Is your website ready for 2011?

The start of the new year is one of the best times to touch up your website, blog, or LinkedIn page. I’m not talking about a big, expensive overhaul or redesign: I’m talking about quick and easy tweaks that can take you from looking sloppy and out-of-date to savvy and professional.

This checklist will point you in the right direction:

  1. Check dates. If you’re talking about something happening in 2010 in the future tense, or if you’re featuring a 2010 event on your “upcoming events” page, fix it — fast.
  2. Watch out for use of the word “new.” My ebook Take Control of iPhone Basics came out in October, 2010. I can probably get away with calling it “new” for another or month or so and then it’s simply “my ebook.”
  3. Check photos. If your website has pictures of your storefront taken three years ago, when the awning was a different color and you had a different sign out front, it’s time to get a new photo. Same with your own photo — you may have been cuter and slimmer five years ago when it was taken, but everything from the haircut to what you were wearing is probably dated.
  4. Scrutinize your client list and list of recent projects. This is the time to add the new capabilities you offer, list your most recent clients, and perhaps remove from the list former clients under new management, or who no longer use your services.
  5. Clear out the clutter — especially in your sidebars. Check your blogroll or links lists to make sure these websites are still active (you may be astonished to find out how many changed URLs or ceased operations). If you’ve added links to several videos, books or images, take a hard look at the page and prune it down to the one or two you most want people to visit.
  6. Finally, test all your links. It’s the Internet; things change.

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