Blog Maintenance – Routine Checks

Blog Maintenance. Routine Checks.

You may have read a few of my blog posts where I say I have been or am working on my blog but not all of that time is dedicated to writing blog posts or anything to do with the posts themselves.  A chunk of my time is dedicated to running routine checks on my blog and making sure everything works as it should.  Today I am sharing with you some routine checks that are worth carrying out in order to maintain your blog so it can continue running as it should.

Firstly, I tend to view my blog from the “other side”.   Much of blogging means that you don’t really ever see the entrance way that visitors to your site get to see.  We tend to only see the service entrance so to speak and lurk around in the back corridors doing our thing.

Once on the main page that your visitors land on, I check that the font for all of the text is readable and of the right size and colour.  I then check that the pictures I have uploaded to my blog are clear and are relevant to that post’s topic.  I check that the background and look of the blog are in keeping with my general theme.  I also make sure that posts load in a timely fashion, there is nothing worse than slow loading pages.  I note down any problems that there might be or things that I am not happy with that may need tweaking or changing.

Next, while I am on the landing page I check the sidebar, I always ask myself if the things displayed on the side are relevant, interesting, necessary and useful.  If I answer no to any of these questions I will remove the item.  I then check that the items function as they should, whether it is links to articles or other sites or that the information contained is correct.  I tend to amend these things as I work my way down the sidebar.

My next task is to check that all posts are categorised correctly and tagged with relevant words.  I read somewhere that posts should have up to 10 tags in order for them to appear in searches, any more and your post will be flagged as being spam.  I am not sure how true that is but I like to stick to between 5 and 10 as it makes things easier for me to tag and categorise and run checks further down the line.  Any posts that have been categorised incorrectly or have not been tagged I amend as I work my way through the posts.

I also check any links I have added.  There are several ways to do this (have a look on Google for link checkers).  I have used link checkers and have found them to be pretty handy if you have a load of posts to check, but now, personally, I prefer to check the links as I work my way through the posts manually.  I had a problem with my Instagram link recently, I changed my username on Instagram and didn’t realise that it would affect the links on my blog, so it is worth checking these things out!

One of the other things I do is to check the formatting of my posts.  I skim through my posts from the readers landing page and check that my posts all have similar formatting and that I am happy with the placement of images and how text appears.  Again, if I am not happy with anything I will change it as I go.

Blog maintenance should be done at least once a month if you blog regularly (around 3 or more times a week) and for less frequent bloggers once a quarter should be sufficient.  If it is done regularly then it will become a quicker process as some of the posts will only need to be checked for certain things (like broken links) after a while.

Do you run any sort of blog maintenance?  What things do you check on your blog?  Do you have any blog maintenance tips?  Let me know in the comments!

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Blog Life

Even when I’m not actively writing and publishing blog posts I can always find something blog related to work on.

In the last few weeks I have signed up to Ko-fi which is a page for people who love what I do to help support me and the growth of my blog.  I would love to be able to upgrade my blog plan and be able to offer products for sale – I am currently looking at designing my own range of printed and printable blog diaries and planners and any support would help towards the cost of upgrading so I could add a store element to this blog in which to sell from.  I have added a handy little button into the sidebar.

I have also gotten myself an account with Pinterest so I can share my blog posts on there and find other interesting people to follow too.  The sign up process was really quick and easy and I thought it would be fairly easy to add my images and blog posts to the site too.  However, between starting this blog and now, I have upgraded my phone and lost a load of my blog photos which were taken on my old phone and don’t seem to have been saved anywhere.  I was going to make the photos into pins and have the pin link back to the relevant blog post.  I have spent a few hours going back and forth between my blog and the photos I have still got and attempted to create some kind of order to them.  In the end I decided it would be easier to go through all my blog posts and save the images to folders titled with the post they are associated with.  Hopefully, by the end of the weekend I will have most, if not all, past posts pinned and linked back to the blog!

Sorting out blog photos and posts
Sorting out all my blog post images into post titled folders.

I also added a widget to the sidebar for visitors to easily find and follow me on Pinterest and updated my “Follow Me” information in my drop down menu on my blog home page.

Other tweaks I have made include adding metadata for Google, Pinterest and Bing into my settings, updating the Categories so all of the titles start with capital letters and creating logos for some of my blog posts (like the one found in my Top 10 Thursday posts).  I have added a new link to my drop down menu (Blog Toolkit) which is a list of all the items I use to help me create my blog posts.  And, finally, when checking that the menu and widgets worked I decided that I didn’t like the tag cloud and the way the categories were displayed so I removed the tag cloud and have added the categories as a drop down menu.  I’m still undecided on the Archive menu widget and think I may remove the Twitter and Instagram feed from the sidebar as it feels a bit cluttered and too busy for my liking.

Away from the actual blog site I have been doing some background work on my schedule and content plan.  I have scheduled the bulk of my posts into my calendar up until April so I know what I am needing to work on over the next month or so!

What sort of things have you been working on blog wise, either on the blog itself or in the background?