Keep a Sharp Hoe

Steps for Garden Tool Care
(and for working online)

The process of caring for a website, much like your garden, starts with having the right tools. And keeping your tools ready, and knowing how to use them is an important part of the process!


Examine Your Tools: Spring is the time to take a look at all your pruning tools to see if you practiced good garden tool care.

It's a good idea to understand what tools you have or need. What tools you have or need and how you use them will say a lot about how well the work you do turns out! Learn your photo editing software to get the best results when using images for your website, be careful cutting and pasting content, and always pay attention to your keyword selections when writing.

Sharpening your Tools: Lock in vice and use a mill file along the edge of the blade toward the shovel's point. Remove burrs on the back side of the blade with sandpaper. 

Practice using your website and the tools you use to create images, content and the make sure to track your results. Sharpening your skills will help you work quickly and effectively. One of my favorite tools for knowing how to create content for the web and social media is Goerge Orwell's Rules for Writing. Check out this great discussion at The Economist.

Cleaning: Start by cleaning the metal parts of your tools. Use a wire brush or wire-steel pad attached to a power drill.

Go through your website and update content, especially any external links you are using. When links lead to 'page not found' or 404 errors, or if external images aren't appearing, it makes your website less appealing and authentic. 

Preserve your Tools: Lightly coat the blade with machine oil. Apply several light coats of linseed oil to the handle if it's made of wood. 

Keeping your tools up to date is almost as important as updating your website. If your software, or your analytics or social widgets are out of date they'll quit working.

Scrub and Scrape Tools: After each use but before putting away cultivators, shovels, and rakes, remove all dirt and debris for the best garden tool care. 

Keep track of what you do. It seems like a pain to track the dates when you create content, but it may be important later when someone depends on it for a purchasing decision. And try to limit the number of versions of images and content! If you aren't careful, you could end up with the same image stored several times, which will lead to confusion about which one is "right".

Organize Tools: Storage is part of good garden tool care. Hang long-handle tools on wall organizers or hooks to keep the tools from colliding or becoming entangled. 

Stay organized. Keep your images, content and forms in folders on your computer in a way that makes sense to you. Being able to find what you're looking for will reduce the amount of time it takes to get things done.... think about it, how many times do you get asked for your logo and then have to spend hours looking for the most recent version!

A large part of what we do for our clients is help them stay organized. With over 100 active clients at any given time, hundreds of folders containing thousands of images and articles, we know the value of staying organized. This helps us, but it really helps you when we can find, modify and act on requests quickly and effectively. It saves you those precious commodities - time and money.

Dave (