Winter is here for sure – the days are getting very short and dark, there is quite the chill in the air, and holiday preparations are coming up.  I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some pointers about ways you can “winterize your website.”  Pardon the pun 🙂

winterize your website

1. Clean Your Gutters

On a house, gutters are those things that are quite functional, but can get cluttered up with junk when we’re not paying attention.  Same thing on your website.  “Gutters” can be your website menu, sidebars, footers, or sometimes even your homepage – when everything is a “featured item,” it’s  hard to choose.

When it comes to clearing out the gutters, just remember this old gem: When faced with too many options, we tend to choose none.

2. Make sure your furnace is in top condition.

Nobody likes their heating to shut down right in the middle of winter.  I often call your products and services your “economic engine” (hat tip to Danielle Laporte for the term) – and so you always want to make sure that your furnace (engine) is primed and ready to go.  Some things to think about from the website perspective:

  • Are your most profitable services easy to find?
  • Are your most popular services easy to find?
  • Does the site address questions that you get most frequently?
  • Is all information (hours, pricing, addresses, etc.) up to date?
  • Are all of your current products and services listed?

Tip: Mark your calendar to review your website every month.  Stuff changes!
(click to tweet that)

3.  Check and repair drafty spaces.

If you’re using WordPress like me, you probably have lots of items set to “draft” but that’s not what I am talking about. 🙂  Just like in a house, you can have cold drafts that come in and ruin the warm atmosphere you’ve been trying to build.  That could take many forms, such as spammy or off topic comments that need cleared (or worse, you not replying to comments that customers have left), lots of bad reviews on your products.

Bonus points if you take a minute to look through your analytics and identify poor performing pages.

4. Reverse your fan.

You know that you need to switch the way your ceiling fan runs for the winter, making sure it helps push warm air back down from the ceiling.  The purpose of a fan like that is simply to help things run more smoothly.  What’s the equivalent on your website? For many of you, this will be your seasonal promotions and discounts – perhaps just featured items in a shop or on the homepage, or the items highlighted in your blog sidebar.

While you don’t need to go in the deep end with Christmas-y banner ads and the like, a little bit of flair here and there is great for making people smile and keeping the flow moving right along.

5. Avoid frozen pipes.

Frozen pipes can cause massive problems – believe me, I speak from experience – and they are fairly easily avoided.  Does your site have some problems like that?  You know the ones – technical glitches you haven’t bothered to have investigated, graphics design work that you’ve been putting off, and other blockages either front-and-center or behind-the-scenes that are slowly getting in the way of your biz?

Clear the way so that your sales pipe(line) – sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun – doesn’t get frozen up.

6. Check your alarms.

Safety first, even though it is last on my list!  It’s good to regularly check your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector and make sure they’re working just fine – they could save your life.

You also want to regularly check your business lifelines – that would be your eCommerce platform, your contact forms, etc.  Make sure that customers can still get ahold of you.  Do you have the right tools in place to be alerted when there is a problem, such as if the site goes down?

Need any help winterizing your website?
Be sure to get in touch – my schedule tends to fill up quickly during the holidays!