End of the Year Checklist for Website Investors

The last few weeks of each year are always a good time to wrap things up to ensure a smooth start of the new year. It’s also very helpful that the industry in general is extremely quiet towards the second half of December, allowing you some time to pay attention to things that you’re typically too busy for.

Below is my quick checklist of things that all website investors may want to pay attention to before the fireworks go off.

#1 – Make sure your automated server backups are turned on 

There are very few of us who aren’t guilty of not paying nearly enough attention to whether our servers are properly backed up. In most cases, the importance of having regular backups configured doesn’t become obvious until, well, it’s too late.

If you’re using a dedicated server or a VPS then make sure that you have either backups configured through cPanel/WHM or that your web hosting provider makes regular backups (many providers offer this feature, but only as an additional service that needs to be ordered/enabled separately).

If you’re not someone who feels comfortable going into the admin panel and configuring backups on your own then hit up the customer service department of your hosting company and in most cases they’ll be happy to do it for you.

#2 – Take 1-2 days for that project or improvement that you’ve been postponing for months 

If you’re anything like me then you probably have several items in your todo list that you know are important, but you just don’t seem to be able to ever find the time to get them done.

Holidays are often the perfect time for tasks like this, as with the whole world being “turned off”, no emails from clients or suppliers to deal with and no-one expecting you to get anything done, you can easily take the much needed day or two, turn off your email notifications and get this stuff done, once and for all.

#3 – Make sure your Google Analytics is tracking properly

Being involved in a number of website acquisitions each month, I often encounter situations where even seasoned web investors have their analytics either not properly setup or not setup at all.

Now is a good time to take a look at each site in your portfolio and make sure that your have Google Analytics properly installed on each of them. Not only does it come in handy when you want to review your sites’ performance, but should you decide to sell a site or two, having Analytics mis-configured (or even worse – set up very recently) is likely to create a number of issues.

Pro Tip: Use Chrome’s extension called Tag Assistant ( to quickly and easily check whether everything is OK with your Google Analytics (and AdWords) tags. If you see one GA code, and it’s that of your account, then everything is fine. If you see more than one or none at all then attention is needed.

#4 – Enable email autoresponders on sites that get a lot of incoming queries from clients

It’s often easy to forget that many parts of the world don’t celebrate holidays at the same time as we do. So unless all of your traffic comes from the US, the UK or Western Europe, make sure to either enable an email autoresponder or put a note on the contact page of your website, informing your clients about your availability (or the lack of availability thereof) during the holiday season.

#5 – Dive deep into the numbers and formulate a plan for the new year

Which one of your properties should take the highest priority in 2014? Which one(s) are you looking to potentially offload and when? What’s your overall acquisition strategy like for the coming year?

If you can’t answer the above questions without hesitation then chances are that you would benefit a lot from taking a day off to go through the finances and other metrics of your assets and formulate a specific plan for the coming year. Many investors, especially those who do this as a hobby or a secondary business, don’t have a clear overview of how their properties are performing and therefore often tend to make terrible mistakes when it comes to prioritising and deciding what to keep and what to sell off.

#6 – Don’t forget to relax and recharge for the new year!

Last but not least, try not to overwork and take at least a day or two off to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones and relax. If you’re like most online entrepreneurs then staying off from the computer for longer than 24 hours at a time can be a daunting task, but it’s well worth to do it every now and then and there’s no better time for it than the holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

P.S. Let me know in the comments what’s in your own end of the year checklist and what have I missed!

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  • Peter McKinzie

    Very good checklist Bryan, especially #2.

    I took off the whole fourth week of December and managed to get more done than during the whole of Q4.

    Keep up with the good work on the blog. You definitely have one subscriber here.


  • flipfilter

    I’d like to change “Take 1 – 2 Days for that project you’ve been postponing” into “Take 1 – 2 weeks to account for the distraction of random family members dropping in” 🙂

    Nice Article. Look forward to seeing more.

    • Bryan O’Neil

      .. or to account for your mailbox not being nearly as empty as you had expected it to be, and everything being urgent as people want/need to get everything done before year end 🙂

      And then you realise in the afternoon of the 30th that you have nearly nothing done that you had been planning to do between the 24th and the 1st, when it’s supposedly all quiet.

  • Lipa Steinberg

    Bryan, I’d swap #6 and #5. You’ll be much better in numbers crunching after you’ve cleared your head.