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Blog Spring Clean | Things To Remove From Your Blog

By:     Topics: Blogging

Regular readers will know I’m a true believer in perfection and bulletproofing. Removing things that aren’t important is vital to make sure your website is converting as well as possible. If you have links going away from your website or you have any distractions, this is ultimately another reason why someone may not buy something from you or click your adverts. If you could remove things that don’t benefit your website, you would delete them right? Good, then read this post!

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Things You Should Remove From Your Website

Remove Dead Links

A post you did over a year ago, could more than likely have a link in it that no longer work. Websites come and go and there is no point linking to a website that no longer exists, it’s unprofessional and is probably losing you money. I use a tool called Broken Link Checker, it crawls your website and lets you know where there are broken links and will allow you to edit them or remove them.

Remove Unused WordPress Plugins

A friend told me that WordPress plugins slow down your website, it’s not a huge deal but when you have 30 like I do, it all adds up. Yesterday I removed 8 unused WordPress plugins and it decreased my website load time by over a second. Don’t just do it for the speed, it’s also a safety concern having old, unused plugins on your website.

Linking To Tag’s Isn’t Important

You can only take around 99.9% of my word on this one but recently while browsing a few websites in my industry I noticed none of them linked to their tags at a bottom of a blog post. I Skyped my SEO guy and asked him about it and he said you don’t need to link to them in every post, just have them in your sitemap and that will do. Search engines can crawl your site and find your tag pages that way instead. This means you can use that space to either get more subscribers or make more money.

Update Your Autoresponder Series

In business, things rarely stay the same, what was working last year, may not work today. When someone subscribes to my list they get a free gift, after that I automatically send them emails every so often, mentioning old posts on my website and products I think they should buy. Sometimes over time, posts become irrelevant or affiliate promotions may no longer convert as well as they did. When this happens, change the email to promote something else. To manage IncomeDiary’s mailing list and autoresponder series, I use Aweber.

Stop Featuring Things People Don’t Care About

Recently I ran a test on my website using CrazyEgg. It shows me where on the page people are clicking and looking. Using this information I can tell what people are really interested in and also, what people aren’t interested in. I have removed links in my navigation and elements on my sidebar and homepage. Removing things will mean readers will have less choice and distractions. This also gives you a great opportunity to add something new and can often increase your earnings by quite a bit.

Social Media Buttons

This is a controversial one but I don’t believe that there is any real benefit to having a tweet button on your website, even Facebook like buttons in most circumstances aren’t worth the real-estate. What I did was have a Tweet button on my website, I tracked how many people tweeted in the last 7 days across my whole website using Twitter and using a Tweet Button. Over 500 people used Twitter directly, no one, not one person used the button. This experiment may of not been the most scientific thing in the world but it was good enough for me.

Before I get a whole load of readers  (ok, maybe 3) suggesting that I’m wrong. Yes I’m sure there is a small percent of people who like those buttons and use them. But in my experience it’s not the big guys, not the guys who can send you the traffic. I find them ugly and ineffective. There is also nothing worse then a Tweet button on your website that has 7 tweets, your content is worth more than that and it will only make you look not as good as you really are.

Are Contact Pages Important?

Let me firstly say, in some industry, yes they are! But on IncomeDiary, no they are not. The only emails I use to get from my contact form was spam, people wanting me to promote them and people asking for help. I hate spam, I don’t promote rubbish and people asking for help, guess what? The answer is on my website. It was a drain on my time having all the emails come in, occasionally something good or important came along but really, if someone needs to get a hold of me that bad, they find a way. Although this doesn’t make me really any more money, it does save me A LOT of time. I highly recommend this to anyone getting a lot of email.

Here’s what I recommend you do if your like me and want to reduce all that support. Link to your contact page on your about page or in the footer of your website, not in the header.

Sidebar and Footer Opt-ins

Yet again, quite controversial. You see, the majority of people will subscribe via your Popup Domination lightbox if you have the settings right. The rest can subscribe via your squeeze page that we set up using OptimizePress. Only around 5 or so percent will actually use the sidebar or footer opt-in. I personally prefer to use that same space for adverts instead as it gives me a higher return. Also if you think about it this way, at the bottom of your blog post, say you have a subscribe box, 98% of people have already opted in or decided they don’t want to, it means having that box is irrelevant to those people, however if you have an advert, it’s not irrelevant to anyone.

Redirect Old Removed Web Pages

We all do it, we create pages, link to them and then remove them for one reason or another. Redirection WordPress plugin allows you to find these pages and redirect any readers who go to those pages. So for example, if you had a page on your site called /done-for-you-blogging/ and then removed it as you were launching a main site called BlogCreationDomination, this plugin will change all the links on your site from the old URL to the new.

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Conclusion

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  • http://www.cdiqlife.com haru

    i think i should remove all the dead links too..thanks 4 sharing the tools..i will check it 😀

  • http://www.blogbriefing.com Clive at Blogbriefing.com

    There’s also a neat plugin that removes all your old post revisions ( I had hundreds!) that ‘bloat’ out your database. In Admin area of plugins do a seach for :’Delete Post Revisions’

    • Michael Dunlop

      Hey Clive,

      Thanks for the suggestion, going to take a look at it now.

      Michael

    • http://joeykissimmee.com Joey kissimmee

      Just tested this out. WOW! I had a few of them. Thanks for the tip.

    • Chadrack

      Yeah Clive, I personally use WP CleanFix. Does a great lot of things apart from deleting post revisions!

    • Tammi

      That sounds awesome.

    • http://tipbusters.com Christene

      Wow, I just sped up my site with Michael’s (and Clive’s) suggestions. Also, on the Delete Post Revisions plug-in site, they tell you how to limit the post revisions in the wp-config.php file, then you won’t have as much of a buildup of old revisions.

  • BloggingForward

    Nice post. Thanks.
    Removing dead links is healthy for your position in search results.
    Social media: worth to consider.
    Removing unused plugins is good idea to do on a monthly basis.

  • Joshua Zamora

    WOW what an amazing list Michael. I will remove the sidebar optin asap! I have had very few people use it.

    Also the dead links is a great idea. I will have to read this one a couple times.

    Thanks again

  • Lonnie

    Hey Michael

    Good stuff. I wasn’t aware that your plugins could slow the loading process. I need to cull a few out on my sites.

    I have also had the same thoughts on the tweet button. No one seems to use it.

    Keep up the good work.
    Lonnie

  • http://joeykissimmee.com Joey Kissimmee

    Awesome post brotha. Now I know what I gotta do for the next hour or so 😉

  • http://www.stevewatsononline.com Steve Watson

    I love a good Spring clean! Some great tools here which I can’t wait to try out. Definitely time to update my auto responder series too. Thanks for a brilliant and timely post. Less mess, more money… love it!

  • http://dailytradingsystem.com/ Loz

    You know about crazy-egg, you dont need it, Google Analytics has it, and its free, crazy-egg when i last looked about 2 years ago, it was free for a while, or limited features and only one site could be added… well, G.A will give you the data you need, unlimited sites.

    • http://dailytradingsystem.com/ Loz

      oh… btw…

      try getting a server or host that runs off litespeed… 9 times faster than apache that MYSQL runs off, and 50% faster execution on PHP scripts :)

    • Michael Dunlop

      Google is still in Beta. Right now, CrazyEgg is quite a bit better and in my experience, offers a better user experience.

      I’m looking forward to seeing what Google does with it thought, could be a great new free tool.

      Michael

      • http://dailytradingsystem.com/ Loz

        Yeh, but it’s free and less frustrating using G.A IMO.

        G.A has come a long way actually, I’ve been using it a LOT to work out which pages are paying the most in Adsense… and uncovered one that paid $3.28, $2.47, $1.83 per click :-)

        • Michael Dunlop

          I’m not saying G.A doesn’t have a place, of course it does and every day it becomes more useful. But right now for what I’m talking about, CrazyEgg does the best job.

          I would be interested in reading about what you did with Adsense, anyone talking about that online?

          • http://dailytradingsystem.com/ Loz

            Adsense? you’re not doing that? OMG… easiest money out there if you know a bit of SEO too :)

            its pretty simple, find some tools, or use the suggestion tool at google, add some filtering to ensure criteria is met to find those $1+ clicks, the rest is easy :)

            Keyword Elite 2.0 helped immensely, but its having some snags at the minute, so the Google Suggestion Tool comes in handy.

            • Michael Dunlop

              In the internet marketing niche, Adsense sucks as everyone knows what it is and doesn’t click it. I’ve considered using it recently on niche sites I have. Want to do a post on IncomeDiary for us on how you do all that?

              • http://www.stevewatsononline.com Steve Watson

                That would be cool!

  • Muhammad Noer

    Michael, very nice post. Simple is beautiful. I like your strategy in minimizing distraction. We live in a crowded world. Simplicity will help the reader as well as website owner.

  • http://hiphopcomeup.com Hector

    Really good post, thanks for all the helpful tips.

  • Michael Haley

    The one thing I disagree with is the contact page. Although none of the real big guys do it – maybe because they get to a place where they don’t have to. But for me, the contact questions are often the inspiration for new excellent material for one of my blogs or websites somewhere. So email questions usually get a new blog post, web page, facebook post… not a direct reply. The direct reply tells the person where to get the answer… which was probably already created when I answered it for someone else. I first used this technique in 1998 answering a health question. That old html doc still gets hits every day!

    • Michael Dunlop

      Like I said, still has a place on some sites. Me personally, I would prefer not to spend a hour extra a day going through emails, I use to get a lot!! It’s made a big difference to my time by removing the page.

      I’m actively doing things all over the internet so I never lack inspiration for posts, just finding time for them is the hard bit.

      Michael

      • http://joeykissimmee.com Joey kissimmee

        I totally agree with Michael here. I’ve also used contact page and found it was a total waste of my time. Especially in our niche.

        I think it has it’s purposes on other odd niches, but definitely not ours.

      • Dwight Anthony

        I’m curious Michael, isn’t Google penalizing your site a bit on not having a contact form though. I’ve heard from SEO guys you should have a contact page even if just for the Google bots to index.
        I know you aren’t hurting for traffic on this site though.

        Dwight Anthony

        • Michael Dunlop

          A few people asked this, I’ll just accept the one persons comment and answer it once so I hope everyone reads this.

          This post is about blogging. Blogging is 99% universal and so it doesn’t effect your rankings having a page or not.

          If your doing LOCAL SEARCH then having an address can effect rankings if your going for terms such as: Web Designer Southampton.

          I have asked my SEO guy and WPbeginner founder about this and they both said the same thing. I also did my own research and came to the same answer.

          What I do recommend is that if your worried as a blogger, keep your page but link to it in the footer if you don’t want to recieve all the contact form emails. This way, Google see it and other readers can find it if they want to.

          Michael

          • Dr. Michael Quadlander

            Michael… You can keep your contact page, but use the WP plugin Exclude Pages from Navigation.

            There is no visible link to your excluded page or you may exclude multiple pages if you wish. The page(s) are still there on your blog for SEO / Google indexing purposes, just not visible to the Average Joe.

            You can see how it works on one of my sites at VeryEasy.com

            Type in VeryEasy.com/contact-us/ to see the contact page. But there is NO link to this page in the home page of VeryEasy.com

            Pages widget is halfway downthe right sidebar.

            So you get the best of both worlds… SEO benefit but not the emails in your inbox…

            Dr. Q.
            _________

  • john

    that is a great post i will definitely do that.

  • Jason Melo Hall

    Love it, unique post and I think its great, thanks. Gave insight and confirmed some of my personal thoughts.

  • exsuit

    Good suggestions on cleaning up the site. Do you use any chache plugins to increase load speed times? I am reading more and more that wordpress is overly bloated code for running a website.

  • Interested reader

    I am curious about your views on something. What is your stance on “old” blog posts that are still relevant? Would you ever consider tweaking them a bit and just re-publishing them?

  • Chadrack

    Hi Michael, this is indeed enlightening. I’m sort of really a perfectionist and is always doing one form of clean up or the other. Have done most of these but will be checking out crazyegg. I used the Google tool some time ago but really did not get anything useful from it.

  • Scott Webb

    I’m on board for a lot of these recommendations. I’ve been wondering what plugin I could use to find broken links because I bet there are a bunch of them.

    I also want to remove old and useless pages. My blog has gone through a lot of modification and been through a journey that needs to be cleaned that way. The redirect plugin sounds like I might look there.

    I’m planning to remove the signup in my sidebar or at least my footer. I have been looking to optimize a few other pages – in the way that copyblogger seems to do – and place signup there. I am not a fan of the popup and still have issues with the idea of placing that facepunch on my site. Time will tell – Does popupdomination have a 30 day trial or 7 day trial?

    Social Media Buttons, I am on the same page in a sense. I add the tweetbutton and the facebook button because it indicates a social spirit. I’ve always felt the social media buttons that are placed at the bottom of a blog to be totally useless and no one uses those. I’d consider removing the “twitter button” and only use the facebook like. I’ve seen where that like button can really drive traffic, but I don’t know if there is a way to see if people are clicking the like on page or some other way.
    At this point, those buttons do have a social presence even if they aren’t being used fully.

    Great post because you bring up things are not out to please everyone. You’ve made points that go against the grain and I appreciate that. I am trying to do that with my site – though for photography.

    • Chadrack

      Hi Scott, for the plugin to remove dead links, old pages etc. check out WP CleanFix. It takes care of just all that!

    • Alina Navarro

      Hi Scott, I agree with you on so many points. Michael did a great job on this article, as usual. I’m a relatively new blogger and still getting the hang of things. I’m in constant learning mode!!

      I’m replying to your comment because I found this plugin called “Feddjit” that tracks my readership with a Live Feed. It tells me where poeple come from and where/what they read in my blog. Feel free to check it out at http://www.AlinaNavarrro.com It is free, even though they have a paid version where you can advertise your business on your Feedjit footer. I’m testing it, since I’ve just added it with my last article. I am Loving it so far. I enjoy seeing the live tracking, it allows me to understand my WP blog and connections a lot better.

      As far as the Social Media Buttons… I love my FB Like button & find it useful on so many levels. Twitter, not so much. But I ask… wouldn’t my readers just figure out that everyone else isn’t all that into Twitter -Vs- making me look not as good as I really am?, like Michael says above?? Hhmmm…. yeap may have to remove it, or tweet my own post out 50 times!! LoL
      xo
      Hope ‘Feedjit’ works for you. Please connect and let me know. 😉

  • http://www.Rachelhenke.com Rachel Henke

    Hi Michael
    That was very helpful. Will definitely do a spring (or Summer?) clean!
    Loving your pop up domination btw :)

  • Lisa

    I’ll do the same thing to mine, nice tips to follow, thanks Michael.

  • http://trafficcoleman.com/ TrafficColeman

    Cleaning out your unused plugins are great..this will improve speed if you have too many..everyone should do that today..

  • http://www.entrepreneurshipsecret.com Fisayo @ Secrets Of Entrepreneurship

    Great informative post Mike, I trust you fro new ideas and info on how to improve on my blog. Thanks pal.

  • Charlie Berger

    Great tips Michael… Thx. :)

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    Thanks a lot! I cleaned up as I read. Got rid of 9 or so plug ins and am going to look in to a few other things you mentioned. :)

    • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

      On that note, may I just say, graciously?

      Upon my first visit to your blog (to read this article found on Twitter), I saw your pop up, but since I hadn’t read a speck from your blog yet, I didn’t know if I wanted to sign up.

      After reading this post, I was interested in signing up for your feed, but I looked up and down for a feed button, and couldn’t find it. I had to re-enter your site to sign up (so the pop up would come back).

      I don’t think it would be a bad idea to have a small feed button (counter, whatever) for people to click and sign up.

      Many people wouldn’t stick around or revisit to sign up. Just food for thought. :)

      Your blog and drive is impressive. Good job!

  • http://kikolani.com/ Kristi Hines

    I don’t link to tags in every post, but I do on occasion within posts. Not for SEO value, but to help people find posts in a series.

    Also, totally have to disagree on taking off the social buttons. While people like me have a bunch of browser bookmarklets that will do the trick and remember Twitter usernames pretty well, there are others who might want to share your post but leave because they didn’t see the button.

    I only use five on my blog, and I use the compact versions right beneath the post title and byline. That makes it look streamlined with the post while getting the job done. I have seen an increase in social shares simply from using the official buttons with counts themselves and not the ones in plugins that have just the icons. Plus the counts add for social proof that your post is going somewhere.

  • Tina Thelen

    Great post! Thanks so much for bringing a few of these things to light! I need to do a bit of “blog” housekeeping myself!!

  • http://bestonlinestorage.com Travis

    Michael:

    Good post and for the most part I agree with everything with the exception of the Contact page and the social buttons.

    I feel every website – regardless of niche – should have a contact page. I just think it’s professional and lets people know there is a real person behind the site. If I ever saw a site without a prominent “contact” page, I immediately get suspicious and the trust factor goes down in spades. I want my readers to know there is a real person behind my sites and that if they want to contact me – for anything – they can. Checking emails is just part of the business:)

    As for the social buttons, I agree that they might not get used a lot in some niches but some niches it makes absolute sense. Look at most big blogs – CopyBlogger, Entrepreneurs-Journey, ClickNewz, etc. – they all have these buttons and they get used a ton. Now if you have a site selling pumpkin seeds, you probably don’t need them:)

    Travis

  • http://www.geeks4share.com Praveen @ Geeks4share

    I think we have to remove spam comments too.
    I was shocked to see that you recommend us to remove contact page, Nice post mate, Cheers !
    :)

  • Ulf

    Interesting stuff, I will start to remove things now. Thanks!

  • popular posting

    I have had no success with these buttons but once removing them from my blog could be important. Thanks for the tips as it helps me with my blog too. 😀

  • Dwight Anthony

    Good post as usual Michael, I also removed a few unused plugins and also the retweet plugin as i hated seeing posts with no retweets although people would share from social media buttons below the post.

    I also think having the sidebar optin as high up in your page as possible definitely helps. I’m using your popup domination form and got a 367% increase in optins (how is that even possible?), but do occasionally still get optins from the sidebar.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

    • Michael Dunlop

      Hello,

      Exactly, people say, oh you need the social buttons for social proof. Having 4 likes or something is going to damage you, not help you.

      Michael

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I have already removed some of the things that I believe I should have removed a long time ago.

    I didn’t know about the plugin to check broken links. Very interesting.

    I have also removed social media buttons at the top of my posts, but that’s basically just me thinking “why would people share the post before reading it?”

    When it comes to the sidebar, I still have my aweber form and few things that I’m considering removing.

    – Jens

  • http://www.richerornot.com fazal mayar

    I agree, I use social buttons because the ” Big Boys ” use it but I doubt they bring you great traffic, I will just keep them but I may consider removing these buttons.

  • Kevin McKillop

    Have a few of these to tackle myself.

    Your broken link cleaning missed some spots. :) Bottom link on the home page for ‘read other guests posts’ -> http://www.incomediary.com/allposts/ doesn’t work.

  • http://samachar-rojgar.blogspot.com rojgar samachar

    nice tips!

    Would like to hear something more about Blog SEO techniques.

  • Scott Webb

    Updating my broken links right now. The plugin is pretty load intensive and really killed my site for a while. Granted it was the first time I ever did this.

    I think my site is acting normal again now and I’m fixing things.

    I wonder, maybe you did a study, how this may impact ranking within Google. I hope it makes them like me that much more.

    • Michael Dunlop

      It can be like that the first time, I had 1000’s of links to remove.

      As for SEO, I can’t tell you, my traffic from Google increased by over 10% each month so it’s hard to see what does what.

  • http://www.smadronia.com Stephanie

    I’ve always been fond of putting a contact form link in the footer of my web pages. If you want to contact me, you’ll use that. For most of the niche sites I build, people seldom want to contact me, so it cuts down on spam and other crap. But, it also complies with Google’s terms of use for Adsense, so if I ever add Adsense to these sites, I have all my bases covered.

  • http://www.coreymcintosh.com Corey McIntosh

    Great Post thanks for helping! just found your site today!!

  • TracyG

    That’s fantastic information. I’m grateful for all the comments here. All tips between bloggers can help eachother so I’m really glad I stumbled across your site Micheal.

  • http://www.Moneymakingboy.blogspot.com Deepak Yadav

    I have lots of dead links on my blog which are of blog directories i joined in past years… i think i should remove all that…Thanks for this post michael

  • http://www.womanzworld.com Natalie

    So funny reading this today as just 48 hours ago I lost my entire blog to a hosting company who suspended my account without notice and wouldn’t let me back in. I managed to transfer to another and now my blog is back up I’ve gone about doing a huge clean up.

    So many unused plugins, pages I didn’t need, side bar options I don’t need either. You’re so right – less is more and I had no idea the plugins, in particular were slowing the loading of my blog so much!

  • Grant

    I like the idea of removing the contact box and opt in box.

    I personally like the ‘like’ button i think it has helped me with my blog. But yes it does look crap when there are only a few clicks.

    Thanks

  • Dendi

    i agree with this “Remove Unused WordPress Plugins”, but my blog still slow to load. any suggestion?

  • Morné

    Hey Michael, is this also one of the reason you don’t have an RSS subscribe link on your site?

    I’m guessing that you convert better with email right?

  • http://www.thelombardigroup.com/ Robert Avila

    Thanks Michael ….

    We often focus on what we can add or improve and undervalue taking the time to remove unused plugins and features that have little or no value etc ….

    Wish you the best!

    Robert

  • Dr. Michael Haley

    Lot’s of people have real slow blogs because they use uncompressed and over-sized images. If you want to really speed up your blog, yes, get rid of extra plugins, old revisions, extra themes, etc. etc., but also size your images to the actual size you want them before you upload them, and also compress the images as much as possible without losing any apparent visual quality. If you have 10 posts on your blog roll each with a single image, it is going to take a long time to load. Those images better be compressed… or decrease the number of posts shown on the blogroll.

  • Lynn Brown

    Thanks Michael for taking the time to organize all this information that you are sharing. This makes for an awesome checklist for sure!

    I have been using Broken Link Checker over 6 months now and love this plugin. As for the Twitter tweet button, for some reason my WP blog theme would not allow this button to work properly. So after working with 3 different webmasters, I decided I didn’t really need it as everyone was using my Sexy Bookmarks to share and tweet my posts.

    Since Facbook changed the LIKE button, I’m not a big fan of that feature either. I have my VA handle sharing my posts and other featured bloggers that I follow.

    I do want to check out your suggestion – OptimizePress for squeeze and sales pages. Thank you for these tips and look forward to sharing this post with my fans, followers and clients.

  • http://www.waynejohn.com Wayne

    Great info. I’m in agreement with you on the tags by the way. It’s like this vestigial part of a blog that won’t go away. More helpful to the author than the readers in most cases, I suspect.

    Good stuff!

    • Wayne

      Darn, I forgot to put why I started to comment. 404’s. No talk of 404’s in the comments that I see. There’s a cool tool called the 404 Notifier by Alex King. Helpful in that it will email you when someone hit’s a 404 on your site, thus allowing you to rectify the situation with a redirect or other.

      I got dumped on the first time I ran it. Opened my eyes to a problem that I’m still dealing with today. I’d say to run this control from the get-go of a site so you can stay on top of things in that regard. At least, that’s how I do it at the moment.

  • Juan | Vender en internet

    I was not aware about unused WordPress plugins, I didn’t know that WordPress plugins slow down your website. I’m going to remove some plugins on my website.

    Thanks for this information!

    Juan

  • http://www.mlmsuperlinks.com Tanya Links

    Thanks for the amazing content as always! Keep Rocking the Content Michael!

  • Ernie

    Excellent advice. Honest, giving me advice about things I had zero background in… Very informative. Thank you. EB