6 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your WordPress Website

Maintaining a WordPress website for your small business requires a lot of care and attention. Your website isn’t something you should set up once, and forget everything that goes into keeping it fresh. We always advise consistently updating to the latest version of WordPress, ensuring that the best security is in place, and confirming that backups are running regularly. We also recommend routinely reviewing all aspects of your website to protect your brand and promote the best possible image for your business.

Every few months, aside from the basics, you’ll want to do what you can to keep it immaculate. Here are 6 spring cleaning tips for your WordPress website:

1. Audit your content

Look over the content and messaging on your website to make sure it still reflects your current company brand, goals, and target market. It’s easy for your website’s content to become outdated as you shift directions, pivot, or expand. Is your bio up-to-date? Is your team information accurate? Have you added or discontinued certain products or services? If you haven’t looked carefully at your website’s content in six months to a year, because you are busy with the daily operations of your business, you might be surprised by how much has changed. Remove or update any content that sends the wrong message or may cause confusion.

2. Fix broken links

Broken links on your WordPress website are bad for business. You don’t want someone to click a link, looking for information they want, only to find a missing 404 page. Broken links make your website appear neglected, create the impression that you are careless with your web presence, and negatively impact SEO because Google wants the highest quality sites to be found first. Start by logging into your Google search console, or setting up an account if you don’t already have one. Once you are logged in, click on your site dashboard, and check the site’s status for URL errors. Depending on the error, you may need to remove the link, publish a page, or set up a redirect using a plugin.

3. Speed Up Your Website

Is your website running fast enough? Slow load times can cause high bounce rates, low conversions, and lost sales, and contribute to a frustrating user experience. It can also ding your SEO. Few visitors have the patience to sit and wait more than a moment for your website to load. Start by using the Google Developers tool, PageSpeed Insights, which will analyze the content of your website and make suggestions to speed it up. Then, get some help to make the recommended changes, which may include fixing bugs, tweaking code, compressing images, reconfiguring WordPress caching, or any number of potential resolutions. A developer will use additional tools to further troubleshoot and fix the root cause of any slow loading times. You might find that there are problems with your hosting service, requiring you to migrate your website to a better hosting provider.

4. Declutter

Log into your WordPress dashboard and look around the back end for any pages, posts, or media that can be deleted. Do you have old pages that are outdated or have been replaced? Are there unpublished drafts of half-finished blog posts that you’re never going to use? Do you see 5 versions of a graphic you were trying to get “just right”? Are there deactivated plugins or plugins that you never use? It’s time to delete all of this extra baggage for good. Of course, be careful not to remove something that is in use and get help if you are unsure.

5. Improve the User Experience

There are many things you can do to clean up your website that will improve your user experience. You could simplify your site architecture or add a plugin that automatically recommends related content, allowing users to more easily navigate your website to find what they want. Another improvement would be to replace old images with better quality, high-pixel photographs that can be better shared on social media. And, speaking of social media, when was the last time you updated your share buttons plugin? Make sure your website has user-friendly options that include today’s popular social networks.

6. Remove old users

While you’re doing your site spring cleaning, check for and remove any inactive users that are still hanging around on the back end. You may have set up an account for a former employee, intern, friend, contractor, agency, or even the original developer. To keep your security tight, these user accounts should be removed immediately. Remember to keep an eye on user accounts going forward; there’s no reason to keep them open.

That’s just a start, but there’s so much more spring cleaning you can do for your website — like dusting your house from to bottom until it sparkles, but ignoring the boxes of paperwork from 2001 and the pile of outgrown bikes in the garage. It’s not going to tidy itself.

Need some help getting your WordPress website spiffy-clean and up-to-date this spring? Give us a shout.

Why We Use WordPress (And You Should Too)

When it comes to building and designing a website, there are many, many systems available to use, but at Solamar we always use WordPress. WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that has been around since 2003, and it is hands down the best choice for use as the building blocks of any website we make, for a number of reasons.

Most clients don’t want to know the gritty details of the inner workings of their site, they just want it to look good and work properly, but using WordPress is one of the things we do to ensure that good looks and seamless functionality come with every Solamar website, and it can’t hurt to understand the reasons we do what we do. So stick around, and I’ll give you a quick tour of why WordPress is such a rockstar, and our default CMS choice.

It’s Insanely Popular

Being cool isn’t usually a good reason to choose anything, but in the world of open-source software, the larger the user base, the more secure, stable, and supported the software is. WordPress is used more than any other CMS in the market by a long shot. There are over 455 million WordPress sites in the world and counting. Those sites make up 21.5% of the top 10 million sites on the internet, and 60.1% of those using a CMS of any kind. The next highest CMS on the list, Joomla, comes in at a whimpering 3.2%.

It’s Free

One of the reasons WordPress has such an incredible market share is that it’s completely free. You can self-host it, and at no point do you need to pay to download, install or upgrade it. In addition, there is an ever-growing library of plugins you can use to extend WordPress’ functionality, and they are also often free. The chances are, if you want your website to do something, anything, there is a free plugin that can make it happen.

It’s Highly Flexible

Not only is WordPress capable of extending its functionality via plugins, but the framework itself is also malleable to a significant degree. This allows us as developers and designers to craft websites that fit the vision of our clients without compromise, and with relative ease. Its large user base means that anytime we run up against a particularly devious challenge, the likelihood that a solution has already been discovered by someone else is high.

It’s Easy To Use

When WordPress was first created, it wasn’t the powerhouse CMS you see today. Instead, it was designed to be a simple and easy-to-use blogging solution. While it has grown in leaps and bounds, it has always remained true to that core approachability. Thus, the documentation and user interface have been designed from the ground up for internet novices. This means we can hand our sites over to clients knowing that with a small amount of training, they will be able to use their sites without any frustration at all.

So if you are in need of a website, you can come to Solamar knowing that we use technology that delivers not only an attractive and functional site, but one that can grow with you and will be easy for you to use. Sound good? Give us a shout.