There is going to be some housekeeping of the blog variety going on for the next few weeks here on Geeky Bloggers Book Blog.
This post was inspired by The WordPress for Dummies Facebook Group! The group of gals in that group are fantastic and brilliant.
Here is why: I will start my 6th year of book blogging on Jan 1, 2014. Crazy right? There are certain types of blog housekeeping you should do as your blog gets older. I should have started years ago but didn’t. Now I regret that little oversight on my part. Hopefully, this will help you avoid my mistakes.
TIP: Kelley from Reading the Paranormal does a feature called Blog Housekeeping that helps you with the day to day stuff. You really should check out these reminders.
Here is what you should do to keep your blog running in tip-top shape as the years go by (for WordPress users or those thinking of switching to WordPress):
BACKUP YOUR BLOG OFTEN DURING THE CLEANING PROCESS!
- Check that database size! If you are a frequent poster then you are going to eventually (sooner rather than later) start having your database grow fast. Since most hosts use SQL express (or the equivalent) there is a time when your database moves out prime operating mode. If you are paying for prime hosting (non-shared) this database size can be larger than if you are on a shared hosting plan. Contact your host to see what size they suggest your database be for optimum speed and availability. You can use a tool like WP-Optimize to both help clean the database of orphaned objects and monitor the size.
- Clean up old posts! This is what I wish I had been doing for the last few years. Do you have “time-sensitive” posts (announcements about book releases, meme’s, blog hops)? I am starting a rule of thumb that they can be deleted after a year. Why? Most of these posts are graphic intensive, resource throttling (specifically hops), or just no longer relative. By trimming these posts, I can keep my blog running faster and cleaner. I also added WP-PostExpirator to help with this as I go forward.
- Clean up old comments! Do you do giveaways that require a person to leave a comment each time they tweet, share, ect. Those add up! Comments can weigh down your blog too. I have a rule of thumb to keep the ones on reviews and discussion posts. I close comments on posts that are over a year-old.
- Clean up review, discussion, and other posts! Did you decide there were certain types of posts that you were keeping? If you are like me there are certain posts that you are keeping no matter what! However there are things that you can do to clean up those posts. Do you have reviews that have giveaways associated with them? Clean up those by removing the giveaway information (over a year old): rafflecopter code, graphics, etc. Do your reviews have book trailers, blog tour ribbons, or old challenge graphics attached to them? Clean those suckers up! I pretty much decided that after a year all old reviews will go to a standard format that works for me. Yes this requires some work on my part but if I do it once a month then it should be pretty easy.
- Clean up old media! Be very careful with this one though. Even if a graphic is not attached to a post it can still be used in your design or format. Only clean up old graphics that you are SURE aren’t used in any of those elements. Also while cleaning this up check your blog often to make sure you haven’t deleted anything that will make your blog not work. You want to take this part slowly but cleaning up the media can help a LOT with overall blog performance.
- Check those plug-ins! Do you have plug-ins that haven’t been updated in years? Old code can cause your blog to quit working at optimum availability and performance. If a plug-in you are using hasn’t been updated recently (at least within the last year) then check the support tabs to see if other bloggers have mentioned the plugin causing problems. Even if there are no problems, keep an eye on the plugin. Email the plugin creator to ask if they are going to update the code. If they are not then look to see if there is another plugin that does the same thing but is up to date on code.
I can’t state this enough: Back up your blog often. This is important when doing any kind of maintenance.
Good luck and Happy Cleaning!