Bonus: Download a free checklist of the first plugins that I always install on a new WordPress Blog.
When is the last time that you checked in on your blog? Yes, you are logged in daily or weekly but are you paying attention?
Are you ignoring the nagging updates?
I will be honest, right here and now. I ignore the updates and notes.
About once a quarter you need to do a quick blog check up. You will want to set aside about an hour of your time to go thru these 6 questions.
Do this quick and Easy 6 point WordPress Blog Checkup
Note: At this moment do not update your plugins. You don't want to do a plugin update unless you have updated your blog.
Test Out Your WordPress Plugins
Now keep in mind that this is not a deep dive audit, this is just a checkup. We will do a deep dive together in the future.
For now, we are checking for function. An example of this would be, making sure your shortcodes still work. A decent portion of my blog posts, have associated podcast episodes. I use a shortcake to upload these episodes on the post. So I went back and spot checked a few older episodes to make sure the plugin is still function.
For this step go ahead and log out of WordPress. This way you can test the site as a visitor. Send yourself a note from your contact form.
While you are logged out of WordPress, go ahead and test your social share buttons. How do the shares look on the social site?
Note: As a result of doing this type of checkup, I changed what social plugin is running on the site. I noticed that the post was not being shortened and the title was not being picked up. Something was conflicting between my theme and the plugin.
The WordPress plugins that you run will be different than the ones that I run. Take this time and walk thru your blog as a user. Click on things freely such as related posts, sidebars etc.
2. Clean Out Your Blog Spam
Note: Go ahead and login to your blog again.
Do you have a lot of spam on your blog? This is a great time to go ahead and clean it up.
3. Add Captcha To Your Contact Form
I recommend adding Captcha to your Contact Form if you haven’t already. Cuts down a lot on the spam emails to your site.
If you noticed that you have a ton of spam or you are receiving quite a bit from your contact form, go ahead and take care of that now. Just Google "your contact form + captcha" and you will likely find instructions.
If you use Contact Form 7, this is a great plugin that you can use: https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7-recaptcha-extension/.
4. Is It Time For A Blog Redesign?
Is it time to upgrade my site? This is a tough question because a redesign can be time consuming & costly. A lot changes in the developer world in 2 years.
A blog redesign is a subjective question but there is one sure fire yes or no question. Is your blog mobile responsive? If the answer is no, then you should immediately start considering a redesign.
Beyond the mobile responsive issue, just go with your gut instinct on this. A blog redesign can be a challenge and will likely cost you a few bucks. In 2015, I redesigned my blog twice and it cost me about $100 total.
My blog is currently running Thrive Theme Squared: and I am thrilled with it. Check out this article about blog design: https://www.iteachblogging.com/blog-redesign-story/.
5. Blog Frequency Goals?
How’s your blogging frequency? Are you reaching your goals, or you may need to revisit how to get more posting done.
Sometimes when we set blogging goals for ourselves, we can be a bit ambitious. Ambition is good but over ambition can lead to discouragement. If you find that you are not reaching your goals, take a moment to reevaluate.
Remember, it is your blog and therefore you get to make the rules. Can you realistically find more time for blogging? If so great. If not, seriously consider dropping your frequency.
Whatever you do, don't stop blogging out of frustration.
6. Are You Using A SEO Plugin?
Not just installed but USING it. I use Yoast. FYI Yoast is a form you fill out for every post. Time consuming but worth it.
Remember, your blog is just like any machine and it requires maintenance from time to time. I have created a short infographic below that will guide you thru the steps discussed in this post.
Go ahead and print it out or save it to your computer. Then you can reference it once a quarter and check up on your blog.
I hope that you are achieving all of your goals and that your blog is running perfectly. When I did this check up at the end of the year, I had two main areas that needed to be addressed. The first, as I mentioned, was that my social media buttons were not working properly. The second issue was that I was not hitting my frequency goals.
In 2016, I plan to release an epic post every 6 weeks. What would you add to this list?
“And please do me a little favor and share this guide with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their blogs.”