7 symptoms of a Zombie Website. A postmortem and tips to bring it back to life.
WTF is Zombie Website?!?!
It’s a website that is alive on the internet, but the content is rotting within.
Since the world is so obsessed with zombies nowadays, let’s explore some signs that your website may be amongst the Living Dead.
Serious Question: Are you really open for business?
Even if you are officially operating, your website might be telling another story.
A zombie website says “Sorry we’re closed!”
Let’s review 7 ways your website has lost its vitality and how to bring it back to life!
1) Outdated Content
This is a common problem – expired content. There is content on the website, but it’s outdated. The copyright year is several years old, and the blog posts are several years old as well.
The content may reference events that have passed or issues that are no longer relevant. For example, if the content refers to a Bush presidency, it’s likely out of date!
Bring it back to life:
- Update your content as warranted for your business. If you want people to use your services, they need to know and trust you. It gives them a better idea of who you are before they may make a purchasing decision.
- Create evergreen content. Evergreen content the kind of content that is always relevant. Create content without references to dates, times, and events. You must make sure that your content is interesting to your audience and will keep them engaged on your website. You can recycle and refresh the content as needed.
However, even if you create evergreen content, you will eventually need to create new content. But keeping your site relevant should be a little easier.
2) Poorly designed
Another tell-tale sign of an expired website is one that is poorly designed. Examples of poor design include:
- broken flash plugins
- text is difficult to read
- an abundance of low-quality clipart
- blinking text
- scrolling text
- scrolling and blinking text
- scrolling and blinking text on a colorful background
And the worst trend in 90s web design: Visitor Counters! (Just NO!)
Any the above screams “This website was built a long time ago. Don’t even bother!”
Bring it back to life: update your website.
I’m going to throw my hat in the ring and offer to revamp your website for you.
(Your current website may have been a ‘do it yourself’ kind of job. I’m certainly not diminishing your hustle for doing it yourself. However, with all of the things you have to do for your business, rebuilding the website yourself may fall under the “Ain’t nobody got time for that” category. I’m here to help.)
3) Not mobile friendly
This deserves its own mention. If your site is poorly designed, there’s a 99% probability it looks even worse on a mobile device.
You really can’t ignore mobile. About half of your visitors will be on a mobile device.
Does your site function on a mobile device?
Bring it back to life: Use a theme or mobile optimized framework for your website. Review it on a mobile device when checking it with a web designer.
And if you need a web designer, umm, ::cough::, get one.
4) The phone numbers don’t work
… And the physical address is wrong.
Bring it back to life: I don’t know what to tell you here. Update it!
If your customers can’t find you, they’ll look elsewhere. No one is going to put it in the work to find you if your contact information is wrong.
5) Broken links
The links on your website need to work and there is an easy way to check it.
If you aren’t properly maintaining your website, you’ll likely overlook your links.
Bring it back to life: There are many sites that can automatically scan your website for borken links. Find them and fix them.
6) No social media or any other online presence
Your website is the online hub of your business.
However, that does not mean that social media can be neglected. You are missing opportunities to engage with your audience.
Bring it back to life: Build your business Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and link them to your account.
As a matter of fact, you can even automatically post your status updates to your website.
Just do whatever it takes to keep your site fresh!
You’ve been INFECTED (or just ‘ole hacked)
I’ve saved the best zombie pun until the end.
If you are not updating your website’s content, your WordPress plugins and themes are likely out of date. You never update them, and you don’t think you have to.
Well, the plugin/theme developers should be actively updating the plugin/theme to ensure that any vulnerabilities are found and fixed.
But if you aren’t updating your site regularly, you are missing out on security and functional patches. AND it makes it more likely that a hacker can exploit this.
Bring it back to life:
You will need to reach out to your hosting company and/or a professional developer to clean up your site. Depending on the damage, you may need to start over.
To lower your risk: Update your theme and your plugins. Do an audit of everything that you have installed, and uninstall everything that you no longer need.
During your audit, you should also take note when your theme/plugin was last updated. If it’s older than a year, consider replacing it. If it has poor reviews, replace it. Your business is worth it!
And update the version of WordPress if you need to. This is critical.
Remember to change your passwords, too!
Your Zombie Website can be restored
There is hope!
In addition to renewing your domain name and web hosting, follow the 7 ‘bring it back to life’ solutions to revitalize your site.
Not all of them are easy (or quick), but I understand how much your brand means to you. I’d hate to see your website rot away.
Consider me a zombie hunter (in pearls, no less) and let me restore your website to its deserved glory!
Until next time!
Kimberly Inez Mays
Online Brand Strategist, Founder
With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can’t wait to help you shine online!
I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I’m addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding).
Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂