Five things to do when you launch a WordPress website

When launching a website its always a good rule to have a checklist in place to help with the overall launch of the site. In this guide, we talk about what to do and not to do when you finally launch your website. So take a journey with us and learn what it means to launch a WordPress website.

Secure your site

Securing your website should be the first thing you want to do. Make sure no one is capitalizing off of the content you created and secure your WordPress installation. Some great plugins for WordPress security are,

WordFence

WordFence Screenshot

WordFence is a great plugin that scans your website for malware it works by scanning all of the directories in your WordPress installation and looking for any security vulnerability. There is a premium version with more advanced features but for someone just starting out, you should be good using the free version. You can view the results right inside of the dashboard and this plugin also claims to make your site faster by enabling caching which is a modern principle almost all sites are using. You can download WordFence here.

Install SSL

Lets Encrypt Banner

Make sure when you launch your website you install an SSL certificate, this also helps build trust with search engines as Google is now rating sites as unsafe if they do not have an SSL certificate. You can get a free whenever you are hosting with Xenon Cloud or you can get a free SSL from Lets Encrypt on the web from sites such as SSL For Free or ZeroSSL or by purchasing one from a respected SSL provider.

Enable Search Engines Access

Building a website and getting search engines to acknowledge it is becoming harder and harder with these tools you can be sure to have success with indexing your website.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO Banner

Yoast SEO is a powerful tool for SEO management you can change meta titles of pages and even the descriptions and see where your site ranks in search engines. We use Yoast SEO to improve our search appearance here at Xenon Cloud. You can download a free version of their plugin here. In this plugin, they have powerful tools to help you maximize your search appearance such as enabling redirects for pages you no longer have or doing keyword research inside of the plugin.

Enabling Indexing in your website

Right inside of your WordPress installation you have set to allow search engines to index the site you want to go to Settings > Reading > Search Engine Visibility and allow search engines to index your site. This is the first step for ensuring you can get indexed by search engines so make sure to enable it.

Gaining Insights

Knowing how people use your website is an absolutely essential thing for maintaining a good website. The good news is there are tools that you can use some for free and some paid that you can learn how visitors are using your website.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a very powerful tool for learning about your visitors you can track almost everything from demographics to the type of device the visitor is using. We use Google Analytics at Xenon Cloud to learn about our visitors to better serve their needs when visiting our sites. You can use Google Analytics for no fee and start learning about your visitors by placing your tracking code on every page of your website or you can use a plugin such as Google Analytics By Monster Insights by downloading it here. Plugins allow you to just copy your code and the plugin will do the work by placing your tracking code on every page of your website.

HotJar Analytics

Hot Jar Screenshot

HotJar Analytics allows you to create heat maps for your visitors and gain insights into where your users are visiting and clicking on your site. Their powerful tools allow you to see exactly where your customers or readers are clicking on the recording of the user session. You can track forms with HotJar and see where users are falling off from filling out your forms this come increasingly useful for quoting and contact forms. There is a free plan that offers 2k page views a day to your website this is perfect for new businesses or new blogs just starting out.

Optimizing Your Site

Setting your site up for success is crucial when optimizing your site the internet and modern principles.

Enable Caching

Every site needs caching in order for the load times to improve and SEO. There are plenty of plugins out there to enable caching on your WordPress website. We use our very own system to cache our site with NGINX and find it works very well but you can use a plugin such as W3 Total Cache.

W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is the worlds most popular plugin for aching WordPress.

W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration. With its CDN integration, you can customize how you want your content served which is a very positive thing about the plugin since CDN’s are the future of content delivery.

Optimize Plugins

Before you install a plugin ask yourself if it is completely necessary. Plugins are like software on a computer the more you have the slower your site will perform. If you do not need a plugin then go ahead and delete it. Some plugins are necessary such as security plugins, caching, SEO and more but when you install them be sure to investigate the computing power they need to consume. If you are running WordPress Hosting with Xenon Cloud you don’t need to worry. We optimize your cloud instance to run in all environments and aspects of your WordPress Hosting.

Delete Trash

Regularly check your trash bins in WordPress to ensure extra space is not being taken up you can define WordPress to delete things earlier than 30 days by making edits to your wp-config.php file by adding the following.

define ('EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 7);

If you want things to delete immediately you can edit your wp-config.php file to include

define ('EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 0);

Getting the word out

Letting your customers know you are open for business online is a crucial part of your website’s success. It gives people the opportunity to see your site and also provide feedback about their experience.

Email Marketing

If you have built a list of customers over the years be sure to input that into your chosen email marketing platform. Then send out an email blast about your new site. This will be sure to get your visitors and allow the customers you serve to get to know your business a little more. By letting customers know you are online now you enable them to find useful information such as your hours of operation and your prices before they come in. We think the best email marketing platform is Mailchimp with their free tier you can start sending out emails on a budget. They offer 12,000 free email sends a month with a max of 2,000 subscribers, this is a very generous amount of free credits to take advantage of it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you want to make sure your site is secure and up to modern standards. With plugins such as Wordfence and the use of Lets Encrypt, you can be sure to secure your website using innovative technology. Without search engine optimization your site is just sitting online. You want to enable search engines access to your site so you can be indexed. Search engines will bring new clients to your business from them searching online. Making sure you are analyzing the data your site is giving you is key to the success of the site. You want to know how people are using your site and with tools such as Google Analytics and HotJar you can be sure to analyze the data you need to. Getting the word out about your site is another facet of making sure your site is successful. By emailing your customers about the launch of your site you can enable customers to gain insight into your business and valuable information.

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