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Spring Cleaning for Your Website (ep 39)

website spring cleaning

In many ways, as a TPT Seller, your website acts as your digital classroom. Just like our real classrooms, we need to dedicate time to giving it a thorough cleaning. What better time to do this than the season of renewal…spring! So, let’s do some spring cleaning, website style, and get our websites organized and decluttered.

To keep your space tidy and your visitors engaged, you need to keep it fresh, organized, and up to date. By taking action in advance, you can be confident that your website and your visitors are safe.

In this episode, I’ll cover everything you need to know about website spring cleaning, from decluttering to organizing, and even checking up on your website’s security. After following these simple steps, you’ll be off to a fresh start!

01:11   The importance of decluttering your website to improve your website’s load time and boost security

02:29 How to use URL redirections when deleting old content and webpages

04:51 – The biggest culprit for confusing navigation on most TPT websites

06:02 – How to keep your website’s security effective and up to date

Hey TPT sellers ready to seek growth in your business. You’re in the right place. Welcome to The Savvy Teacher Seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sale. Let’s get started y’all.

Hey, y’all, and welcome back to The Savvy Teacher Seller. I don’t know about you, but around here it is finally starting to look like spring outside. And that means that there’s no better time to do a little spring cleaning website style. It is time to dust off your digital room and get your website spic and span.

See in many ways your website is like your digital classroom. And just like your physical classroom or your house, it needs to be fresh and organized in order to keep your visitors engaged and to avoid disaster down the road. In this episode, I’ll cover everything you need to know about spring cleaning on your website, from decluttering to organizing and even checking up on your website’s security. So grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get to it.

First up, let’s talk about decluttering. This is important because decluttering your website can make it much easier for your visitors to navigate can improve your website’s load time and boost security. One of the first things that you should do when it comes to decluttering is go through each page on your website and ask yourself, Does this still need to be here? And if the answer is no, then delete it.

One thing I find with TPT sellers is that we often create a page for something very specific. And then once that event or that collaboration has passed, the page is just still on our site. So you want to make sure that you are removing things that you’re not actually using anymore. Now this could include duplicate pages that you just don’t need anymore, maybe you’ve created a new version of that page could also include outdated resources or opt ins that are no longer useful.

And if you have the time, you might also want to spend a little time looking through old blog posts and deleting any of those that are no longer accurate or relevant. Especially if like me, somewhere back around 2013-2014, you were posting a whole blog post to announce that there was an upcoming sitewide sale. That wasn’t just me right.

Just be sure that if you decide to delete a post or a page, you redirect to that URL to some similar content your visitors might enjoy or to your homepage. You can do this with any redirections plugin. If you are on WordPress, my favorite is rankmath.

You should also take the time to review your WordPress plugins if you are a WordPress user, and remove any that are no longer necessary. While plugins are amazing for adding functionality to your site, they can also slow down your website’s page speed. So it’s important to keep only the ones that you really need. If you have plugins that haven’t been updated by their developer in years, you should also look into a replacement plugin for those that is being maintained currently. Abandoned plugins as we call them, can pose some pretty big security risks in terms of hackers and bots getting into your site.

Another area to declutter is your website’s sidebar if you have one. Now if your sidebar is cluttered with too many widgets, or a bunch of ads, it can be really overwhelming and distracting for your visitors. Consider removing any widgets that aren’t providing value to your visitors or that might distract them from your more important content.

Next up, take a look at your website’s media library. This is where all your images and other media files are stored. And over time, especially if you have an older website. This library can become filled with images and cluttered with things that you’re no longer using, or with duplicate images. So take some time to delete any unnecessary files. Like those embarrassing 2014-2015 logos you might still have on there.

You can use a plugin like media cleaner to help identify what’s called orphaned images that are not being used on a page. But if you do use a plugin to do this, make sure that you double check the images that they identify and recommend deleting before you officially get rid of them. Once you’ve finished cleaning out your media library, you can go ahead and remove that plugin from your site as well.

The last item on our decluttering list is comments. If you allow comments on your site, then you want to make sure you review your comment section regularly. Make sure you remove any spam comments. And if you find that you’re only getting spam and not getting any real comments from your readers, then it may be time to just remove commenting from your site altogether.

Alright, next up let’s talk about organizing. You want to make sure that your website is easy to navigate. The biggest culprit for confusing navigation that I see from TPT seller websites specifically, is having too many links in too many places. Make sure your menu is easy to follow, and that it includes all the main sections of your website, like your blog, your shop and account login, if you have a shop on your site. But be sure you’re not including so many links in your navigation menu, that it becomes overwhelming. Studies have shown that the more options users are presented with the more likely they are not to take any action at all.

Right next up, let’s move on to updating your website’s content. You’ll want to take the time every now and then to double check the content on your page, especially your homepage and the header and footer areas. To make sure all of the content and the links there are up to date. This includes your menu bar, any social media links, and any other information that you have there on your homepage. Make sure everything is accurate and if you need to update the things that are not.

Finally, let’s talk security, your website’s security is essential, especially if you are on WordPress. This not only protects your website itself, but it also protects your visitors information. So make sure that your site has an SSL certificate installed, you’ll be able to tell because your URL will have HTTPS in the beginning. And if you try to type your URL with just HTTP, it should automatically redirect to the HTTPS secure version of your site.

Another big piece of website security is to make sure all of your WordPress plugins and themes are up to date. Hackers and bots will often exploit out of date plugins to access websites. So you want to make sure you stay on top of those updates.

And then last but not least, you should have a security plugin installed and scanning your WordPress site regularly for any kind of vulnerabilities, any odd login requests, things like that, I recommend wordfence for that.

All right friends, you just learned how to spring clean your WordPress site like a fro. Most of what you learn here can also be applied to websites on any other platform as well. Remember that decluttering organizing and updating your content really are essential for keeping your website fresh and engaging and most of all secure so that you do not lose this important business asset.

For today’s action steps set aside a little time to go through each part of your site and start decluttering and organizing. Don’t feel like you need to tackle it all at one time. Just make a list of what you need to do and then go through each task one by one until you’re done. And don’t forget to review your website and make sure everything is up to date so that you’re protected.

That’s it for today’s episode of The Savvy Teacher Seller. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to follow on your favorite podcast app and leave us a review. Talk to you soon.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on Growing Your TPT business. Head to Kristendoyle.co/TPT. Talk to you soon.

 

Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.