If you’ve been running your blog for a while and done a tonne of modifications to your template (e.g. third-party ad code is often dodgy) or even if you’ve just redesigned (as I will often do with my personal blog) it’s worthwhile to do a bit of a spring clean every so often.

This list is also a reminder for me, as I haven’t completed all these things yet. I haven’t included a list of all the reasons why these things are important but in short: you’re making your blog more accessible, flexible and user-friendly.

  1. Validate your home page template, your blog post templates and your CSS files –
    Type in your blog’s URL and click check. Reduce those errors down to 0.
  2. Once validated, check your blog in multiple browsers, especially:
    IE 6, Firefox and Safari. IE 5 is good too. If you’re on a PC, you can still see what your blog will look like in Safari thanks to SafariTest
    Iron out any bugs.
  3. Increase the font size in your browser settings for both IE and Firefox. Does your blog still work OK when you increase it up a couple of notches? Do you allow people to resize in IE? Does your blog work OK when you decrease the font size (not as important as the increasing though).
  4. Turn off stylesheets in your browser. Does the blog’s structure still make sense?
  5. Turn off images in your browser. Is everything still understandable? Is the text still readable?
  6. Try resizing your screen to 800 x 600 pixels and 1024 x 768 pixels. How does it look?
  7. Check the download time using this handy tool
  8. Check the quality report for your blog
  9. Read Blog design and usability advice and Blog Interface Design 2.0 for ideas as to how you can improve your blog’s interface
  10. Oh, and most importantly, talk to the people reading your blog – find out what they like and don’t like!

I find the Web Developer’s Toolbar invaluable for many of these checks.

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