1. Domains & Hosting
DNS changes take time to propagate but after configuring the install on the web server I sat at my screen for 30 minutes hitting CNTL + F5 unsuccessfully. Something was wrong. I had forgotten that a domain name has to be told where to direct a request. It doesn’t happen “auto magically”.
I updated the A record to point to the host IP. Inconsistently over the next 4-6 hours I was able to access the site.
2. Analytics and Indexing
Websites are like – we put a lot of stuff in them, hope family and friends visit often, and rely on a good foundation. When launching a site make sure you have the following configured:
Google Analytics – You have a live website, make sure you get an immediate feel for interest and what pages are most visited. This can be useful to define content strategy.
Inspectlet – I like this service to understand what users are doing on the site. Inspectlet provides heatmaps and screen captures of visits. I hope to share this data over time.
3. WordPress Plugins
For a long time I assumed that to have a WordPress site I needed to know PHP. Plugins allow me to build out greater functionality with few PHP/JS/CSS updates. I recommend:
Contact Form 7 – Simple tool that allows full functionality and control over your contact form.
Remember to set the From email to send from your domain!