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11 Ways to Spring Clean Your Blog

Every few months I set aside a block of time to do a little ‘spring cleaning’ of my blog.

In this video I share 10 11 areas that I’ve worked on when spring cleaning my blogs.

They include (I’ve included links for each point where I’ve written recently(ish) on them):

  1. New Design
  2. New Header or Design or Other Elements
  3. Cleaning up Sidebars
  4. Updating Old Posts
  5. Repairing Dead Links
  6. Deleting Comment Spam
  7. Backing Up
  8. Resolving 404 Errors
  9. Overhauling Navigation
  10. Ad Optimization
  11. Search Engine Optimization

There are plenty more tasks that could be added to this list. Feel free to suggest others that you do.

Apologies for the poor audio – as we’re packing at the moment my normal camera is all boxed up and I had to use my webcam.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Lex G says:

    I like the way you get ideas for blog posts darren …..

    I want to emphasize the point about design … – many people forget the importance of fresh design element rotation. Static visuals one of the most ‘flattening’ things that you can do to your blog or web site …

    Lex
    —————————————————————
    http://www.newmediatype.com – web entrepreneur’s blog

  2. Bhaanu says:

    Nice post Darren !

  3. Is it Spring in Australia? Winter is in full swing over here. :p

  4. Max Powers says:

    After reading your post I started checking on some of my first links when I started about 3 months ago. Sure enough, I found some that are no longer working.

    I will say this about the tips in your posts, It sure keeps me busy. Only 10 more items to go. Thanks and keep them coming.

  5. Kenneth says:

    Yeah, new design it is. I’ve made a new one for 2008. Happy Spring Day Everybody!

  6. James Mann says:

    Well today would be a great day to start spring cleaning my blogs because we aint goin’ no where today.

    We got 12 inches of snow last night and we have another 12 inches of snow today.

    The only problem I have so far is that the power keeps going out on me.

    I have actually started my blog clean up about a week ago and I like it so far. Hope others do as well, much cleaner now.

  7. Dave says:

    Interesting points Darren. We’re they written in a particular order, or as you thought of them? I ask, because some would seem to be larger tasks than others, and some that I wouldn’t leave until ‘spring’ time.

    ie.

    Design (points 1, 2, 3 and 9) – perhaps yearly, or every 18 months
    Advertising (point 10) and SEO (point 11) – review every couple of months
    Maintenance (points 4, 5, 6 and 8) – continual – I can’t imagine letting spam sit and fester for more than a day or two.
    Backup (point 7) – daily would be nice, weekly at the very least.

  8. Chris: it is actually the 4th day of summer now. Spring has just finished.

    But some great tips Darren.

  9. One of the things I want to play around with and learn more about is placement of my ads; and how to optimally place them.

  10. I like to also go over a feature evaluation to see if other blogs are offering other features that mine does not have that could come in handy. Currently I am using a custom CMS and so every feature I want to add I need to custom program. Which of course can be very time consuming.

    I’m actually working on migrating my blog over to WordPress so that adding features isn’t as much work. Unfortunately it is very time consuming, especially with having to go in and manually write 301 redirects for all of my pages. I didn’t have the foresight to create a migration feature in it.

    So I guess another one would be making sure you are using the best blogging platform. A platform evaluation.

  11. My blog is still relatively new, but I’m definitely going to bookmark this.

    I’ve already start thinking about header rotation and keeping links working, etc.

    Blogging ain’t easy!

  12. Jeff_ says:

    I tend be more obsessive-compulsive about this sort of thing..

    I resolve 404 errors and fix broken links nearly every day, constantly update old posts and meta pages, and continually do battle with the evil forces of spam. Don’t even get me started on backing up files and databases..

    Then, once or twice a year, I go overboard and completely revamp my entire domain.

    For us OCD types, “spring cleaning” is just another excuse to go crazy and redesign everything.

  13. Davinder says:

    Good insight… need to implement some ;)

  14. Jan says:

    hm, new design? :) I agree with cleaning up sidebars.

  15. I really think regular blog cleaning and site optimizing is very important. I usually use Google webmaster tools to find out if I have dead links. Also a backup is always safe. Nice Post!

  16. cyberfizzle says:

    Is it always a good idea to change the theme of a blog? Don’t users get a sense of comfort from the blog design being the same?

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Good useful post… but here’s a challenge, something esoteric and not so bullet-pointy that I’d adore to read: What to Do When You’ve Reach the End of Your (Technical) Blogging Skills.

    Maybe I should write this myself, as I am a brilliantly funny writer with SEO power (see link below) but I have to email my brother in law to figure out HOW to clean up my sidebar. Argh.

    http://blog.elizabethhoward.net/2007/12/03/message-from-the-leaf-pile/

    Cheers and thanks!

    E

  18. Gary says:

    Good post. I have done a couple of these things within the last week.

    However, with 12″ of fresh snow in the last 4 days, I have a hard time considering it as ‘spring’ cleaning.

  19. It is a good idea to do a thourgh cleaning once a year, but shouldn’t we be doing some of these things monthly, weekly, or even daily?

  20. Jim Moon says:

    Thanks Darren, Great tips.

    Jim Moon

  21. Bill Nad says:

    Thanks Darren, these tips come at a time when I am looking at doing a sidebar redesign, hence a real resdesign of my layout.

    I guess I will have to dig a bit deeper and try to do a bit more optimizing at the same time

  22. jhay says:

    One of the clean-up things that I’ve become quite particular about are the scripts from third-party services and sites that goes into the header and footer files of WP themes.

    Once in a while, I check them out and delete the scripts from services that I no longer use, particularly those metrics of which I use more reliable services for (eg PR checkers, another blog metrics site etc)

    If those codes get cleaned up, they really help in speeding up the loading time of our blogs.

  23. Ross says:

    Nice post Darren. What ever happened to the “weekly” part of the video posts? :-) j/k I picked up some useful information.

  24. Nick says:

    Great advice and nice to see another video Darren,

    Thanks

  25. 66tx says:

    We got 12 inches of snow last night and we have another 12 inches of snow today.

  26. DefogMyBlog says:

    In practical terms how do people back up their blog? I would be interested to know.

  27. nicole says:

    Just found this blog and i think it’s great. Well done!
    EzyPzy Websites – http://www.ezy-pzy.com.au/linkpartners.html

  28. I “dust” every day :-)

    That is, I have a “random page” script that I use at least a few times daily and I check and clean up anything that needs it.

    Some days I only check a few pages, other days I might check dozens. Sometimes I just fix a misspelled word, sometimes I’ll rewrite an entire post or add a comment..

    Someday (3 or 4 hundred years from now) I’ll have looked at everything :-)

  29. Mike says:

    Great idea to clean up your blog. I guess this is something that we all forget to do from time to time. This will give me some thing to do over this week end.

  30. I enjoyed the video Darren – esp the packing boxes in the background!

    Cleaning up the sidebars is the real challenge for me – I can see the clutter, I can see that I’m too attached to old stuff that I’ve added way back and can’t remember why, and I still can’t find the mindset to work out what to cut…

    Need to practice being more ruthless!

    Good luck with the move

    Joanna

    PS Maybe the videos could have an indication of how long they’ll run for?

  31. Mystery says:

    I should definitely use some of these tips!

    BTW. Darren, you are featured on my new post here:

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  32. Darren,

    As always, great information.

    Keep it coming.

    Long time reader,
    Scott

  33. MrBluesGuy says:

    Cool darren, great tips… man there is so much to stay on top off.. :)

    Rockon!

  34. James says:

    One of my favorite spring cleaning methods is to kill off a blog I’m burnt off on… or sell it if possible and leave more time and energy for more worthwhile blogs… :)

  35. Bryce says:

    Just did a spring clean of itsALLmac.com. I completely redid it by changing the design, idea of the blog, sidebars, etc.
    The new theme I have is very very good, I wrote about it on another blog: http://blozanga.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/grid-focus-a-fantastic-theme/
    and I’d recommend giving it a download.
    Also deleted some spam.

    Thanks darren!

  36. Jen says:

    Great tips, Darren! I have several old posts that I need to go back and edit. I also know more about SEO these days than I did when I first began the blog so I need to get to work!

  37. vineet says:

    good post.

    started off recently so I do not have much dead links but I am weighing refreshing my side bars and experimenting with different things there.

    Ad placement is something I am working on esp. placing ads in between content like in the middle of it or top left/right etc.

    Very refreshing article. I m looking at my blog in light of the new information and I see little bulbs lightin in my head..

  38. mankind says:

    About resolving 404 errors I always found website owner offer some good stuff such as e-book they are written.

    I don’t understand about Overhauling Navigation.Can you explain more.

    Thanks Darren :)

  39. Rainever says:

    so cool,I really need it!
    thanks,Darren

  40. Switch says:

    Just wondering, who does the singing intro and outro on this? Really nice and apt drop with the boxes in the background too. And the back up, totally more than just a once in a while thing.

  41. jho2x says:

    ur video post are very nice… i love to visit your blog everyday……

  42. Hi Darren,

    FYI: Just wanted to let you know that your home page looks a little funky on the FIREFOX browser.

  43. Jena says:

    Darren,
    I am just getting started and trying to improve things. Do you ever just wander over and look at people’s blogs? I realize you are in the midst of moving and all. Also, we’re in the dead of winter here in the midwest U.S., so I can hardly think “summer”. I would also like to know what a “bounce rate” is. Why do I have half of my hits “bounce”?

    Thanks for the service of what you are doing for bloggers.
    Jena

  44. alwaysLovely says:

    hey darren, very helpful video.
    tks for the remainder. afterall, it’s end of the year, springclean theme is real apt at this time.
    cheers!
    all the way fm Singapore.

  45. This is a great post to bookmark. I have been only getting started with my blogging so a lot of these things are in constant thought, but as I get more settled into the design and ads and navigation of my blog I think these things will definitely help to get things cleaned up. Thanks!

  46. vhxn.com says:

    Hi Darren ,Thanks for the Nice Video , Plz increase Videos atleast two video per week http://www.vhxn.com

  47. Scott says:

    D-A – Double R- E -N! Ha! got your own song even. That’s dope!! Where’d you get it from?

    Nice video.

    Scott
    http://arriive.blogspot.com

  48. KurtV says:

    Just stumbled across your site, (starting from garysaid.com, who got a congratulatory comment from Lisa of justagirlintheworld.com who then mentioned you)

    Quickly glancing around, I think I’ll be glad I found your site, even if I don’t win an autographed book, But of course that would be nice too.

  49. Ryan Walker says:

    That was a great video Darren. Being Australian myself I was first struck by your Aussie accent, something I haven’t yet come across in the Blog space.

    I’ll certainly be back. :)

  50. Hallo! This is new to me! I have no idea u have to ‘spring’ clean my blog! Have a nice day!