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Spring is just around the corner (although in Texas it’s been spring-like all winter). That means most of us ladies are probably making plans to give the house a good cleaning. And while you might be making plans to spring clean the house, are you making plans to spring clean your blog?
I know, it’s not like you’re not already busy doing other stuff that barely leaves you any time for blogging. Why add one more chore to your list of things to do, right?
Believe me I know where you’re coming from. There’s barely enough hours in the day to do the things we normally do for our blog. But the way the start of the Spring sesaon reminds us to clean out the closets and change the batteries in our smoke detectors, we should do a little maintenance on our blog to keep it updated and running smoothly.
What’s the saying – “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It’s better to maintain your blog as needed now than to wait until something happens like your blog getting hacked. I learned this the hard way recently when I was updating old blog posts. I’ll be sharing that with you in an upcoming post. Anyway…
Another reason you should spring clean your blog is to keep it updated to attract new and returning visitors. I’m not taking anything away from content. You still have to create kick a** content for your visitors. But before they read your blog post, their eyes are set on your blog’s appearance – remember, presentation is everything.
It’s not like you have to do a major blog make-over or anything like that. These are some of the ways I spring clean my blog every year and thought you’d like to know what they were so you can update your blog, too.
Here are 11 Ways to Spring Clean Your Blog
Let’s start with the technical stuff and then I’ll move on to other parts of your blog.
#1 Check For Broken or Inactive Links
Be sure to check for broken links and update or remove them. You should be doing this at least once a week but in case it’s been a while since you’ve checked your links, now is a good time.
An easy way to do this is by installing the Broken Link Checker plugin. It alerts you when there is a broken link anywhere on your site. And if you click on the “tools” link on your Dashboard, you’ll see a number by the “broken links” to tell you how many broken links your blog has. Without this plugin you’ll have to go through each post and check the links and depending on how many blog posts you’ve publsihed, it can be a big task.
#2 Check Plugins
Speaking of plugins, make sure you delete any inactive plugins. This will help speed up your blog’s load time.
We all want our blog to have the latest bells and whistles and there are plenty of WordPress plugins you can use. But keep in mind the more you have the more it will slow down your blog’s load time.
You want a plugin that has multiple features and that would be Jetpack. Jetpack has features keep your blog secure, increase traffic, SEO tools and most importantly to engage with your visitors. Click here to learn more about all the features and the extras you get when you upgrade.
If you’re ready to install Jetpack, you can download from their site or go to ‘plugins’ from your WordPress dashboard, select ‘add new’ to download and install.
The plugins you definitely want to have are the ones that protect your blog and keep it running smoothly. Here are some plugins you can check out.
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- Broken Link Checker
- EWWW Image Optimizer
- Online Backup for WordPress
- Varnish HTTP Purge
- W3 Total Cache
- Wordfence Security
- WP Smush
- WP Optimize
- Zendy Speed: Browser Caching
You can also find this in the plugins section of your WordPress dashboard. If any of these plugins are not compatible with your version of WordPress, no worries, there are plenty of other options available.
Here are other ways to spring clean your blog.
This is important if your blog has changed. For example, let’s say you were blogging as a hobby but now you want to monetize your blog. You will want to update your terms and conditions to let your visitors know some of the links on your site will be paid.
#4 Update Your Bio
I’ve been guilty of not updating my bio page myself but let me tell you why you should update your bio page.
Here is an excerpt of my bio:
I’m a Mother of 5 children ages ranging from 26 to 19 years old. I have three grandchildren and I have two pit bulls, Fergie and Chico who are also my babies. I live in Houston, Texas with my sweetie of 25 years.
Every year, this part has to be updated because of birthdays and our anniversary. So take a look at your bio and update it as needed.
#5 Update Your Gravatar Pic
If you’ve been using the same pic for a while now or if you still haven’t created one, update your pic or click here to create a gravatar. Remember, some readers like to put the face with the name.
#6 Update Categories
Take a moment and go through your category list. If there are some categories there you’re no longer blogging about, consider removing them. Or you can update existing ones to sound more funky or hip.
#7 Remove or Change Ads
If you have a lot of ads on your site, now would be a good time to remove some of them. Too many ads takes the focus away from your content and worse, it can drive visitors away.
If you have old ads, check your advertisers for new promos or an update to the banner itself.Give your #blog a #springcleaning to keep it updated and running smoothly.Click To Tweet
#8 Delete Old Posts
Before you give a big gasp, I’m talk about old posts that have expired links such as coupon round up posts or giveaway posts. You can always remove the hyperlink but if you’re not sharing it and it’s just taking up space, why not?
I delete my work-from-home job lead round up posts after 30 days because once the listing expires, the link is broken.
#9 Update Old Blog Posts
This will also be a good time to update older posts. Freshen it up with new content and give it a new image.
Elna of Twins Mommy wrote a post that shows you how you can get more traffic from old posts. You can read it here.
#10 Change Blog Layout
You can move the sidebar to the other side or you can select a full page view. But if you really want to change the look of your blog you can always get a new theme.
If you’re shopping for a new theme, check out StudioPress for their latest promotions.
There You Have It
Those are the things I do to spring clean my blog. What are some of the things you do to keep your blog maintained and how often do you do it? Let’s chat in the comments section below.