Spring is finally here! It’s time to clean, organize, and get rid of all that junk… and I’m not just talking about your home! Every website needs a good refresh every now and then and a lot can build up over the course of the year. Take a few hours to spring clean your website and blog. My tips below will get you started. I recommend backing up your website before making any updates.
Do a plugin audit.
Update plugins. If there is an update available for a plugin, update!
Delete plugins that haven’t been updated in at least a year. Abandoned, unsupported plugins with unsafe code are huge security risks to your website. Navigate to WP Dashboard > Plugins > click View Details on each plugin > check “Last Updated” and “Compatibility”.
Delete unused plugins. Even if the plugin isn’t activated, unused plugins take up space on your server.
Delete duplicate plugins. Have more than one caching plugin? Two SEO plugins? Having multiple plugins trying to perform the same function can slow down your website, cause functionality issues with your theme, or even worse, break your site.
Remove unused themes.
Delete any themes you’re not using to clear up space on your server. If you’re using a child theme, make sure you don’t delete the parent theme. It’s also recommended to keep just one of the default WordPress themes (e.g. Twenty Twenty Two).
Update text & links.
Check for broken links. Make sure your internal and external links inside your posts & pages don’t lead to any broken 404 pages. Install the free and easy-to-use Broken Links Checker plugin to help you stay up to date on broken links.
Proofread. Proofread your pages and blog posts. Grammarly is an amazing browser extension that I use to help stay on top of typos, clarity, grammar, and more.
Update testimonials. Ask recent clients for a testimonial and get rid of the old.
Check tablet & mobile.
Make sure your posts and pages are lookin’ good on all devices.
- Is the body font at least 16 pixels large?
- Is there too much/too little space between sections?
- Are buttons large enough to click?
- Is the mobile menu working?
Update your site security.
Install a security plugin. WordPress websites are vulnerable to hackers. If your host doesn’t do a great job of keeping your site secure or doesn’t have a ton of security rules, then it’s time to install a security plugin!
If you have Siteground hosting, take advantage of their SG Security plugin.
Another popular security plugin I recommend is Wordfence.
Update the “Admin” username. When you go to Settings > Users, do you see any “Admin” usernames? If you do, change the username to something else. The Admin user account is the first username that hackers will try to use.
Check copyright date.
Is the copyright year in your footer up to date? If you haven’t updated the year on your website since 2012, then visitors might think your content and services are outdated.
Speed up your website.
Search engines like Google rank websites with fast-loading times higher than the slow-loading ones!
Optimize images. Large, unoptimized images are usually the main cause of a slow website. I recommend the Smush plugin. If you already have an image optimizing plugin, make sure it’s automatically optimizing your images as you upload them in the settings.
Optimize your website. Minify JS + CSS files and cache your site using a plugin like Autoptimize.
Clean up database.
- Delete old post and page drafts
- Delete page and post revisions
- Delete posts and pages in your Trash
- Delete all comments marked as Spam
Sort out blog post categories and tags.
- Make sure there are no posts with the default “uncategorized” category
- Delete unused categories and tags in Posts > Categories and Posts > Tags
- Simplify your categories
Update your WordPress theme.
Is it time for a website redesign?
- Is your current theme compatible with the latest versions of WP?
- Is your current theme too hard to update?
- Does your website look good on every device?
- Is your current theme fast & lightweight?
- Is your current theme SEO optimized?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it’s probably time for a new WordPress theme. Hearten Made offers WordPress themes for creatives, small businesses, and entrepreneurs who value ease of use, SEO, and speed.