Spring is around the corner for our northern hemisphere friends (hooray!), and as you think about spring cleaning, consider adding your website to the list of things to clean out too. Your website might end up faster, cleaner and more optimized for your visitors and Google.

If you’re running a WordPress website, start by looking at your plugins. Each plugin can make your website load more slowly which will frustrate your visitors, and Google will frown upon too.

We often see client websites who have over thirty plugins. Some of these were plugins that they tested out, didn’t like or need but forgot to delete. Other clients may have multiple plugins which do the same job (e.g. All in One SEO and Yoast SEO plugins, multiple social sharing icon plugins, multiple caching plugins or old Google Analytics plugins which are no longer updated).

Here’s what to do:

  1. Make a list of all your plugins. This can be useful to refer back to in case you make a mistake in this spring-cleaning process.
  2. Delete any plugins which are installed but not enabled.
  3. Go through each plugin in turn and ask yourself what that plugin does on your website (if you don’t know, ask your web designer), if you still need it, or if it’s outdated. Delete any which aren’t needed anymore. Try to get your plugins down to under ten (not essential, but it’s usually a good goal for a simple site).
  4. Update any plugins which have upgrades available with caution. If you notice that your plugin is a much older version than the latest (e.g. your version is 1.0 and the latest is 6.1!) then it can be a good idea to have your web designer do the upgrade, in case parts of your website need fixing after a major update like this. We do this as a monthly service for our clients, but often wait a few days after a major plugin upgrade in case there are bugs in it too.

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