Step 6: Extend

One last bit before promotion. As you write content and structure your website to help serve people, you'll think of ways to extend your value when you discover addons and plugins. Be careful not to get lost in the sea.

Recommended Extension Resources

Google Analytics

Business Grade Web Analytics Service

I haven't ventured too far off the beaten path when it comes to analytics solutions. As of right now, I prefer to keep my analytics engine along with the same suite of tools as G Suite and Google Search Console.

If you don't know, Google Analytics collects and organizes stats based on website traffic inside the Google Marketing Platform brand. When you have multiple pieces of information together you can track funnels and outcomes.

It's not super friendly to use but it's pretty easy to setup. Just create a property and connect it for now. You can worry about funnels, filters, stats, and everything else later. I'll provide more content on this in the future. It's free to use but integration with Google Adwords (running the ads) will cost you some coin.

Visit Google Analytics

Start Slow

You don't want to go too wide on your website when you first start out, there is something called feature creep and it will consume you like a fire. Sea and fire!? Oh no!

That's right. Start with a minimum and build from there. You can build amazing experiences like quizzes that recommend products later.

Look at the essential plugins every WordPress website should have. The goal here is to identify which WP plugins are non-negotiables for you.

Besides plugins, go ahead and connect your website to Google Analytics and authorize your website with Google Search Console (and even Bing Webmaster Tools if you're looking for extra credit).

 

Keep Security In Mind

Besides having a project that's easy to manage in the beginning, it's also important to not go too crazy with addons for the sake of security.

Just because you can doesn't always mean you should. Be careful about adding the following:

  • Inclusion of Pop-ups
  • Excessive scripts
  • Too many calls or redirects
  • Excessive usage of cookies
  • Large installation number of plugins, even if they are deactivated
  • Large installation number of themes, even if you think you will use them
    • Pick one and maybe a backup and that's it

If you don't heed these warnings, you could find yourself as a victim of the following:

  • Fraud or extortion
  • Aliases or redirects to blacklisted websites
  • Installation of malware
  • Painfully slow website
  • Defacement and sabotage of website
  • Spamming or attacking of other web properties
  • Piracy and unethical materials for sale

Last Little Bit of Setup

Now, let's go ahead and get SSL setup. SSL certificates show basic website owner info and involves encrypting website traffic. For most modern hosts, you can use their certificate integration with Let's Encrypt to get free SSL certificates! I use Flywheel as my managed WordPress host and they have a super easy setup to get your cert.

Free is usually all you need, but you can buy premium certificates to make the connection information in the browser green and show your business's name. You can also get support for wildcards if you business runs a family of websites and other premium features. Don't worry about this unless you have a brand and need to move forward with this.

Also, you don't need a plugin to force a secure connection (HTTPS). Most hosts have an option to enforce it.

Congrats! You now have your very own website up and running!

Eventually you'll need more online tools to help run your business. No need to worry about trying to extend until it's costing you more money to not use a service than to sign up for a new subscription.

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