How to not screw up your DIY website (and get it right from the start)

How to not screw up your DIY website

 

A lot of people are DIYers. I support that and think it’s awesome that DIYers take the time to learn new skillz and implement them for the good of their bizes (is that a word?) and thus the freakin’ world (as long as you’re a rockin’ positive world-changer as opposed to a hate-spreader!).

 
Here comes the caveat: if you’re going to DIY, I’ve got some tips so you can do it right. So you don’t end up with security gaps or leaks or puddles or canyons that lead to bots hacking your site and you losing sleep and hair (from all the frantic hair-pulling) over the calamity that has struck your online business.

 

I’m gonna teach you how to not screw up your DIY website by sharing four things you can do from the get-go. Cuz I got your back, yo.

 

How to not screw up your DIY website and get it right from the start

 

1) Do a manual install of WordPress

I can see you scratching your head/getting annoyed/reaching for the chocolate already (if you don’t keep a bar at your desk like I do, I highly recommend it!). This is the most complicated and boring of all the steps.

 

“Doing a manual install of WordPress” means is skipping the easy and lazy one-click install offered by your hosting provider and instead getting down and dirty and doing it manually. Doing it all manually. If you know what I mean. And I mean tech stuff, not R-rated stuff. 

 

This entails entering your hosting Control Panel (or C-Panel), uploading the WordPress files (from the WordPress .zip you can download directly from wordpress.org), creating a database, creating a user for the database, adding that user to the database, giving that user all privileges, and running the WordPress installer. I know, exciting. Va-va-voom! But worth it.

 

On to the not-so-damn-coma-inducing next steps.
 

2) Get automated website backups of your site going

Backups are copies of your website at any one time. The grand idea is that if you have complete and reliable backups, you’ll be able to restore your site if it ever gets hacked or broken due to tinkering with code or a plugin conflict. You can just upload your backup and — BAM — it’s back up (ooh, bad pun). No head lost, no nervous breakdown, no online business devastated because your customers can’t buy your stuff anymore.

 

I recommend Backup Buddy for an easy way to get those sugary sweet backups going and restore your website if ever needed. It also makes for a less pain-in-the-ass way to move your website over to a new hosting provider if you ever wanna switch.
 

3) Block the Nigerian Princes (protect your site from spam)

You know who I’m talking about — that Nigerian dude who sends you emails promising thousands of dollars or whatnot if you would ever so kindly just send him your bank account information. So he can violate your finances up the a… We don’t want him on your blog, too.

 

Solution: Use Akismet for all your spam protection needs.
 

4) Get some SEO going so you can get found on search engines

Let’s back up (yeah, again with that). SEO = search engine optimization. The more of it you have, the higher up you will show up in search engines like Google when people search for the kinda content you already have going.

 

My recommended free plugin for this task is the excellent SEO by Yoast and, wouldn’t you know it, I made a video tutorial on how to use it. It’s my first, from November 2013, so excuse the crappy sound.

 

How to not screw up your DIY website-keyboard

 

And that’s how to not screw up your DIY website and get it right from the start. Important stuff!
 

If you don’t want to collapse from boredom + frustration at your computer and get germs and keyboard prints on your sexy face, check out my starter website package. Get the basics and do the rest yo’self.

 
I’ll take care of all this stuff plus your Google Analytics installation and you get a premium theme, Headway, with updates for a whole year. All included. All done with love. All done by me while wearing a cape.
I’m here to help.

 

Godspeed, DIYers! Mad respect.

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6 Responses to How to not screw up your DIY website (and get it right from the start)

    • Hi Tammy! You’re super welcome :)

      Awesome question. The problem with doing a 1-click installation of WordPress is that those installers use the same values for many of the key data elements — meaning that it’s easier for hackers to break into websites. When doing it manually, you get to set an ultra secure name for your database and user and table prefix, and a crazy complicated password to boot. You also get to delete a couple of files within WordPress that can give clues to potential hackers about which attacks may be most effective on your site.

      It’s a nice way to prevent website break-ins and panic attacks ;)

      Does that help?

  1. OMG ew, I thought the keyboard green stuff was mold at first! LOL gross. I know it’s not, I know now. Haha. I stared at it for like a good 3 minutes.

    But anyway, good post, Nat! I dig. Oh those Nigerian princes ;)

    • Oh, well, I suppose those princes still bring their princely charm, so they can be hard to resist… hahaha

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