5 easy ways to freshen up your site this summer
Ahhhhh, summer. The season of backyard barbecues, trashy beach reads, and FOMO-inducing Instagrams of coworkers’ cottage vacations. But summer is also a great time for WordPress site updates—especially if you’ve been putting off a bunch of important tasks all year.
Why? Because unless you work in, say, ice cream sales or pool repair, the pace of business generally drops off in July and August, when people are ducking out of work early to catch some rays instead of idly surfing the web while they lament their wet commute home. This means you can execute your changes during a low-traffic time just in case anything goes awry.
It also means you can get ahead of your competition by revamping your website while everyone else is kicking back with a cold one. Come September, you’ll be sitting pretty in your back-to-school best, and they’ll still be shivering in their wet swimsuits.
Here are five super simple things you can do to freshen up your site this summer.
Back your site up
Everyone knows that regular site backups are important, but how many of us actually do it when BackupBuddy reminds us it’s time? Be honest—if you haven’t created a copy of your site in the last six months, it’s time to back that thang up. Backups ensure that you have a course of action should something go wrong with any of the other items on this list (besides flailing your arms in the air and shouting at your screen).
Audit your database
Database cleanup is another task that most people put off far longer than they should. Now is the time to haul out all that unnecessary stored data from site revisions, drafted posts, and pingbacks, and kick it to the curb. Deactivate and uninstall any unused plugins or themes sitting unused, and purge your wp_postmeta table for any lingering data there. Shedding this deadweight will help speed up your site and allow it to run more efficiently.
Update static page content
Nothing says “neglected website” like outdated, irrelevant information on high-traffic areas like your About and Contact pages. (How long has it been since you relocated your office?) Take the opportunity to bring visitors up to speed on your portfolio, accomplishments and skill set. Reach out to past clients to obtain testimonials. After all, one of the primary aims of your site is to establish trust with your visitors—and stale, outdated content does just the opposite.
Pump up the SEO
As much as we tout the simplicity of SEO, we know firsthand how easy it is to forget to fill in the meta description on a post or set the alt-text on an image. Take some time this summer to revisit your blog archives and make sure you’re optimizing each post. A plugin like Yoast is great for this, providing instant feedback on post titles, subheadings, keywords, and more. While you’re at it, consider adding some internal links between new and old content. The more you link, the better your chances of being found by search engines.
Refresh your theme
If you’ve been using the same theme for longer than a year or so, you might be itching for a change. Maybe the theme you’re currently using doesn’t support the latest WordPress functionality. Maybe you want more control over the design of your site. Whatever it is, summer is the perfect time to slap on a fresh coat of paint and strut your stuff. Browse our theme catalogue and see if anything catches your eye!