I know it’s basically summer already since it’s the very end of May but if you’re anything like me spring cleaning is a lot like summer cleaning #ProcrastinationIsReal. And truth be told I didn’t do my blog maintenance or blog spring cleaning until this weekend – yikes! But better late than never, right?
Truth is you need to be doing regular blog maintenance and not just in spring – but saying “blog spring cleaning” was too good to pass up, just keeping it real. So if you haven’t done yet, let’s crack ’em knuckles and do some good ol’ blog maintenance!
BASIC BLOG MAINTENANCE
If you do nothing else on this list, please do at least the following 7 blog maintenance tasks. Pretty please with sugar on top (your blog will thank you!)
Let’s start up easy. Check to see if, and how many, spam comments you have. And delete them all. Use the handy “Empty Spam” button to bulk delete it.
If you don’t have a spam detector / control, install one. My two recommendations are Akismet and Anti Spam Bee.
I sincerely hope this is something you do regularly and frequently. However, if you haven’t there is no better time than right now to run a full backup and store safely.
Update WordPress Core
Again, this is something I hope you keep up with. WordPress core should be updated as the updates roll out but if not, make sure you update the WordPress core to its newest version.
Update / Delete Themes
Next, go to your themes page (Appearence -> Themes). First delete any unused themes – absolutely no reason to keep them! And then update your current theme if there’s an update pending.
First things first, go through your plugins list and delete any unused or redundant plugins. Don’t keep a plugin “just in case”, if you’re not using it, even if it’s inactive, delete. If you want to remember it for future reference, write down the name in your computer notes, ever notes, or Google Docs.
Next updates any plugins with pending updates. Now look at your plugins list again, are there any extras you could get rid of? DO IT!
It’s always a good idea to update all of your passwords regularly so take this opportunity to update your blog’s password. I know it can be a pain in the rear remembering a new password but it’s worth your blog’s security.
Run Sucuri’s Free Security Check
Sucuri is a well-known security company and they offer an awesome website security check FOR FREE. So run that on your blog and fix any issues that might pop-up (hopefully none!)
SERIOUS SPRING CLEANING
Want to do more than just your basic spring cleaning or blog maintenance? Let’s keep going!
Check / Fix Broken Links
Install the plugin “Broken Link Checker” and run it to check for any broken links. Be sure to fix any and all links that come up as broken.
Once done, delete this plugin. It’s a resource hog and definitely not one you want to keep on your blog when not in use.
Remove Unused Images
Run the plugin “DNUI” (Delete Not Used Images) and / or go through your WordPress library and delete any images you know to be extras or not in used anywhere on your blog.
Delete Old Revisions
Install the plugin “Optimize Database After Revision Deletion” (trying saying that five times faster!) and delete old revisions. I usually do all posts older than a month with more than two revisions and delete them all.
You might be surprised at how many revisions are saved up and clogging your database. The first time I ran this, I deleted more than 2000. Yikes. Once you’re done doing this, delete the plugin.
Sidebar / Below Post Intro
Check your sidebar intro (or your below post intro if you’re a no-sidebar blogger). Update the photo to something more recent and professional. Check the intro blurb and update as necessary.
Sidebar Clean Up
Consider the five things you want your readers to do or get out of your sidebar, or things they might be looking for such as categories or a search bar. Next decide which things to keep, which to delete, which to update, and which to add. Some tips –
- Check your analytics to see which ads have the best conversions and only keep those.
- Delete any unnecessary badges or buttons.
- Make sure there’s a search bar available.
- Check your social media icons to make sure they lead to the correct profiles and add / delete any as needed.
- Check your sign up forms or any other cal to actions to make sure they functions correctly.
Check your footer, clean up any clutter and make sure all links work properly.
BOSS SPRING CLEANING
Alright, I get it. You mean business about this Spring Cleaning Blog Maintenance and I respect that. Let’s do this!
Menu / Navigation
Think to your blog’s mission and/or purpose and now check your menu. Are you leading your readers through the right paths? Are they too many links? Delete unnecessary ones or consider moving them to the footer. Make sure that your most important links / pages are first on your menu and so forth.
How’s that home page looking – whether it’s a static page or your blog roll. Could it use some cleaning up? Again, think back to your blog’s mission and purpose. Are your leading your readers through the correct paths and providing strong calls to action? Clean up and delete anything that’s not serving your blog strategy.
Be sure to update the photo in your about page to something recent and professional. Go through the copy and update as needed. Add a call to action or a path, if you don’t have one already. In short, make sure your about page isn’t a dead end.
This will most definitely be the most time consuming item in this entire list but could also give you the best return on investment. Go to your analytics and find your top 10 posts (Analytics -> Path -> Goes -> Here) and do/check each of the following for each post
- Go through and proof read. Seriously. So many typos on old posts!
- Update the photos and graphics as needed. This is specially important if your photography skills have improved or your Branding has been updated.
- If not done already, SEO the heck out of that post. Start by choosing a focus keyword and working your way from there.
- Add links to related posts within your blog or to new outside sources. Interlinking is super important for SEO and just plain ol’ traffic business.
- Add a call to action to the post – is there a content upgrade you could add to capture more emails? Does the post have a Click-To-Tweet?
PHEW. That’s a lot but blog maintenance is super important! You definitely do not have to do them all at once! And to make it even easier I’ve created a handy dandy blog maintenance checklist / workbook for you do download.
And if you made it all the way through that list YOU ARE AMAZING. High fives all around and go get yourself some ice cream. You deserve it.