Here is an ultimate list of things to do when launching a new website.
So I made this checklist as a way to simplify the entire process.
This list contains each step that is necessary when launching a new website. It serves as an easy reference that I can follow each time I’m ready to create a new website.
New Website Checklist:
3. Install WordPress
WordPress serves as a platform to manage all of your content. You can install WordPress in BlueHost directly from the cpanel dashboard with a one-click install.
4. Change the Permalink Structure
You want to complete this step before you start creating and pages or posts. It’s basically for SEO purposes. And, it just has a better look and feel to it as well. On your WordPress dashboard, go to ‘Settings’ and click ‘Permalinks’. Then select ‘Post name’ and you’re all set.
4. Change Your WordPress ‘Admin’ Login Credentials
By default, your WordPress login username will simply be created as ‘admin’. Everyone knows this, including hackers. So you will need to create your own personalized admin login. You can change your password at this time to something more difficult as well.
5. Install Your Theme
I recommend the Divi Theme because it makes building professional-looking websites easy.
6. Set up a Child Theme
Basically, a child theme gives your website a layer of protection for when your making edits and changes to the backend data and files. And, so when you update your theme, you won’t lose any of the changes you made. It’s easy to do. Just follow the steps in this video.
7. Switch to HTTPS
Switching over from HTTP to HTTPS makes your website more secure. This helps make your site feel more trustworthy because the extra layer of security can protect customers information during a transaction. Nowadays, this step is a must, in the eyes of your customers and Google. I normally use this guide to make the switch.
8. Install the Essential Plugins
Plugins are apps that help run your site. There’s a plugin for literally everything. While each website will be different, there are a handful of plugins that are essential for any website. I put together a list of the absolute best plugins that you need for any new website.
9. Set up an Email Address That Includes Your Domain Name
I always like to set up the email address for my new website right off the bat. I use the method where you can forward your domain email to a gmail account. It’s free. For instance, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org but it is actually forwarded to my gmail account so I can open all my emails and reply through gmail. You can learn more about this method by clicking here.
10. Create a lead magnet
This is something you want to give away to your audience in exchange for signing up to your email list. It doesn’t have to be immaculate. It can be a short eBook, PDF, or video.
11. Set up your Autoresponder
Don’t worry about writing out all of your automation sequences yet. Now you just want to get the email list software itself set up. I recommend Mail Chimp to build email lists.
13. Create Basic Pages
While at this stage I’m usually not concerned with creating content yet, I do like to get the basic pages for my website built and functional. Usually I’ll go ahead and design the home page. Also, I’ll write the “About Me” page and set up the “Contact” page.
14. Claim the Social Media Handles
This usually isn’t something I’m too concerned about, but it’s at least worth mentioning. You should go ahead and register the social media handles for your website name. Even if you don’t plan on using them right off. You may want to at some point in the future.
16. Verify Ownership of Your Site with Google Webmaster Tools
This confirms and lets Google know that you are the owner of the new web property. Just login to Google Search Console and choose ‘Add A Property’.
17. Install Google Analytics
This helps you track how much traffic you’re getting to your site and where that traffic is coming from. You will need to paste the snippet of code that they provide you into your website template page so that it appears before the closing </head> tag.
Check out my guide for a more detailed tutorial on how to build a website from scratch.