7 Steps to Prepare Your Website for Summer So You Can Relax and Keep Selling

As summer approaches, it’s time to think about how your business will operate while you take some well-deserved time off. Ensuring your website is ready for the summer months is crucial. By preparing in advance, you can enjoy your vacation knowing your business will continue to thrive. Here’s how you can set up your website to keep generating sales and providing excellent user experience even when you’re away.

1. Schedule Content in Advance

Scheduling content in advance means planning and preparing your blog posts, social media updates, and newsletters before your vacation. This step ensures that your audience remains engaged with your brand even when you’re not actively managing it.

  • Blog Posts

    Write and schedule blog posts using platforms like WordPress. Give yourself enough time to work on this and include SEO tactics to make sure your blog is relevant and can be found easily. Use the built-in scheduling feature to publish posts automatically.

    Pro tip: Plan your marketing activities ahead so you know what blog goes out and when. This will help you with the content creation as well as creating the supporting materials – emails + social posts. Keeps your audience engaged and helps with SEO. Cons: Requires time upfront to create content.

 

  • Social Media

    Use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Later to schedule posts across various platforms. This can help you stay on top of your social media game and help you be visible and active while away.
    Pro tip: Use the free version for this short amount of time. It can still save you time, and money and ensures consistent posting.
    Cons: The algorithm would generally prefer you to manually prepare and share your posts, so don’t be surprised if you see a drop in your engagement. Limited functionality in free versions.

 

  • Newsletters

    Schedule email campaigns using Mailerlite (my go-to for solopreneurs and small businesses) or ConvertKit. Set up automated email sequences to nurture leads.
    Pro tip: Include CTAs in your email newsletter and have them engage with your previous content. This will keep your audience informed and engaged.

By scheduling content ahead, you ensure that your marketing goes on seamlessly, maintaining your audience’s interest and potentially attracting new clients while you’re on holiday.

2. Set Up Automated Responses

Implement automated email responses to let clients know when you’ll be back and who to contact in your absence. This ensures they receive a timely response and know you’re still attentive to their needs.

  • Email Auto-Responders

    Use your email service provider (e.g., Gmail, Outlook) to set up vacation responses. Mention your return date and an alternative contact.
    Pros: Quick and easy to set up.
    Cons: Limited to email communication.

 

  • Customer Support

    Use platforms like Zendesk or Freshdesk to automate customer support responses.
    Pros: Professional and customizable.
    Cons: May require an investment.

 

  • Social Media

    Set up automated messages on Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct using tools like ManyChat.
    Pros: Immediate responses to common inquiries.
    Cons: Limited to social media platforms.

Automated responses ensure that clients feel acknowledged and informed about your availability, improving their experience with your brand even when you’re not there.

3. Optimize Your E-commerce Settings

Ensure your e-commerce site is fully functional. Meaning, checking that all systems are running smoothly and handling any potential issues in advance.

  • Payment Gateways

    Verify that PayPal, Stripe, or Square are functioning correctly.
    Pro tip: Use the test mode or a 100% coupon to place test orders and check if there is any issue with the purchase.

 

  • Inventory Management

    Use tools like WP Inventory Manager, TradeGecko or Zoho Inventory to keep track of stock levels and automate restocking alerts.
    Pro tip: If you are heading out on a longer holiday, make sure to have a higher inventory ready to cover the times you are out and not able to produce your product. You can also set the min. level of your inventory to warn you earlier – before the stock runs out. This will give you some time to prepare in case that happens, as well as change your settings on the website.

 

  • User Experience

    Enhance your site’s usability with plugins like WooCommerce (WordPress) or Shopify’s built-in tools. Here are a couple of tips your can try: enhance your website’s menu, use a better search functionality than the built in one, improve your site’s speed, optimize your website for mobile devices, improve your website’s accessibility.

4. Implement a Chatbot

Chatbots provide instant support and improve customer satisfaction by handling common inquiries around the clock. This means your website can offer a high level of customer service even when you’re not available

  • Tidio

    A user-friendly chatbot with free and paid plans. Also the tool I’m looking into as well. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂
    I like that it is easy to set up and use, and it integrates well with popular platforms. The only downside so far is that it has limited features in the free version – but that is normal 🙂 Nothing is for free.

 

5. Review and Update Your Content

Regularly updating your content ensures that your website remains relevant and engaging for visitors. This step is vital to maintain your site’s credibility and user experience.

    • Check for Outdated Information

      Review all pages for outdated info and update as needed. You might not notice but your copy could have typos for which Grammarly is a great tool. Updating your content is also something Google likes as well and helps you with your ranking.  

    • Fix Broken Links

      Use tools like Broken Link Checker to find and fix broken links. Once you found them, make sure to fix them – either with a redirect of by relinking the broken links on your site.

      This is something to do every couple of months – or if you are active on blogs and have a lot of backlinks – do every month. 

      Read this blog post on how to use the Broken Link Checker.

     

    • Improve Page Load Speed

      Use Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze and improve your site’s load time. If your site loads in more than 3 seconds that is already considered as slow. Not just Google will rank your site lower and “punish” it, your users might also get frustrated and leave it – which further proves to Google that your site is not worth to list up high.

    6. Perform a Security Check

    Protect your website from potential security threats. Ensure your website software, themes, and plugins are updated to the latest versions. Consider using security plugins like Sucuri or Wordfence to safeguard your site against malware and hacking attempts.

    • Update Software

      Ensure your website’s CMS, themes, and plugins are up-to-date. You can easily do it on WordPress (just make sure to back up your site before doing any updates in order to avoid any unwanted crashes).

     

    • Security Plugins

      Use plugins like Sucuri or Wordfence for comprehensive security. These tools can protect your site against malware and hacking. Even the free options are quite good, however, it is recommended to go pro if you want to have a full protection.

     

    • SSL Certificate

      Ensure your site has an SSL certificate. Tools like Let’s Encrypt offer free SSL certificates. Sometimes, your host might offer this as part of your hosting package – make sure to check with them first. Also, they might be able to do it for you, so no need for you to understand the details.

    Protecting your website from security threats is essential to safeguard your business and customer data. Conducting a thorough security check minimizes the risk of disruptions while you’re away.

    7. Backup Your Website

    Regularly back up your website to prevent data loss. Use tools like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy to schedule automatic backups. Having a recent backup ensures you can quickly restore your site if anything goes wrong.

    Please make sure that you keep a copy of the backup in the cloud. Use services like Google Drive or Dropbox for off-site backups. 

      Conclusion

      By following these steps, you can prepare your website for the summer, ensuring it continues to perform smoothly and generate sales while you enjoy your holiday. Taking these actions not only helps maintain your business operations but also provides peace of mind, allowing you to truly relax and recharge.

      Orsi

      Product, Brand & Web Designer

      I help businesses create great websites that attract more customers and increase sales. I use my skills in consulting, design, and e-commerce to tell your business’s story and improve customer service. We’ll work together to understand your business and create a website that meets your goals.