How to launch a WordPress site

How to launch a WordPress site

So you’re ready to launch your WordPress site? If you’re happy with how it looks and ready for the rest of the world to see, then it’s time to go live with that new website! It sounds intimidating and complicated but it’s really not. I’ll break it down piece by piece for you. Here’s how to launch a WordPress site, step-by-step:

Step One: Add your domain to your host’s domain list

The first step in launching your new WordPress website is to assign it a domain name. You need to tell your host server what address this site will use when people view it from the web. That address is called your domain name.

If you’re hosting with WPEngine, add your domain name to your account by clicking on Domains when logged in to my.wpengine.com

A helpful hint: With WPEngine, add your domain to your domains list twice, once with www and once without. Trust me, this one is wonky but it’s important.

Step Two: Set domain’s DNS to look at your hosting server

Your domain name is like your street address. It’s how you tell people where your website lives. And its DNS settings are what allows your host to serve up your site at that address.

DNS stands for Domain Name Server, and the settings are found within your Domain Registrar control panel. Your Domain Registrar is whoever you pay to register your domain and reserve it for you. Common domain registrar’s include GoDaddy, Google Domains, Register.com, and sometimes site builders like Wix and Squarespace.

A helpful hint: If you’re not sure who your domain registrar is, you can run a free lookup at whois.net by entering your domain name into the search field and scanning the results for a registrar like those listed above.

Once you’re logged in to your domain registrar, follow the awesome instructions provided by the blog at WPLauncher.com for step-by-step DNS directions.

Step Three: Set your domain as the site URL in the WordPress dashboard

Once you’ve pointed your DNS to your host – whether it has completed propagation or not – go into your WordPress dashboard and open the Site Settings > General panel. In the Site URL field, enter your custom domain with its full path (e.g. https://mysite.com)

A helpful hint: If you don’t yet have a SSL certificate assigned to your domain, which is common at site launch, enter your domain with an insecure “http://” at this time and return to add the “s” later. This will help avoid that “insecure, are you sure?” error message, at least for some users. It is common for SSL to follow a site’s initial launch by a few hours.

Step Four: Request an SSL certificate

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and it basically means, any data that is passed on your site is passed through security first. Not only is it important for security reasons, but it’s important for search, too, now that Google penalizes sites that don’t have SSL and shows a warning to visitors instead (read ServerGuy’s handy explanation here).

A helpful hint: SSL certificates are FREE with all sites hosted by WPEngine and WordKeeper, our two favorite hosts. You can also get SSL for free via Cloudflare, if you host elsewhere. In most cases, you should NOT need to pay for SSL on a single site that is not eCommerce-centric.

If you’re hosting at WPEngine, adding SSL is easy. Just click the SSL item in your my.wpengine.com account and add SSL via Let’s Encrypt. It’s free, it’s easy, and it takes 2 minutes. Just don’t forget to update your site URL after it’s working!

Step Five: Add the site to the Google Search Console

The Google Search Console is a site owner’s way to tell Google that your site exists. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s imperative to take care of on launch day so that your website is properly indexed by Google.

A helpful hint: Try the URL Prefix method of adding your site, and then follow these instructions to add the header code to your Divi Integration Options to verify the connection.

If your WordPress site uses the Divi theme, good news! Elegant Themes, the makers of Divi, recently published an exhaustive guide to the Google Search Console which covers all the details and more to getting your site indexed. Don’t skip this step!

Step Six: Track with Google Analytics

The last and final step of launching your WordPress site is to embed the code that will enable tracking with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is the most widely used traffic and analytics provider and will give you all sorts of gold in the form of data about your site visitors, what they do, and what parts of your site they like the most.

Do your customers know how to do business with you?

Do your customers know how to do business with you?

Online Business Marketing Tips from WPMaster.me

How to do business with you

Do your customers know how to do business with you?

Sometimes they need a little reminder!

The best way to get more sales through your website is to take a minute and teach your customers how to do business with you. It’s clear to you where to order and how to register for your programs, but that’s because YOU set it up, right? If you’re confident a lot of people are seeing your offers and know you exist, but you’re not seeing a lot of sales, try teaching your customers clearly how to do business with you.

As Brene says, “Clear is Kind”

Brene Brown, one of my favorite motivational speakers and author of self-help books for female business owners like the fabulous Dare to Lead, has a quote that says it all: “Clear is kind.” In other words, our audience appreciates when we make it easy for them to take the next step.

I received the email above today from my local ice cream shop, Milk Sugar Love, and I had to share it with you all as an example of exactly what Brene is talking about, and what I’m urging you to do with your online sales and sign up forms. Be crystal-clear and lead your horse directly to the water.

Teach your audience how to do business with you

If you read the text of the ice cream cake email in the screenshot above, you will not have any uncertainty about how to order such deliciousness. You will be crystal-clear on how to get that cake in front of you at your next Zoom cocktail hour, making all your friends swoon. This is what I want you to do when you communicate the next step for your own audience.

Hot online business marketing tips!

In all your sales copy, and on your landing pages and offer pages, make sure you include step-by-step instructions on how to sign up for your program or purchase your service help. Try adding a separate “How to Order” page to your site and lay it out as clearly as you can. Explainer videos like this one help but aren’t necessary – a simple text list that is easy to read and understand helps too. Bonus points for screenshots of the process!

Once you have the process hammered out on your site, send it out to your current clients and prospects, like Milk Sugar Love did, above. Give them a gentle nudge (and maybe a coupon) and make sure they know exactly how to take you up on whatever you are offering at this time.

Trust me, they’ll thank you for it.

 

How to add a news brief widget in WordPress

How to add a news brief widget in WordPress

Need to post notices and news on your homepage to make certain items readily accessible? A text widget in your sidebar is a perfect way to add News Briefs to your homepage. Adding links to the news briefs also lets your readers click to read more.

This video explains how to add and edit a text widget on your WordPress site for the purpose of displaying News Briefs.

Remember that your News Brief widget in WordPress can be placed in any widget area that your theme includes. Maybe you have one News Brief widget in the sidebar of your site, and you place another in the WordPress footer.

If your site has multiple sidebars, you may need to copy the widget into the other sidebar areas. For example, there may be one sidebar for the blog and another sidebar for the homepage – if you want the News Brief widget to display in both places, an instance of the widget needs to appear in each place.

For more about WordPress widget areas and sidebars that work with your Divi theme, check out this article: A Guide to Using Sidebars in the Divi Theme

Go virtual with your business using Zoom

Go virtual with your business using Zoom

Go Virtual FB event

Can we talk about Zoom for a sec? Anyone else got Zoom overwhelm? I know I do!

Right now there’s a whole lot of uncertainty among independent business owners, especially those of us who are used to providing services off-line and meeting with people in-person. 

Maybe right now…

  • You’re feeling a little overwhelmed with the sudden shift to everything online.
  • You’re not sure what you could be doing virtually.
  • You’re not sure if your tech is up to spec or how to use the software.
  • You’re not sure if what you offer will still work in today’s uncertain times.
  • You’re hearing whispers they might not buy from you at this time or in this way.

Or maybe you’ve been feeling…

  • I know I have something to offer.
  • I know my ideal clients could REALLY still want to work with me.

But the BIG burning questions is…

“I don’t know HOW!”

If any of these barriers keep popping up in your way to rocking your biz in the new normal, come join me for a free training I’m hosting called, “Go Virtual!”

Learn how to take your services online and stay present in the virtual world. I’ll take you through a simple process teaching how to use video conferencing software to take your services online and stay connected to your audience without face-to-face contact. 

Join me – at 11am EST Monday, March 30th.

Launching your own site? Do it right

You've put a lot of time into setting up your own website or sales page. Make sure it does what you need it to do by launching it right.

My Pre-Launch Checklist will walk you through all the checks and best practices to make sure you have in place before you launch your new site or page. You don't want to miss some of these steps - you'd be leaving money on the table!

How to Communicate Changed Services

How to Communicate Changed Services

Is your business closed and on quarantine due to COVID-19? As small business owners, we’ve all had to make rapid changes to how we serve our clients and customers. Many of us are taking it online, offering virtual services, to keep our tribes engaged, active, and supported in this uncertain time. But for that to work, we need to communicate the changes with our clients as clearly as possible.

People are getting info from every direction and they don’t know where to turn.

  1. Keep it simple – state how your services have changed and how they can still benefit from your business.
  2. Invite them to get started right away with clear buttons and a simple, short sign-up form.
  3. Soothe your audience’s fears, let them know that you’re okay and that they will be, too.

This isn’t about fear-mongering or taking advantage of a crisis. This is about coming together and helping each other find a path out of our current global crisis.

Here’s what effective communication of changed services in a time of crisis looks like:
how to communicate changed services

 

Have questions? Need help? Contact us today: kate@wpmaster.me

Online Course Training for Teachers

Online Course Training for Teachers

teacher trainingAre you looking for training for teachers to learn how to teach online? Looking for a resource to help your staff get comfortable with online teaching tools like Zoom and Google Classroom? We can help!

WPMaster.me Founder Kate M. Gilbert has 12+ years experience teaching adults how to be more comfortable with technology. Kate has been using Zoom as a live video learning tool on a daily basis, providing hands-on web support to small business owners who don’t have an in-house IT team. And now she’s available to help YOU shift your services to the web so that in-person proximity isn’t a requirement in your business.

Live Group Training for Teachers, In-Person or Via Zoom

Is your school or learning center readying to shift to an online-only learning environment? We’re here to help!

Invite Kate M. Gilbert from WPMaster.me to lead your group of educators in a live Zoom training – over Zoom, or in-person for local schools. Every educator who attends will leave with Zoom installed on their device, and a comfort with the software that lets them get going with online teaching.

Customized Live Training

Your group training will focus on the tools and processes your team needs to succeed

Software Implementation

Every trainee will leave with the software installed and working on their device

w

Support Where You Need It

We provide the IT support your team needs to succeed in taking your teaching online

Your Partner in eLearning

Get your teachers online the right way and avoid mishaps and lost class time.

Contact Us for Teacher Training Inquiries

15 + 15 =

Launching your own site? Do it right

You've put a lot of time into setting up your own website or sales page. Make sure it does what you need it to do by launching it right.

My Pre-Launch Checklist will walk you through all the checks and best practices to make sure you have in place before you launch your new site or page. You don't want to miss some of these steps - you'd be leaving money on the table!