Day 2: Time for Spring Cleaning
Keeping your blog clean is as important as keeping your store-front, home or work environment clean. You are preparing your area for visitors – visitors that would be turned-off by a very messy environment. Setting the stage – you walk into a clothing store where all the racks are messed up, the clothes are on the wrong hangers, with the wrong sizes and there is trash on the floor, loud music blaring from the speakers and it smells like a flowery disinfectant exploded all over the place. Do you want to stay and shop there? Maybe if they were selling clothes for .50¢, but that’s another post. This might be your blog if you don’t keep it clean. If there is trash code in your template, if you sidebar images are outdated. Your blog will load slowly if it is bogged down and users will be turned-off and think you are not “current” if they see you haven’t updated your content on your sidebars. The fix: clean it up!
Your first step should be cleaning up your sidebars. Your sidebars are always neglected, you fill it up with stuff and then you forget about it. It’s generally, the ghost of blog events past.
If something on your sidebar is not contributing to the conversation, remove it. It’s all about conveying information to your readers.
Tip: Ask yourself, do I need this?
While delving into your sidebars, rejuvenate your blogroll – do you really need that blogger on there with a link that goes off site? Do they have you on their blogroll? Do you have new favorite bloggers that you would like to add and support?
Go through your plugins. Are you still using it? Does it still work for you? If not, delete it.
Dead links, after a few years of blogging it happens, a link doesn’t work. You need to regularly check for broken links. WordPress has a plugin that checks for broken links and for other platforms you can use sites like WC3 check link to check.
Go through your settings and check that each one is exactly what you want it to be. Make sure your comments are easy to use, your pages point in the right direction and your descriptions are just right.
Did you clean up your blog? What did you get rid of? I mostly purged my plugins…