One of the biggest mistakes I see people making when launching their website (or a redesigned website) is simply walking away after it goes live. Maybe they announce it on social media or tell a few people, but beyond that? Nothing. In order to truly make the most of your online presence, you’ve got to make sure you’re committed to making it be the best it can be. Here are 9 Must-Do’s after you launch your WordPress website.
1. Promote It
I feel kinda gross and skeezy when I self-promote my stuff, but guess what? It’s a must-do. Look at it this way: if your website is set up to truly help people and will be beneficial to your target audience, you’re doing them a major favor by announcing that you’re open for business! So spread the word using whatever social media platform(s) you love to use, like Instagram or Pinterest or via your email list. If you want to go the extra mile, consider:
- Promoted posts & ads: the more people that see your website, the better. You can do promoted content and boost your posts on just about every social media platform these days.
- A discount or giveaway: everyone likes getting something for free! Discounts and giveaways can be a great way to get people interested in what you have to offer.
And remember, it’s totally okay to promote something more than once! For example, when I used to launch a new product, I only used to announce it once. But, it’s so easy for people to miss something when they only have one opportunity to see it! Now, I’ll send out reminder emails, do a second or third Instagram post, and so on.
2. Track Your Stats
Not only is it fun to watch the visitors roll in, it can be extremely helpful to start collecting stats so you can analyze them later. Google Analytics is a super helpful tool that lets you do just that. It not only tracks who is viewing your site, it can tell you how long they’re staying on pages, what your most viewed content is, and where your traffic is coming in from. You can learn a lot about your site and how people interact with it by utilizing Google Analytics! The best part is it’s free and easy to set up!
Want to learn how to implement Google Analytics and what it all means? Make sure you check out our WordPress Wonderland ecourse which include in-depth lessons on how to track and learn from your stats!
3. Set Up An Email List
Online brand/business 101: email marketing is crucial. I won’t get into all of the benefits here, but let me just say if you aren’t collecting email addresses yet, you’re missing out. Consider:
- Mailchimp: Mailchimp is a great option if you’re just starting out. It’s free for beginners and has enough tools for you to do some easy email marketing.
- ConvertKit: when I decided to get serious about email marketing, I switched to ConvertKit and within a month, I’d already increased my list size by like, 30%. Creating automations is so easy and it integrates so well with WordPress. You can even make pop-up opt-in forms in ConvertKit and just add them with a single click or code in WordPress! Highly recommended.
4. Figure Out Your Back-Up Plan
Not making back-ups of your website is so risky. In the case that your website is hacked or some other unfortunate event outside of your control, you can restore it with a back-up of both the database and your site files. While a lot of hosting companies do make regular back-ups of your stuff, there is no guarantee that such a back-up will be available to you if you ever need it. So, you really need to take matters in to your own hands.
Although you can employ plugins to help you make back-ups of your website, I always recommend learning how to create them manually. Why? Back-up plugins oftentimes create a heavy load on your server, which can slow down your site and require you to upgrade to a more expensive hosting plan when you really don’t need to. Learn how to create manual back-ups using FTP/cPanel in our WordPress Wonderland ecourse!
5. Do Your Updates
Updates are regularly available for your WordPress core files, along with plugins and themes. You should make sure you do these updates on a regular basis, as keeping outdated versions of these things can cause security vulnerabilities. Although these things are super easy to update (just a couple clicks in WordPress!), you should always make sure you’ve created a back-up of your site (see above) before you do them, just in case something goes wrong.
Psst! Don’t want to DIY? Check out our super affordable WordPress maintenance plans!
6. Lock It Down
Because so many websites use WordPress, bots trying to hack WordPress sites are not uncommon. However, no need to fear. Here are some easy ways you can help lock down your site:
- Choose smart login credentials: use difficult-to-guess passwords and if you’ve shared your information with anyone who is no longer working on your website, update the password just to be safe!
- Limit login attempts: Sometimes, bots will try to login to your website over and over again, which can cause a high load on your server (which isn’t good!). Install a plugin like Limit Login Attempts which enables you to temporary block a user from trying to login if they’ve tried the wrong password too many times.
7. Combat Spam
While we’re on the topic of annoying WordPress bots, let’s talk about comment spam. If you are creating posts within WordPress and allowing the comments to be turned on, then chances are that you’ll start seeing an influx in comment spam if you don’t do anything to prevent it. Make sure you install and activate Akismet, which is a free plugin to help fight spam.
8. Start Thinking About SEO
SEO = search engine optimization. I run into a lot of people that know what SEO is and realize it’s valuable to them, but they don’t know how the proper ways to implement it on their site. SEO can be as basic as choosing smarter file names and adding alt text to the images you share on your website, or as complex as doing hours of keyword research. SEO is constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep up on the latest trends to figure out how to best make it work for you.
Get started with the basics with our WordPress Wonderland ecourse. Lessons include how to use Yoast SEO, utilizing on-post/on-page SEO for WordPress, local SEO, image optimization tips, and more!
9. Create Shareable Content
Let’s bring it all the way back home to tip #1: promoting your stuff. You’ll find best results when you create content that other people want to promote as well, like by sharing it with their friends and followers on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and more. This is easier said than done, I know, but consider:
- Create content that matters: it goes without saying, but content that people find valuable gets shared the most!
- Have pretty share graphics: your content is way more likely to be shared and clicked through to if your graphics look professional, pretty, and enticing. For example, if you’re writing a blog post, you should include a shareable image optimized for Facebook’s dimension requirements, along with a vertical image to share the post on Pinterest. Our social media templates are a great example of share graphics that have been optimized for different platforms.
- Make it easy for people to share: add a pin-it button that shows up on images when people hover over them, social media share links at the bottom of each page, and so on so people don’t have to wonder how to share your content with their followers!
Wordpress is such a powerful platform and that’s really only the tip of the iceberg to what you can do with your website after you launch! If you ever want to take your site further than what we’ve discussed here, let’s chat!