You can give anything a spring clean at any time of year, but this is the perfect thing to work through when you have a spare few hours that you can dedicate to making sure your site is working as well as it should be.
Why would you want to clean up your site? Well, because things can break without you noticing. If you have an Instagram widget on your site, for example, you may have noticed that this has broken recently because of changes in the Instagram API. Having a regular review of the site means you can pick up these problems before they happen. It’s also a good idea to make sure everything is up to date – did you recently change your Twitter handle, but not update it on the site? Does your site still say you’re 20 and living in London, when you’re currently 22 and living in Manchester? Spring cleaning the site means reviewing what information you’re putting out there and making sure it’s up to date and correct.
Here’s a few things that you should consider looking at when giving your site a spring clean:
Back it up
Backing up your website is so important because you might do something that breaks it and then you’ll have a hard time repairing it. If you’re a Blogger user, then you’ll need to do this manually, but for self hosted WordPress users, you can easily copy everything in your FTP account, there are plugins that you can install that will do a regular backup to a cloud account for you and your host will probably be doing back ups as well.
Run those updates
For self hosted WordPress users, it’s important to make sure you’re running an up to date version to protect your site (make sure you have something like Wordfence installed as well) – your host may be able to do this automatically, but if not, go in at least once as week and check what needs to be done.
Check Social Media
We’ve talked in the past about things to look for when spring cleaning your social media, but a quick look at whether your bio and profile image still represent you is a good idea, and whether your link in bio is being as useful as it can be.
Broken Link Check
Make sure to run your site through a broken link checker service – if you’re on a self hosted WordPress package, it’s even easier with a plugin that does some of the hard work for you!
Remove themes and plugins that you’re no longer using, check out that sidebar and ditch the badges from sites that closed down three years ago, just have a look around and remove anything that’s no longer useful (WordPress users, you may find this old post useful for a longer checklist of things to do)
Check the speed
Head to the PageSpeed Insights page from Google and enter your URL, then read their recommendations and fix whatever you can. (It will tell you the difference between your mobile version and desktop version as well, which is useful!)
Does this thing really work?
Here’s something that happened on this website a few years ago – people couldn’t leave comments because a plugin was causing issues. No one thought to tell us because they thought that’s how the site was meant to be! Go and check that all the forms and comments and anything else you want the reader to be able to do works.
What else would you include on this list?
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