Spring is here and that means it’s spring cleaning time. When was the last time you spring cleaned your blog or preformed any blog maintenance? If you can’t remember or the answer is “never”. It’s time. Your blog (and future you) will thank you!
Why should you clean your blog?
Like anything else your blog runs best when it’s free of clutter and things that you don’t need. All those plugins and old files take up space and can slow down your blog, or even compromise it’s security! Keep your blog running quickly and secure by getting rid of the old files you don’t need anymore.
First: Back Up Your Blog
Before you touch ANYTHING, back up your blog. I’m not kidding, do it. No one ever thinks their blog will go down, but when it does you will thank your lucky stars that you had the foresight to backup your files. You never know what will happen and backups are invaluable.
Protip: Back up your blog anytime you make any changes to it. (Yes including editing your theme, yes, before updating your plugins, and YES before you update your WordPress version.)
Now that your blog is backed up it’s time to start cleaning!
Update ALL THE THINGS!
Have you been ignoring the little Update icon in the top corner of your dashboard? Is the umber of updates just getting larger? It’s time to fix that. So before you do anything else, update everything. Update your plugins, your themes, and yes, WordPress too. These updates not only can give you sweet new features, it will also give you sweet, sweet security updates. These updates help keep your blog safe from hackers and other vulnerabilities. It’s in your blog’s best interest to be updated on a regular basis.
Deleted Plugins You Don’t Use
Do you have lots of plugins that you aren’t using anymore? Do you have a good reason to hang on to them? No? It’s time to get rid of them. Go through your plugins and delete any plugin that you have disabled, or are not using.
Delete Themes You Don’t Use
The same goes for themes, but there is one exception. Keep TwentySixteen. It’s the latest default WordPress theme and you should always have it on hand in case you need it for troubleshooting. However, if you have other themes that you’ve used in the past, it’s time to get rid of them. They are just hanging out on your server taking up space.
Delete or Update Old Blog Posts
Do y9ou have old blog posts that no longer fit your niche? Do you have old posts that are lacking in the content department or maybe they don’t have SEO or images worthy of Pinterest? Now is the time to go through these old posts and spurce them up to give them new life, or get rid of them. Old content can be valuable, but not if it’s of poor quality or no longer relevant. Also go through and check your old posts for links that no longer work. Google hates broken links and they can negatively impact your SEO.
Protip: Think of ways you can re-purpose your old content. Maybe one of those old blog posts would be a great ebook, class or video!
Clean Up the Spam
Got spam? Yeah, so does everyone else. Delete that spam comment folder and make sure no nasty spam has suck through. It will free up space on your server and in your database.
Delete Old Pages
Do you have old pages that you are no longer using? Time to get rid of them. Go through and delete any pages you aren’t currently using. Be sure to delete your “Trash” folder too! Deleting your trash folder will free up the urls of those pages, which means you can change your new contact page contact-4 to contact. Doesn’t that look better?
Update Your User Account
When was the last time you changed your password? Changing your password frequently helps keep your blog secure. take the time to update your password now and make sure your user account information is up to date and correct.
Protip: While you are at it, check your other user accounts. Do you have
Keeping your blog clean will help you minimize errors, keep your blog secure and loading fast. For best results you should make time to update and perform maintenance on your blog monthly. Taking care of your blog regularly will save you time, money and lots of headaches in the future should you encounter issues. Don’t have time to run your own maintenance? Let me handle it.