It’s almost that time of year when Christmas is almost upon us and a New Year will begin, and now has never been a better time to upgrade your site for the upcoming year! We’ll outline some reasons why and don’t forget we’re running a 10% off deal on all ProPhoto designs until January 1st. Just enter the code “WINTER” at checkout or click the button at the top of the page!
Whether you’ve updated your branding recently or maybe decided to start fresh for the new year by changing up your logo or colors, it’s always great to have a refresher! You’ll want your site looking good for all that new business you’re going to get in 2017. Even if you’re only making some slight changes to your logo or maybe you’re just changing your site design with your old one, having a nice fresh website for 2017 is an excellent idea to get the business rolling in.
Every year we pile on the plugins and WordPress bloatware, that’s software and themes and junk we don’t need that maybe slowing down your site. It’s a good time to get prepared for the new season by doing a little spring cleaning to boot. We recommend doing a good backup of your data before you start. You can use a plugin like BlogVault if you’re feeling inclined to pay for a premium backup service, or simply use the free method that ProPhoto recommends by using your WP-DB-Backup plugin. Either way, it’s always important to back up your site in case something happens to it, and you’ll want a weekly or monthly backup to be completed.
The first step is to go through your updates in WordPress and run them all, yes even on your themes! You can do that by hovering over your dashboard link in the sidebar in WordPress and clicking the updates button. This lists all your current updates that are currently available on your site. We ALWAYS tell people to run these right away. If a plugin you have has security vulnerabilities or patches or even new features, it’s always safer to get those updates as soon as possible.
The second step is to start cleaning! Go through your plugins and delete any plugins you aren’t using or that may be deactivated. Not only does this save your web space, but having deactivated plugins on your site may cause vulnerabilities that allow you to get hacked or worse since those plugins are no longer receiving updates when they’re not live!
Go through your themes and delete all the ones you’re not using except for 1 or 2 of the WordPress default themes (like 2016 or 2017) so that in case you need to switch at any point you’ll have a nice safe theme to fall back on in case you need it.
Lastly if you have huge amounts of spam comments it’s time to really dive in and take care of those, not only do they take up huge amounts of database space on your site, slowing your site down but they’re also a security vulnerability that may set off Google and block your site from results. We recommend using AKISMET, it’s free, and there’s an extra little setting that once you install to your site to have it discard all the incoming spam comments without you knowing it. Make sure to turn that on so your database isn’t always having you moderate spam or at the least holding onto it for a couple of months while it builds up.
Let’s face it, we’ve all done it. We’ve taken pictures all year long and haven’t posted them on our blogs or updated our portfolios, this is probably the second most important thing on the list! Every year it’s a great idea to sit back and really go through your portfolio for the new year, that may take some time, because you really want your very BEST work to show on your site. It’s always best to have fewer images that are far better than lots of images that are just good, so take your time when you’re getting ready to update your site, pick out your strongest work and make sure to put it where plenty of people can see it. On the plus side, Google LOVES site updates, if you’re updating your blog even once a month or even better once a week or every two weeks your SEO results will get much better since you’re updating your site and pushing content regularly. Being consistent is definitely the key for updating your work, which in the photography business is your best asset.
FASTER IS BETTER
We all love fast websites, for 2017 it maybe time to upgrade your host or try your hand at making your site a little more speedy. Doing the spring cleaning, and general maintenance from the steps above will definitely already help with that, but you should be taking it a step further. If your site already has hundreds of images you could go back and do this as you need to, but at the very least we recommend starting in the new year when you get ready to refresh your site.
We’ve been using a new software called JPEGMINI Pro for months. This software takes any existing image at any size and sizes it way down without losing any quality, it’s great for uploading large size images to proofing sites or even using it for images for your new site where it’ll count the most. So if you’re already saving your images for web size, then JPEGMINI can even size them further, really taking the load and hard drive space off your site for a smoother experience.
It’s also a good idea to contact your webhost and make sure your hosting is up to par with your speed and your site visitor levels. You should check to see if your site is using the latest version of PHP 7.0 so that your site is using all the new software at peak performance and to see if maybe they can help you optimize your site further to get those extra results.
UPGRADE YOUR LIFE
Pro Photo 6 is an all new beast, completely new and completely fresh! If you’re still using the legacy version of ProPhoto, it’s most definitely a time to upgrade and we’ll give you the #1 reason right now! Responsive. Mobile. ProPhoto legacy sites don’t have good mobile sites and they are most definitely NOT responsive. Internet mobile browsing surpassed desktop browsing by a good margin just recently in 2016, that means if your site doesn’t look great on mobile then you maybe losing customers. If you’ve been holding off because of the complexity of updating your website, both La Lune and ProPhoto are here to help you through the transition, and it’s important for your business to stay up to date with current web standards.
Having a pretty website that looks good across a range of devices and machines helps your clients stay on your site and have a great experience while doing it. Never has there been a better time to upgrade and to get a head start before the new year. We have plenty of discounts going around to get you started, including our on-going 10% off and especially if you’re upgrading from a legacy design you’ve bought from us to a ProPhoto 6 version, contact us with your purchase details and we’ll give you a good hefty discount on your design upgrade.