Before you walk out on that big stage that is the worldwide internet make sure you complete a few steps to make sure you don’t make your site look unprepared. Preparation is the cure for performance anxiety.
However you don’t need to plan to the point of paralysis. Don’t obsess over every single little thing and let that prevent you from launching your website. Just understand that as time goes by you will get better at blogging so the sooner you get going the better. It’s like learning how to ride a bicycle you’ll learn how to cat walk soon enough just not right away.
FOUR GENERAL TIPS TO REMEMBER:
- When in doubt just GO with it. Not going will guarantee you get no where. Even if you go and you’re not fully prepared you’ll get much further than sitting around waiting for every single thing to be “perfect”. Nothing ever is, ex: Apple had bugs with its new iPhone5 MAPS feature you didn’t see that problem stop the new phone release, did you?
- Improve with revisions. Periodically update your website as time passes. This provides your visitors with an impression that you are keeping up with your blog. This also lessons your load as you can slowly make updates over time. Change is inevitable and the only constant resistance is futile.
- Less is more. Don’t start thinking that you need to utilize every single option and feature of WordPress just because it exists. Focus on your core message more than anything else. Simplicity is excellence.
- Double check and proof read. If you are offering links then make sure they click to the correct URL, test them after you publish your posts and pages for accuracy. Same thing with your text proof read your stuff a few times and use spell check to make sure your 1st grade teacher would be proud of your spelling and grammer.
PRE GO-LIVE CHECKLIST:
- Pre-promote your new website . Use all means to let people know that you are building a brand new website URL coming soon. Don’t give out the website address just yet until it is ready. For now just talk about the content of the site and its purpose. Try to get people interested before you launch.
- Testing. Test every function of your website. Make sure that if people click your contact us page that you are getting the emails from the form. Test that if someone makes a comment on your post that you are notified as the webmaster. Test the social share buttons last because once you tweet it then people will know your website address.
- Invalid URLs. Test what happens when you type an invalid path into your blog. Example YourWebsite.com/InvalidPageName. Your design theme should load a page that basically says something like, “this page doesn’t exist”, etc. The default WordPress template actually displays a search form so the visitor can search for the page they may have been looking for.
- Backup. Make one final backup and save the .zip file so you can know how your site was the day you launched it. Just a good backup to keep, upload it to your Google drive account or put it somewhere safe.
ANALYSIS & ANALYTICS
This plugin is installed by default by Dreamhost and will require you to create a wordpress.com account in order to activate this service. You will want to use this account anyway later to promote your new blog to wordpress.com bloggers. Create the account and follow the steps in the video on how to configure Jetpack for WordPress.com. You’ll get statistics and other useful features for your blog like statistics, subscription, and commenting options.
Was installed and activated earlier in the video I’ll demonstrate what you need to know about this very important website traffic tool. This is the industry standard for website performance reporting so you want to use it to your advantage. In the video I’ll explain the basics you need to know about this tool even though right now there is basically no traffic coming in yet.
Because everything doesn’t always work perfectly. Wordpress is a very stable technology but has it’s own issues that you need to be aware of and prepared to overcome. Here are the most popular issues to expect with WordPress:
- Getting Help. Eventually you may find yourself in a position where it makes more sense to get someone to help you out than it does to try and figure it out on your own. In this case you’ll need to know how to provide access to your site to someone who can help you. See the video for live demonstration.
- Upgrading WordPress. This Free Website Workshop is a real-time live example of what you need to do as I am doing it so as soon as a new WordPress version is released I’ll post a video on this page on how to install the new version. Currently we are using WordPress 3.4.2.
- Site loading too slow? Try to determine if this is happening on all your pages and posts or just one or two. If it is happening on only one or two of your pages look more closely at the content on those pages. Remember large file sizes will take more time to load and display. Second step is to consider the plugins that you have installed if you have added additional plugins other than those in the FWW then this could be the cause. Try disabling the plugins and seeing if you notice a difference.
- WP Super Cache. If all the steps above check out and you find no problems consider activating this plugin. It is installed by default by DreamHost as it obviously is recommended by them as a plugin that can help your performance. However, I don’t recommend using it unless you see a need to. Remember, less is more.
- WordPress Errors. If you get errors in the process of uploading an image file or completing an action inside of WordPress that involves updating or adding content to your site; the problem is 99% going to be file permissions. See the video for a live demonstration of what you need to know about WordPress file permissions and how to manage them. More from wordpress.org on file permissions.
- General WordPress formatting issues. Sometimes WordPress can be kind of moody. Sometimes you want additional blank lines to appear and they don’t. Some times the formatting is just not exactly what you wanted. This is where the HTML SNIPPETS plugin has a ton of value. Remember the technique from the previous lesson on how to generate the HTML code from a sample post. Just copy this code into your post or page using this plugin and it should save you time and headache pain.