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1. Install Jetpack
We mentioned Jetpack back when we learned about How WordPress Works. It’s an incredibly powerful plugin and brings many advanced features found on WordPress.com sites to self-hosted WordPress. Those features include:
Fast image loading
And a ton more
Jetpack runs with individual “modules” which can be enabled or disabled depending on your requirements. It’s well worth spending some time using the plugin. To help you out, we’ve got a great blog post on some of the things you can do with Jetpack.
2. Install Google Analytics tracking code
Google Analytics is great tool which you may want to integrate with your site. It’s a free service run by Google which primarily allows you to track the number of visitors to your site.
Google Analytics also gives you access to a number of other helpful metrics including which pages on your site are most popular, where visitors are coming from and how they’re getting to your site.
You can sign up to Google Analytics. Once you’ve followed the process through and got a tracking code (which will be given to you), you need to insert it onto every page on your site.
The navigation bar on your site is key to ease of use for all of your visitors. WordPress makes it easy to customise your menus using a drag and drop interface.
Head to “Appearance” and then “Menus” from the WordPress Dashboard and add menu items as you wish. Drag and drop to reorder and add submenus. Once you’re done creating, click on “Manage Locations” and select your new menu to display in the location you’d like.
Theme users will typically find multiple menu locations, allowing for multiple menus per site. Each theme’s documentation has details and we’ve got a step-by-stepvideo tutorial.
4. Get a custom background
Stamp your mark on your design with a custom background. Head to “Appearance” and then “Background” on the WordPress Dashboard to access.
The custom background allows you to set either an image or a colour to be displayed as the background. Using this feature is straightforward: just either upload your image and follow the prompts or choose your background colour and save your changes.
Important note: not all WordPress themes support custom backgrounds!
5. Keep a backup
Having invested time and money in your site, the last thing you want is for anything to go wrong. It’s incredibly important to always keep a backup. For your peace of mind, there are many backup plugins to choose from.
BackWPup is a free backup plugin which allows scheduled backups to cloud storage (i.e. Dropbox, Google Drive etc). That means you can set it and forget it with your files safely backed up external to your site. That’s especially important, as it means even if you can’t access your site you can still access your backups.
Backups are really important – make sure you’ve got them.