Setting up a new site? Going with WordPress.org? Good choice! You’ll have complete freedom over your website, access to a powerful and intuitive CMS, not to mention all of the amazing plugins available to make your site more engaging. With a few simple steps, you can have your website up and running in no time, so you can focus on producing some great content.
One of the first things you’ll want to set up is Google Analytics – if someone visits your site and Google Analytics isn’t there to track it, did it even happen? One of the greatest advantages WordPress.org has over WordPress.com is the ability to integrate your site with analytics. You either do this manually, or with a plugin. Google Analytics by Yoast is one of the most popular available, and it’s really simple to install. You simple download the files, upload them to your host via ftp, and then activate the plugin.
Next, log in to your Google Analytics account and set up a new profile for your website. Go back to the plugin settings, and either insert the UE code manually, or select “Click Here to authenticate with Google”.
Once you’ve authenticated your account, you can customise your settings based on what you want to track. Easy!
Social Media Buttons
One of the first pages I add to my websites is a RebelMouse feed – if you aren’t already using it, RebelMouse syndicates all of your social media profiles into one attractive JQuery-style layout. You can select what does, and doesn’t go on your page, so your visitors will get a good idea of the kind of content you share on your social media networks.
Next up, you’ll need social media buttons. I prefer social slider, just for the vast range of social sites supported, but it can be a little tricky to set up. Social Web Links is an alternative that will give you more flexibility over the way your social media buttons look.
You could also try your hand at making your own buttons, and then add them to your side bar as a widget in an HTML/ Text box.
One of the biggest pet peeves of most blog browsers is that they find a website they love, but then can’t subscribe to it. To avoid this problem make sure you’re using a plugin like Follow to add a WordPress.com style floating subscribe button to the bottom of your website.
Share This and Shareaholic seem to be the leaders in the social sharing realm. Both work equally well, but I personally prefer sharaholic, as it’s easy to configure and supports so many platforms that you’ll be amazed there are so many available.
The trick with WordPress.org is to try out different plugins and see what works best for you. Occasionally you’ll come up against something that is deeply flawed, don’t worry, just deactive it and look for another one. There are so many available that