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How to clean up your website

Over time, digital debris can build up on your website. Dated content, inaccurate information, old images; it can all be a sign that your website needs decluttering. Let’s review some areas of your website that could do with a clean.

Here’s what you can do:

Test your website on your mobile phone.

More than 50% of website traffic comes from mobile users, so your website should be pristine on mobile. Use your mobile phone to review your website. Navigate all over your site and check everything is accessible, links are working, and clickable. Turn off popups that slow your visitor down or make it harder for them to access what they need.

Check links.

Back on desktop, click around your website, check all links are live and working, pay special attention to links to external websites and file downloads. Fix dead links. Identify old links that aren’t relevant anymore and remove them or make a note that this needs refreshing.

Update or add new content.

It’s easy to leave website content unexamined for a long time, especially as our businesses evolve and grow. You may have written the text on your site years ago when you first had the site built or even longer. Whatever the case, regularly updating your content is essential.

Review your content by doing a close reading. Does it make sense as a whole? Does it describe what you do currently, or has your business evolved since it was written? Is it well-written or does it need some editing for clarity? Does its tone sound like your business? Are there information gaps? Is there something core to what you do now, that isn’t included? Are the images you use old and out of date?

With these issues in mind, rewrite, edit, and ask someone to proofread your changes. Tip: try tools like Grammarly and Hemmingway App to assist in the editing process.

Delete old content.

Identify old content and delete it. Tip: Do this very carefully. Keep a copy of what you are deleting in case it’s needed down the track.

Drafts – Start with drafts. Check your blog posts and page list for any drafts from half-written content. You can either delete it or save the content elsewhere to finish writing the page and publish new content. Either way, delete it until you’re ready to put a whole post/page up.

Pages and Posts – Updating the content on a page is preferable to deleting because when you delete a page, you lose the incoming traffic from direct links. Deleting a page will create dead links by changing any link that goes directly to that page (whether on your website or other sites) into a link that goes nowhere.

If deleting is really the best option, contact your web developer to set up a redirect so your visitors aren’t sent to a 404-error page.

Check your contact page.

If you haven’t tested your contact form lately, there’s no time like the present. Shoot off a quick test to see if it is received at the correct email address. Services and staff change as the business evolves, and from time to time, you may need to review where the contact form email goes.

Tip: put a recurring note in your email calendar to test your email form once a month. It’s a vital point of contact for your business, so the health of that page is paramount.

Check your contact information is up to date and clear. If you have a click-to-call link (which allows mobile users to call with a single tap on your phone number), test the link to ensure it’s working as designed.

Update passwords and delete old users.

Many of us keep passwords too long, and the one for your website is no exception. We would all be lost if we couldn’t access our websites or if it were hijacked because of an easily hackable password. There is no way to guarantee you won’t ever be hacked, but having a secure password that is used exclusively on your website helps keep it safe and secure.

Check out our post on passwords for advice on why you should update your password.

Take this time to review the users that have access to your website. Are there any users that have long since left your business? If so, remove their username, or if it’s a generic username used by multiple people, update the password for that username.

Tip: Take care. If you see a username you don’t recognise, check with your web developer to make sure it’s not a maintenance account they use.


When should you get help from a professional?

If some of this is out of your area of expertise, seek help from your web developer – we can help. Let us be the experts on your website so you don’t have to be. It’s easy to break something if you don’t know what you’re doing, and it could be costly to fix those mistakes.

Here are some areas of your website where you might want to defer to us:

Updating plugins and themes

Keeping your plugins and themes up to date and in working order is vital to keep your website secure and privacy compliant. Updating plugins can be more complex than just clicking the update button. Updating in the wrong order or even updating at all, depending on the age of the site, can break the layout or function of the site. So, unless you know what you’re doing – we recommend coming to us.

Redirecting deleted pages

If you delete a page and someone clicks a link to it, they will get a 404-error. That’s bad for your site visitor, and it’s terrible for your Google rankings. We can set up a redirect for that page to automatically send your site visitor to a useful page rather than a blank 404-error page.

Writing content for SEO

It’s one thing to write content that serves your customers when they reach your website. But do you know how to write to rank well in Google for your keywords and topics? We do. Our SEO service can include writing for rankings.

Any of the above

If you have concerns about any of the above or just don’t have the time to make your website everything it could be – give us a call. We have a range of services to help keep your website up to date. We even have a WordPress Care Plan to keep your site performing at its best. At some levels, it also includes updates to your website at no extra charge.

Give us a call today.

Naomi Nicholls
Naomi Nicholls
Naomi's focus is turning your words and ideas into a website design that looks good and works hard for your business.

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