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WordPress Housekeeping

Last modified: May 12, 2021
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WordPress Housekeeping

Why Should I Clean my Site Periodically?

When you first create your WordPress site, it will be quite lightweight. However, after you add a lot of files, data, content, plugins and themes, the size of your site will be increased.

This is extremely important when someone needs to access your site as the time to load and perform crucial functions depends on how much data needs to be processed. A bloated site will lead to slower loading times, which is very bad for your users’ experience. In addition, the stresses on the back end can also make your site management more difficult.

For this reason, it’s necessary to spend some time cleaning up your site. By clearing out data and content, optimizing images and files, and so on, you can improve your site performance effectively. At the same time, you can perform maintenance tasks like checking for broken links and making sure everything is up-to-date.

How often you clean will depend on your site and the systems you have in place. Larger sites that add new content frequently will naturally have more bloat that needs to be cleared away.

Remove Unneeded Themes and Plugins

Plugins and themes are excellent resources in WordPress. Usually you’ll find yourself adding dozens to your site from time to time. However, this can create unnecessary strain on your site, especially if you don’t actually need all of them.

For themes, you need to go through and remove any that you aren’t currently using. Remember to delete each one, instead of deactivate them. With plugins, you should go through and remove any that you don’t really need.

Make Sure Everything is Up-To-Date

Keep all your software, themes and plugins updated is the key to ensure your site runs smoothly and performs well. Old versions of software will cause all sorts of problems such as security holes, cause compatibility errors with other tools or simply bog things down.

The update process is very simple. All you need to do is go to Plugins and Themes sections of your WordPress dashboard, look for anything with a message about needing to be updated, and click on Update Now.

Clear Out Unused Images

Users like to upload a lot of images and graphics to their site and they end up never using. If you find your site is filled with many unused graphics, you should go through and delete them.

If your server site space is limited, you can move the unwanted images to a folder in your hard drive WordPress folder and named them backupimage or anything similar and store them there.

Fix Broken Links

Some of the most vital cleanup tasks are more focus on boosting your site’s performance than ensuring the user experience is strong. For instance, over time some links will not working anymore as the content they lead to has been moved or deleted. These broken links can be frustrating for your visitors and can affect the reliability of your site.

First, you can clean up your links manually. You need to go through content of every page, click on every link and make sure it leads to a valid page (and replacing the ones that don’t). A benefit of this way is that it gives you the chance to make sure all your links are correct but it takes longer time.

Additionally, you can install a plugin like Broken Link Checker. This tool will scan your site automatically and notify you when broken links are detected.

Optimize Your Database

Over time, your WordPress database can generate a condition called “overhead.” This condition is similar to a defragmented hard drive. There are some plugins you can use to optimize your database like WP-Sweep and WP-Optimize.
Check out our next article on How To Add WordPress Log Out Link To a Menu.
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