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Blog Exercises: Under the Hood Spring Cleaning

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.One of my students in my Portland Community College WordPress class reminded me that clutter is clutter, no matter where you find it.

Peter Smith reminds us that too many WordPress Themes is a waste of resources. Today, I feature his post to remind us all to clean up our sites under the hood.

I had about 15 to 20 themes installed at anytime. Granted there is no need to have so many themes on self-hosted site. Should not use up server resources like this. This also could be said for WordPress plugins…

When using WordPress, we tend to use only one WordPress Theme, switching to a new one when we make a site design change, something most people do every couple years or so. After all, we worked hard to find the design we wanted, maybe tweaked with it. We’re not switching Themes daily, so why do we have dozens of WordPress Themes installed doing nothing?

Peter is right. While having all these WordPress Theme files on our web server doesn’t do any harm, they don’t slow down the site or impact our visitor’s experience, but they impact our own experience. They take up file storage space and distract us with their clutter.

Check your Theme list on your site. Go to Appearance > Themes. How many do you have listed? How old are they? Clean house and remove the ones you aren’t using. You can always reinstall them at a later date for testing, but the testing is done. Get rid of them.

What about your WordPress Plugins? As Peter also mentioned, do we need all those, especially the WordPress Plugins installed over a year or more ago? What about five years ago? Eight? When moving my site from its old host to the amazing WPEngine hosting service, hosting all WordPress all the time, I found I’d had dozens of WordPress Plugins, some left over from the earliest days of WordPress Plugin development. It was time for them to go, leaving me with only a few precious Plugins I can’t blog without on that site.

How many do you have installed and deactivated, or activated and not using or using to full advantage? Clean those out by uninstalling the ones you don’t use or thought were good ideas that weren’t.

Do you have images you’ve uploaded but never used? Consider going through your Media Library and looking for images to delete giving yourself a little more space to upload more.

What about draft posts? Take a few minutes to go through these and clean these out as well. If they are ready to publish, use these for emergency draft posts or schedule them for a future release date. If they are ideas that went no where and never will, trash them.

In April, the Blog Exercise was to clean up the clutter that may give poor first impression to visitors and readers on the front of your site. Today, it’s time clean things up under the hood.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.Your blog exercise today is to dig into the back end of your site and clean out the clutter.

It doesn’t seem like much. I’ve found that I feel better when I clean out the clutter around me, even that hidden from the public behind the closet door – you know the one. The one you’ve created that resembles that closet seen in television sitcoms where the unwitting person opens the door and all the tribbles fly out and bury the guy…you know the one. We all have them. It’s time to slowly open the door and clean up the dead tribbles on your own site. For your own protection.

Start cleaning!

SPOILER: By the end of June, I will be publishing the first six months of Blog Exercises as an ebook, the first half of what will become the final book at the end of the year. Stay tuned for news!

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.


  1. Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    It is really interesting how much garbage you find underneath the hood, and even though it may not seem to have much effect, it can definitely create the butterfly effect.

    I also notice this on my computer, with all the temp files that are created when I am using LaTeX or pretty much anything.

    • Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      I spent days while sick last year (in a brainless state) sorting and moving around image and video files on my computer among all my hard drives, servers, and backup drives. Went to find an image yesterday and found it a mess again. I think it’s breeding. 😀

      It’s the clutter that isn’t visible to the world that can easily be the straw that breaks your back. I’m realizing that a lot of this stuff is wearing down on my spirit, even though the rest of the world doesn’t see it. It’s cleaning time at the VanFossen estate! LOL!

  2. Posted June 9, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Talking of clutter that isn’t visible, what about all the revision copies? Are they all still there somewhere or do they disappear after a while? With nearly 1,500 posts on my blog and (possibly) five revisions of each post, that is a lot of clutter!

    • Posted June 9, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      I take that back. I’ve found a plug-in which does the job (reduction from 35 MB to 8 MB!) and which optimizes the database on a regular basis. I hadn’t really thought about how much clutter there could be from just the revisions stored over the years!

    • Posted June 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      If you would like to remove revision copies, you may do so with a WordPress Plugin, which it seems you found. Revisions can take up some space on your server, indeed. Good point!

  3. Tammy Ros
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Nice blog………Its very interesting to know about the garbage we can find underneath the hood, even though its not very effective………..only the butterfly effect will be created.Like cleaning our computers, websites house cleaning should be done at least once in a week. Daily cleaning is much better……………

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