Usually marketing agencies of different kinds offer website building/design in Wordpress. The reason they use WordPress is because it’s a powerful CMS that is easy for them as developers, as well as for their clients as users. What’s less pretty to see however is WordPress sites that are “crafted” unprofessionally, and still has old/development data taking up unneeded space for the site.
In this post I will explain 3 preparations you as a WordPress web developer can use to feel better spiritually when launching a new website for yourself or a client. Besides, if someone more knowledgeable were to inspect your work at some point, you are definitely going to be a bit safer having followed the advice of this post!
Cleaning Up Old Content
Developers make a lot of Revisions for each page they create before they are satisfied with how it looks. Not to mention if the client wants to change anything afterwards. Revisions build up hastily and they can also be reverted to, and checked upon. Therefore, it’s good practice to make sure all your content starts from revision 1 once the site is in a live environment. That way, there will be less clutter and less worries thinking the client might revert anything or see your past wrong-doings if there were to be any.
Editing directly in the database however is not something I recommend. There is a simple to use plugin called WP-Optimize which will do the heavy lifting for you in just one click. I do recommend making a backup of your site before optimizing it, although I’ve never had any issues afterwards. WP Optimize can be used to clean up more than just the post revisions, I always go with the standard settings that involve less risk however. After having optimized your site with WP-Optimize you can head to any of your posts and you’ll see that all previous revisions are now gone.
Images are one of the main factors why websites get big and bulky, and slower. If you have imported demo content from a theme and included the media your WordPress site will be cluttered with various demo images, most of which you will not use either. Besides that you might have been working on several websites on the same domain through the course of time, making uploads for several projects.
Although you have removed them from the “Media” in your WordPress dashboard they are still buried within your core files. Once I had a website which was big and ended up at a 1.2 GB size on migration which I thought was extremely high, but I thought “ok alright”. Then after some time I realized there might’ve been a few irrelevant uploads and, there were. I deleted those, and the site ended up being about 300 MB.
You can check if you have uploads from previous projects, deleted images, demo imports, etc. by having FTP access. Once in your WordPress directory on FTP you must navigate to “wp-content/uploads/year/month”
There will probably be a handful of upload folders to go through and eventually delete obsolete content from. If not, then lucky you! Best practice for each website project is obviously to make a full re-installation of WordPress so that you always start out on a clean version. That way you will never have to worry about old data haunting your new projects.
Tidy Up in General
Do a run check up on every dashboard button to make sure you are not leaving anything inappropriate in your way before migrating the website onto the client’s domain. This includes, but is not limited to, users, plugins, comments, posts, unused themes. I always remove the WordPress standard themes (requires FTP access) and basically clear up as much space as I can. The standard plugins such also gets removed. Perhaps you can find a new set of plugins to use from my previous post. It’s also a good idea to remove the “Readme” file in the WordPress root directory, for security reasons.
Going through the settings and making sure you are not disallowing site indexing after the migration, making sure that plugins are properly configured should there be some that need it. It’s much about good detail work that makes a website feel nice to use and work with.
I hope this have encouraged you to be pickier about having an as clean as possible WordPress website before you put it live. The migration part must be properly carried out as well obviously, otherwise your website is not going to see the light of day. In a future post we are going to be discussing the WordPress site migration, and the best way to do it efficiently without causing trouble or headaches.
The post 3 Important Cleanups Before Launching a WordPress Website appeared first on AVONCY.