Strengthen Your Q4 Site Offense

You are heading towards the fourth quarter with a game plan, and things are going right so far, but are you prepared to call an audible if need be?

Just like in football, you’ll sometimes have to call a substitute play in business to adjust to sudden changes that you see. It’s not ideal to have to switch things up to react to external events, but if you are prepared, you can make it work for you.

This is a tricky time of year, since it’s the crazy rush for commerce, and lots of people are o? for extended periods of time for the holidays.

What are you going to do when Muhammad Wilkerson (obligatory New York Jets reference) knocks your quarterback out of the game?

OK, that’s probably not a real scenario for you in particular, but how about if your server goes down, your site is hacked, or there is some other time sensitive disaster and nobody is around to help? How about if you are simply turning people away, because your site is slow or inaccessible?

Start preparing now for things that might happen, so you don’t have to pull all-nighters or run away from the Thanksgiving table to deal with messes during Q4.

Here are some tips to fortify your Q4 site o?ense…

Password security: First, change your passwords now, and make them stronger. Second, be sure you know all of your passwords, or use a service like RoboForm to keep them organized.

Monitor your site performance: If your site goes down, you’d better know about it right away. Don’t count on other people telling you. Instead, use a company like Pingdom to alert you immediately, so you can act on it.

Invest in quality hosting: Lots of people are tempted to go with the cheap hosts to save a few bucks, but at what cost? This tip ties into the previous point about monitoring your site performance. Basically, if your site is going down, it’s probably because you have a subpar host. Get a better hosting company now.

Speed up your site: People and search engines dislike slow sites. But do you even know if you have a slow site? Check out PageSpeed Insights from Google to ?nd out what you should ?x to increase the speed that your site loads.

Make your site responsive: Your site should be optimized for any device out there, whether it’s a mobile phone, table, or desktop computer. Test it in all of these environments, and evolve if it’s not responsive. Many WordPress themes will take care of this.

Stay on top of updates: If you are using WordPress or another platform, it’s vital that you update your version and related ?les as needed, so you can avoid making it easy for creeps to sneak in the back door and cause mischief.

Taking these steps should help to preserve some sanity, and to make it easier in the event you have to call an audible.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

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