My blog maintenance routine is basically a proactive approach to avoid problems with my blog before they ever happen. As most of the community here knows, Basic Blog Tips is a very active blog with loads of fresh content, attractive high-quality images and plenty of social sharing options to choose from. I always try to limit the number of plugins that I install on the blog but there's always a new one that comes along that it seems like I can't live without. When the blog seems to lag and perform poorly or if something isn't working as it should, I can usually hone in on the problem. Here's what I'm doing to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
Blog Maintenance on Basic Blog Tips
- Backing up the blog – for this I don't mess around with any free solutions. I use BackUpBuddy and as far as I know it's the only tool that creates a full and complete backup of your blog AND provides a way for you to restore or migrate the blog if necessary. If you are using a different method for backing up your blog do yourself a favor and find out how you're going to use those backup files to restore your blog when the time comes. If you have the technical expertise to figure out how to do it, good for you, if you're like me and you can't even begin to think about doing it on your own, go to the iThemes site and get BackUpBuddy. You can download this free ebook Getting Started with BackUpBuddy
- Optimizing the images – because I like to have high-quality images that complement the high-quality content here, most of the time I use iStock photos. The only down side to using them is that the file sizes are pretty big. When I first started this blog I was using Blue Host at the time, and my blog was really slow and and as a result, Blue Host would “throttle cpu usage” (what ever that means lol). Bottom line, my blog was going offline two and three times a day and I searched high and low looking for the cause. That's when I found out about WP Smush-it“Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API in WordPress.” This is a free plugin and now that Pinterest is all the rage, I suggest you install this one and save some file space.
- Building the internal links – this is one of the easy SEO strategies that my friend Mitz told me about (yes I do a little bit of SEO from time to time). I'll take a look at Google Analytics or Google Webmaster tools before I decide which posts I want to link send links to. This is a matter of my own personal choice and you can decide for yourself exactly what anchor texts you want to link to and which specific posts, I'm not going to go into details about strategy, this is simply a reminder that you should spend some time building internal links and you can read more the on page SEO process here.
- Pretending I'm not me – don't laugh at me. I know what you're thinking, if I'm not me, who else would I be? The answer is simple and here is what I mean. I try to be impartial and scrutinize my blog just like I do every other blog I visit for the first time. I ask myself – is it easy for me navigate this blog to find what I need, is the font big enough to read, is the blog cluttered with ads, do I even know what this blog is about in the first place, etc. I find myself doing this a lot more lately because it seems like the longer I blog, as time goes by I'm becoming more critical of other blogs I read when I'm researching or meeting new bloggers on social networks. I have to stop myself sometimes and say “remember when you didn't have an About page”? Been there, done that! My point is this – give yourself a blog audit every few weeks and tweak things as needed.
My ultimate weapon for blog maintenance
WP-Optimize plugin to the rescue! I absolutely love this plugin and it has already saved me lots of headaches and help keep my WordPress database organized. One day I ran into a little snag when I was backing up my blog. I asked my friend Chuck from CyberSmartWebMarketing to give me a hand and mentioned that most likely I was holding on to a lot of post revisions that I needed to get rid of. He recommended that I give WP-Optimize a try and he was so right! The first time I optimized my database I discovered over 6,000 post revisions! I'm not kidding. This all goes back to the problem with Blue Host (btw I'm using Host Gator now and I'm very happy with their hosting) and I would be so worried that the blog was going to go down when I was in the middle of a good thought! Well thanks to Chuck Hines for introducing me to this plugin because I can honestly say, that I don't hear too many people talking about it. Here's the video from Chuck showing how quickly you can perform blog maintenance and repair your database with WP Optimize.
What about you, what steps do you take for backing up your blog and making sure the images are compressed? Do you have a regular schedule for blog maintenance?