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10 Plugins to Help Spring Clean Your WordPress Blog

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Just like servicing a car, or giving your house a spring clean, WordPress really benefits from a good once-over every now and again to keep it running fast and efficiently. This post rounds up 10 useful plugins that will really help service and maintain your WordPress blog.

Updating the WordPress core, updating plugins and changing your password are all routine tasks that can be done without the help of a plugin, but if you want to go beyond the basic oil check you’ll need some specialist tools. The plugins featured in this post will help you check, scan and backup various behind-the-scenes aspects of WordPress to keep everything in check.

WP Maintenance Mode

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Whenever you plan to make changes to your WordPress theme or plugins it’s always worth taking down your blog to avoid any unwanted changes or errors going out to the public. The WP Maintenance Mode plugin allows you to easily let your visitors know your site is down while you’re busy working behind the scenes.

WP Security Scan

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Security is crucial for any type of WordPress install. The last thing you want is your blog being exploited or hacked. Repairing the damage and restoring lost content can be time consuming even with the latest backup file, so make sure your install has the right protection. The WP Security Scan plugin checks for vulnerabilities such as file permissions in your website.

WP-DB Manager

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Without regular database backups you’re running a huge risk of one day losing years worth of content from your website. A hacking of your website or even your host’s server can result in a loss of everything, sending you back to square one. Database management plugins such as WP-DB Manager not only allow you to set scheduled backups, but also allow you to service and maintain your database by repairing and optimizing tables.

XCloner Backup and Restore

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Regular database backups are crucially important, but don’t forget to also make complete files backups every now and again. WordPress core files, themes and plugins can be easily restored, but your uploaded files could be lost forever if your server is wiped. The XCloner plugin provides a useful interface to run a complete backup of both WordPress files and database, which can then be restored using the same plugin.

Akismet

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No doubt you’ll already have Akismet up and running, but don’t forget to check for spam and clear out those flagged comments. The comments table in the database can be one of the largest, so flushing out those unwanted spam messages will help save time during those backups by creating smaller database files.

Revision Control

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Post revisions can really bloat a WordPress database, so limiting the number of revisions or clearing out old drafts is important to keep your database files lean. The Revision Control plugins gives you options to set global limits on post and page revisions, as well as buttons to delete old revisions on a per-post basis.

Broken Link Checker

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As the content on the web changes you can often find your old posts linking to pages that are no longer available. The Broken Link Checker is a handy plugin that simply checks for broken links and lets you know if any are found. What’s great about this plugin is not only does it check your posts and pages for dead links, but it also checks within comments and looks for missing images.

Clean Options

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When you install a plugin or theme it sometimes saves its options in your database. Well-developed plugins will clean up after themselves, but others leave behind orphaned options that do nothing but clog up your DB files. Clean Options is a handy plugin that checks and allows the removal of options that are no longer in use.

User Role Editor

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For multi-author blogs or sites that make use of the WordPress users functions it can be difficult to keep track of who has access to what. The User Role Editor builds on top of the default role options, allowing you to quickly tailor each role to your exact specification.

ManageWP

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If you run a network of your own sites, or manage WordPress installs on behalf of your clients performing these maintenance tasks on each blog can be very repetitive. The ManageWP plugin acts as a central hub where you can remotely manage your WordPress sites from one dashboard.

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Written by Chris Spooner

Chris Spooner is a designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques collating creative website designs. Check out Chris' design tutorials and articles at Blog.SpoonGraphics or follow his daily findings on Twitter.

  • http://weekytips.com shorit

    i love this post ! Among ten my blog activated only 2 i guess i need to fill up some more interesting plug which i learn from here

    • http://www.wpfix.org Wpfix

      Nice article Chris.

      We also use wp security scan and wp broken link check on our monthly maintenance services.

  • http://kreativeko.com Menj

    very helpful article :) thanks for sharing Chris..

    I like the xclone plugin :)

  • http://ww.dd.com dd

    ManageWP is awesome! Thank you Chris for this great post!

  • http://www.designbyarm.com Designbyarm

    Awesome list Nice work again spooner :D

  • http://www.trophyandprint.com Trophies and Medals

    Thanks for this list. The Manage WP is especially useful for us.

  • http://typenights.com Rednights

    Thanks for the list. Installed the revision plugin. The Clean Options wasn't as practical as I had hoped it to be.

  • http://bestfamilycampingtent.org halinu

    I love this post, very helpful info for newcomer like me.

    Thanks

  • http://fastsitebuy.com Marc

    Thanks for the links. On a related note, I'd love to know how you formatted those screenshots to look the way they do. Looks like there's a tiny bit of a bulge? I'll have to play around.

    • http://www.filmpunch.org O’Ryan McEntire

      I think it's just a very light and gradual vignette

  • http://www.deluxeblogtips.com Rilwis

    It's a big mistake if we miss the WP-Cleanfix plugin. I used some of the plugins below, but when I found WP-Cleanfix, I switched immediately. Very nice and worth to try.

  • http://www.studiorepublic.com/ Tom

    Some cool plugins here. Some I didn't know about. Definitely a good idea to regularly check to make sure everything still works on the Blog. Especially for broken links.

  • http://olivetreesolutions.com Stacy

    Thanks for the useful list. I already use several of these.

    I haven't been able to get XCloner to work the way I think it should. I like ManageWP, but it's a little expensive for where I am right now. Have you ever tried WPTwin? Any thoughts?

  • http://www.site-sazan.com طراحی سایت

    The list is so useful. Short and simple overviews of all useful pluggings out there.

  • http://www.paulund.co.uk Paul

    Thanks for this Chris it's good time to for me to do some maintenance so this is really useful.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.blddesigns.com/ Traci

    Wow -great list – thanks for the blog!

  • http://www.photogaz.com Gareth

    Nice bit of advice.

  • http://BestBlogHost.net Best Blog Host

    I use WP-DB Manager. Wouldn't be without that one. I can schedule full or partial database backups and have them emailed to me. No messing around with logging into cPanel to do MyphpAdmin exports.

    Haven't tried Clean Options, but it looks like a good one. Right now I use WP-DB Manager to see what tables were left behind after I delete a plugin. lol

  • http://kilobytes.in Bhavik Shah

    ManageWp and User Editor are superb plugins..thanks for the info buddy..

  • http://irie-design.fr dready

    I foudn this so interesting i just made an article (in french) from it : http://tinyurl.com/clr9xkh
    Please don't be mad at me :D
    Thanks a lot for your priceless tricks!

  • http://welldoneshopping.co.uk/ Online Shopping in UK

    I am very happy to read this. I work a lot with online ups and uninterruptible power supply. This is the kind of manual that is to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs similar to uninterruptible power supply. I really do appreciate your sharing this greatest document. Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across, even online ups and uninterruptible power supply, although we were searching for industrial uninterruptible power supply. Actually Great. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  • http://www.likak.ir لیکاک

    thnx this plugins are very useful

  • http://drawne.com Andy Feliciotti

    Thanks for the revision plugin!

  • http://smashinghub.com smashinghub

    Broken Link Checker
    really helps me a lot of track my broken links
    thanks

  • http://www,developyourwebpresence.com Eric Heck

    Very informative. I have dabbled with WordPress, but never went very far with it. Now that I know about these plugins I may need to look into WP again. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

  • http://www.techguywebsolutions.com Tech Guy

    Nic post and great blog. Ive used the majority of these tools/plugins but there are a couple I havent. Clean options and revision control seem helpful. Maybe Ill check them out

  • http://www.cmisoft.in PHP – Ruby on Rails @ CMISOFT

    Very nice post. We also work on customizing WordPress for our clients and these would certainly help us.

  • Richard Borg

    Nice Post. Interesting stuff.
    Here's some advice for effective <a href="http://www.dirkschembri.com/">web design</a> usability
    1. For essential reads check out Usability.gov has a selection of great guidelines in PDF format that can help improve a website for end-user experience.
    2. Usability is about making a website seamless and transparent for the end-user. Helping visitors finding what they are looking for will give good reputation to ones website. And with the ever-growing social networking reputation is the key to success.
    3. Before you launch a website to the general public, test the websites usability for inappropriate design and any bugs which exist.
    4. Carrying out a usability study can be as simple as asking a group of visitors to carry out a specific task and getting their feedback in the form of a questionnaire to improve upon.

  • http://www.thevectorbox.com The Vector Box

    Wow! thank you for sharing great collection, my site should work a treat now.

  • http://www.fairybliss.net Alis

    Great post, thank you for sharing this collection of useful plugins!

  • http://NewfoundlandDesigner.com Justin

    Can somebody please explain to me what is the big deal about Akismet? I mean, I find that there are much easier way to prevent spam on your blog.

    • http://infotrustllc.com Alyssa

      I'd say the number of people that use it, so they can provide more support (seemingly). I personally use other methods, but this is why I could see other people using Askimet.

  • http://sizzlingmagazine.com Kiefer

    i like these, Thanks for the revision plugin!

  • http://www.muktistudios.com/ website development

    Thanks for the revision plugin. Such a inspirable and good post . I am able to get new knowledge while reading this .

  • http://infotrustllc.com Alyssa

    Broken link checker has been one of the greatest finds!

  • http://TOVOdesign.com TOVO

    Chris- thanks for the list. Happy to say I've already got a few of these installed!

  • http://www.brushstrokemedia.co.uk Brushstroke Media

    Great post Chris

    We’ve noticed a huge increase in the number of client’s that are looking for WordPress specifically and so we have obviously had to compile our own list of maintenance tools.

    Revision Control is going on that list today, I’ll drop an email over if I ever find any others. Cheers