Does Your Blog Need Fall Cleaning?

wordpress cleaningIs 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 doing the rest of your fall cleaning, why not do a little blog cleaning at the same time.

Here are four ways you can clean up your blog, making it more secure and maybe even a little speedier.

Get Rid of the Spam

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 Akismet). 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, like Akismet, there are a few other things you can do to keep the spam at bay. You can find my suggestions here.

Make Sure Everything is Up to Date

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.

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.

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 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. 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 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 it up 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 Optimize DB by Yoast or WP Database Optimizer.

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

How do you keep your blog from getting clogged and cluttered? Please share in the comment section below.

I’m a writer, photographer and entrepreneur with a passion for learning, sharing and self-improvement. I love to help people become more productive and organized in their home, business and life. I’m all about real, practical, do-able solutions that will help you to enjoy a more fulfilling and creative life and focus on the things that matter most.

2 Responses to Does Your Blog Need Fall Cleaning?

  1. Delighted to read the blog maintenance tips, Marie Leslie. I follow 2 more steps, one of which is the same as in your suggestion in your other post for making sure that the 5% of spam that might get through despite Akismet is stopped in its track as well as to be able to respond in a timely manner to genuine blog comments.

    The other suggestion I have is to use Wordfence or a similar plugin which will monitor upgrades and updates for WordPress, Themes, plugins as well as advise when files are changed so that the blog owner can action them on the spot.
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