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Blog Maintenance: Set A Routine That’s Still Enjoyable For You

Steven 4 responses Blogging

It doesn’t take long for most bloggers to realize that there’s a lot more to blogging than just writing blog posts. (Although, sometimes “just writing blog posts” is enough!) There’s marketing, promotion, building your online brand, networking, creating your own products and on and on. Every now and then you need to do a little maintenance, though, to catch those small problems before they turn into major catastrophes. If you make blog maintenance a routine, then it isn’t such a chore.

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What Do You Need To Maintain?

Your comments: Once those spammer find your blog it’s not unusual to start getting dozens of spam comments a day. Add to that the fact that some of your legitimate comments accidentally get sent to your spam folder and you can see how fast those spam comments add up. I’ve never felt comfortable doing a mass delete simply because there are some legitimate comments mixed in, so I literally look at every single comment before I delete it. As you can imagine, if I only did this every month or two I’d be at it for days at a time, so once a week I review comments, edit where necessary, and get rid of the junk.

Your archives: Chances are you’re a much better writer and communicator now than you were when you first started blogging. Set aside an hour or two each week to review your older content. Look for posts where you can add information or correct mistakes, and while you’re there add links to current relevant content.

Updates: It seems like there’s always a new WordPress update or updates for a few of my plug-ins pending on the dashboard. I usually put all of these through once a week. Important – ALWAYS back up your blog first, just in case.

Categories and tags: I can’t stand visiting a blog and seeing that “Uncategorized” over there in the categories widget in the sidebar. Take a few minutes once a week to check the categories and tags you used on that week’s blog posts. If you have a lot of categories and your tag cloud takes up your entire sidebar, it might be time to consider condensing things to make it easier for readers to find their way around your blog.

Broken links: Obviously, broken links hurt your credibility, especially if you have a lot. Install the WordPress Broken Link Checker plug-in. It will immediately scan your blog and notify you of broken links.

Check your load time: Use WebPageTest to check your blog’s load time. I do this once a month. If your blog is image-heavy or you use a lot of videos you may want to check more often.

Don’t Forget To Back Up Your Blog

I back up my blog every week, others do it every day or every month. The important thing is to do it on a regular basis. If you use HostGator you can have automatic weekly updates sent to you via email automatically or you can install a WordPress Plug-in to generate backups. Either way – it’s the most important step in your blogging maintenance routine.

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4 Comments

  1. Nadio Granata

    Some useful tips here … pragmatic and logical. It’s right to point out the importance of regular maintenance and I’m particularly intrigued to read your comments about going back in to previous posts and update them.

  2. Ishan

    This may go into advanced category but maintaining database is also important.

    One can use WP-DB Manager plugin to schedule maintenance every week so that your database stays fit and fine.

    I have seen many cases where blog/website was slow and a simple cleaning operation fixed everything!

  3. Sherrilynne Starkie

    I’ve only just recently discovered your blog, but I find myself checking it out every day now. The content is just so good. I learn something new from every post. This one is a good reminder of what we should all do…finding the time is the challenge.

  4. Ivin Viljoen

    Hello Steven. With comments I feel I need to check and reply to my comments daily, as a quick response from you will encourage your them to visit more.

    I don’t often go into my archives, I would rather write a new post? This poses a challenge doesn’t it? Because then my content isn’t up to date, and that’s no good.

    Funny thing is, I never back up my blog, but, I have to say that I built a website for a client once and lost like a weeks work. Luckily I found it in the trash section and could revive them.

    Fixing broken links is quite a chore, I installed it into one of my larger blogs but haven’t had the time to fix it. Is the damage to credibility attached to links that don’t work?