New Year Website Housekeeping Tips

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Clutter naturally builds up over the course of the year – and websites are no exception to this. The early part of the New Year is usually the perfect time to look over your website with a fresh perspective and get rid of any unnecessary mess and perhaps look at improvements. If you think it’s time to do some website housekeeping, here are some simple tips:

1. Befriend the trash can. Check through and ensure any disused pages have been properly moved to the trash or removed from the site – in a CMS like WordPress you can still retrieve trashed items, so don’t worry about losing them forever. Just get them out of your hair.

2. Take a holistic view of pages and their contents. Are two pages doing the same or very similar jobs? Is there a point at which it might be unclear which one the user should visit? Over the year a lot of new content may be added without too much checking of how it fits into the site as a whole. Use this chance to review and collate.

3. Clean up your media. Images and video files are the largest elements of a website, so it’s best to keep these as organised and efficient as possible. If possible, use the same URL for the same image across the site, and save them as appropriate file types – graphics appearing on every page such as logos and banners will often be smaller and load faster as gifs.

4. Update your plugins. It’s good to regularly check that the plugin versions you’re using are up-to-date to en sure that there are no security issues and to get the benefit of any new features that are released. Sometimes plugin updates can break things, so it’s important to do a full site test afterwards.

5. Update your dates. It’s good to check any year sensitive dates mentioned in your site. Do your copyright lines in your footer still mention last year? Do you have a booking page where dates need to be updated? Do you have content that is out of date?

Good website housekeeping practices will keep you on track to maintain a professional online profile.

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Katie is a lover of words and art, born and raised in Christchurch. With a BA in English and Japanese, she’s happiest tapping away at her keyboard writing copy or articles, or else working on the latest illustration. To balance the creative side, Katie is also very motivated and a bit of a perfectionist, which helps with her SEO duties. Although her hobbies could probably be described as art, art and more art, she also enjoys long walks, good friends and travel.

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