Your website is your online identity, right? It is a portal for you to connect with your customers. It is a platform where you provide value to your customers.
Your website represents your brand and stands for your business in the online world – so that interested people can approach to do business with you.
You could be selling products, offering services, or be an affiliate – it doesn’t matter; your website is the portal that connects you and your customers.
Nah, nah, nah! Are you a person who thinks its OK to have a mediocre, dirty, ugly, useless blog? If so, you are in trouble! Big trouble, my friend!
Here’s the thing – the good old days are no more. In the old days, you could build a mediocre website and people would still find you. They would still ignore the major flaws in your website and will only focus on your content – even if it is mediocre content, they won’t find that useful information in a lot of other websites as they would today.
Nowadays, there are thousands of other blogs that publish similar and even more useful content than yours. So if your website has great content and yet if it is mediocre, people are NOT going to notice it and they WON’T take it seriously. Coz your website is not the only place where they can get that information.
While it is highly crucial for you to create outstanding content, if you don’t present that content on a professional website people are going to ignore your content. They are going to find that information elsewhere. And they are going to ignore your business as well.
So let’s talk about what you should remove from your website in order to make it professional.
Remove those unwanted widgets
Take a good look at your sidebar and your site’s footer. You probably have a lot of widgets in there. Yes, sidebars are for widgets, right? WordPress has made it so easier to put up a widget.
If the widget “you want” to put in there is not available in WordPress by default, then you probably have a handful of plugins that could do the job for you. No problem!
Having the ability to add widgets just like that is a blessing when it comes to using WordPress, right? (when I say WordPress, I mean the WordPress software used on a self-hosted blog, and not a blog on WordPress.com).
Right! But … there is a catch. It is also a curse.
The fact that you can add a widget for just about anything on your sidebar doesn’t mean you have to add those widgets.
But that’s what most bloggers are doing in fact and you could be doing it too. Are you adding widgets because you have the option to do so? You gotta stop doing that, seriously!
When you are in the “mood” to add widgets just like that, you don’t realise you are adding garbage to your website. So it is natural to add unwanted widgets. I see many websites that have a garbage sidebar full of unnecessary widgets.
Your sidebar should have only items that help your visitors. It should either help them navigate to more useful posts. Or it should direct visitors to know more about you and your website. Or it should provide them with the option to connect with you (like a subscription box). Or it should open up the portal for your business (like a link to the product page, your services, or something that establishes your brand).
Anything that doesn’t serve the purpose isn’t supposed to be there. Anything that doesn’t get clicked or that doesn’t help your readers should not be there on your sidebar (or in your site’s footer for that matter).
I cannot give you an exact list of widget that you need to put on your site. Why? Because every website has a different, unique purpose. It really depends on your business.
Go back and think about the purpose of your business. Your sidebar should help your visitors make the most out of your website. And it should do its best to serve the purpose – if your purpose is to capture emails, your website’s widgets should help you achieve that goal.
If your widgets don’t serve the purpose but stay there for ornamental or other reasons, please remove them right now!
Remove those unwanted plugins
Just in relation to what I wrote about widgets, the same applies to installation of plugins as well. Plugins are both a blessing and a curse for those using WordPress. There is a plugin for just about anything when it comes to WordPress. There are 32, 837 WordPress plugins as I am typing this post and there have already been 716, 475, 844 downloads of those plugins – that’s a BIG figure, right?
However, just because there are 32K+ plugins, it doesn’t mean you should use as many as possible on your blog. In fact you should do just the opposite. You should use as less plugins as possible on your blog.
I usually see plugins added for the sake of adding “so-called” cool features on blogs. They don’t add value or functionality but bloggers still add those plugins for the sake of showing off. Or for the sake of adding some visual gimmicks.
Usually those kind of plugins take up a lot of resources and hit the speed of your website. You should stay away from installing any plugin that only adds magical value to your website.
A plugin should add real value or it should help you achieve something that is crucial for the purpose of your blog – for instance, if a plugin helps collecting email address in a cute way or if it helps converting your readers into subscribers, you should absolutely use it.
Using a lot of unnecessary plugins will hit the performance of your blog. You not only ruin the user experience but your site will also get a bad impression from search engines like Google that value website speed a lot these days (search engines, in turn, look to provide a great user experience to their customers).
Remove those useless blog posts
Content is the base of any website. Content marketing is becoming crucial for every online business, by the minute. Content creation should be an entrepreneur’s top priority task. If you are running an online business, you should not take content creation lightly.
You should also regularly audit your site’s content regularly. Do you think it is OK to have a handful of low quality blog posts in your site?
I recently hear certain bloggers say this: I am creating high quality blog posts now. Yes, the content on my blog that is one year old is out dated and mediocre. But that’s OK because I am now creating high quality content.
Well, OK – let’s think about it. You are now creating high quality content on your blog, so your blog is gaining authority and is also getting good search engine traffic.
Let’s say 100 people land on one of your “mediocre” blog posts from a search result. Given the current authority of your blog, what will be the impression created by that mediocre blog post of yours? Do you think those people will still come back to your website?
Remove those annoying pop-ups
I am not against popups! In fact, I use popup on my main site probloggingsuccess.com. But here I am talking about “annoying” popups.
First of all, it is important to realise not all popups are annoying. In fact many big bloggers find that popups work for them and they use popups on their sites. So just please don’t come to the conclusion that all popups are bad and that you should stay away from them.
Now, as I’ve made that point clear there are certain good ways to display/use popups.
- If the popup takes up the complete screen and makes it unable to click the “close” or “quit” button – that’s annoying.
- If the popup loads on every screen load that is quite annoying, right? Will you stay on such a site that bombards you on your face for every page load?
- If the popup makes it hard to exit the site – that’s quite annoying. You know what I am talking about, right? You click on the “X” button and you get a popup asking you to stay to get a “discount”. Then you click “Cancel” and then you get another popup that asks you to stay for yet another discount
– and this goes on and on.
The point I am trying to make here is this – use popup if you have to, but make sure it is not annoying your visitors.
Remove those valueless badges
This craze is still among bloggers, especially newbie bloggers! They add numerous badges to their sidebar hoping that this would lift their authority. In fact, just the opposite happens.
Whenever I land on a website that has those “low-level” adventurous badges it gives a bad impression about the blogger.
First of all it clearly shows that you are new and amateur. This is a big hindrance to your business. I am not telling that you should “hide” your newbie status and should pretend as if in business for years.
But you should display seriousness and professionalism on your website. Displaying childish badges ruins that.
Over to you…
Do check your website to see if you have any useless pointless stuff on your website that could be removed, so your site’s quality can be lifted up.
Before you leave to check your site, leave a comment on this post letting me know what kind of unnecessary stuff you have on your blog – so we can learn!