Fall Tidy or Spring Clean Your Website

Just like your house it is a good ideal to tidy up your website regularly. This keeps your website rocking and your website visitors coming back for more.

Visitors won't keep returning to your site of their own accord unless you are constantly providing something new. Here are 5 tips.

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1. Check that your links work

Broken links is a sure sign that you are not looking after your site. There are tools that will help you for free, but if you have a lot of pages with links you might invest in an automated checker that helps you keep your site up to date all the time.

If you link to external sites your links may break without you knowing. This is why it is useful to periodically check your links.

Google will downgrade your ranking if you have a lot of links that go to 404 - page not found pages.

Free Broken Link Checker

2. Spring Clean Your Content

Many blog posts have a use by date. If your blog posts are out of date your site visitors will think you don't care, or that you are not paying attention.

It doesn't mean you have to ditch the post altogether, you might just have to update it. Here are some tips:

  • Refresh any words or phrases that date the post or content. Eg "5 things to do in 2017"
  • Add fresh content that brings the theme of the post up to date.
  • Note that the Post "Updated with new information." This might get fresh attention.
  • Update images with a more contemporary look. This is important if your images were fashionable a few years ago. The content might still be good and an updated image might be all it needs.
  • If you have time and resources add new media content to existing blog posts. Create a short video.

How to make a video without getting in front of a camera.

3. Tidy up Your CMS

Remember that blog post that you didn't finish last year, or the 5 images that you uploaded just in case you might need them?

If you have a lot of unused content in your CMS it might be bloating the CMS database and slowing the performance of your website.

Removing this content also makes managing your site more efficient. You don't have to think about all this content when you are creating new content, or searching for something to link to.

While you are reviewing this content you might find some gems that were just waiting for polishing up, or that you can update and make into new content.

4. Check your Analytics

There are two kinds of people in the website management business. Those who check their analytics when they should, and those who don't. 

If you are a constant analytics checker, then now is the time to review what you are checking to make sure that it is useful. Checking analytics that don't matter is just a waste of your time. Google and other analytics sources will keep recording them, but you don't need to care. Check only the analytics that will make a difference to your website.

If you are one of the people who check only every now and then, maybe now is the time to set a schedule. Checking your analytics at the change of season is as good a schedule as any if you are checking less often than that. Here are some ideas for what you should check.

  • Check analytics related to your conversions. 
  • Check analytics related to performance.
  • Check analytics related to engagement.

Getting started with Google Analytics

5. review your Security

Administration passwords should be changed regularly. Check that  you have changed them and that only the appropriate people have access to the back-end of your website.

Review the security features of your site:

  • Update your CMS and any modules or plugins.
  • Is your security certificate due for renewal?
  • Delete spam login registrations.
  • Check activity on login registrations and remove any that have not logged in recently.
  • Delete any logins of team members who should no longer have access to the site.

Sensible Website Security

Lisa Harvey