10 Things to do After Launching Your WordPress Website

Whoooohooooo! You new website has launched. Congratulations, high-fives, and virtual hugs! But before you start using it to reach your goals, there are 10 things to do after launching your WordPress website to set yourself up for success.

Considering I do this everyday and know this stuff inside-out, upside-down, and backwards, I’d absolutely recommend getting on a maintenance plan with your developer or another provider so it’s being looked after by a professional. This will prevent your website from being hacked, getting a virus, or having a software or plugin update destroy it, and ensure that most (or all) of the below points are covered as well. If that’s not in your budget, here are the 10 must-do items:

1. Make sure you have backups scheduled

Keeping a recent backup of your website is one of the most important things you can do for your business. UpdraftPlus Premium allows you to create and schedule off-site backups once and you’re all set. It’s super easy to use, and allows one-click restore for your site in the event something breaks (see this post for instructions on how to use UpdraftPlus Premium). Also worth noting is that SiteGround includes daily backups in their hosting plans…. because you can never have your site backed up in too many places.

2. Improve the security of your website

There are a lot of awful things that can happen to a WordPress site – hacker attacks, malware, viruses, etc. Protect your website from all that with iThemes Security Pro. Once you’ve installed the plugin, click on Security in the left side menu. Go through each module and enable and configure the settings – stick to the recommended defaults unless you’ve been told otherwise by your web developer.

Note: If you find that hackers are attempting to log into your site with your username, you can enable and configure the Hide Backend module to change the URL of your WordPress login page.

3. Integrate Google Analytics

Google Analytics tracks website visitor activities + helps you understand what is and isn’t working (see this post for instructions on how to add Google Analytics to your website).

You’ll also want to verify that your website is visible to search engines. By default, this happens automatically during the WordPress install, but it doesn’t hurt to check. Go to Settings, Reading, then look for Search Engine Visibility and make sure that the checkbox labeled “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is unchecked.

4. Integrate Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool that can help you can understand and improve how Google sees your website. It enables you to see things like how often your site appears in Google Search, which search queries show your website, how often searchers click through for those queries; which websites link to your website; ensure your website is mobile friendly; and much more (see this post for instructions on how to add your website to Google Search Console).

5. Improve page load speeds with caching

Page load speed is essential to keeping your visitors on your website. Studies show that if a page takes more than a few seconds to load, people will go elsewhere. A caching plugin reduces page load times by storing the pages on your server and serving up a lighter, faster version of the page to your website visitors. Without a caching plugin, each time a page is accessed, the content is generated with a lot happening in the background like multiple database queries and code executions, which increases your page load speed. SuperCacher is included free with SiteGround’s GrowBig and GoGeek hosting plans. If you’re not using SiteGround, another good option is the W3 Total Cache plugin.

6. Ensure you’re using a secure password

Never, ever use “admin” for your username, and ensure that you have a very secure password. Hackers use scripts to go through hundreds of thousands of passwords and try their luck with each one in hopes of breaking into your website. Use 1Password to create and store your secure passwords.

7. Update your website’s basic information

Customize your site’s title, tagline, and time zone, by going to Settings, General. You can also change your permalink structure (if your website developer hasn’t already) by going to Settings, Permalinks. You’ll want to set it to “post name” so it’s user-friendly and describes the content of each individual page.

8. Update your favicon

If your website developer hasn’t done it already, you’ll want to update your website favicon – the icon that shows in the top left of a tab when you’re on a website. If you’re using the Beaver Builder Theme, you’ll go to Appearance, Customize, then scroll down to Settings, then click Site Identity to upload a custom site icon (favicon). If you’re using another theme, simply do a Google search for “how to update favicon on {insert-your-theme-name-here} theme.

9. Check the image and description that show when you share your website

You can use Facebook’s Debugger tool to see what displays when you share your website page(s) and update it if it’s incorrect (see this post for instructions on how to see what displays + how to fix it).

10. Improve your search engine results

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be tricky to figure out, but Yoast SEO is easy to use and provides useful on-page tips to improve your search engine results. If you haven’t already, install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. You’ll then see the Yoast SEO section at the bottom of any page or post when you go to make edits or create a new page/post.

In the Yoast SEO section you’ll be able to enter a Focus keyphrase (something that people would search for) that will help search engines find your content, along with a meta description that tells the search engines what your content is about. If you open the SEO Analysis section (directly below the Focus keyphrase and snippet preview), Yoast will give you an overview of any problems, improvements you can make, and also detail you what you’ve done right in the “Good results” section.

I only recommend products and services I personally use in my own business and/or those I fully trust to provide you with exceptional service and quality. Some links may be affiliate links, which means that if you purchase or sign up for service through my link, I may receive a small commission for referring you – which my boys appreciate, because that means mom might get them a new nerf gun 😉

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