How to keep your site gorgeous and organized

We login to quite a few sites on a daily basis and I can’t begin to tell you how many sites I see that are completely unorganized.  Now, this is probably the OCD in me coming out, but honestly you should have both the front end of your site looking gorgeous, as well as the back end!  It’s so easy for us to focus on making sure what everyone sees is beautiful, which is so so important, but we fail to realize that the back end is just as important.

Today I’m going to cover some tips to keep both the front end and back end of your sites gorgeous and organized!

Back end

Remove any unused and unneeded plugins

Plugins are a really great thing to have on your site, but having too many plugins can start causing trouble.  They can either start conflicting with each other, or they take up site bandwidth which in turn makes your site slow down.

Go through your plugins and anything that is deactivated, delete them.  You don’t even want those plugins installed if they aren’t being used.

Now go through all the currently active plugins and make sure everything that is active is absolutely something you use!  If it’s not, deactivate and delete it.

Sort your comments

Okay y’all, this is my biggest pet peeve.  I have one client that has about 15,000 pending comments.  This gives me the hives!  But seriously, these comments are taking up space on your server and they are slowing your site down.

Sort through every single pending comment that comes in.  Approve it, mark it as spam, or send it to the trash.  Also, go to your spam and trash folders and empty that from time to time.  Even though you mark it as spam or send it to trash, they are still there until you go permanently delete them.

If you’re getting a crazy amount of spam comments on your site, you’ll want to install the Spam Destroyer plugin immediately and that will all stop for you!

Keep your themes, plugins, and WordPress updated

Keeping everything on your site updated is also so so important. I just recently logged into a site that was started about 4 years ago, and not a single thing had been updated since the site was installed.  Yowza!

Any time an update is issued, it’s fixing a bug or making improvements.  Any time these get outdated, your site becomes very vulnerable for hackers to get into your site.  Trust me, you don’t want to have to deal with a hacked site – it’s expensive to fix, takes quite some time, and then there is no guarantee all your content that you poured your heart and soul into will be saved.

I plan to do a post in the future about how to update your site and what all that entails, but if you’re one that is scared to death to update your site because something might break, I recommend you check out a service like this that will help you with this type of thing!

Front end

Keep your sidebar organized

If your site has been active for a while, it’s very likely that the sidebar on your blog has built up quite a collection of stuff.  Revisit your sidebar, and make sure that everything there is absolutely necessary.

If you have little buttons, make sure all your links still work properly and that all the images look nice and compliment your brand.  You don’t have to keep all these buttons on your site if they are taking away from your brand or aren’t really serving a purpose.

Have consistent blog post images

The first thing people see on your site are your images.  If they are not consistent or flow nicely together, it’s really difficult for the reader to focus on the content that you’ve spent so much time creating. Having consistent images is so so important, and with places like Creative Market or the SC Stockshop, you can easily find cohesive styled stock images to match your brand and keep your posts looking consistent.

Organize your navigation menu

Check that the links on your navigation menu are easy to read and readers can find the areas of your site that are most important.  You can use a site heat map tool like CrazyEgg to take a reading of your site over a period of time and see what links readers are clicking on and what they are not so you can improve the experience on your site.

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