When you click on the plugins tab inside your WordPress dashboard, do you see a long list of plugins and ask yourself more often than necessary ‘When and why did I install that?’ Guilty? Don’t worry, in this post we will show you how you can declutter your WordPress site to increase its performance and decrease your website’s size.
Benefits of a Decluttered WordPress Website
Working in a clean WordPress dashboard has many benefits: If you don’t let your WordPress site get too crowded, you will see improvements in loading time of your blog and not only your visitors will love your leaner blog. Google will as well, because website speed and performance is a big ranking factor for SEO.
Apart from performance and loading speed gains, keeping your WordPress blog’s dashboard and database clean also means less vulnerability and increased site security.
Important! Before trying any of the points below and running optimization plugins, make a full backup of your site (including the database). Just to make sure nothing important gets lost on the way.
In the following paragraphs I will recommend you some very helpful plugins that will save you time when decluttering your WordPress dashboard. If you are a beginner and don’t know how to use plugins in WP, read this post about plugins and how to install them.
How to Declutter your WordPress Blog in 5 Steps
Remove Plugins and Themes you don’t need
I can’t stress this point enough, because it is so important to only keep those plugins and themes in your WordPress installation that you actually need and use. Once in a while you should go through the list of plugins and themes and delete all that you don’t use anymore. This will not only decrease your website’s size, but also prevent that unnecessary files are loaded on the frontend (a plus for your site’s speed!).
Clean Up the Database
If you are a busy blogger and write and publish many posts, your database can get a little cluttered. The best way to get rid of overhead and other things that bloat it (e.g. spam comments), is to use a plugin like WP Optimize to clean your database on a regular basis.
Delete Old Post Revisions
Everytime you save a post as a draft and make changes to it, WordPress will save a revision of the post. This is a good thing, because you could revert your changes and go back to an older version if you wanted to. But those revisions can sum up quickly and bloat your database. You won’t need them anymore once a post is published and no changes are made to it, so you can savely delete them. Use the Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions plugin which will help you clean your post revisions with one click.
Remove Unused Media
The same as for plugins and themes also goes for your uploaded images and other media. You have probably uploaded a lot of images that you didn’t use in the end or you installed several themes that all created different thumbnail sizes (been there, done that). Before you even can get an overview, your media library is full of images and files that you don’t ever use.
Luckily, there is Image Cleanup, a handy plugin that will help you go through your media list and delete all files that are not referenced on your site and hence not used in any of your posts or pages.
Run Regular Updates
To preserve this decluttered look of your WordPress website, make sure that you keep all your plugins and themes updated and make regular updates to the WordPress core software as well. This helps you to stay on track with everything that is going on inside your dashboard. Regulary check your plugins and perform the steps outlined above and your WordPress blog will stay clean and fast.
A faster way to a clean and high performance WordPress Blog
Feeling overwhelmed with your WordPress dashboard? Let us manage the technical side of your blog, so you can focus on creating outstanding content. Our management service includes everything (and more) that we listed above.
Join the Club!
Sign up for our Blogger’s Club Maintenance Program and don’t bother with keeping your WordPress site clean and up to date.