My first website was an online store that was built for me by web developers. I knew nothing about working online or even how to add new content to my website. It took a long time for me to get my head around all the things that I needed to learn. This website was my second website that I built all on my own through Wealthy Affiliate and it is through this process that I started learning what steps need to be taken once your website is up.
***Disclosure -The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.***
If you have bought your own domain you can set your WordPress website up through your hosting quite easily and choose your theme. If you set up your website through Wealthy Affiliate like I have done for a number of my websites your hosting is included for free. All you have to do is buy your domain through Wealthy Affiliate and with the click of a button your website will be built – well the bare shell of your website anyway.
From that point onwards you need to do certain things before you can getting into the writing part of blogging.Here is my personal checklist of things that I do as soon as I have set up a new website:
Domain Email Address
One of the first things I do is set up a domain specific email address. So this would be firstname.lastname@example.org so that your readers can contact you at a professional looking email address. This can be set up through your hosting company, or if you are with Wealthy Affiliate you can set up as many email addresses as you like quickly and easily from within the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
Watch my training video at Wealthy Affiliate showing you how to set up your own domain specific email address.
Add A Gravatar
The next thing you need to do for your email address is to create a gravatar for your new email address. This is how you add an image to your email address. This is what will show up online when you comment on other people’s websites and reply to comments on your own websites.
It is so much more personal and will create a better connection and trust between yourself and your readers.
Watch my training video at Wealthy Affiliate showing you how to add a profile image to your email address using Gravatar.
Add A New User
When you create your website the default user that you are logged in as is “admin”. All posts you publish and all comments that you add will be shown as created by “admin”.
Create a new user account on your website using your new email address that you have just set up. Make sure to always log in as yourself and not as admin.
Watch my training video at Wealthy Affiliate showing you how to add a new user account to to your website.
SSL means that you have a security certificate on your website which means if anyone enters confidential information such as credit card details to your website the data gets encrypted and protected making it harder for hackers to steal credit card details off your website.
If you have an online store this is a must, but even if you just have a blog it is a good idea to ensure that you have SSL. The reason for this is that if you don’t have SSL anyone that comes to your website could be warned that your website is unsafe and they won’t trust you.
Websites that start with http do not have SSL and websites that have https do have SSL activated. A little green padlock will show up next to the website address for websites that have an SSL certificate properly installed.
You can get SSL from your hosting company. If you are a Premium member of Wealthy Affiliate SSL certificates are included free for all your own domains hosted at Wealthy Affiliate which will save you a fortune for paying yearly elsewhere.
It is important to get your SSL organized as soon as possible since a lot of the following steps will require you to enter your domain name including http or https. If you don’t do your SSL first you will at some stage need to redo some of these steps. In addition to that once you have content on your website it can get trickier to properly configure your SSL certificate.
So save yourself the hassle and do it as soon as possible!
Watch training by Marion Black at Wealthy Affiliate showing you how to activate your SSL certificate.
Google Analytics is where you find all the information for your website traffic. You will be able to see what your traffic sources are (social media, organic or direct traffic), what countries your traffic is coming from, what language your visitors speak, how long your visitors spend on your website, what content your visitors look at and much more.
You will need to add your website to Google Analytics and verify your website in order to start tracking your traffic information.
While you probably won’t have much traffic for a while after first setting up your website it is nice to be able to look back in a few months to see how your website traffic has grown.
In addition to that the next step, setting up Google Search Console, is easiest to verify through your Google Analytics.
Watch the training video I created at Wealthy Affiliate showing you how to set up and verify your website on Google Analytics.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a service offered by Google for your to monitor and maintain your website’s presence on Google. You will be able to access more detailed information regarding your search traffic than you will find on Google Analytics since GA does not provide all the search terms that your visitors are using to find you.
You will also be able to monitor how Google sees your website and whether there are any errors on your website such as broken links.
The first thing you need to do is add your website to Google Search Console and verify your website. There are a number of ways to do this – as mentioned in the section above the easiest is using Google Analytics.
Once your website has been verified the next thing you need to do is add your sitemap to Google Search Console – this will help Google to see how your site is set up and help to index your content faster.
Watch the training video I published at Wealthy Affiliate showing you how to set up and verify your website on Google Search Console, as well as submit your sitemap.
Social Media Share Buttons
Do you see the little social media buttons at the end of my posts? Those are really nifty and make it so easy for your readers to share your content socially. It is important to make it as easy as possible for your readers to share your content.
Setting up social media buttons it relatively quick and easy. I’ve got Social Media Feather on this website. Check out this training tutorial by Loes at Wealthy Affiliate showing you step by step how to add Social Media Feather to your website and how to set it all up.
All websites should now be GDPR compliant – these are new laws instituted by the European Union on 25 May 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation law helps to protect their data and privacy.
You can read in more detail about the GDPR on this blog post written by Kyle, the co-owner of Wealthy Affiliate.
Watch this training video by Marion Black showing you how to install and set up the WP GDPR Compliance plugin.
Your privacy page is a legal requirement and now with the new laws it is more important than ever to ensure you have a properly set up privacy page.
You can watch this training video by Marion Black showing you how to set up your GDPR Compliant Privacy Page – it is also important to note that as a member of Wealthy Affiliate you get a Privacy Page template provided to you which is pretty awesome.
About Me Page
Your About Me page is really important too, simply because your readers will want to know more about you. Your About Me page is an excellent way to build more trust with your readers and a personal connection.
If you are going to be doing affiliate marketing you need to disclose this on your website for your readers. I have a disclosure page, as well as a widget in my sidebar letting my readers know that some of my links are affiliate links and I now also add a disclosure at the beginning of each post letting my readers know whether the post has affiliate links or if it is a sponsored post.
It is important for your blog to be transparent. There are also certain rules that apply to each affiliate program you are with so be sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements for each affiliate program you are a part of to ensure that your account is in good standing with them.
Check out this training tutorial published by Loes on Affiliate Disclosures.
Email Subscribe Forms
Email marketing is amazing and it is important to start collecting subscribers as soon as you possibly can. Remember that every person that visits your website today may never come back tomorrow. However that visitor subscribes to your newsletter you can bring that person back any time you like by sending out a newsletter.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to start building your list as soon as possible. You don’t need to have your email marketing plan in place yet, but add a subscribe form and start collecting subscribers for the day you are ready.
I love to use SendPulse – I’ve tried a few email autoresponders over the years and I like SendPulse best. Check out my Sendpulse Review for more information. They have a free account up to a certain amount of subscribers and emails sent out which is very useful for new bloggers.
Here’s a training video I created showing you how to add a popup subscribe form using SendPulse.
I love push notifications with a passion. Ok wait let me rephrase – I actually detest these things. I never subscribe to anyone else’s push notification however I have found great success with subscribers on my own websites.
Once you have set up your push notifications on your website it is so quick and easy to manage them, plus I have found that my click through rate for push notifications is so much better than email.
Push notifications is completely free with SendPulse!
Watch this training video I published at Wealthy Affiliate showing you how to set up push notifications using SendPulse.