Do the first things first, as you continue to work on your first website.
What do I mean by do first things first?
- I normally change the status of a new website right away, to be able to view its progress.
- Visitors won’t care that your website may be viewable in an imperfect state.
- If yours is a personal website, nobody would even know that it exists for the first few months or longer.
- The website for a new business would not have many potential visitors.
- Without promoting a new website, visitors simply won’t visit it for many months to come.
Always log into your Admin Panel
Remember in WordPress Lesson 1: Build A Website From Scratch, you logged into your website’s dashboard as Admin?
You must always be logged in as an administrator to work on your website.
After logging into your Admin Panel successfully, your browser’s address bar should show: your_domain_name/wp-admin.
I needed to be logged into the WP Trench website to write these lessons… I logged in at wptrench.com/wp-admin with username WP Trench and my account’s corresponding password.
Your website starts off hidden away
Once you have logged into WordPress, you should see your website’s dashboard. And, it should look similar to that of the WP Trench website, shown below.
The message shown above means your website is hidden from visitors. We will unhide your website in a moment…
Expand the Stats by Jetpack pane
Do not activate either of the proposed features in the expanded Stats by Jetpack pane just yet.
As shown below, Jetpack’s Protect and Akismet services could be activated. They would protect your website against brute force attacks and spam filtering, respectively.
Let’s hope your new website grows in popularity over time. Wait for it to get to the point where it has has prolific visitors. At that time we can evaluate if your steady stream of visitors threatens your site, or not.
As you work through the lessons and continue to work on your first website, you will encounter other WordPress plugins. You will probably discover third party plugins that provide similar protection to Jetpack’s Protect and Akismet features. You may want to settle on some of those yet unknown plugins. Some plugins offer even better features and greater value.
Configure Jetpack’s basic features
Jetpack’s free plan comes with a number of must have features. So, even without their paid features, Jetpack’s basic plugin is well worth the trouble.
For instance, their free publicize feature is amazing. It makes sharing your site’s posts easy. It automatically shares your posts on several social media networks. This happens with no extra cost or effort, as you publish posts in WordPress.
That feature will come up in future lessons on your journey, just keep going. For now, you are simply going to opt to use Jetpack’s free plan.
Click on Set up Jetpack
At this point, you will notice that your WordPress dashboard gets replaced by the Jetpack Connect page.
Keep an eye out for the “return” button at the bottom right of the Jetpack page. It is called Return to WP Admin. If you don’t see it, then you will need type: your_domain_name/wp-admin (in the address bar of your browser), when you need to return.
In my case, I would have to type wptrench.com/wp-admin to return to my website’s dashboard.
Under the heading called Create an account to set up Jetpack… you should see this webform, and fill it out:
Click on Create your account
For the purpose of drafting these lessons, I created the dedicated email@example.com email account.
In my case, I had this response:
A message was promptly sent to my firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
Your Jetpack activation email message should look similar to the one shown below:
To confirm your new account…
Click on Confirm now
I recommend sticking with Jetpack’s free plan. Scroll through their plans…
Click on My Plan: Free
Return to your website’s dashboard…
Click on Return to WP Admin
Glancing at your WordPress dashboard
Click on Dashboard ➪ Home
Don’t worry if your dashboard’s home page is full of gobbledigook. As you progress through these lessons, you will learn how use it. It manages your website’s content and controls things behind the scenes.
Like all new WordPress websites, yours should have come with an initial post called Hello World!
Interpreting: Dashboard ➜ Home
- Notice that, under the heading called At a glance, your website has one post, one page and one comment.
- And, under the heading called Activity, you can see the recently published content. At this stage, that would be the installer’s initial sample post and comment.
- WordPress encourages you to use the Quick Draft feature to start a new post. I would not normally start a new post in that manner.
Interpreting: Dashboard ➜ Updates
Click on Dashboard ➪ Updates
The updates page on your dashboard provides a summary of the these types of updates WordPress Updates, Plugins and Themes.
It is critical that you keep your WordPress core, plugins and themes up to date!
The Enable Backup button (above) is an example of how Jetpack will be nudging you in the early days to upgrade to one of their paid plans. Their free plan can do everything you need for the foreseeable future. Do not click on Enable Backups!
Let’s unhide your new website
Click on Home ➪ Coming Soon Active
You should see this message under the heading called “Coming Soon Active“.
Your site is currently displaying a “Coming Soon” page. This allows you to work on your site without the public seeing until you are ready to unveil it.
Click on Launch your site
Let’s view your new website
Under the heading called Congratulations your site is now live!, you should see this message:
Your site is now live for the public to see! Make sure you are checking back frequently to see your visitors comments and feedback.
Click on view Site
As you view your new website, you should see the initial (system generated) blog post called Hello World!
Refer to the address bar of your browser. The URL of your post contains a date. WordPress is designed to show blog posts on the home page and to use dates in URLs, right out of the box.
I have good reasons for not keeping these particular default settings around. You will learn why not in future lessons on your journey.
Let’s delete your initial post and page
There are different ways to delete posts and pages in WordPress. Below, we are looking at: delete post just by itself, or bulk delete pages.
Click on Posts
You can simply hover over the Hello World! post and delete it using the Trash option in the popup menu, as shown below.
Click on Pages
You can perform Bulk Actions if you want to delete multiple pages. In the example shown below, I deleted two pages together.
Why were there two pages to delete?
While I never mentioned a second page, there were two pages to delete… The truth is that WordPress came with two initial pages. One was a published page and the second was a draft. The unpublished second page was not recognized, as a page.
Editing your website versus viewing it
I prefer to edit a website in my default (Chrome) browser, and view it separately in Firefox. Separating the editing from the viewing allows me to tinker and see what visitors see, as I make changes.
What is covered in other lessons?
In WordPress Lesson 1: Build A Website From Scratch, you build a new website, to use in all the other lessons.
We will discuss website caching in a future lesson. You will learn that not turning off server-side caching causes frustration you have not even begun to explore.
You have now done the first things first
Congratulations, you have just done the first things to be done.
If you found this lesson useful or would like to see some changes, please comment or leave suggestions.
The preceding lesson was WordPress Lesson 1: Build A Website From Scratch,