April 15, 2019 4 min read

It's that time of year when its time to pack away all the winter stuff and break out our flip flops (well that’s here in Arizona) and get ready for the warm weather.  It’s also known as spring cleaning. But do you do any spring cleaning in your business, specifically your website and online systems?

Well here are our tips for helping you clean up your site, with processes to protect your IP and run things more efficiently.  At COR we mainly work with Shopify and Wordpress, but feel free to apply these tips to the platform you love!

 

BACKUPS AND UPDATES

If you are on the Wordpress platform you know that this is an ongoing issue.  I recommend running backups once a month, which is usually the rate that plugins seem to be updated.  You want to make sure everything is up to date to help your site run efficiently and to also protect your site from hackers and malware.   

We like the plugin Wordfence Security that will notify you if something looks suspicious or you need an important plugin to be updated. I always schedule a recurring task in my Project Management tool to remind me to run updates. Also don’t forget to remind yourself to update your password and keep it in a safe place.

In the case you may have something go wrong with your Wordpress site, it's important that you have backups enabled with your host. If you setup your hosting and didn’t even check if backups are running, I would check to make sure. I have seen this before with clients who thought they were getting backups, when in fact it was never setup. (Not going to name who the host is but its initials are BH).

If you are on the Shopify Platform, good news Shopify handles all the lovely updates for you in regards to your software and plugins. The only item you need to be concerned about is your theme.     

Before making updates I recommend making a copy of your theme whenever you make major changes to your site, so if you need to revert back you can easily just publish the copy you made.  You can also download it for safe keeping.

If you use Out of The Sandbox Themes (our fav!!) they have a free plugin you can load to your site to make sure you are running the most recent version of your theme.  I have also noticed it works with PixelUnion themes as well. Now if you have a bunch of custom coding to your site that was done by a developer, you need to make sure you update your theme with help as you could write over all those customization's.   



CONTENT UPDATES

Now that everything is protected and updated, let’s look at the front side of your website. This is also a great time to make quick updates to your content! Here are just some ideas:

  1. Go through your site content and make sure it still is relevant and meets the needs of your client.
  2. Refresh your portfolio with new projects if you are a service based provider.
  3. Check your product offerings and update if you see the need based on your last few months of customers.
  4. Give you site a fresh look with new images. You can get free stock photos from sites like Unsplash or Burst. Don’t forget to add photos of yourself and as clients want to connect with you not just your business.
  5. If you have an ecommerce shop, go through and look at your best selling items and compare them to your lower performing items. Maybe this is a good time to discount the lower performing items to make room for newer items.
  6. Check your discount codes to make sure they are all relevant. It's best to disable codes instead of deleting them so you keep your analytics.
  7. Review your tax and shipping costs to make sure they are accurate.
  8. Remove any plugins that you are no longer using. They may have fees associated with them and this will save you money.


YOUR OFFICE SPACE

Nothing kills creativity more than a cluttered work space.  Here are a few tips to help you keep it clean.

  1. Take a picture of your receipts and upload them to a folder in your Google Docs or other cloud storage. I use my phone to snap photos and instantly upload theme so I don’t forget, especially with gas receipts. You can then easily file them away and they won’t be all over your desk.
  2. Keep minimal items on your desktop. Try adding a plant, a candle, or even a diffuser to brighten the mood and keep you focused.
  3. Choose a day each week to wipe everything down and keep it clean. Electronics area heavily used and so you would be surprised how dirty they can get.

DIGITAL SPRING CLEANING

Now that your office is clean, what about your computer... Could you afford to have your computer crash or lose your files?

  1. Have a running backup of your work files, whether its a physical external or one in the cloud. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have multiple.
  2. Go through your files and clean up any duplicate files or ones you no longer need. This will help save space on your computer and drives.
  3. Run a virus scan on your computer if you haven’t done so and remove any apps you no longer use.
  4. Cleanup your inbox. Setup folders to organize important emails. I setup nested folders under a main folder called Clients. I also created a To-Do folder, to add any emails that need my direct attention so I know where to go to find them. This helps keep my main inbox clean. There is nothing better than an empty and organize inbox.

I hope these tips are helpful.  I have learned the more organized and strategic I am in my life and business, the less stress it creates so I can focus on what’s important.  Happy Cleaning!


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