Out with the Old: Clean Up Your Blog for 2014

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It’s the dead of winter, and we’re surrounded by piles of snow, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do a bit of spring cleaning. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to refresh your blog, your site and your content, as long as you know what to focus on. We’ve laid out a few suggestions to help you determine what elements to tackle on your blog, and put you in good shape for 2014 and beyond.

Reduce your number of categories, tags

Having too many post categories can not only confuse your readers, it can also confuse you. Revisit your categories list and determine what does and doesn’t work anymore. Make sure that you limit the number of categories you have (generally, between five and seven is plenty) and make sure that the categories are unique and specific enough that there isn’t any overlap. Similarly, revisit the tags you’ve previously assigned your posts. If they are too specific or too general to be useful, then delete them. Instead, focus on tagging with overarching themes and concepts that you regularly use or discuss. This will undoubtedly make your site easier to navigate, and make it easier for readers to find similar content that relates to what they are actually searching for.

Refresh your appearance

Does your blog look dated? Now is the time to refresh it. Do a bit of research to identify some of the design trends for the new year and see how you might be able to incorporate them into your blog to give it a fresher, more appealing appearance. For example, if your blog’s current design has a clunky sidebar, consider redesigning or removing it. Or, if you use a slider, you might forego it in favor of a large hero image. Whatever you do, make sure that the end result is responsive and easy to navigate on a mobile device.

Recycle blog posts

It’s very easy to drop a post topic in favor of another, but that doesn’t mean that that previous post topic isn’t worth pursuing. Take a few minutes and do some draft digging. You might find some posts that are good to go as-is, or you might find a post that just needs a bit of updating. If it has the potential to be an evergreen piece of content, by all means, revisit it.

Check your widgets & plugins for updates/functionality

If you’ve noticed an influx in the number of spam comments you receive, or a decrease in the number of overall comments, it could be a sign that your blog’s widgets and plugins are outdated. Make sure that your widgets are still functional and then take a look behind-the-scenes to see if there are any features or tools that could be updated. If you notice that something has stopped working, it might be time to find a replacement.

While you’re at it, you might considering updating and changing your site’s social logins. Don’t worry, we have a few suggestions to help you make the best social login choices for your brand and site.