Is your blog getting bogged down?
Does it seem not be running quite as well or loading as quickly as it used to?
When was the last time you really looked at the inner workings of your website and did a little housekeeping? While you’re cleaning up and optimizing the rest of your business, why not clean up your blog at the same time?
Here are four quick ways you can clean up your blog, making it more secure and maybe even a little speedier.
Get Rid of the Spam to Clean Up Your Blog
Are you deleting spam comments on a regular basis? If your blog gets any amount of traffic, spam can build up at an incredible rate. My blog is pretty small and I get upwards of 200 spam comments per day (thank goodness for spam blockers). Ignoring your spam queue can suck up resources better used elsewhere and, in rare cases, even crash your site. In addition to using a spam blocker (I use Antispam Bee) there are a few other things you can do to keep the spam at bay. You can find my suggestions here.
Check Your Links
When was the last time you checked all the links on your site to make sure they were still working as you planned for them to? Sites can close down or change the url of a post, all leading to broken links that make your site look bad. Too many broken links can also result in being dinged by search engines as a potentially spammy site. A free plugin like Broken Link Checker can show you where the holes are in your website, so you can clean up and repair those broken links.
Review Your Themes and Plugins
Do you have unnecessary plugins on your blog? Deactivating and removing unnecessary plugins can free up space and help your site load faster. In addition, removing unnecessary plugins can reduce your security risks. Sometimes plugins are a great idea at the time, but rendered less useful either by WordPress updates or by changing to a theme that has that functionality built in.
Make sure that WordPress, your theme and all of your plugins are running the most current version. WordPress is the most critical. In my experience a good portion of WordPress updates are to correct potential security vulnerabilities. As soon as the WordPress team learns about a possible vulnerability, they block it and update WordPress. Unless it is a critical vulnerability, you may want to wait a few days after the update announcement to update your blog, but don’t wait too long.
If you have plugins that have been on your blog without updating for some time, you may want to check that they haven’t been removed from the WordPress Plugin Directory. You’ll also want to check how long it has been since the plugin has been updated. If it is no longer supported, you may want to consider a similar but more current plugin.
Speaking of themes, this is a good time to check those, too. Do you have several unused themes installed? I recommend removing all of your unused themes and leaving only your current theme and a backup, default theme like WordPress 2020 or 2021. Some WordPress themes (from questionable free sources) can harbor security vulnerabilities as well as coding that can slow your site or even be malicious. I am NOT saying all free themes are bad (There are a few I actually recommend to clients), but if you’re not using a theme, why let it clutter up the back end of your site?
Clean Up Your Blog and Optimize Your Databases
Updates, upgrades, post revisions and similar activities tend to leave behind “debris” on your website. Removing these unneeded and unwanted files from your site can speed up your blog and make it less vulnerable to hackers. There are many ways to optimize your site and remove these files. You can use a plugin like WP Database Optimizer. Just be certain to make a backup of your site before you begin.
If you are a more advanced user, you can check and optimize tables through your phpMyAdmin function found in the cPanel of your site. You can find a very clear tutorial at wpmu.org
What do you do to clean up your blog and keep it from getting clogged and cluttered? Please share in the comment section below.