Start your end-of-year website tune-up

At the end of the year, it’s always tempting to just sit back and rest on your laurels, just letting your website go along as it always was. But this is a perfect time to do some end-of-year checks that’ll make your website shine brightly for 2022.

Make a backup of your site

You should always take a backup before you make any major changes, just in case you need to revert something. Luckily, it only takes a few minutes, and we have a quick guide for you to help.

And if it turns out you don’t need to make any changes right now, then hey, you have a great backup if you ever need it.

Clear out any unused plugins or software

Have you been trying out new plugins over the year? Maybe tried some new software? If you’re not using it, this is the time to get rid of it. Not only does this free up some space on the web server, it can also free up processes on your site, making your site load faster.

Update all your software

Once you clear everything out, make sure you update everything too. Really, you should be updating plugins and software whenever it needs an update, but this is also a great chance to make sure you’re running more recent versions of programming languages, like PHP. Go through your site, give everything a bit of a tune-up, and see how more smoothly things go.

Clean out old blog posts

This is also a great time to go through your old blog posts and see which are out of date. Did you still have a post up about a brand new innovative product that was three versions of that product ago? Something about a competition that expired back in 2015? Set them to hidden/private, and make sure you have good 301 redirects in place, just in case search engines are still indexing them.

Plus, this’ll give you a great review of content that is still timely and effective — perfect for updating and reposting.

Review your copy for any dates

If you have copyright information in your footer, this is the perfect time to change the date. Also, review your other copy to see if you say anything like “I’ve been in this business for nine years” or “our brand new service” or anything like that. They’re small fixes that really make a difference to your customers.

Check your analytics

Open up your analytics program of choice and look through your stats. Is there a page that’s doing really well, but could stand an update? Are there a lot of 404s sneaking through that should be redirected? Once you see what’s popular and what’s causing problems, you can implement the quick fixes and then start planning for any major changes in the new year.

Make a new backup of your site

And once you’ve done all these fixes, take another backup! You have a lean and mean website ready for action, and if anything goes wrong, that backup will be an absolute lifesaver.

(Featured image by Behnam Norouzi on Unsplash.)