip through clicking that button. Outdated plugins and themes are a way hackers can get into your site.
2. Read your content.
One area especially prone to getting outdated is your biography, probably on your About page. Surely you’ve done something interesting since the last time you edited it? Maybe gotten a new headshot? Make some changes to it just to freshen it up. Is there a new book you’ve written and haven’t added to the site? And, in the spirit of back-to-school, look over the spelling and grammar. Maybe you were in a hurry when you wrote it originally.
3. Create a new gift.
That PDF you have online for enticing readers to sign up for your email list–how long has it been available? Try creating a new one, and you may find new names signing up! While you’re working with your autoresponder, you might want to change the colors or style of your opt-in box, too.
4. Replace photos.
Use this time as an excuse to swap out any “decorative” photos you have sprinkled throughout your content. By decorative, I mean those that emphasize or draw attention to your content, and entice viewers to continue reading, but if they didn’t exist, no meaning would be lost. Choose something seasonal or think of a new approach.
5. Swap out your theme.
A new wardrobe is a fun part of going back to school. While it won’t be chilly for several months where I live, the changing season is often a good opportunity to update your look. Why should your website be any different? Select another theme (from a secure site!) and apply it. A quick changeout doesn’t cost much (if anything), and will do wonders for your visitors’ outlook when they see your beautiful “new” website.
I hope these ideas will help spruce up your website and ready you for a new season of sharing your dreams with others. If I can be of any website assistance, please contact me here at MaximumAuthorImpact.com.