Checklist for giving your site a new look

Checklist for giving your site a new lookDoes your website need a face-lift? Are you looking to change colors, update the look of your blog, become more modern, flashier, or more refined? Changing your blog doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, and with a new theme, you can add functionality! Below I created a checklist for giving your site a new look.

  1. What are the colors you want to emphasize?

    1. Main logo or heading colors
    2. Link colors
    3. Accent colors, like buttons
    4. How do the colors look together?
    5. interesting color meanings and chart
      1. Website Colors – business
      2. Brand Makeovers – colors
      3. Colors other brands use
  2. Should you get a new theme?

    1. How old is your current theme?
      1. Themes today are always updating and staying current. They also take advantage of the new features in WordPress.
    2. Have you been updating your theme?
      1. Have you updated your theme lately?
      2. It’s important for security reasons to make sure you theme updates with the security releases.
    3. What free themes will work for me? Use these search terms in the wordpress theme repository.
      1. Mobile first
        1. To make sure the website works fast and well for mobile users.
      2. Responsive
        1. To make sure the website works well no matter the device or size of browser window.
      3. Available page formats
        1. Check for available page templates, for selling or adding lead forms, a landing page template helps reduce the distractions!
    4. What are the advantages to a paid theme?
      1. More functionality
      2. More support
      3. Easier implementation
      4. Step by step installation instructions
  1. I’ve decided on a new theme!

    1. Installing the new theme
      1. Back up website!
        1. easy backups are provided through jetpack, wordpress, and plugins. I have more than one website, so I use managewp.com to manage all of them for free! They do monthly backups for me!
      2. Installing new plugins to work with new theme
        1. Each new theme might require different plugins than what you are using.
      3. Installing new widgets to utilize new theme
        1. some paid themes come with importable widgets to help you get started utilizing their theme.
        2. You import them using a widget importer plugin, remove the widget importer plugin, and then edit the widgets to reflect your theme and focus.
      4. Evaluating current plugins to see what must be removed
        1. Make sure you double check your plugins against the list of plugins – Here is the August 2017 report on plugins
        2. You can also use Plugin Performance Profiler to check if any plugins are slowing your site down.
          1. I ended up changing social media plugins because of a slow plugin.
  2. New logo or header

    1. Professional help
      1. Logos aren’t difficult, especially if you are using canva.com like option two suggests.
      2. But professional help doesn’t have to be expensive with websites like Fiverr around. (This is my affiliate link.)
    2. Canva offers logo templates to choose from and allows you to change colors and text. Super easy point and click. Plus, you start out with a professional-looking template.
    3. Considerations: size, clarity, colors, message
      1. What do you want your logo to do? Are the colors most important, or the message people remember? Review the color charts above.
  3. Gathering subscribers functionality

    1. Make sure you can add subscribers to your website/email list.
      1. Use an email list program
        1. Mailchimp – free to start if a small list or none
        2. GetResponse – not too much to start and easy to use
        3. Convertkit – if you are trying to move to a larger list over 500 subscribers and need more functionality. (This is the one I recommend and it is my affiliate link too.)
        4. For larger subscriber lists, you might want to move to something else, although, I love ConvertKit and they are always upgrading.
      2. Depending on the email list program you use, you will need a plugin for that email list program. Each one has their own plugin and instructions on how to use.
        1. I think ConvertKit has the easiest integration. I can use a landing page I created on ConvertKit or a form using a drop down.
  4. Social presence and sharing functionality

    1. Make sure you have social media buttons. You should have two kinds.
      1. Social Media buttons so your readers can follow you.
        1. The Social Media Follow Buttons Bar plugin looks nice, is free, and won’t slow down your website.
      2. Social Media buttons so your readers can easily share your blog post!
        1. Social Warfare is a great plugin for your readers sharing the post. It also makes it easy for you to create a pin for Pinterest!
  5. Affiliate marketing functionality

    1. Are you an Amazon affiliate? You can use the Amazon affiliate plugin! It’s awesome and easy to add links into your posts.
    2. Add Google Ads near the top of your website sidebar.
      1. Page views helps with this, but as you build the page views, this is the easiest one to ad.
  6. Revising your older blog posts and pages

    1. Yoast SEO
      1. Reviewing each of your older blog posts and pages to update the SEO of each one.
        1. using the Yoast SEO helps you add
          1. outbound links,
          2. links to other related posts or pages,
          3. make your text more readable, and
          4. generally improve the look of the posts.
    2. New featured images
      1. I use canva.com every day to improve the features images in my posts.
        1. Since I’m trying to build my Pinterest following, I make sure to use the Pinterest size images.
        2. Especially in the featured image place, and add a description to each image as well as title or alternate title.
      2. If you use canva for work, like I do, you can choose the fonts and colors you will always use on your images. It really saves time!

Thank you for reading the checklist for giving your site a new look!

 

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