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Management and Promotion of Your Website

Welcome to the final step in the First Website Setup Series. By now, you should have web hosting including a domain name, setup your content management system (WordPress), and installed a professional WordPress theme by StudioPress. Now, it is time to configure your theme, maximize the potential of your new WordPress site, and learn some marketing techniques to help you get started.

Status: Your website is live, WordPress is working, and here you are staring at your site thinking “What did I do wrong? It look nothing like the StudioPress demo!” Don’t panic, you’ve done everything correctly and the display of your site, as-is right now, is 100% correct. All we need to do is configure the theme.

Guide to Managing and Monetizing Your Site

  1. Before we configure your theme, I’d like to take this opportunity to share our complete WordPress video training series. This series has a fee of $10-$29 to access, however, if you’ve ordered InMotion Hosting by using our links here on Web Hosting Training, then you qualify for free lifetime access to WordPress training (a $39 value!).

    All you need to do is register for a free account on Web Hosting Choose then follow this link, fill out the form, and gain free WordPress training access.

  2. Configure Your StudioPress Theme: By using Step 1 above and spending an hour or so watching videos, you will now have a much better understanding of how WordPress works. Lets harness that knowledge by configuring your theme.
  3. Monetizing Your Website: Learn some ideas to immediately monetize your new website. Here, we show you how to use Google Adsense on your website. You can use this to learn how to implement any advertiser-provided codes on your site, not just Adsense.
  4. Recommended WordPress Plugins: Our list of recommended plugins that will help you extend the default features of WordPress. Many of these plugins are absolutely necessary for a successful site, so be sure not to skip this section.
  5. Creating an Email Address: Now that you have your own domain name with web hosting, you can now create an email address that uses your domain name for additional professionalism. This little guide shows you how.

Configuring Your New StudioPress Theme

The biggest hurdle you now face is setting up your website to appear like the demo and then configure it to make it your own. StudioPress provides full documentation for each theme that gives you a textual walk-through on setting up your theme. However, I take it way further by walking you through the entire process.

I split this process into 2 bite-sized chunks so that you can follow along at your own pace.

Note: I’m not using a strange gimmick of “Your WordPress site up and running in 3 minutes!” like I’ve seen other sites do. What they do is show you the process with the video sped up, by up to 10x normal speed, just to fit it in. I don’t know about you, but when I’m learning, I don’t want the tutorial to go by lightening quick. This video series literally holds your hand with a slow and methodical process so you can see what needs to be done and properly follow along while explaining what I am doing, and why.

Part 1: Using WordPress and StudioPress Together

This video shows you how to find your theme’s instructions and then I show you the various theme sections on a live test site. I also walk you through importing sample posts to start with, switching color schemes, and setup the navigation menus.

Filmed in 720p HD, Duration: 12:15. Theme Customized: Metro Child Theme

During playback, click the bottom right Full Screen Icon icon in the video to enter full-screen mode with HD quality. When finished, hit the Esc key to leave full screen mode.

Part 2: Configure the Main Page Sections and Sidebar Content

This video will walk you through configuring the main page content widget sections including “Home – Top”, “Home – Middle Left”, “Home – Middle Right”, and the rest of the sections. I also show you how to embed Tweets, display recent posts, and how to configure the footer widget sections.

Filmed in 720P HD. Duration: 11:36.

Monetizing Your Website

One of the easiest ways to get advertising on your website, quickly and efficiently, is to use Google AdSense.

What is Google AdSense?

Google AdSense provides a free and flexible solution to make money from your websites. This system scans your page’s content and attempts to deliver relevant advertising that your viewers are interested in. If a user clicks the advertisement, you earn money.

Once you have created an Adsense code for use on your website, you will need to find a place to put this code on your website. Thankfully, by using the “Text” widget, you can enter your Adsense code.

In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Widgets. From there, follow the screenshot below.

Text Widget Configuration

Once complete, the widget will open up and you can copy/paste your Adsense code there and save. Take a look at your website and make sure everything looks good. Note: If you just recently created an Adsense code, you will need to wait up to an hour for the ads to appear.

Scott’s Recommended WordPress Plugins

How to Install WordPress Plugins

The above Metro theme setup videos briefly shows how I install WordPress plugins. For a full understanding, please follow the instructions in Lesson 20 of our WordPress Training Series, How to Install WordPress Plugins. Remember, we give you free access for registering your hosting through us. Click here to claim.

  • Akismet – The first problem you will face is comment spam on your posts. Instead of disabling comments on your posts which thwarts user engagement, I recommend setting up Akismet. This plugin is provided already by default with your WordPress installation, all you need to do is go to your Plugins page, click “Settings” under Akismet, and follow the instructions to get an API key. During retrieval of your key, you can tell their website you are a personal blog and get this service free.
  • Jetpack – This is a fantastic fully featured plugin that offers statistics, contact forms, social networking icons, additional widgets, broadcasting ability to your social networks, enhanced image galleries, and a ton of other features. Although a very large plugin and can cause site slow-downs, you can disable features you do not like or want. A must-have plugin!
  • Simple Social Icons – StudioPress simple social icons is fantastic. It offers the ability to add social networking icons to your website and even provides the ability to adjust rounding, font color, and background colors. This is a very fast-loading system that uses icon fonts to pull off the look, rather than a ton of images.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin creates XML sitemaps to assist search engines with crawling your website. All you need to do is install the plugin, activate it, and generate the first sitemap. After that, every time you post, it will auto-update on its own.
  • W3 Total Cache – This plugin creates cached files of your pages and posts so that they load quicker. Minimally, I recommend activating the plugin then go to Performance (bottom left of dashboard) > General Settings. Place a check in the box for “Page Cache” then click “Save All Settings.” You may ask your host for additional instructions if you want to fine-tune later on.

Creating an Email Address that Uses Your Domain Name

Log in to your InMotion Hosting cPanel  (example URL https://yourdomain.ext:2083/). Then click “Email Accounts” as shown:

Create an Email Account with cPanel

From there, ignore the McAfee Email Protection offer and fill out the form with your desired email account(s) including a hard to guess password, select “Unlimited” for the email quota, and create your account. You can use a free mail application like Mozilla Thunderbird to read your mail or click “Webmail” in the screenshot above if you want to just access your mail by logging in to cPanel.

Guide Completed!

This is our main guide and will be updated as needed. If you have any suggestions for improving this guide, feel free to contact us using the link at the top of the site.

Be sure to bookmark our Website Setup Training course and please share it around.

If you were doing your homework first by reading through the first time, head back to web hosting setup page to begin creating your first website!