With your website being a vital point of contact with your customers, it’s important to perform routine checks of the mission-critical aspects of the website to make sure everything is functioning as it should.
When Should I Perform These Checks?
- Any time software is updated on your website (such as Plugins, WordPress version, etc).
- Any time you notice a drop-off of enquiries from your website.
- Regularly, at a frequency you’re comfortable with. As a rule of thumb, test your website’s contact points as often as you feel comfortable with an error going un-noticed for. For example, if you’re okay with the idea of a form not working for up to a week, then weekly would be ideal.
Why Should I Check My Website Myself?
While our team takes all necessary precautions to ensure that your website is functioning correctly, it’s still important that you perform your own checks.
- You know your website better than anyone, so you may pick up on additional issues that our team may not.
- We don’t have access to where enquiries from your website are sent. Usually, customer enquiries are sent to your email, phone, or CRM system. You’ll be able to verify that these essential channels are still working properly.
- It’s always good to double-check! Even though our team may have checked, it’s always good to have a second set of eyes look over something as important as your website.
What Should I Check?
The answer to this question depends on what is important for your business to function well. Typically, the following elements are essential to check:
Typically this would be things like:
- Contact forms
- Shopping Carts
- Online transaction portals
- Newsletter Subscription forms
- Phone numbers (ensuring they are correct, and that “click to dial” is working correctly)
- Live chat tools
- Form autoresponders
- Important links (there are some “broken link checker” tools available to assist with this).
- Email addresses listed are correct
- Visual issues
- And anything else you deem to be important!
Here’s how to go about it…
- Start by listing the most obvious elements of your website that you want to ensure are working correctly. These are typically elements like contact forms and phone numbers.
- Next, thoroughly look through your website and make a note of any additional elements that you want to add to your checklist. For example, you may remember you have a live chat facility, and a newsletter subscribe form. You may also find some important links or email addresses throughout the content that you want to make sure is correct.
- Compile your final list of items you want to regularly check.
- Next to each item on the list, write a quick test procedure. For contact forms, your test procedure might be to do a test submission from each form (from a personal email address) and confirm you receive the notification of the new enquiry, and that the entry is added to any relevant CRM systems you may have. If the customer is supposed to receive an autoresponder, you should check this comes through correctly too.
- Decide how regularly you want to test each item on the list. You may have some items you want to check weekly, and other less critical items that you are happy to check monthly or quarterly. You should also list any other “triggers” for retesting (e.g. any time plugins are updated).
- Set yourself a recurring reminder to perform the checks!
Special Note on Form Submissions
It’s likely that form submissions are one of the primary methods of new customers enquiring with you. While you can run test submissions yourself to confirm you receive the notification, and that the test submission makes its way into any relevant CRM systems, there’s always a chance that some may slip through the cracks (due to spam filters, CRM integration glitches, etc).
Another step we recommend you take is to cross-check your form submissions in your website’s admin area against the notifications (and/or CRM entries) you have received.
To do this, follow these steps on a regular basis:
- Login to your website’s admin areas (usually this will be WordPress).
- Locate the section where your form submissions are stored. For most WordPress websites using the Gravity Forms system, this will be the “Forms” section in the left menu.
- Once you’re on the “Entries” screen, you should see a list of entries submitted. Note that if you have multiple forms, you can toggle between them at the top of the screen.
- Once you have selected the form you’d like to check, you will see a list of entries below. Now you can crosscheck the entries listed against the notifications (and/or CRM entries) you received for a particular time period. By doing this you can confirm if you are reliably receiving all leads. If you notice a discrepancy, please let us know so we can help you investigate the cause.
Don’t Forget Different Devices!
When performing your checks, remember to test on various devices, such as phones, tablets, and desktops.
What to do if you notice an issue?
If you notice any issues, please report them to us so we can assist in resolving them.
This is a guide only
Note: This guide is not exhaustive – it’s important you use your own judgement when deciding on risk mitigation strategies for your website.