WordPress stands as a towering figure in the realm of website creation, renowned for its user-friendly interface and flexible features. It’s the tool of choice for millions looking to carve out their own corner of the internet. Yet, crafting a website is only half the journey; the critical next step is unveiling your digital creation to the world. This is where the power of going public comes into play, transforming your site from a private project to a live, accessible destination for your audience. Recognizing the hurdles that newcomers and entrepreneurs might face in this process, our guide is meticulously crafted. It’s tailored to demystify the technicalities and streamline the transition from construction to launch, ensuring that even those with little to no prior experience can confidently make their WordPress site public.
|Content Review||Check for spelling, grammar, and accuracy of information.||Yes/No|
|Mobile Responsiveness||Ensure the site functions well on various devices and screen sizes.||Yes/No|
|Loading Speed||Test the site’s loading time and optimize as necessary.||Yes/No|
|SEO Basics||Verify that meta tags, descriptions, and titles are in place and optimized.||Yes/No|
Before your website greets the online world, it’s crucial to scrutinize every element with a fine-tooth comb. Content review and proofreading top this list, safeguarding against the slip-ups that can tarnish a site’s professionalism. Scrutinize each word for accuracy, clarity, and grammatical precision, ensuring that your message is not only compelling but also impeccable.
Speed is of the essence in the online world. A slow-loading site can repel visitors faster than any content can attract them. Test your site’s loading speed with tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify and rectify any lags. A swift, snappy site retains attention and reduces bounce rates.
Basic SEO checks lay the foundation for your site’s discoverability. Meta tags, keywords, and descriptions aren’t just technical jargon; they’re the signposts that lead search engines and users alike to your site’s doorstep. Ensure these elements are well-researched and strategically implemented, so your site doesn’t just go live—it thrives.
Setting Up Your WordPress Site
|Hosting Provider||Plan Types Offered||Price Range||Special Features||User-Friendly Score|
|Bluehost||Shared, VPS, Dedicated||$2.95 – $119.99/month||Free domain for 1 year, Free SSL, One-click WordPress install||9/10|
|SiteGround||Shared, Cloud, Enterprise||$3.99 – Custom||Managed WordPress, Daily backups, Free CDN||9/10|
|WP Engine||Managed WordPress||$25 – $241/month||Genesis Framework, 35+ StudioPress Themes, Free automated migrations||8/10|
|DreamHost||Shared, VPS, Managed||$2.59 – $27.50/month||97-day money-back guarantee, Free privacy protection||8/10|
|HostGator||Shared, VPS, Dedicated||$2.75 – $139.99/month||Free domain, Free SSL, One-click WordPress install||8/10|
|A2 Hosting||Shared, VPS, Dedicated||$2.99 – $99.59/month||Anytime money-back guarantee, Turbo servers for faster speed||7/10|
|Kinsta||Managed WordPress||$30 – $1,500/month||Google Cloud Platform, Free migrations, Daily backups||9/10|
Embarking on your online journey begins with securing a reliable residence for your website, and this means choosing the right hosting service. A host affects your site’s speed, uptime, and security, so it’s essential to pick one that’s reputable and aligns with your needs. Compare plans, read reviews, and consider factors like bandwidth, storage, and customer support before making your choice.
Once you’ve selected a hosting provider, the next milestone is installing WordPress. Many hosts offer one-click installation processes that make this step a breeze. Here’s a simplified roadmap:
- Log in to your hosting account.
- Navigate to the control panel.
- Look for the WordPress or website installer.
- Click ‘Install’ and select the domain where you want WordPress installed.
- Fill in the basic site details, like site name and admin credentials.
- Click through to complete the installation and note your login details.
With WordPress installed, it’s time to dress your site to impress. Themes are the wardrobe of your website, and choosing one that resonates with your business brand is paramount. Look for themes that not only appeal aesthetically but are also functional and customizable. A good theme should:
- Reflect your brand’s colors, style, and ethos.
- Be responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Offer support and regular updates.
- Be compatible with essential plugins.
Remember, your theme is the first impression visitors will have of your business, so take the time to select one that effectively communicates your brand’s message.
Customizing Your WordPress Settings
Upon logging into WordPress, you’ll be greeted by the dashboard—a command center for all your site’s operations. Familiarize yourself with its sections: Posts for your blog content, Pages for your static content like ‘About Us’, and Settings where the heart of customization lies.
Navigate to the Settings tab to tweak your site’s soul. Start with General Settings to ensure your site title and tagline succinctly express your brand. Adjust the Timezone to match your locale and ensure your email address is correct—it’s where you’ll receive site notifications.
Permalinks are the next crucial stop in your settings tour. These are the URLs for your pages and posts, and they hold weight in the SEO realm. WordPress offers various permalink structures, but for SEO purposes, the ‘Post name’ option is often recommended. It keeps URLs short, memorable, and, most importantly, relevant to the content, which search engines favor.
Privacy settings can’t be overlooked if you want to be visible in the digital landscape. Under Settings, find the Privacy option. Ensure your site is set to allow search engines to index it—this means your site is open to being listed in search results, inviting organic traffic. If you’re updating an existing site, check that the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ option is unchecked.
By carefully adjusting these settings, you craft not only the user’s experience but also the site’s relationship with search engines, paving the way for future visibility and visitor engagement.
Selecting and Installing Essential Plugins
|Yoast SEO||SEO||Helps optimize your site for search engines and improve content.|
|Wordfence Security||Security||Provides firewall and malware scanner to protect your site.|
|WP Fastest Cache||Performance||Enhances your site’s speed by caching pages and minimizing scripts.|
Plugins in WordPress are akin to apps on a smartphone—they extend the functionality of your site with added features and capabilities. They are the vital cogs that can optimize your site for search engines, fortify it against security threats, and enhance overall performance.
For SEO, a must-have plugin is an all-in-one SEO tool that helps you manage your site’s meta data, generate sitemaps, and provides you with SEO recommendations—essentials for making your site search engine friendly.
When it comes to security, consider a plugin that acts as a watchdog for your site, offering features like firewall protection, malware scanning, and login security. This is non-negotiable in maintaining the trust of your visitors.
Performance plugins should not be overlooked, as they ensure your site loads quickly and runs smoothly. Look for plugins that offer caching, image optimization, and file compression to keep your site at peak performance.
Installing and activating these plugins is straightforward:
- On your WordPress dashboard, click ‘Plugins’ on the left sidebar.
- Click the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.
- Use the search bar to find the desired plugin.
- Click ‘Install Now’ on the plugin—it will download and install.
- After installation, click ‘Activate’ to enable the plugin on your site.
It’s a simple process, but it’s essential to regularly update and manage your plugins to ensure they continue to function correctly and don’t pose any security risks.
Adding Content to Your WordPress Site
Content is the lifeblood of your WordPress site, giving it substance and voice. Adding pages and posts is a straightforward process that begins with the dashboard. For static content such as ‘About Us’, ‘Services’, or ‘Contact’, you’ll use ‘Pages’. Click ‘Add New’ under ‘Pages’, and you’ll be presented with an editor to enter your text, add images, and customize the layout.
For dynamic content like articles, updates, or blogs, ‘Posts’ is your go-to section. Similarly, click ‘Add New’ under ‘Posts’. Here, you can write your content, but also harness the power of categories and tags. Categories allow you to group related posts together, aiding users in navigating your site and assisting search engines in understanding the structure of your content. Tags are more specific, pinpointing the subjects of individual posts, which can boost your SEO efforts.
Multimedia elements are essential in capturing the attention of your audience. Adding images and videos can be done directly through the WordPress editor. Click ‘Add Media’ when editing a page or a post, and you can upload or select images and videos to insert into your content. These elements should be optimized for the web to ensure they don’t slow down your page loading times. Remember to add alt text to images, which improves accessibility and SEO.
Testing Your Site Before Going Public
|Audit Task||Tool Suggestion||Purpose of Tool||Accessibility Score|
|SEO Audit||Screaming Frog SEO Spider||To crawl your website and analyze key onsite SEO elements such as URLs, page titles, meta descriptions||8/10|
|Mobile Responsiveness Test||Google Mobile-Friendly Test||To check if your website is optimized for mobile viewing and usage||9/10|
|Loading Speed Test||GTmetrix, Google PageSpeed Insights||To analyze the loading speed of your website and identify elements that can be optimized||8/10|
|Security Scan||Sucuri SiteCheck||To scan for known malware, blacklisting status, website errors, and out-of-date software||9/10|
|Accessibility Compliance||WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool||To evaluate accessibility issues as per ADA standards, providing visual feedback and suggestions||8/10|
|Broken Links Checker||Ahrefs, Broken Link Checker (WordPress plugin)||To identify and fix any broken links on your site to improve user experience and SEO||7/10|
|Duplicate Content Check||Copyscape, Siteliner||To find instances of content duplication within your website||7/10|
|Website Performance Metrics||Google Analytics||To track website performance, user engagement metrics, and traffic sources||9/10|
Conducting a thorough site audit before your WordPress site sees the light of day is a preventative measure against potential pitfalls. An audit should encompass several key areas: functionality, user experience, performance, and security.
Functionality testing is the bread and butter of your audit. Go through every link, button, form, and feature to ensure they work as intended. Pay attention to the responsiveness of your design across different devices and browsers. Tools like BrowserStack can simulate how your site will look and behave on various platforms.
For user experience, you want to ensure that navigation is intuitive and content is easily digestible. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can check how well your site translates to mobile devices. Consider the loading speed, as well, since it significantly affects user experience. Google PageSpeed Insights can provide both insights into performance issues and solutions for them.
Feedback on your site’s design and functionality is invaluable and can often highlight issues you might have overlooked. Gather a group of individuals who match your target audience and ask for their input. This can be done informally, or through more structured tools like UserTesting, which allows you to observe real people navigating your site.
The moment has come to unveil your WordPress site to the world. To shift from private to public, navigate to the ‘Settings’ menu in your WordPress dashboard. Select ‘Reading’, and look for the ‘Search Engine Visibility’ section. If the box next to ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is checked, uncheck it. This action signals search engines that your site is ready to be indexed.
Next, it’s time to connect your custom domain name, which gives your site a professional touch and makes it easy to find. If you’ve purchased a domain from a registrar, you’ll need to update your DNS settings to point to your WordPress hosting. This is done by:
- Logging into your domain registrar’s control panel.
- Navigating to DNS settings or Domain Management.
- Updating the Name Servers or A records according to your WordPress host’s instructions.
Changes to DNS records can take anywhere from a few minutes to 48 hours to propagate, so some patience is needed here.
Once your site is live and the domain is pointing correctly, you should submit your site to search engines. This is like sending out grand opening invitations. Start with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools:
- Sign up for an account if you haven’t already.
- Add your website by entering the domain.
- Verify ownership through the method provided (typically a DNS record, HTML file upload, or meta tag in your site’s header).
- Submit your XML sitemap, which can be generated by your SEO plugin.
This proactive approach helps search engines discover your content faster and start ranking your pages in search results. With these steps completed, your WordPress site is not just live, but set up to be discovered by the world.
|Social Media Sharing||Facebook, Twitter||Share your site’s content and updates regularly to engage with followers.|
|Email Marketing||Mailchimp, etc.||Send newsletters and site announcements to your subscribers.|
|Content Marketing||Blog, YouTube||Create valuable content that draws users to your site.|
With your WordPress site now in the public domain, it’s time to shift your focus to drawing in your audience.
Promoting Your Site on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new site. Start by creating profiles on platforms relevant to your target audience, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or others. Share your content regularly but remember, engagement is key—respond to comments, join discussions, and be an active participant in the social media community.
Introduction to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an essential tool for understanding your site’s traffic. It provides insights into how visitors find your site, which pages they visit, how long they stay, and what actions they take. To get started, sign up for a free Google Analytics account and install the tracking code on your WordPress site. Many SEO plugins offer easy integrations with Google Analytics, simplifying the setup process.
Engaging with Your Audience
Encourage feedback by adding a contact form to your site, enabling comments on your blog posts, and asking for input on social media. Be sure to moderate comments to maintain a respectful and constructive environment.
As you gather feedback, take the time to engage with your audience. Thank them for their input, answer questions, and participate in conversations. This not only builds community but also provides invaluable insights into your audience’s needs and preferences.
In this guide, we’ve journeyed through the critical steps to transition your WordPress site from a private project to a public presence. From the pre-launch checklist, ensuring your site is polished and primed, to selecting the right theme and plugins, adding engaging content, and thoroughly testing before launch. We’ve also covered the exciting moment of going live and the essential post-launch strategies to attract and retain your audience.
It’s vital to remember that a website is not a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. Regular updates, diligent security checks, and content refreshes are the cornerstones of a thriving online presence. Stay proactive in monitoring your site’s health and stay updated with the latest WordPress developments.
To all the newbies and business owners, remember that every expert was once a beginner. The digital world may seem daunting, but with each step you take, you are building a robust platform that can elevate your brand to new heights.
Why wait for a better time when you can take the leap today? Begin the exciting process of making your WordPress site public and watch as your digital footprint expands. Should you need further assistance or seek professional services to guide you through this process, feel free to reach out. [Provide Contact Information]. Your journey towards an impactful online presence is just a click away. Let’s embark on this digital adventure together!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need any technical skills to make my WordPress site public?
No, our guide is designed for beginners and provides step-by-step instructions that require no prior technical knowledge.
How long does it take to make a WordPress site public?
It can vary, but following our guide, you could go live in a few hours, provided you have your content ready.
Will my website be mobile-friendly?
Yes, we provide tips on selecting responsive themes and testing for mobile compatibility.
Is it expensive to make a WordPress site public?
Costs can vary depending on hosting and themes, but we offer options for various budgets.
Can I make my site public without a custom domain?
Yes, you can use the default domain provided by WordPress, but we recommend a custom domain for professionalism.
What are the essential plugins for a new WordPress site?
Essential plugins include those for SEO, security, and performance, which we detail in the guide.
How do I know if my website is ready to be public?
Our pre-launch checklist ensures your site is ready to be shared with the world.
Can I make my WordPress site public on my own?
Absolutely, our guide is tailored to help you independently make your site public.
What if my site isn’t showing up in search engine results?
We cover how to ensure search engines can index your site and steps to submit your site to search engines.
How often should I update my WordPress site after making it public?
Regular updates are crucial for security and functionality. We recommend checking for updates weekly.
Author: Ihor Lavrenenko
For the last 10 years, I’ve worked for two online marketing agencies (as a SEO specialists and an SEO team lead). It was a great experience in creating local dental websites and big programmatic healthcare projects for the US local market. In this blog I’ll be happy to share my experience with dentists who want to promote their website and my web development colleagues too.