It's time for a summer WordPress cleanup to clear your website

It’s time for a summer WordPress cleanup to clear your website

You finally found it.

Your favorite pen was missing. Hidden, under that huge pile of paper. For several months.

You thought it was lost forever. But on that sunny Wednesday, you’ve found it.

As a matter of fact, the pen could be stayed hidden for some time more. But the day was going bad, and you decided to clean your office. Starting with your desk.

Notebooks, staples, cleansing wipes, an old computer mouse, lots of papers, invoices, and other printed stuff. A mess. But the hard’s day clouds started to vanish at the moment you saw that pen.

Oh yeah, your memory back to the day you get it and a smile came to your face. Fantastic day, wasn’t it?

In that same moment, a thought strike you:

If your office is a mess, if your desk was a mess, how is your website?

You tried to remember the last day you’ve made a clean up to all the site. It was too long ago.

The thing is your site is your’s business first face. Most first contact from new customers is made through it.

You have four main concerns with it:

  • It must be available;
  • It must be fast;
  • It must be updated;
  • It must be clean.

As the easter cleaning is an overrated period, you though in a summer clean.

We’re on this with you.

Let’s dive in.

Are backups working if you need it?

I’m assuming you, of course, do regular backups of your site, right?

Is the answer yes? Good. Go to the next step.
Is the answer no? Do it right now and implement a routine to do it regularly.

Make full backups, with files and database.

It’s easy to do with WordPress. You have several solutions, including plugins and even a manual way.

Now download a full backup of your site and test if it’s alright and everything works. It’s critical to verify the integrity of the backup.

Remember to store backups out of your server. You can use Amazon Web Services, Google Drive, Dropbox or another system.

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Clean your newsletter list and remove the one’s that never open your emails

I’m assuming you have an email list, right?
Is the answer yes? Good. Go to the next step.
Is the answer no? Start it right away. Just after the backup thing.

Check your stats to find who is opening your emails. What was the email that as the best open rate, and the worst? Try to figure out the best subjects, the number of clicks to your site.

It’s time to remove the people that are on it but doesn’t even open your messages. Do the same with the bounces.

Don’t be afraid. Those are just hurting you.

Remove from your main list to another one the people that didn’t interact with your emails in the previous six months.

Check if there are duplicate email addresses and delete those.

After the clean up send an email to your list informing what you have made. Consider a survey to ask people about their interests and asking what you can do for them.

Reinforce you website security

Make a general check at your site security.

Start with a passwords update. Change to passwords long, complex and unique.

  • Long with a minimum of 16 characters;
  • Complex with upper and lowercase letter, numbers and symbols;
  • Unique, meaning that should only be used on this website.
  • If you don’t do it already, start using WordPress two-factor authentication.
  • Instruct other users of your team to do the same.

Delete users if you need it. At last, check permissions and roles.

Reorganize menus, categories, and tags to make it simple

Have a deep breath. It’s time for some big decisions.

It’s possible that your project has undergone some changes over time. So, take a look at all the categories and tags. See if they make sense.

If they don’t, make changes. Reassign new categories to some posts.

Clear your site menu
Clear your site menu

Remove the ‘plugins fat’

With time it’s possible that you’ve installed more plugins that you needed.

Check them one by one and deactivate and uninstall any unused plugins. Do the same with the one’s you find unnecessary.

Repeat the process if you have themes unused.

Useless to say that you must have plugins and themes updated.

Remove unused plugins
Remove unused plugins

Search for old things in functions.php

Remember when you add a hook or filter on the functions.php file? Is it still useful?

If not, remove it.

Repair and optimize posts and pages

Use a plugin like Broken Link Checker ou a tool like Screaming Frog to check for broken links on your site. Remove or repair the faulty ones. It’s important for your site SEO rank.

Google doesn’t like broken links.

By the way, use Google Search Console (previous webmaster tools) to find errors in your site and correct them.

Audit the speed of your site. Not only the homepage but some of the main pages and eventually the portfolio.

Do you have unused image files? Search for them and evaluate if they can offboard. If you have doubts, let them stay.

Read, correct and update information pages

Your contact page is updated? The phone number is the same? And your office address?

Since it is not common to call to our phone, it is also unusual to turn to our Contacts page to send a message request to ourselves.

So, it may be showing wrong information.

Test the contact form and send a message to see if it’s all ok. do the same with all contact form on your site.

Don’t forget to refresh the copy on the About page and insert new testimonials, if you have it.

Adjust to that new slogan that you decided to implement.

Renew your portfolio with recently finished projects.

Show some database love

Now, it’s time to take care of your database.

Don’t forget to do a backup. After all, the database is the heart and blood of your site.

Use a plugin like WP DBManager, WP-Sweep or WP-Optimize to do the dirty job. But you can do it on your own if you’re used to working deeply with databases.

And in the end…

Don’t forget comments if you still have them. You may have some waiting in moderation or any that needs a response. Don’t forget to clean the spam.
Get the job done
Yep, it’s a lot of work, especially if you have a large site. But it’s important, and you shouldn’t skip it.
Do it for you site sake.
Do it today.