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Blog Spring Clean Checklist

Posted By Darren Rowse 19th of January 2006 Blog Design 11

Last week I did a spring clean of my office (although it is Summer here). It’s amazing how many bits and pieces one can accumulate over time and how they pile up to become an accumulative mess.

Blogs can also become messy over time in a similar way. Most obviously this happens when bloggers keep adding new features, buttons and widgets to their sidebars (I was on one blog yesterday that had more buttons than it had content). But the accumulation of mess can easily happen behind the scenes in the code of your blog also.

Rachel has just posted a Blog cleanup checklist that might be helpful in getting the code of your blog cleaned up. To be honest it’s something I constantly have struggled with as I’m not really wired in a technical way – but it is important every now and again to dig into.

The only thing I’d add to Rachel’s list is a section on cleaning up the front end of your blog. Perhaps something like:

11. Take a critical look at the information in your menus and sidebars. What is essential and what is just clutter?


12. Delete 50% (minimum) of the buttons in your side bar.

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.
  1. Yep…i already did this a few day ago. Switched to a new design and a clutterfree frontpage. The most important and most prominent item on your homepage is the content. Not polls, buttons, recent comments etc….

    I think many users are overwhelmed with the amount of information provided on many frontpages. I moved recent comments, polls, archives and favorite articles to a separate page. Regular readers with real interest in those information will still be able to get them.

  2. Hey Darren,

    Since you’re spring cleaning, maybe you would like to fix the code that overruns your post body.

    I noticed it after you put the Six Figure Blogging button in the sidebar.

    Only a suggestion from an amature.


  3. Darren

    It’s very easy to get carried away with plugins, widgets and the like. I removed all the silly “subscribe” buttons a few months ago and gained a lot of screen real estate. Upgrading to the latest version of WordPress made me reassess which plugins I was actively using and which ones were just geeky clutter!


  4. I just accidentally deleted all my plugins and that seems to have fixed my problem. LOL

  5. Aaron – a bit extreme :)

  6. Do ya think? :)

  7. I’m sure it’s a _lot_ cleaner as a result :)

  8. yup, those are awesome tips indeed. always need to clean up junk :D

  9. […] In cre8d design, there’s a Blog Cleanup Checklist (link first seen on ProBlogger), listing some things you can do to “clean up” your blog. Most of the potential problems the tips check for are mentioned in one or more parts of my Blogging Tips series, but it’s nice to have quick ways of checking for them. […]

  10. I’ve done this recently, although instead of removing the “subscribe with..” buttons, I converted them to text links.

  11. […] Every spring, folks head out to their lawn sheds or garages and start rummaging through stuff. They toss what they don’t need and keep what they want. They start cultivating the lawn, trimming weeds, pruning the rose bushes and washing the sidewalks (or is that only my father-in-law that washes his sidewalks?! ;)) You usually know when it’s spring cleaning time as the pickup trucks hauling trash start queuing up at the county dump. In the same way, blogs tend to collect rubbish in the form of broken links, file downloads that are no longer needed, or if you’ve moved between hosts one or more time in the past year, possible messed up text (usually because character set settings are different between settings or blog platforms). Setting aside an annual Reboot day, like Darren does at the beginning of the year, puts you into a cleanup and dispose mode that only helps to keep your site lean and trim and served up well for Google. […]

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