7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Website
May 2, 2018
Has your website been running slower than usual? First things first, go take a speed test to see how your website stacks up. If your score isn’t great, talk to your hosting company to see if they can do anything to speed up your site. You could be on the wrong hosting plan or they can install a CDN to speed things up.
The good news is that there are things you can do to clean the junk out of your website and ensure that it runs smoothly moving forward. In this post, I’ll be pushing beyond just installing a simple caching plugin to increase your site speed. Although, you should do that if you haven’t already. Here’s one I recommend.
Without further ado, let’s get into the post! Here are 7 ways to Spring Clean your website.
Refresh Your Copy + Images
Spring is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your website’s copy and imagery. Read through all of the content on each page of your site to see if you notice anything that should be re-written. Ask yourself if the images are relevant and update them where needed.
If your brand messaging or target audience has shifted in the past year then there’s a good chance you’re going to need to spend some quality time on this. See if you can add any information that would bring more clarity to what you offer or remove sentences that just seem like fluff when you re-read them.
Make sure you don’t have any grammar or spelling mistakes that you might have missed when you originally wrote the copy. Grammarly is an excellent browser tool to install if you haven’t already. It will catch these things for you and make your life so much easier!
Remove Unnecessary Things From Your Media Gallery
Head on over to the media gallery inside WordPress and take a look at your images, PDFs, and other media related items. Do you see any duplicates or things that you never actually added to your website? Delete those! They are just taking up space.
Images are one of the things that can slow down the speed of your website. Especially, if you’re adding images that aren’t saved properly for the web. Use a tool like Canva or Adobe Photoshop to save your images for the web before you upload them to the media gallery. That way, they won’t bog down your website and effect load time. You can also optimize the images that are currently on your website by installing this Smush Image Compression plugin.
Set-up Automated Website Backups
This Spring clean-up isn’t just about decluttering your website. I also want to protect your website from potential threats. One of the best ways to do this is to regularly create a backup of your website, so if you ever get hacked you’ll have a copy you can install quickly.
First, check to see if your hosting company already does this for you. If they are taking care of it on a regular schedule then you don’t need to worry about it. If they only create occasional backups or don’t do them at all then you’re responsible for them.
Next, install a plugin like BackupBuddy or UpdraftPlus to automate the process and make it easy for you. Set-up the backup so that it happens once a week, twice a month, or even just once a month. Whatever makes you feel comfortable. The great thing about these two plugins is that you can set the backup to go directly to your Dropbox or Google Drive account. That way, it’s somewhere safe that you can access anytime.
Check for Broken Links
It happens to the best of us. Sometimes links just break or weren’t set up correctly, to begin with. Double check that all of the links on your website are going to the place you want them to go. If any of them are linking to pages that don’t exist then it’s time to fix them.
Delete Old Plugins
WordPress plugins definitely make our lives easier but can also take up precious space on your website. Which, ultimately, causes things to run slower than usual. Take a look at the plugins you’ve installed on your site and remove any that just aren’t in use anymore or that you can live without.
Luckily, you can install a plugin to see which plugins are slowing down your website the most. Disk Usage is a great one to give you a quick visual on where your server usage is going. That way, you can delete plugins that are taking up too much space and start increasing your site speed immediately. Just remember to delete the Disk Usage plugin once you’re done with it so that it doesn’t take up extra space on your server.
Give the Archives Some Attention
Take a deep dive into your old blog posts and give them a refresh. You could update the copy with new information you’ve learned or add in an opt-in if you haven’t already included one in the post. Or create a new Pinterest graphic to refresh the design and get new readers over to your site.
Don’t have time to update all of your blog posts? To be honest, me neither. Take a look at your Google Analytics to see which blog posts are getting the most traffic. Then focus on refreshing those blog posts to grow your email list or sell your services.
Simplify the Main Menu
One of my biggest pet peeves is unnecessarily large menus with TONS of different page options. Website visitors want you to make it easy for them. Your main menu should only have the most important pages in it.
A great way to do this is to condense information onto one page instead of having things on multiple pages. For instance, if you have a drop-down menu for your About Section that reads – Our Team, What We Do, Who we Serve, Our Mission, etc. You can easily condense all of the separate pages into one page, simply called About. Trust me, you’re readers will thank you!
If you’re looking for more ways to simplify your website, I wrote an entire blog post about how to do that. Click here to start simplifying today.
And there you have it! 7 ways to Spring clean your website. I hope this post not only helped you to increase your site speed but also to develop habits that secure your site and give you a fresh perspective on your content.
If you want a little more guidance on how to build an effective website, I’m here for you. Grab a copy of the website worksheet below to gain clarity on how your website’s strategy ties into your overall business goals. After you complete the worksheet you’ll have a clear understanding of the steps you need to take to improve your site.