Every so often it’s good to do a blog checkup. Every blogger knows that it’s very important to add new, original and worthwhile content, but do you make sure that your blog’s code is healthy.
Maintain a Healthy Blog
When I say healthy, I mean from the technical aspect of validating the code and checking links. Validating the code may be tricky. On several occasions I’ve used widgets and code from third party sites. Their code might not be the most orthodox of html coding, but it does work. If the code is too offensive (meaning that it causes major display and functional problems with the rest of the site) I remove it. If my blogs display properly in the various web browsers, then I tend to leave the offending code alone.
More important that checking the code is validating the links. I found that I had gotten complacent because I no longer hand-code my sites and now have switched (and am switching) to blogs using WordPress templates. I assume that the template coded correctly so I don’t stop to check it. If the code is incorrect, there’s nothing that I can do about it but change the template.
Is your Blog Sloppy?
Recently I noticed that I had gotten a little sloppy when I discovered that a few of my links didn’t work. The broken links were links that I coded into my blog entries to refer to other websites or blog pages. I was so concerned with adding content on a fairly regular basis that I had forgotten to periodically check the links to make sure the older links were still valid.
To top it off, I had recently changed this domain (www.nojobformom.com) from a static website to a to blog format (I’m in the process of doing the same for my tidbitsandstuff.com website). As a result of this change I had to do quite a few 301 redirects and change some of the linking structure.
New Sitemap Revelation
Once the transformation was completed, I realized I had to add a new sitemap to my Google Webmaster account. Upon creating the site map I found that there were six broken links. I was surprised since this site isn’t very old. How could I have six broken links?
I’m glad that this happened because now, as part of my blog maintenance, I will periodically perform link checks. I found the link checker at www.w3c.org to be very thorough. It not only pointed out the broken links, it offered suggestions on how to handle a few of my redirects and also pointed out that my old RSS feed was outdated.
Keep Your Readers Happy
I know that most bloggers are very much interested in building a steady readership, adding new and good content, making a few dollars and having an attractive blog. To that list, I must remind my fellow bloggers to periodically perform link health checks to validate existing links. Your readers will appreciate it.