We all love sharing our reviews, discussions, and participating in fun memes but it is equally important to make sure our blog is running correctly and easy to navigate. Grab an iced coffee and do an inspection with me.
Today I am encouraging you to go through my checklist.
Under the Hood
We use the backend of WordPress each time we set up a post but it’s important to pay attention to updates, plugins and protect your site.
- Be sure you’re regularly performing the updates for WordPress. This is important as often times they protect you from vulnerabilities.
- Check that plugins are supported. I don’t think you need to do this every month, but would recommend that you do this after any major update from WordPress. Go to your plugins and take a moment to visit each site in the WordPress.Org repository. At the top of the plugins page it will tell you if the plugin is supported. You can also see when updates were last made.
- Make sure your security is up and running. (Wordfence, Bulletproof, Sucuri, etc or choose a hosting site that does this for you)
- Check Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to see if your site is having any issues. Aside from telling you what folks are searching and visiting each month, it also offers information on issues.
- If you have any paid plugins that require renewal or updated protection be sure these are set up for auto renewal and that your information is up to date.
- Own your own domain name? Make sure you know the month of renewal and update any info needed.
- Tidy up. Remove images that you aren’t using. (I like to do this quarterly)
- Remove unwanted posts. Say What? I like to remove old giveaways, cover reveals etc that are expired. I either remove the giveaway part of the post, reclassify as review only or if the post no longer has relevant information I simply redirect link to my home page and delete it. As your blog ages you will appreciate removing the bloat.
- Hosting- Review your hosting. If you are happy be sure your renewal information is up to date or start the process of research a new home.
How often do you visit your site and view it from a visitor’s perspective? This is important. You’d be surprised at the way code, image and functionality change.
- Clean up your Sidebar. Remove outdated events, giveaways and challenges. If you have loading issues, consider moving blogs you follow, challenge updates etc to a page in your menu bar.
- Check all Social Icons. Do they open up correctly?
- Open a Post. Check all links.
- Do you use social share icons? Click them and be sure they are correct. Does your Twitter share include a title to the post? Does it link to your Twitter name?
- Open a different browser and visit your site as a stranger. Is it easy to comment? Do the posts and images load correctly and efficiently?
- Does your newsletter work properly?
I recommend viewing your site from different browsers and mobile devices. Check Google Analytics to see how YOUR visitors are viewing your blog and focus your efforts on those. This is particularly important if you change your theme or there is a WordPress update.
- You can test how your site looks and functions on different screens and devices with this tool: Screenfly
- Check how your site looks in different browsers: Browsershots
- Tech savvy? Change view using developer tool in your navigation bar and test.
With a little effort you can keep your site running smoothly.