Cleaning Up Your Blog or WordPress Site

cleaning wordpress siteI’m starting a new series here at Marilyn Thompson Solutions and cleaning up my WordPress site. Now that I think about it, you could call it spring cleaning, but it’s actually more than that.

The new series is called WordPress Wednesday and it starts today because well, it’s Wednesday. I’ve been analyzing my sites recently and probably doing more critiquing than is healthy but I think that every once in a while you need to take a step back and look from the outside in.

You need to do your best to step back and try to review your site from your visitor’s point of view. Try to determine if it conveys what you want it to and that your purpose is coming through loud and clear. Sometimes we get so caught up in where we want our blogs and websites to go that they become too cluttered or confusing and your visitor has no clear direction.

When I stepped back and took a look at this site I felt it needed a remodel, so you will be noticing a few changes over the next few days. I hope to have it complete by June 1st to start the month fresh, but then again I’ve been known to really mess up a site upon occasion too. The good news about that is that I learn so much in the repair process.

So let’s get going with today’s topic for WordPress Wednesday.

3 Tips for Cleaning Up Your WordPress Site

1. Make Good Use of Your Footer

Commonly, most people start at the top and work their way down but I’m going to suggest that you to start at the bottom – down there at the footer. People tend to do one of two things with the footer, they basically ignore it and have nothing visible but the default copyright and possibly the WordPress theme used. That’s it clean and unimportant because they figure no one looks down there anyway.

Others tend to plaster the footer with ads, tag clouds, category lists, and pretty much a lot of fluff. The theme you use can play a factor in how your footer appears as some won’t allow you to add anything and others will allow three or four widgets.

I feel the footer can be some prime real estate as many visitors will check out the info at the bottom to find more information about the site and its owner – i.e. you. Use the space to link back to your “about” page, a favorite post, or your email opt-in. The Genesis child theme that I use here allows for three widgets in the footer but for some reason they are not viewable, so I’ll be looking at making changes.

2. Perk Up Your Permalinks

Are you aware that you can change your permalink for your pages and posts? Many people just use the default wording that echoes your title. But you can change this wording to use it to your advantage – actually to the SEO advantage of your site.

For those who are unsure, the permalink is the link to an individual blog post or page that shows as the permanent URL for that page or post. You or a site visitor can use the permalink to link back to your site.

Your main URL will look something like this and is simply the home page of your blog: http://www.marilynthompsonsolutions.com

Your permalink will look something like this and direct the visitor to a specific post that you want them to read: http://www.marilynthompsonsolutions.com/cleaning-up-your-wordpress-site

For SEO purposes you can shorten the permalink to capitalize on keywords and entice the search engines. For example, let’s say your blog post title and permalink was:

“yourblog.com/7-tips-for-choosing-a-dog-groomer” – you can shorten that to:

“yourblog.com/choosing-dog-groomer-tips” or “yourblog.com/choosing-dog-groomers”

The thought behind this action is to focus strictly on keywords to get the attention of search engines by telling them succinctly what your blog post is about. For more information about setting up permalinks check out my short tutorial here. 

3. Un-stuff Your Sidebar

Aren’t sidebars great! You can just load them up with ads, banners, Facebook photos, recent comments, recent posts, tag clouds, calendars, an endless array of widgets and gizmos. But after a while, they lose their impact – your visitor has no idea what you are really encouraging them to click on.

The sidebar is so stuffed with every kind of image that it hinders your site instead of helping. Need an example? Look at mine, yep both of them, they need work – another part of that spring cleaning.

When it comes to your sidebar remember the adage “keep it simple”. Just as I mentioned with the footer space, clean up your sidebars to work for your purpose and business. Focus on getting your reader to take action, like signing up to your list, or clicking through to purchase your new e-book or product you created. Too much stuff is overload and your reader takes no action but to read and click away.

I trust you found these three tips for cleaning up your WordPress site helpful. If you did, please let me know below and shucks, you may even want to sign up to stay informed. And since I’m making some changes, is there something here that you find distracting?

Wednesdays are going to be a great day for learning about WordPress, so be sure to visit regularly and if you have a topic you’d like me to address, just let me know and I’ll address it in a future WordPress Wednesday post.

To your hard-earned success!
Marilyn T

Comments

  1. Hi Marilyn,

    Solid tips on cleaning up your word press blog. The only thing about word press is that it can become addicting to adding plugins and when you start to add more plugins it will start to slow your site down.

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