Website and Blog Tips

Go Gingham Stylishly Frugal Living

Do you have a website or blog? If you answered “yes.” Read on because you may find some of these website and blog tips useful. If you answered “no,” you’re welcome to continue reading or you can click HERE for my archives page and find more reading options.

Before going through this list, think about what the goal is of your blog or website. If someone asks you, “What’s your goal with your site?” You should be able to answer quickly and clearly. If you have a blog and only share it with friends and family, some of these won’t apply to you.

If your blog or website is your business, know what your objective is and think “elevator pitch” when someone asks, “What are you trying to do with your website or blog?” That answer always helps clarify what actions below need to be taken.

When someone asks me what my goal is, of course I always answer:

“I want to take over the world with my stylishly frugal ways.”

Here are my website and blog tips, in no particular order. Every time I thought of one, I added it.

Website and Blog Tips

  • Get rid of the category “uncategorized.” Be clear about what you’re saying and not wishy-washy.
  • Make sure you have an “about” page, a “contact” page, and a “terms” page or “policy” page. People want to know “about” you as a person or you as a company. Tell your story. If you do any sort of advertising or sponsored posts on your site, you definitely need to disclose that to your readers. You can get your own disclosure policy by clicking HERE.
  • Have a picture or two of yourself on your about page. People want to know the person “behind the curtain” so let them see you’re real and not a robot. Tell your story and share a little about yourself.
  • On your contact page, make sure to spell out your email address as well as having a contact form. Sometimes the contact forms work and other times, they don’t. Write out your email like this:  sara@gogingham dot com so that it can be copied and pasted into an email (after changing the spelled out dot com to “.com”). Notice how I spelled out dot com? That’s so robots don’t send me spam.
  • If you have your meta information log-in on your site, take it out and use that space for something – anything – else. That’s prime real estate! If you’re using WordPress, move that text box out of the side bar or footer. If you don’t know how to log into your WordPress site without that clickable link that says “admin”, then learn how.
  • Check all of your links to make sure they work. By this I mean click on all of your static pages and make sure they go to something. I can’t believe the number of times pages don’t work.
  • Update your copyright! This drives me crazy. If you want people to know that they’re looking at a site that is updated regularly, update your copyright. (It’s usually in your footer.) This will take you 20 seconds. If you don’t know how to do this, have someone show you. It’s easy to do and needs doing each January 1st.
  • Don’t have music start playing or video rolling when someone lands on your site. I totally get that you want to share yourself in those formats, but let people choose.
  • Make sure your site loads quickly. If your site load time is too long, people will leave. The biggest culprit (that you can change – forget it if it’s your hosting company!), pictures being too big. Save your pictures so that they are optimized for websites and your site load time will drop dramatically. Check your site load time here.
  • Use an image or picture with every single post or page. Pinterest is here to stay (or something else will come along and we’ll still need pretty images!) and every time I go to “Pin” something from the Wall Street Journal, I make that Homer Simpson sound, “Doh!” They don’t always have images and those images are necessary for “Pinning” articles. Pictures and images are also interesting to look at and help break up a lot of text. You can add text to images with many different programs. If you don’t have one, try XHeader. It’s free.
  • Make sure your “social media”buttons open in separate pages. So many times I click to follow someone on Twitter and when I click the button, it takes me completely away from their site. As soon as I’m on Twitter, I’m distracted (of course I am, I’m “Internet Girl!”) and I don’t go back because the page is gone. Not sure how to do this? When given the choice, click the box “open link in new window” or “open in separate window.”

That’s it. Those are my website and blog tips.

What would you add to the list?

Go Gingham related links:

BlogHer in my backyard – a fun blogger event I hosted
BlogHer food and too much fun in Seattle, 2012
WordPress resource books – you can find these at your library
Create your own website (or blog!) ~ Go Gingham style
The launch of my professional site
Free tools for your blog or website – really, free!

Other related links:

Want to learn good web design? Check out Web Pages That Suck. Their goal is to teach good web design by looking at bad web design and it works!

These were very helpful when I was setting up Go Gingham. My local library had these books and I’d check there first.

[amazon_link id=”0735204411″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Million Dollar Website: Simple Steps to Help You Compete with the Big Boys - Even on a Small BusinessBudget[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”0789741075″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WordPress In Depth (2nd Edition)[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”047057092X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Teach Yourself Visually WordPress[/amazon_link]

Go Gingham affiliate link

 

6 thoughts on “Website and Blog Tips

    1. Thanks, Annie! I just thought I’d share what I seem to say to people in person who want to “pick my brain” about web related stuff. I hope it helps. Like everything in life, take what works for you and ignore the rest.
      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Like

  1. Thank you for the great list Sara! I’ve already tested my site’s loading time – good tip on paying attention to photo size.

    For those out there who have iPads, another good photo editing app is Photogene. I think it was $2.99 or $3.99 at the Apple store and I’ve been able to use it to do a wealth of photo editing, including the photos with text on this page: http://www.frugalmamafiles.com/p/projects-recipes.html. I almost don’t miss Photoshop! 🙂

    Julie

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  2. Somehow I missed this when it first came out. A great, concise list. I would add something about taking the time to make your site look as clean and professional as possible. We revamped the visuals of our site in early February, and I can’t believe how our stats have jumped. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but I believe readers judge a blog by its looks!

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    1. Great additions, Rita! And, I do agree with you. Readers do judge blogs by their looks and first impressions make a difference. Your site re-do looks lovely, by the way. Much cleaner and I love the photographs. Well done!

      Like

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