Can you believe it’s a new year already? That means it’s time to make plans and get ready for the year ahead. Your website deserves a tune-up too, and we’ve put together a handy checklist for you to start off the year right.

1. Change your password

The start of the year is also a good time to update your passwords. You know that strong passwords should include lower and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols, but they’re always so hard to remember. Here’s a tip: Use random words with mixed capitalization, separated by symbols and numbers. Examples:

Because#Sand8Blimp — first letter capitalized
daylight>SPAGHETTI-1981 — 2nd word capitalized
2014pepsi?REEBOK\ — with names or brands

Isn’t that much easier to remember than 3lm3HO%9? This happens to be a weaker password too because there are only 8 characters in it.

2. Update the copyright year

Most websites have a copyright in the footer that many website owners take for granted and forget. Make sure that it has been updated to the current year.

Bonus tip for websites using the Genesis Framework: You can automatically generate the copyright symbol (©) and year with a shortcode. This means that this shortcode [footer_copyright first="2011"] the shortcode will turn into “© 2011-<current year>”. Remove the first="" attribute to display just the current year. This shortcode even works in widgets.

3. Update your About page and bio

The start of the year is a good time to review your About page which is usually the 2nd most popular page on your site. Make sure the information is current and consider using a storytelling writing style. Check out our 6 tips from top bloggers for writing a great About Page.

4. Review your policy and disclaimer pages

Your terms of service, privacy policy, affiliate and cookies disclaimer and other legal pages are important pages that are often neglected as well. Check them for stale dates and content and update them accordingly.

5. Check all your navigation, sidebar and footer links

Unless you’ve recently completed a full redesign of your site, chances are that you haven’t checked your website navigation, sidebar and footer links in the past 6 months. Make sure to click every link to ensure they don’t lead visitors to dead ends.

Here’s to an excellent year ahead for you and your website!

About David

David has over 15 years of experience with web geekery and WordPress. That experience spans every­thing from cre­at­ing affordable websites for small businesses, developing custom themes to opti­miz­ing WordPress sites for thou­sands of page views in a day. Say hi to David on Twitter at @blogjunkie.