Spring Clean your WordPress Website
Is your WordPress site ready for a Spring Clean?
Believe it or not – a WordPress website can become cluttered, and as a result affect the performance of your site. Not only can a cluttered site reduce the page load speed times, but it can also be extremely off putting for your visitors. You wouldn’t want your customers to come into a messy office or shop, so take the time to ‘spring clean’ your website.
Visitors are coming to your website with a purpose, and if they are unable to satisfy that purpose within a matter of seconds, then chances are they will navigate away from you site. Cleaning your WordPress website is an essential part of your online strategy, and will help your visitors find exactly what they are looking for in a timely fashion.
Tips for Spring Cleaning your WordPress Site:
Clean up the Navigation
A nice clean and smooth navigation is key to your site’s success! Understanding your customers and what they are looking for is an integral part of any business strategy, and will certainly help your customer’s online experience if you can set up your navigation accordingly.
First and foremost, you’ll need to devise a structure for your site, applying the appropriate parent and child categories. Don’t go overboard with menu items, especially in the main navigation – if it’s too complicated, customers won’t stick around! Your main menu should feature your most IMPORTANT pages – and then you can provide links, buttons and banners to other pages from within these parent pages.
A clean menu is more alluring that a noisy, cluttered one. If you have a lot of links in your main menu, then it would be worthwhile adding a mega menu. Many premium themes now have the mega menu feature built into them, though there are many plugins you can purchase. From experience, Uber Menu is a great choice and is compatible with most themes.
Clean Up Content
Headings are really important and so are bullet points. People are time poor, and when confronted with a page full of text that is not structured, they consider it hard work. Clean up your content by writing in paragraphs, adding headings and bullet points – that way your visitors can easily skim over your content and find the information they are looking for.
Remove Unused Plugins
Plugins are an essential part of the WordPress world – and is part of the reason WordPress is universally acclaimed. However, they can also significantly reduce the page load speed – so make sure you deactivate and delete any plugins that you don’t use and don’t need.
Optimise Pictures for Web
It’s crazy how many of my clients upload images that are 2-3mb. These are just way too big for the online world, and images should really be cropped into the right dimensions, and to around 50kb. You can do this quite easily using Photoshop, and there are also some online apps that can also help you achieve this. Read my Blog on Cropping and Optimising Pics for Web.
Update Themes and Plugins Regularly
Updating your theme and plugins on a weekly basis is extremely important. A good plugin and theme will have regular updates, as the developers will be constantly improving them and securing them from threat of hackers and bugs. Plus you might find that you have some really cool new features.
Clean up Admin
When you log into your dashboard in WordPress there are many areas that require regular attention. By allocating 30-mins a week to this task, you should be able to maintain a clean dashboard – eliminating clog and clutter.
Delete Spammy Comments
If you allow comments on your articles, make sure they are manually approved. That way you can delete any spammy comments. There are a few plugins to help you monitor and delete spammy comments,, including Anti-Spam and Antispam Bee.
Delete Trashed Items
If you’ve deleted a page or a post and have no intention of using that page ever again, make sure to go into your trash and ‘Delete Permanently’.
Delete Old Themes
By default, WordPress comes with 4 free themes, plus the ones you add. Make sure to delete any themes that you are not using – all they are doing is taking up space.
Fix Broken Links
Broken links can have an affect on your SEO and also your customer experience. Make sure you fix broken links as soon as you find them. Use W3C Link Checker and do a quick scan on your website to find broken links.
Clean Up your Database
Your database is the foundation of our WordPress website, and as such, should be routinely maintained. Cleaning up your database requires you to remove spammy comments, clearing out post trash, trackbacks and pings, draft posts and so forth. WP Optimise is a great little plugin to help you do this all through the one interface without having to access your cPanel.
Delete Bulky and Unused Media
Do you still have old photos, brochures and video content in your media library? If you’re not using it, delete it! These are big space wasters! Again, there is another great little plugin that can help you keep this area of your site clean, it’s called Force Regenerate Thumbnails.
Check Website Performance
And make sure to regularly check the performance of your site. A couple of great online tools to use are:
Spring cleaning your WordPress website can certainly transform your website and help enhance the customer experience. A faster, cleaner website is much easier and nicer to navigate, and can result in a greater conversion rate.
You need only allocate 30-mins per week to cleaning up your website, and as a result you’ll have a clean, well maintained online presence that is less-likely to be hacked or corrupted.