If you are considering using a WordPress website here is some information you might find helpful when preparing your setup.
Choose a hosting provider that suits you, this means based on the type of ongoing assistance and help that you think you might require. The more expensive hosting options are usually because they offer person to person on phone support when you need it, while the cheaper providers have either online support only or limited support available.
Some of the providers we have used and tested are below, this list is a simple guide only and refers to providers we have worked with and had good results. This is by no means a definitive list, just a guide only.
Great service and support online, very economical for initial period, some basic computer knowledge is required to setup and maintain. Servers can be slow but the right plugins for WordPress can help with your speed issues. Hosting can start from as low as $5 p/m (depending on duration of payment). Their multisite plan is a good option if you have more than one site to create.
Another good cost effective hosting option, prices vary depending on the specials at the time but overall a good price for a standard website and performance is ok.
A little more expensive than the others at the time of writing, but good servers and performance. While we have only had minor experience with them, reports are positive and clients seem happy with overall help.
Great service, performance and options. Quadtech are available when you need them and provide everything from basic website hosting to full business intranets, email and PC management. If you want hassle free service with no need to be hands on, this is a great option.
To WordPress or Not To WordPress
While there are many frameworks out there to choose from, one of the key considerations as a website owner should be redundancy. What happens if you want to change your developer? or they go out of business?
You need to consider the most versatile option for a website that you can, that will allow you to find another developer or help easily. WordPress is ideal for this, and provided its setup correctly from the beginning you will be able to get a new developer or help quickly and easily due to its popularity. On top of this, WordPress is leading the way with plugins that extend its functionality and can handle just about any requirement.
Hosting & Domain
While most people will want to get their developer to create the hosting and domain, set it up for them and manage it ongoing, this can lead to big problems in the future. We have dealt with many developers who hold their clients websites/domain hostage so that the clients tend to stay with them, even if their performance is substandard.
The best option is to ensure that you, as the website owner, register your own domain name and keep the access, also with your hosting, you should be doing the signup yourself so that you have full control ongoing of your digital assets. You can give your developer access once you have registered your hosting and domain name, but keep the accounts under your name to ensure no complications in the future.
Be sure to keep your domain name & hosting information / login somewhere you will be able to find it in the future as this will ensure you maintain control.
WordPress Setup & Plugins
This guide focuses on WordPress, and in order to make your WordPress setup more effective, the below plugins help greatly and will give you a good starting point.
- Elementor – Graphical Editor, this allows you to edit your website pages using a graphical editor.
- Yoast SEO – A great option to help you setup your websites SEO and help it rank.
- WP Forms – This provides quick and easy contact forms that are configurable and easy to use.
- Duplicate Page – Quickly create other pages on your website by duplicating them.
- Updraft Plus – Great backup plugin that you can set at your preferred intervals.
- WP Statistics – This allows you a quick view of your website performance.
- Easy Testimonials – Lovely layout and options to suit most designs for displaying testimonials.
- Prime Slider – While it can be painful to configure, you can create beautiful banners layouts.
- Change Admin Email – Changing email addresses in WordPress can be painful, this bypasses that.
- Astra Theme – The Astra theme is very versatile, and while we do not use templates, Astra is widely supported and has a great initial layout with no additional cost.
- Jetpack Boost – once you site is complete you can use Jetpack to help with speed and performance.
- Directorist – This is for online Business listings or similar and has a multitude of config options
- Woo Commerce – Best option for WordPress online shop, highly supported with many configurations.
- Search & Replace – If you built your website using a temp URL then you will need to change the temp url links once site goes live, this tool helps you do this in easy steps without having to change each link.
Things to Remember
During the setup there are a couple of things you need to remember to do:
- Set timezone
- Check admin email
- Turn off comments on posts if relevant, and check settings
- Delete demo posts
- Set permalinks to postname, this helps with ranking
- Create a privacy page
- Create a terms & conditions page
Once your site is finished you will need to deploy it, this means letting the world know your site exists. There are thousands of sites created everyday, so you need to make sure you have done everything so it can be found.
Here is a deployment guide:
- Check SSL is active
- Update and add meta information to each page including slug and description
- Run Mobile Compatibility Test – https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
- Register with Google Search Console
- Add Google tag to your site
- Get Sitemaps (https://<yourwebsite address>/sitemap.xml) then select the relevant sitemaps
- Submit the sitemaps in Google Search Console
- Setup Google Analytics if more details tracking required
- Link your Social Media to your Website
- Consider branding your Social media to suit your website design
- Register for Google My Business if you have not already done so
- Let everyone know!
- Link share when you can to other peoples sites or socials
- Review your keywords ongoing and their performance
Lets face it, when it comes to ranking, google is the primary consideration.
So with your websites ranking it will only happen over time, just because you have a new site does not mean its going to just jump to the top of the rankings. It will all depend on your competition, how much they are investing in their digital marketing, longevity and popularity.
As a rule of thumb, count on your website ranking well for its own name within 2-3 weeks, then over the next 6 months your site should improve its ranking for keywords. Monitor this and see what your competition is doing.
If you are having no success, consider changing your keywords subtlety to go after less competitive ones. Remember you are better off getting 80% of traffic from a lesser keyword than 1% of a high performer. i.e.
1% of 15000 = 150
80% of 500 = 400
We Are Here!
If you have questions or you would just like to talk through your options, we are always happy to help with no obligation. Feel free to call to discuss and get friendly unbiased advice.