It is in the nature of websites to grow. Like a garden in bloom, they can sprout pages and links to attract many a visitor.
However, if websites are not tended to carefully, they can grow out of control and become unruly. You can end up with too many posts, enough pages to get lost in, an unwieldy menu and before you know it your site has become an incoherent mess!
Prune Your Website
Let’s avoid this shall we? I want to help you get your website back under control. I’ve written the following suggestions so you can start the process of pruning your website back into the beautiful garden it was always meant to be. Use the following concepts to help slim your site down.
Trim: One of the first interactions people will have with your site is your menu. It is the visual structure of your website. For that reason, it’s important to keep it focused and coherent.
Pinch: I would suggest not having more than one sublevel. If you think you can’t accommodate all of your pages, well, for starters you probably have too many of them. And don’t forget that you have more navigational options between pages than just your menu.
Order: An ideal website begins with the Home page and ends with the Contact page. Everything in between needs to flow.
Relevance: Keep the items basic and on topic. Less is definitely more.
Optimize: Review your website. Comb through each page looking for ones that don’t belong on your menu any more. Link to them on related pages so that search engines can still find them. You will end up with a collection of pages that strengthen each other, instead of weakening your site.
Update: Throughout your pruning process, you will find pages that need to be updated. This includes ones that you discover don’t even belong on your website. Redirect the URl to an article so as to to preserve any traffic and avoid having the page interfere with the structure of your site.
Taxonomies: In WordPress, you can divide your posts and pages into categories and tags. In my opinion, the taxonomy of your site should not exceed that of 10 categories. Before you create a new tag, ask yourself if you will use it again. Keep your site and site structure focused.
Change Isn’t Easy
Altering the structure of your site is not a venture to be undertaken lightly. It’s a serious effort that will take a lot of hard work. That being said, there are several things you can do to increase your level of satisfaction with the upcoming task.
I suggest creating a flow diagram of your website. This will make the changes easier to visualize. Begin with an ideal site structure, then slowly begin to add pages and items to it. Remove and redirect pages that no longer belong. Rethink your categories and tags. If you have an XML sitemap, don’t forget to submit it to Google Webmaster Tools.
I look forward to hearing about your efforts in restructuring your site. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or suggestions.