5 Ways to Clean Out Your Blog

Every now and then it’s important to do some cleaning on your blog. You don’t have to wait for Spring to do this! I tend to do several things every couple of weeks just to boost the performance and make myself feel like my blog is more organized and sleek. Today, I want to share with you a few things that you can do for a quick clean up of your blog!

Filter your posts

It’s okay to delete old posts! Go through some of your older posts and delete, delete, delete.

Some that might be worth trashing:

  • Ones that don’t live up to your current writing standard
  • Memes that you don’t care about anymore
    • I recommend deleting The Sunday Post & other weekly wrap up posts that are older than 2 or 3 weeks.
    • Top Ten Tuesday topics that are no longer interesting to you
  • Themed posts, like holiday ones (however, just making these private could be useful if you want to reuse the content when the holiday comes back up!)

Then, if you’re okay with letting go, delete from the trash folder completely! It’s refreshing, I promise.

Reduce your categories

I’m not even exaggerating when I say I had TWENTY-SEVEN categories. Now, there isn’t a perfect number of categories, but just take a look at yours and ask yourself a few questions.

  1. How many posts are under each category?
  2. Can any of them be joined into one category? 
  3. How well-organized do you have the branches? 

After asking myself those questions while looking at my 27 categories, I realized I had a few extra that weren’t necessary. I deleted a few, combined a few, and now I am down to 14 categories. It allows for more streamlined navigation.

Audit your plugins

If you’re a WordPress user and use plugins, chances are you sometimes go overboard. Go through your plugins list and see if you actually use all of them. Delete the ones you never use or don’t bring something of true value to your blog and your readers. Also, if you have one that you use sometimes but not every day, go ahead and at least deactivate it. For example, I use ShortPixel but not every day, so I deactivate it. You can take it one step further and delete it then reinstall when you want to use it again – but for me, that’s too much work. I’m a lazy person.  😉

Check for broken links

Broken links are links that direct to a non-existent page. It’s pretty common. When I first checked mine, I had 44 broken links (mainly due to people who have deleted their blogs or posts that they linked to).

You should delete them because

  1. It’s a better experience for your reader. They won’t click a link only to find that it leads nowhere. Which means they won’t get annoyed.
  2. It’s better for SEO, if you care about that type of thing.

How to check for them:

  • If you have WordPress, use a plugin like Broken Link Checker that will do it for you
  • You can also use a tool like the web tool Broken Link Checker. Just enter your URL and let it do its thing.

What to do with broken links:

  • Remove them – If the website or page no longer exists, just remove it. With the plugin, you can remove automatically. With a web tool, you’ll have to do everything manually.
  • Correct them – If there is just a structure issue, fix the HTML and double check it now works
  • Set up a Redirect – If you’ve changed your URL recently, you’ll need to set up a redirect for the old links. I won’t be going over how to do that here, but there are some great resources online! I’ll probably cover this one day.

Edit visible post information

This one is more of a personal preference. I don’t like a lot of extra information on each post. It takes up space that can either be used for something more useful or just left as white space (which is also important).

The type of information I’m talking about is when you click on someone’s blog post and you can see the DATE, TIME, AUTHOR, TAGS, SHARE BUTTONS, etc.

The beginning of a post:

Determine which ones you actually need to have visible. 

  • Date – I think this one is super important. I like knowing when posts were published, especially when I’m writing wrap-ups.
  • Time – This one is usually not necessary. Unless you publish several times a day, there isn’t really a point to share that you published at 7:00 am.
  • Author – Unless you have a co-blogger, there’s no need to have the author of the post visible.
  • Tags/Categories – I like keeping my categories visible at the beginning, that way people can click on the category to see more like it. However, I don’t have my tags visible in any intrusive place. They’re placed underneath my Related Posts (since they are used to determine which posts show up there). This is up to you how you want to do this!
  • Share buttons – Absolutely have these somewhere! My recommendation is to not have them in more than two places. I like to have mine above the comments or on the side using my SumoMe plugin
  • Etc – I’m not familiar with what other information you may share, so just take a look and decide if it is all necessary

The end of a post:


Do you do any of these things already? 
Were they helpful for you if you don’t?

  • Holly (nutfreenerd)

    Love this post! I really need to get rid of some of my super old wrap-up and TBR posts…. I still have some from years ago!!

    • hehe that’s what I do! 😀 Glad this was helpful!

  • Ooh this is so cool! I really should do this soon, I’ve been wanting to get rid some tags and post from my blog!

    • yeah, sometimes the older ones just aren’t useful any more. I had several posts that were like “my most anticipated releases for fall 2015” – that doesn’t matter any more >.< haha

  • Checking for broken links is a great idea! I’ve never even thought of doing that! I don’t think I could ever delete posts though :O

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    • heheh It seems like a lot of people can’t delete old posts >.< I'm in the minority here. I do resist sometimes and that's when I'll just make a post private haha

  • These are great! I have done most of the others at one point (yay!) but I cannot bring myself to delete even the worst old posts. I have no idea why, I just… I can’t! Here is a question for you: If you delete old posts, do you delete the pageviews they got with them? Idk if it even matters, but I am kind of curious! I also TOTALLY agree with you about having the date somewhere on the post- it drives me absolutely batty when I don’t see a date ANYWHERE!

    • haha YAY! There are a few that I can’t delete. I just have them private in case I ever want to reuse them at some point >.< I just delete wrap ups after a certain amount of time.

      Honestly, I don't know? That's not something I ever looked into! hahah

      And yes! DATE. I don't know why that bothers me, I just really like to know when it was posted. I saw one blogger have the time the posts were published but no dates. That drove me nuts lol

  • I don’t delete old memes or Sunday posts or holiday themed posts, I feel like some of them still have good information that might help someone or that people might still read them sometimes. I am choosy with my plugins though and don’t keep any that I don’t truly feel that I need. And I always try to find the most basic plugins if I can (like Nosegraze’s commentlove plugin rather than the more often used one). And like you, I only have the date, the categories, and the number of comments with my post titles, and I put the tags at the end of the post.

    I’ve never thought to check for broken links before though! I’m going to go do that right now 🙂

    • oh goodness, at least you feel like your old posts are useful! Some of mine were pretty pointless after a certain period of time haha. I used to go overboard with my plugins. Now I’ve reduced the number. I just got so excited when I first started blogging lol

  • Amazing post Molly! I’ve been planning to clean up my categories and tags for months and this post actually gave the push to do that ahahah and I just heard about the broken link checker! I tried it right away and found 15 broken links on my blog, so, thank YOU <3 also I'm really jealous of all the plugins! Free plan only has a few plugins hahaha

    • That’s awesome! I’m so glad it was helpful 🙂 TRUST ME, broken links aren’t something I thought about for a while. I had like 70? on mine when I did it first >.<

      hehe I can't live without my plugins.

  • Oh, yeah, I’ve definitely deleted some old posts! I’m that person who always freaks out about running out of media space (even though I’m not even close to filling it ?), and I thought it was okay to delete old pictures I wouldn’t re-use again. Basically, I learned the hard way that that deletes the actual picture where you posted it. So, yeah, I spent hours re-editing my posts a month ago. ? I deleted this super-long “Most Anticipated 2017 Releases” post that took me hours to create and I didn’t feel like re-adding all the photos and formatting them, so I’ll just break up into seasonal pieces! I’m hoping my categories are in control; I don’t think I have TOO many!

  • Pretty proud of myself for doing all of these. When I moved by blog to a self hosted one I did a huge clean up as to not have the extra stuff migrated from one to the other and broken links were a pain to go through. I wasn’t a huge fan of deleting old posts but I deleted all cover reveals and bookish news and stuff that were old, now I keep cover reveals up for just a couple of weeks. I thought about deleting Sunday posts but the comments below made me think twice, so many book recs and fun stuff its a shame to delete them. Great post!

    • Yay! That’s awesome 🙂 I actually don’t mind deleting old posts, especially ones like you mentioned (news, reveals, etc) because they’re no longer relevant! But I’m the queen of making posts private so I can redo them and reuse it at another time ;P

  • shootingstarsmag

    Thanks for all of these ideas. I’m really thinking about moving my main blog to WordPress soon, so this will be something I’ll need to keep up with!

    -Lauren
    http://www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

    • Oh! Good luck! I have never had to change my blog because I started on a self-hosted WordPress site >.< I heard it can be very difficult though. Make sure you do a full backup!

  • Utopia State of Mind

    This is such great advice! I have recently cleaned up my own categories and Tags. I recently checked and no broken links yet…But super helpful! I also find it is helpful to look at the homepage and see if you can reduce clutter. There is nothing I dislike more than a super cluttered packed full home page which distracts from the actual reading.

    • Thank you! Glad it was helpful 🙂 And YES! I always clear out my homepage (I’m a little slacking on it right now but I usually stay pretty on top of it). I don’t like a lot of clutter at all!

  • I only started my blog at the beginning of this year, so we don’t have too many posts just yet. But I did go through my categories pretty early on and deleted a bunch of them and used tags instead. But this is definitely a good post to keep in my mind for future reference! Thank you!

    • Glad to be of help! 🙂 & Yes, tags are much better to have than a ton of categories (just in an organizational view at least)

  • All great thoughts and ideas, Molly! I prefer a “cleaner” blog too, and REALLY need to work on my SEO (as re: things like broken links). Just because it’s not a bad thing to learn more about, and I don’t like the idea of my links being wrong.

    Every now and then I go in and EDIT (EDIT, EDIT!) old reviews. I don’t necessarily change the conclusion, just how they’re written (because, BAD!) and the format since I’ve changed that over my five years blogging. Thanks for this post!

    • I always START working on my SEO and then I give up (hence why I’ve never written a post about it, I’m probably the worst at caring about that lol). I NEED to edit my old reviews so bad omg. I stopped changing format of all my reviews when I tweaked it because it was too much work, but I know some of my reviews no longer fully reflect my thoughts on the book.