5 Things you should remove from your website right now

5 Things you should remove from your website right now

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.

So can your website be dirty? Can it be ugly? Can it contain stuff that could confuse your visitors?

Can your website be plain useless (and you still hope you are in business)?

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.

By the way, on creating great content for your blog check out this course!

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

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 other site savvybloggingtips.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!

About the Author

I'm Jane, the owner of Best Hosting And Design, where I help bloggers and website owners to create and maintain their websites. Check out the services I offer here so you can make use of them. For cutting-edge business tips, please head over to Jane Sheeba.

Leave a Reply 23 comments

Reginald Chan - August 25, 2014 Reply

Hi Jane,

Great write dear friend! For me, I got to agree with the plugin. Have over 20+ now just because I’m freaking lazy to get it done 🙂 You know, clean up and stuffs.

Another one is pop up. I use them (seriously) but just avoid having them popping up immediately. Do it with a slight delay and that should work just fine.

Thanks for sharing!

    Jane - August 26, 2014 Reply

    Yup laziness leads to a lot of plugins lol 🙂 Time to clean up 🙂

Jenny Lanctot - August 26, 2014 Reply

Aside from taking over a minute for your blog to load (thank you Disqus and other plug-ins), I agree with most of what you’ve said here.

However, I must disagree with deleting old posts just because they’re old. Instead, use them. Create new content by writing updates for the old posts, linking between the two (update the old post with a new link), thereby creating new content with only half the effort. This sends a message to your readers and customers that you (1) have been around long enough to know that things change; and (2) that you are aware of the changes that have come along.

    Jane - August 26, 2014 Reply

    I am using the least of plugins at this blog when compared to other blogs 🙂 And yes, Disqus slows down loading of comment section alone – not the entire page.

    Thanks Jenny for your insights!

Amy Hagerup - August 26, 2014 Reply

I recently got rid of a lot of my plugins. I need to eliminate some of the badges now. Thanks, Jane.

Harleena Singh - August 26, 2014 Reply

Hi Jane,

You are SO right about all that you wrote. 🙂

It’s a great reminder for me to reduce my plugins too, which were few but with the addition of the new forum, I’ve had to add a couple of more, but I guess one can reduce a wee bit. Yes, the speed or load time is affected, though I keep a regular check on that too.

Widgets on the sidebar, as you mentioned, should be the barest minimum, and I just don’t like those pop-ups too! So annoying, especially when you can’t find the close button!

I still need to work on my old posts or remove them, as you said, though I wanted to keep a few, just for memory sake and as a reminder of the time when I started off 🙂

Thanks for sharing these tips with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    Jane - August 26, 2014 Reply

    You are welcome Harleena. It is easy to get caught in the circle of adding plugins. Every time we introduce something new on our website or a new feature addition we end up adding an additional plugin for that!

    Have a great week you too 🙂 Thanks for stoping by!

Raspal Seni - August 26, 2014 Reply

Hi Jane,

The first widget that should be removed as soon as you install WordPress is the META widget. There are other widgets people use and aren’t ready to remove them even though they do no good. Like the Facebook widget. Such widgets also slow down your blog/website.

On my blog, there are less than 10 plugins, on my writer website, they are 12. Cutting the number of plugins certainly increases site speed. I’m also using a theme which has built-in functionalities of a few important plugins.

And oh, speaking of Disqus, I really don’t like it. I never log into it to comment at any other blog. I did here because of you. Do you have a post on PBS or somewhere talking about why you use this disgusting Disqus?

There was a time, I used to add all kinds of widgets and plugins to my blogs. Not anymore. I still play with plugins, but on one of my test blogs. I don’t have any unnecessary stuff on my blogs anymore (other than maybe on my abandoned blogs which I may sell soon)

Thanks for the reminder. Will still go through my blogs again later tonight.

    Jane - August 26, 2014 Reply

    Haha 🙂 The META widget! Sure. I too didn’t like Disqus before. And yes, I have written a post at Problogging Success that talks about why I use Disqus – the post goes live tomorrow 🙂

Luana Spinetti - August 26, 2014 Reply

Loved the post, Jane!

I always remove plugins and widgets I don’t
use. They only take up space, server resources and reader’s attention
that’s a waste on all fronts.

But I don’t like deleting old
posts— I prefer to audit, edit and update them to give them a new
life. 🙂 They’re not just pieces of my online history, they were also
useful to people one day, so all they need is a good update.

Badges
are only good when they have a purpose; some are for showoff only and
they take up a lot of bandwidth for nothing. I like community badges,
though, because they help visitors find resources they wouldn’t
otherwise know.

~ Luana

    Jane - August 26, 2014 Reply

    Yup deleting old posts seems to be a no-no to many bloggers (that’s what I draw from the comments. I did delete a lot of my old mediocre posts and I edited, updated, added new info and republished some of them.

    Community badges are good, you are right about that – provided, they are badges that show your presence in great, good quality communities.

Nirmala Santhakumar - August 27, 2014 Reply

This is really a nice post Jane, every blogger should read the information shared here!

Recently, I’ve learned the same from Adam’s blog. So, I’m focusing to remove useless elements from my blog to enhance user readability. Thanks for sharing this good post, keep writing the blogging stuffs.

Ravi Chahar - August 27, 2014 Reply

Hi Jane,

All the bloggers try to maintain their website. They try to make it clean and easy to use.
You are right bloggers must remove the default widgets provided by the Theme. They should place their own widgets.

Footer should have some specific stuff to have a look.
You have mentioned some great things to do.

Have a nice week.:)

~Ravi

Sue Bride - September 8, 2014 Reply

I’m an offender when it comes to plugins because I like to try them out. I do occasionally have a purge and get rid of some though. I recently removed a whole lot of banner ads from my sidebar because they didn’t look good and didn’t bring results.

Some people advocate not using Jetpack because of its too resource heavy. What do you think?

Dr. Diana Hardy - September 28, 2014 Reply

Hello Jane,

I am fan of your writings. Useless widgets should be remove from blogs. They increase the loading time. You are fantastic blogger. Waiting for more articles..

Thanks
Dr. Diana

Julie Kalungi - November 3, 2014 Reply

I absolutely loath pop ups, BUT they have been proven to boost optins when used correctly so what does one do? To remove or to leave some decisions decisions.

Some badges are good, build trust fast, for instance the SSL badge is great fr a website. Other than that I totally agree with this post. Thanks Jane.

Raymond - May 20, 2015 Reply

It’s a great reminder for me to reduce my plugins too, which were few but with the addition of the new forum, I’ve had to add a couple of more, but I guess one can reduce a wee bit. Yes, the speed or load time is affected, though I keep a regular check on that too.

Shawn - June 4, 2015 Reply

I still need to work on my old posts or remove them, as you said, though I wanted to keep a few, just for memory sake and as a reminder of the time when I started off 🙂

    Jane Sheeba - June 13, 2015 Reply

    Good luck with that Shawn. You might also want to update those old posts so you can improve their quality (as well as do some SEO) and keep them for memory sake 🙂

    Thanks for commenting!

Howard Koor - September 27, 2016 Reply

Good article! And some helpful reader comments. My general theme is the more it helps my visitors the better.

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