After you’ve blogged for awhile, you realize there’s more to blogging than just writing.
There’s behind the scenes maintenance; a task some of us would rather forget about.
Over the past few weeks, I learned two great lessons.
- If my blogs load slow, chances are, I haven’t done my homework.
- If I don’t empty out my spam folder, I may be in violation of the terms of service for my web host.
When I first noticed my blogs were loading slow, I blamed it on my old computer. Then I thought it was Firefox. But after I tested my blog speed on WebSiteOptimization.com and YSlow (a Firefox addon), I found
- I had too many images on my home page.
- I had images which were not compressed.
- I wasn’t utilizing my caching plugin to it’s fullest potential
To correct the above problems,
- I removed a few of the images from my home page.
- I installed the “Smush It” plugin – which compresses photos.
- I chose more options for the WP Super Cache plugin.
- I also made a note to myself: when I make changes to my blogs, test the blog page loading time.
With regard to my second problem, my web host (BlueHost) sent me an email stating my account had been deactivated. They requested a call from me to discuss the problem(s). When I called them, they stated I had “inappropriate” content in my spam comments folder and I was in violation of their terms of service, which reads, in part:
Prohibited Offerings. No Subscriber may utilize the Services to provide, sell or offer to sell the following: controlled substances; illegal drugs and drug contraband; weapons; pirated materials; instructions on making, assembling or obtaining illegal goods or weapons to attack others; information used to violate the copyright(s) of, violate the trademark(s) of or to destroy others’ intellectual property or information; information used to illegally harm any people or animals; pornography, nudity, sexual products, programs or services; escort services or other content deemed adult related.
Profanity. Profanity or profane subject matter in the site content and in the domain name are prohibited.
Because I wasn’t able to access the back side of my blog (dashboard), the technician (patiently) gave me instructions on how to delete the spam comments via my cPanel. When I was done, I was instructed to call them back, which I did and they immediately reactivated my blogs.
This problem taught me two lessons:
- Read the terms of service for your webhost
- Empty your spam folder(s) on a regular basis
In order to avoid having the same problem in the future, I
- Installed the G.A.S.P. plugin which verifies those who comment are not spammers or spambots, thus reducing spam.
- Delete any spam comments which do come through.
As much as we’d rather spend our blogging time writing or commenting, in order for our blogs to run smoothly, regular maintenance needs to be performed, too.
What say you?
How often do you do maintenance to your blog(s)?
When’s the last time you tested your blog’s loading time?
Care to share?
P.S. All of my blogs have been hosted with BlueHost* since March 2007. The problem I had resulted from me not reading their terms of service and not deleting the inappropriate spam comments.