The birds are chirping and temperatures are on the rise. Spring is finally here and many are inspired for a fresh start. Why not channel this motivation and develop some good website management habits?
Make it a ritual to follow these tips when making changes and updates to your website, and by this time next year, your spring website clean-out won't be such a chore!
Use Appropriately Sized Images From the Start.
Are you cropping and re-sizing your images prior to upload? Sticking to this habit may seem like a hassle, but being adamant about this can save a lot of space and improve your page load speed.
How do you tell if an image wasn't re-sized? There are a few different ways depending on the browser you use:
- Chrome: Right-click an image on your website and select ‘Open Image in New Tab.’
- Firefox: Right-click an image on your website and select 'View Image Info.'
- Internet Explorer: Right-click an image on your website and select 'Properties.'
This will provide you with the dimensions of the image source; the size of the image which was uploaded to the website before you resized it within the website's administrative area.
Next, compare the size of the image version used on the website with the actual size of the source image. Is it bigger? If so, you'll need to remove the image from your file library, re-size to a smaller version, upload and replace it!
Remember to Utilize Headings.
Many do not utilize headings simply because they do not fully understand the purpose they serve. Heading tags, including H1,H2,H3…H6, are used to establish a structural hierarchy of your content. It helps users and crawlers understand your content better.
However, many times users will instead apply colors or other styling options(bold, underline, italics) to text as a means to break up content or draw attention to certain sections. This can end up looking messy and unprofessional. Utilizing the 'headings' option instead, located within your page editor, will ensure formatting stays consistent across all pages.
Stick to Your File Naming Conventions!
Trying to find a file within your files or media library can be a nightmare if you’ve not put any thought into naming them. Sticking to proper naming conventions on an 'as-you-go' basis will reduce time wasted clicking around to find files you’ve previously uploaded. Be descriptive, but brief. Including dates can be helpful as well.
Invest Time in Organization.
While we're on the topic of file naming conventions, it's also important to note that proper naming is only half the battle. The second half involves organizing your files appropriately into an intuitive folder structure. Without organization, knowing where to look for a given file can become quite time consuming.
Try organizing your files to reflect the structure of your website's sitemap. Each page should have a dedicated folder where you keep files used on that page. This makes replacing elements within a webpage much easier.
Adding Content? Add a Meta Description!
A meta description is an HTML and XHTML element that describes your page content within search results pages. It gives users a good idea of what they will find on your page should they click on the search result. A well-written meta description can improve click-through rates from organic search results.
Website administrators can usually add a meta description via their content management system's page editor. Take an extra five minutes to write a 150 character meta description that accurately summarizes the content of your new page.
Don't Forget Your Window Titles!
A window title is the text that appears in the browser tab of a webpage. They are the first content related item Google, and many other search engines, look at when parsing a webpage. To users who are hearing or vision impaired, window titles help convey what page they are on within a website. As you are adding or updating content, do not neglect this field. Create a descriptive window title containing a few relevant keywords.