Whilst you can just click the install option in your website control panel, there’s a lot more to going live with a WordPress website that you need to consider.
The control panel install option sets up the basics – it creates the database that does all the behind-the-scenes stuff in WordPress and puts up a skeleton for your website.
It’s then up to you or your website developer to flesh out the site so that it looks like a real website rather than a mannequin in a shop window that’s waiting for the window dresser to do their thing.
At that stage, you need to decide how your time is best spent.
If you’ve got more time than money and are good at learning how computers think then you could do everything to get your WordPress site live and looking good yourself.
The thing to remember with that approach is that – because there are computers involved in the process – things can and do go wrong. Which means that you run the risk of spending more time than you ever thought possible sorting out what’s happened. Some aspects of WordPress have an “undo” or “go back to previous version” option, others don’t.
For instance, I recently updated the theme (look and feel) of this site and that broke the complete way the site looked – I’ve got quite a lot of WordPress experience and it took me about half an hour to sort it out.
If that was your first WordPress experience, you’d likely have spent half a day upwards or given up completely.
The next option with going live with your WordPress site is to find a friend who will help you out.
Depending on their experience, this can be anything from two people wondering what to do through to having an experienced set of hands on the job or anywhere in between.
Sometimes you won’t know until you decide to ask for help or your site breaks.
Sad to say, the same logic can affect some of the cheaper WordPress website developers.
I’ve seen more than one asking for help in online forums on a problem they’ve encountered but don’t know how to solve.
Whilst that may be something you don’t see as a client (your website developer is unlikely to make you aware that they got stuck!) it is still something to be aware of at the cheaper end of the website development market.
The thing to be aware of is that unless your website developer has clicked the option that suggests to search engines that the site shouldn’t be indexed, your site is almost certainly live to the world. Which means that it can be accessed by anyone typing in the domain name.
The best way to go live with WordPress or any other website is to have as much as possible lined up before you install the site on the web.
Unless it’s told otherwise, Google seems to crawl round almost as soon as you’ve bought your domain and then it’s only a handful of days before it gets indexed and potentially found on the web.
You should plan to have at least a few pages for your website ready as soon as it is published. That way the search engines and potential site visitors have something to look at.
If you’re worried, make sure that your WordPress website developer does all the initial work on a protected area on their own server and then moves it across once you’re ready to go live.