As the weather starts to warm-up and the snow finally starts to melt, Spring slowly arrives and we start to think about spring cleaning – clearing out from the long Winter.
I started mine a little early this year because we decided to switch rooms around in our apartment and that forced me to go through things that I usually stick in a closet and ignore – especially paperwork – it is amazing how many pieces of paper one simple divorce can generate.
When we spring clean our homes and yards, it is also a good time to think about spring cleaning our WordPress sites. I wrote about this in 2009 and 2010 and thought I would now update it with the 2011 edition.
- Upgrade WordPress – WordPress is up to version 3.1, which includes many new and useful features. There don’t seem to be many issues with it and it has been out for a couple of weeks, so I recommend updating. Make sure that any plugins you are dependent on are compatible and always make a complete back-up first.
- Backups – Do you have a back-up plan? Do you make regular backups of your WordPress site? I have been using the WP Database Backup plugin to backup my database daily and backing up the rest of my files manually. Recently, I started using Backup Buddy, which is a plugin that will backup everything! The backups can be done manually or on a scheduled basis. Backup Buddy isn’t free but is well worth the cost.
- Update Plugins – Make sure they are compatible with the version of WordPress you are using, especially if you are dependent on any of them for your site to function properly. Also, if you have customized any of your plugins, don’t update them until you have a plan for transferring the updates to the new version.
- Delete Plugins – remove the plugins that you aren’t using. I test plugins quite a bit and then tend to leave them installed even if I’m not using them. Every so often, I go through and clear them out. Actually, I recently set up a demo site and will be testing plugins there so this site doesn’t get so cluttered (and I am less likely to break my site).
- Static Pages – review the content on your static pages. I need to work on my About and Services page. I’ve also been revising and updating my portfolio, as well as working on a separate portfolio for my Facebook work.
- Sidebar – Review the items in your sidebar. Are people locating the content that they need? It is too cluttered? Personally, I am never happy with the sidebar but I’m not always sure of what changes I should make.
- Hosting – Are you happy with your webhost? Or have you had a lot of problems? If you are experiencing issues, it may be the time to switch to a new host. I like Bluehost and Hostgator and recommend them to many of my clients, I have even given my clients a coupon for bluehost.
- Post and Page Maintenance – Remove or disable draft revisions and check your posts and pages for broken links.
- Update Your Theme – Do you use a premium theme, such as Thesis, Headway or Genesis that has updates? This may be a good time to update your theme. Of course, if you have customized it without using a Child Theme you will want to make a back-up and document you customizations before updating it.
- Dentist – Get your teeth cleaned. Just because ;-)
Is there anything else that you would add to this list?
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photo credit: rfduck