Spring Clean Your Website
Spring has finally arrived in these parts and it couldn’t be more welcome. I love spring time. I love opening the windows and letting in the sweet-smelling air. It’s amazing how a little more sunshine and some fresh air can be energizing and revitalizing.
If you’re like me, you’re probably looking around your home thinking of ways to spruce it up and welcome the new season. You might even be well into spring cleaning. Have you given any thought to spring cleaning your website, your online home? Here are some tips to get your website squeaky clean.
Back Up Your Site
Before you make any significant changes to your website, always run a full backup. Check with your host to see if they offer full backups as part of your package. My preferred host allows me to completely backup my site with one click and stores them on their server. If this isn’t an option for you, consider installing BackupBuddy so you can run backups whenever you want. It’s a good idea to set up a schedule to back up your website on a regular basis.
Update Your Software
From time to time, WordPress, themes and plugins come out with updates that add new features and functionality to your website. Often these updates include important security updates that help keep your website secure. Run your updates one at a time, checking your site after each update to make sure it hasn’t caused any problems. If there’s a problem, you can restore your site from your backup.
Test the Functionality of Your Website
Test any forms on your site, such as those that collect emails or allow customers to contact you, and make sure they’re working properly.
Test your internal and external links to make sure they aren’t broken. You can go through page by page and check your links manually, or you can use a tool like Link Checker to check your whole site for you. If it finds any broken links, you can go in and update them.
Optimize Your Images
Image size is a contributing factor to the speed of your website, which in turn has an impact on SEO. I your images are too large, they’ll take too long to load. There are plugins you can add to your WordPress website to optimize the size of your images in bulk and as you upload them. I prefer to optimize them before I upload them so I’m not adding unnecessary plugins to my site. To compress your images, use a tool like tinypng. You upload your large image and it spits out a smaller version to download. Not sure if your images are too big? Test your site speed at GTmetrix and it will let you know.
Clear Out the Clutter
Take a look at your plugins and remove any inactive ones that you have no plans to use in the future. If you have multiple plugins that do the same thing, decide which one you prefer and delete the one you won’t be using. Too many plugins can drag down the speed of your site.
Do you have old drafts of pages or posts that you have no plans to publish in the future? Now’s the time to delete those.
How about users? Are there people who used to have access to your site, former contributors or employees, who no longer need it? You can delete those too.
Update Your Content
Take a look at your About page and makes sure that your copy is up to date. Update your head shoot if you’ve had a new one taken recently.
Update your Portfolio page and remove any old projects that no longer showcase your best work. Add new projects that are fresh and exciting.
Add new testimonials to your Testimonials page to showcase your most recent work.
Update your footer, which appears on every page, and make sure everything there is current, including the copyright year.
Have you got any helpful spring cleaning tips for your website? Share them in the comments below