It’s the second week of January. Now is the optimal time to review your existing application and website infrastructure and make plans for the rest of the year while you’re still fresh from the holidays. Use our handy checklist below to give yourself a head start on your competition and set yourself up for success in 2019!
1) Set aside time: Start by scheduling some time to go through your year-start checklist with your team. Some of these points will take more time than others, and by scheduling properly you can make sure you’ll get the most out of this review.
2) Achievements in the last year: Go over which goals you successfully completed with your site in the last year. Did you meet your goals for website visitors? For user signups? Did you successfully secure your website by implementing SSL in time for the Chrome update? Did you increase your Google SEO rating? It’s important to celebrate your achievements as you set new goals.
3) Performance review: Run your app or website through any tests you can find—take a look at metrics provided by sites like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix and Webpagetest.org. Use these recommendations to build your maintenance and improvement plan for the new year.
4) Plans for growth: What goals do you have for this year? Was there anything that you meant to do last year but didn’t have time for? Make plans to address these missed goals.
5) Metrics you’ll use this year: How will you measure how well your app or site is performing, and if you’re meeting your goals? Do you have a marketing site? Are there any marketing metrics that would be helpful for your dev team to keep in mind?
6) Competitor review: After reviewing the first five steps, take a macroscopic look at the industry you’re in—do your competitors’ sites perform much better than your own? Can you adjust your goals to match or exceed their performance? Is there something they’re all missing you can aim to do better?
7) Site maintenance plan: Do you have one in place yet? This is a great opportunity to follow up on goals you make at the start of the year. Plans are no good unless you follow through with them. Check in. Make changes. Has your existing site maintenance plan been reviewed within the past year? Does your current hosting plan fit your current and future needs? Keep in mind your goals for the coming year and see if they translate well into your maintenance plan. Remember: as the year progresses, you can make changes as you need to—adaptation is a strength.