The Conversion Optimization New Year’s Resolution Checklist

It’s the start of yet another year, which means it’s time to create some gung-ho goals for yourself, right?

But while everyone else is signing up for a gym memberships they'll never use, why don’t you focus some of that drive towards optimizing your website instead?

Because you’re a Thrive Themes Member, we know you’re serious about building both great looking and conversion focused websites.

So while the energy of the new year is still fresh in your sails, here’s a quick checklist of tasks to help you optimize your site’s backend, conversions on the frontend, and content creation systems to bring more value to your visitors.

Your 2019 Conversion Focused Website Checklist:

Here’s a list of 7 big tasks to complete — listed in checklist format — that you can start working on right now to improve and optimize your website.

If you’d like to download this checklist as a PDF for offline reading (or just for the personal satisfaction of crossing things of lists), click the following download button:

Part 1: Technical Checkup Tasks

The first 4 checkup tasks discussed below focus on your WordPress site's backend and what you can do to bump the security, speed and capabilities of your site:

☐  1) Make sure your site is SSL Secure

When your site loads in a browser, does it show http:// or https:// before your domain name?

If it’s still displaying http://you better sit down ‘cause we need to have a little chat.

Is everything okay at home?

What’s going on kiddo? You can tell me... I mean, why haven’t you upgraded your site to start using a free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate yet?

All kidding aside though, if your site is still operating in the unencrypted dark ages, Google as well as your visitors are probably punishing you with decreased organic traffic and increased bounce rates.

If this applies to you, get this taken care of ASAP, okay? Hosting companies worth their salt (like WPX Hosting) actually make this step one-click simple.

☐  2) Delete Your Old, Outdated and Unnecessary Plugins

Assess the state of your current plugins to replace and/or delete any outdated, unused or unnecessary tools.

For example, now that Thrive Architect has a built in Contact Form element, do you really need Contact Form 7 anymore? If not, out with the old & in with the new to eliminate such unnecessary plugins from dragging down your site.

Other examples of unnecessary 3rd-party plugins your Thrive Themes Membership has made unnecessary include:

☐  3) Add These Plugins to Your WordPress Tool Stack

Speaking of your WordPress tool stack, here’s a few plugins you should consider installing and deploying if you haven’t already:

All the Thrive Themes plugins — you know which ones you haven’t had time to learn yet… maybe now’s a good time!   😉

☐  4) Keep Your Website Up to Date & Secure

Here’s some general website housekeeping habits you should implement if you haven’t already:

  • Have a way to backup your website on a frequent basis and before you make big site changes or updates.

    Certain hosts like WPX Hosting will do this for automatically on daily basis and give you the ability to create user initiated backups before you make a big change on your site.

  • Update your site with the latest version of WordPress soon after release. However, make sure to backup your site first just in case anything breaks in the update.

  • Same goes for your plugins. Make sure to update them as soon as it’s practical for your site — always making sure to do a site-wide backup in case the changes negatively impact your business.

Pro Tip for Plugin Updates

Always update plugin-by-plugin instead of batch updating.

If a plugin update happens to break something on your site, it will be much easier to figure out which plugin caused the conflict if you update them one-by-one and check how your site looks after each plugin modification.

The flow you should follow is

  1. Create a full backup of your site.
  2. Update 1 — and only 1 — plugin.
  3. Check how your site looks including important elements such as your opt-in forms and purchase buttons.
  4. If all looks good, continue by updating the next outdated plugin on your site and then perform the same checks again.
  5. Follow this workflow until all your plugins have been updated.

Part 2: Conversion Optimization Checkup Tasks

The next checklist item 4 focuses on what steps you can do today to get a conversion optimization bump with the least amount of effort:

☐  5) A/B Tests You Should Start Running Today

A/B testing is another habit you should make a habit of launching for your Headlines, Opt-in Forms and Landing Pages. Of course, the Thrive Themes plugins make it super easy to create and launch A/B tests for each of these scenarios.

Here’s some great resources to help you identify low effort, high potential reward A/B tests on your site right now:

Part 3: Content Creation Checkup Tasks

The final 2 checklist items deal with how you can improve your content creation process to boost your loyal fan base and audience consistently throughout the upcoming year:

☐  6) Publish QUALITY Content Consistently

Building a loyal audience of fans that actually care about your business and root for you to succeed is crucial for small businesses like yours.

Don’t believe me, watch Content Marketing expert Joe Pulizzi talk about why this is so important, big companies are starting to buy up audiences like yours since they’ve done such a bad job at it:

If you need some assistance coming up with content ideas, getting it written and then shipped on time every [month / week / day]don’t we all! — here’s some great articles from the Thrive Themes Blog to help you do just that:

☐  7) Must Have Pieces of Content To Create if You Don’t Have Them Already

Finally, there’s some cornerstone pieces of content your site needs to deliver for free to start bringing big value to target readers and customers in your niche.

The following posts will make sure you’ve got these covered to ultimately get more organic traffic, grow your list, and boost your conversions in the long haul:

Now It’s Your Turn

Don’t let the positive energy the New Year provides pass you by!

Jump into this website New Year's Resolution Checklist now so you can get as many of these website optimizing tasks checked off the list as soon as possible.

Have any comments, questions or need help from our team with some of the steps? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

  • debra3 says:

    Thanks for the PDF list. Good tips. A few suggestions, though:

    1) Please make the font size in the PDF much larger. It’s far too small to comfortably read.

    2) Please optimize the file size to be smaller. A 45 MB download is a bit large for a simple PDF.

    3) The PDF appears to be just 2 pages, but each page is incredibly long. It doesn’t look like they would be easy to print.

  • Jacob S says:

    A few more must-have plugins:

    1. A lazy load plugin, such as A3 Lazy Load – your pages will finish loading more quickly as the media elements will only be downloaded when the visitor scrolls down to them

    2. WP Rollback – lets you easily rollback to an earlier version of a plugin if, for example, the latest update breaks something on your site, saving you from restoring an entire site backup just because of one plugin

    3. Revisionize – WordPress only lets you schedule new posts. This plugin lets you schedule updates to anything in your archives

  • Eduard A says:

    Thank you very much for this incredible inspiring checklist: started working with it already before I read the whole stuff… 🙂

  • Mark says:

    Excellent check list, thank you – thank goodness for the supported Contact Form Element!

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