Okay, so you’re excited. You’ve just launched your sparkling new WordPress driven website on the Internet. You have spent a great amount of time choosing the prefect, flat, load like lightening theme, added a set of cool and so very useful plugins, and awesome content. Terrific.
Tips for Brand New WordPress Website
But, there is a niggling sense of having forgotten something. In the tearing hurry to get the website ready for prime time there maybe some small but pertinent details you’ve forgotten about.
Here is my brand new WordPress site checklist, of things you absolutely must take care of with a brand new WP website.
Let’s kick off with what must be done in the WordPress Settings Menu.
Setting The Site Title And Site Tagline
Here is how to change your site title in wordpress and. Log in to your WordPress Admin Dashboard as usual, then hover your mouse cursor on the left hand side menu item Settings.
NOTE: To change your site tagline in wordpress please follow the same steps.
Check and ensure that under Settings General that the Site Title and Tagline fields are filled out with the exact information you want displayed on your WP site as its Site Title and Tagline.
Nothing indicates your WordPress website is built by a novice like seeing the Tagline Just Another WordPress Site appear as the Browser title or worse in search engine result pages.
Setting The Correct Timezone and Date/Time Format
Check that the correct Timezone and Date/Time formats have been set. It’s really sad to notice a beautifully scripted Blog post with a wrong date and time being shown on your WordPress driven website.
85% of WordPress driven web sites do not use the WordPress commenting capabilities. Hence make sure that visit the Discussion page check that the settings there reflect exactly what you want for your WordPress driven website.
WordPress creates and uses some pretty strange looking URLs with which it identifies all the Posts and Pages created on the website. These URLs use question marks and numbers and so on and are definitely not human friendly.
The Permalink setting empowers you to use and display human friendly URLs. Truthfully, almost any other setting other than the default setting should do just fine.
Don’t Forget SEO Techniques For WordPress Pages Or Posts
WordPress, like all CMS has a specific weakness when delivering Keywords, Description, and a few other key webpage attribute values that search engines require. This is because CMS use a single template (or a small group of templates) to deliver all pages and posts associated with the website.
Since these attributes are always delivered within the <head></head> section of the template it’s obvious that a unique set of keywords, descriptions (and more) for individual pages or post on the website just cannot be delivered using single template or theme technique of a CMS.
Hence, (just like any other CMS) WordPress encourages the use of seo plugins for wordpress, which ensures that while a single template is used to display page and post content, a unique set of keywords, Descriptions (and more) can be delivered for each web page or post via the plugin.
An SEO plugin used with WordPress exposes the Title, Keywords, Description, Blog post Tags (and more) for each page or post within the WordPress editor itself.
Hence, when the page or post content is stored in the WordPress database, along with its content, a unique Title, set of Keywords, Description, set of Tags and so on are bound to the web page or post and stored in the WordPress database as well.
When the page or post is being displayed in a site visitors Browser, the plugin ensures that the Title, unique set of Keywords, Description, Tags are appropriately, and dynamically, inserted within the <head></head> of the WordPress template.
Additionally, if your site has any particular content that you don’t want indexed, SEO plugins can help with that as well.
Google Analytics and Google Web Master Tools
If you’ve not done so yet, please sign up your website for both Google Analytics and Google Web Master tools. These free to use, tools are essential for learning just how well your website SEO efforts are doing.
Have An Emergency Plan In Place
You could lose your website anytime. Hackers can deface it, the web host can crash for one reason or another corrupting your website files, whatever the reason, you can suddenly find yourself starting all over again without a useable website.
Hence, be proactive. Have a regular backup plan in place. Back up the WordPress website database regularly and completely.
There are a lot of great plugins available some free, (some paid for but modestly priced) that will help you backup your database. Some plugins allow you to schedule backups to a 3rd party cloud service. Just do not rely solely on your web host to take care of this.
Having your own ability to restore your site database in the event of serious crash and burn of your website is absolutely priceless.
Using your cPanel Setup FTP for your WordPress site and at regular intervals do a complete backup of all the WordPress related folders and files. Backing up your /wp-content/ folder is especially important as this folder contains all the assets of your website, such as plugins used, images and/or videos uploaded, the WordPress theme and other crucial website data.
Secure Your Website
While the WordPress core has really pretty much secure, and the WordPress core developers really do a great job of patching security holes as they are identified, all too often it’s the plugins used that make a WordPress driven website vulnerable. Hence, do not ignore WordPress security altogether.
Today there are some awesome WordPress related, security plugins, available for use. The use of these plugin make it harder to hack into and deface (or worse) your website. Look out for plugins that will lock out a user after a number of failed login attempts. This seriously slows down the bots that attempt to brute-force their way into your website Admin section and from there take over your website.
The sad thing is that these attacks will happen. It’s only a matter of time. The good news is that you can help protect your site from them. And, don’t forget, use really complicated Admin passwords, a minimum 12 characters in length with a mix of Upper and Lower case characters, numbers and special symbols. Such passwords make a bot’s life miserable and definitely protect your WordPress driven website.
Use a Child Theme
A child theme normally resides in a separate folder within the /wp-content/themes/ directory. Think of it as a sort-of extension of the parent theme currently active on your website. Child themes are used to customize the look / feel and functionality of a website.
The benefit of having a child theme is that when theme developers release updates (much like plugins are updated), the child theme ensures that you will not lose any customization you made to your active WordPress theme when these updates are made.
Depending upon your technical (coding) capability levels, a child theme can be pretty easy to setup. If you’ve hired a web designer/developer to create your site, then ask them if you should be using one.
At the time of launching your brand new WordPress driven website if you’ve taken care of all the above (none really are optional) your website will be up and running smoothly and safely for a long time.
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