Fix Problems on Your Website When You Discover Them

This is my case for fixing problems right away. Small problems appear on every website: broken links, broken pictures, outdated information, 404 pages, spelling mistakes and lots of other little things that seem innocent.

There’s always a good reason to fix them later, for example there might be a relaunch due, the whole page content will be updated soon, or the responsible person cannot be reached.

People will estimate that it’s not that bad because few people will notice and even then the damage will be minor.

However I argue, people are very wrong with this kind of thinking.

Reason 1: Things will get delayed
The broken link will be fixed with the next content update? The contact person and the product info will be changed with the relaunch? I’ve never seen those things finish before time. In fact most of the time they get delayed and thus all those fixes keep on getting delayed as well.

Reason 2: The damage is much larger than people think
There are almost no visitors on the broken page? How do you know? Maybe the two people who clicked got annoyed and left forever. You will never know because things are broken. Most customers will give you a second chance and don’t dismiss you right off the bat. But if they come back and things are still broken, people get annoyed.

Then there is the indirect damage to SEO rankings. Search engines hate broken things for the same reasons your visitors do, so not fixing them might damage your SEO rankings.

Reason 3: If you wait, more mistakes will appear
Things change and get changed on websites all the time, so problems and mistakes are bound to appear continuously. If you don’t fix the things right away then the mistakes pile up. And then, when it’s finally time to fix those little things, people already forgot half of them.

My case against postponing things
Procrastination is the enemy of any fast changing complex system and those little broken things are annoying. Fix them now and every prospect will be happy to work with you. Don’t fix them now, and get overrun.

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