Your Website Launched—Now What?

Launching your website is a really exciting time—it’s a big deal! What’s also a big deal, though, is what happens after launch day. While you probably wish people would magically flock to your site—and we get that—we’ve come up with a list of 8 crucial post-launch tips that will help make the magic happen.

1. Announcement

Unfortunately, your beautiful new site won’t fall into people’s laps, so you’ve got to broadcast it! There are many ways to advertise your launch, and you can try them all. For instance, you can announce your site (don’t forget the link!) in a quick line in your email signature to catch the eye of past, current, and potential clients. You can also capitalize on word-of-mouth by letting your friends and family know and encouraging them to pass it on to others. What we like to do is create a custom graphic for our clients to announce their new site on their social media platforms. We’re always sure to get the point across with “Just Launched!” or “New Site!” and always aim to display the uniqueness of the client and showcase their personality.

Website Announcement Samples

2. Social Media/Blog

Chances are your business already has social media accounts of its own—perhaps even a blog. These accounts—Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.—help make your website easy to find. What’s key, though, is consistency. The social media accounts that’ll be the biggest help for you may depend on your type of business, so channel your energy wisely so you can remain engaged and active on these platforms. This consistent presence will help you steer clear of that “out of sight, out of mind” pitfall.

3. Analytics/Webmaster Tools

Getting traffic to your website is a good thing—but knowing how that traffic works is an even better thing. You may—or should—be wondering: who is visiting it? What kind of search terms bring them to my site? Having these stats will not only help you understand the amount of people landing on your page, but also to figure out what they’re searching for—i.e. what they want! Consistently learning about the interests and aims of potential clients and customers can then inform your website copy and marketing, which can benefit and sustain your traffic. Google Analytics is a good place to start for a free, easy to use tool. Also, don’t forget about Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools)! Like Google Analytics, it is aimed to get you the information you need about keywords, search terms, security info, and more.

4. Claim your Business Listing

Making your key info visible on your site and setting up your business listings may seem like a basic step, but it’s a foundational one in making sure you’re legit, and that Google thinks so, too. Your name, phone number, address, and/or hours of operation should be consistent and accurate not only on your own site, but every time you submit a business listing AKA“citation” in your industry. Keep track of these listings so if you move offices, or get a new number, you can cover all your bases when you need to update it.

5. Reviews

You’ve probably read reviews of businesses you’ve thought about checking out, so you know how these reviews can sway your decision. Reviews should come from your favorite and best clients who will sing your praises on sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google+. While rankings and business listings help your cred, real life testimonials especially help people connect with you and your business.

6. Don’t Ignore Your Site

Go with us on this: like a car, your website has a lot of working parts that need to work together, and periodic maintenance is one of the best things you can do for it. For example, make sure the shopping cart works, or that your contact form is still getting messages to you. Keeping WordPress and your plugins updated will save you from the headache of unexpected down time.

7. Backlinks

Backlinks is a term that basically means “get your website seen widely yet strategically.” There are many options here, and we’ll touch on a few: make sure your link is visible on social media posts so users will always have your site within their reach. Even everything you get out on paper—whether it’s a print ad or other collateral—should feature your URL. Another great way to get people to your website are blog posts—both your own, and guest blogging for others, where you’ll include your link. Not only do these posts produce original content, but they’ll showcase your savvy to readers on other websites and likely generate visitors.

8. Domain/Hosting/SSL Certificate Documentation

Here’s one of the best tips we can offer after your site launches: keep track of renewal dates of your hosting, domain name, and SSLCertificate Documentation. It’s also important to keep track of who you’ve registered your domain name, hosting, etc. to so you’ll have the access you need or know who to ask when checking renewal dates. It’ll be a lifesaver! Plus, if you’ve got a website/IT person, it’s not a bad idea to work with them to plan password backups and manage this key info.

Has Your WordPress Site Been Hacked?

We’ve recently had a few clients notify us that their sites have been hacked. The way the hack works is when people click on your link from search results in Google, Bing or Yahoo – they are getting redirected to porn sites. Otherwise your site looks perfectly fine.

According to sucuri.net, this is happening to all sorts of sites, including WordPress, forums and pure HTML sites. In most cases, with WordPress, it is happening because the version of WordPress is outdated and/or there are outdated plugins.

How can you tell if your site is hacked?

First off, check to make sure that your site is not already compromised. You can do this by simply searching for you site in Google. Make sure you are not already flagged (see image below), and click on your search result. If your site loads like it should, and you haven’t been flagged, you are most likely in the clear.

 

Hacked Website Example

Your site has been hacked.

If you think your site has been compromised, contact us immediately and we will let you know what you need to do to get your site cleaned up.

You don’t appear to be hacked.

If you don’t appear to be hacked, your next step is to make sure that your version of WordPress and all of your plugins are up to date. See the steps below.

Some of the steps below are very technical and may be out your comfort zone, or you just may not have the time to deal with it. If so, we do offer monthly maintenance plans that take care of everything below and more. Or you can check with your host and see what services they offer. But either way, we feel it is very important to complete the steps below at least once a month.

Updating WordPress

It is crucial that you keep WordPress up to date. Due to it’s immense popularity (currently powering 23% of the websites in the world), WordPress is a popular target for hackers, malicious code distributors, data thieves, and wanna be hackers. With each update, WordPress fixes bugs, adds new features, and improves performance and security to keep ahead of the hackers.

By failing to keep WordPress up to date you are risking your website security and missing out on new features/improvements.

How to Update WordPress

  1. Create a Backup. The first step is creating a backup of all of your files. There is a possibility that updating WordPress could cause your site to break. And creating a backup will insure that you are able to revert to a working version of your site in the event that something goes wrong. You can create a backup by doing one of the following:
    1. Check to see if the BackupBuddy plugin is already installed on your website:
      1. Log into your site and look at the panel on the left side of the screen.
      2. Look for the tab titled BackupBuddy and click it.
      3. Then click on the button that says “Complete Backup”.
      4. Once the backup finishes running, click to download the file and proceed to the next step.
    2. If BackupBuddy is not installed, you can contact us and we will install it for you or you can check with your host and see if backups are included in your hosting plan .
  2. Update WordPress. If you are due for an update, you will see an alert at the top of the page that reads “WordPress #.# is available! Please update now.” To run the update:
    1. First, click “Please update now”
    2. On the next screen click the blue “Update Now” button.
    3. The update will typically take a few seconds to a minute to go through. Once it is completed you may be asked to log in again or be taken to a page verifying your update is complete. If you do not see the alert go to the next step and check that your plugins are up to date.
  3. Check your site. If the update went through successfully, check your site and make sure everything is working. If there are any issues or the update didn’t go through, contact us and we’ll take a look for you.

Update Plugins

Like WordPress, it is also crucial to keep all of your plugins up to date as well. By failing to keep your plugins up to date you are putting your site at the same security risks as an outdated version of WordPress.

How to Update Plugins

  1. Create a Backup. If you already created a backup during step 1 of Updating WordPress you can continue to the next step. Otherwise, see step 1 above.
  2. Update Plugins.
    1. Log into WordPress.
    2. On the left side of the screen click the Plugins tab.
    3. Plugins that need to be updated are highlighted in red. Find the line that reads “There is a new version …” and click the “update now” link.
    4. The plugin should spin for a few seconds to a minute and finish with a green checkmark that reads “Updated!”.
    5. Follow these steps for remaining plugins that need updated.

Everything is up-to-date, what’s next?

We would suggest checking your site at least once a month and making sure that both your version of WordPress and your plugins are up-to-date, as well as making a full backup of everything, just in case there are any issues in the future.