For many of us the season of spring means renewal and change. The transition of the calendar from a chilly winter to a warm spring means that it’s finally time to get up and get active, alongside the flora and fauna. Many of us will do our sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning, and purging of dust and files so that we can have a more stress-free year ahead.
Spring cleaning now also applies to our technology. Over the winter it is highly likely that our website and web hosting have become cluttered with files and media, thereby causing slowdown in website load times and bandwidth. Even though we know we ought to do it, we don’t because the tasks are daunting and will involve arduous tasks like file backup, deletion, archiving, and more.
With today’s blog post however, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll cover 5 ways you can clean your website this spring, so you can spend the rest of the year doing what you do best – managing it.
While you should do this often, spring is the best time because you are already cleaning up your website. If you have a manual website, copy over your file structure into a backup folder on your computer. If you use a content management system that runs through a platform like cPanel, go to “Backups” and choose either a full or partial backup. cPanel’s software will help download the entire file structure, which you can then save to your computer.
Over the years, you may have uploaded a lot of content to your website like videos and photos. Over time, this type of content can take up a tremendous amount of disk space. If you run a website manually, consider having this type of content embedded, instead of hosted. If you use a content management system that runs through a platform like cPanel, go to the “Software/Services” box and select “Optimize Website”. This feature allows for automatic compression of certain types of content when requested by visitors, and will make content delivery quicker as well as saving bandwidth.
Your website spring cleaning is also an opportunity to update your content management system (if you use one) as well as the supporting functionality around it. Updating your content management system will protect you from security vulnerabilities. On the plugin side, update the ones you are using and delete the ones you don’t. Eliminating third party plugins will speed up your website. Finally, update any content as well by removing broken links and images.
Alongside updating your content management system (if you use one), you should also be looking at removing old CGI server scripts which could present a security problem. Not doing so opens you to leaking information about the host system which can give hackers access. The World Wide Web Consortium has a great CGI script guide you can access here.
Finally, take this time to re-examine your website content. Your “About” page for example, is the second most viewed on your website after your home page. Go through the text on this page and every high-traffic page to ensure that content is still up-to-date there is no excess information.
With these steps in mind, you are on your way to spring cleaning your website and a more stress-free year ahead. Do you have any other technology spring cleaning tips you’d like to share? Put your thoughts in the comments below!