Growth Hacking Web Development
The Ultimate WordPress Virtual Assistant Checklist:
DOWNLOAD FREE PDF HERE or Read Below:
The Ultimate WordPress Virtual Assistant Checklist:
A website is the critical backbone of any company’s digital infrastructure.
While building my boutique digital marketing agency I have built many sites across a plethora of industries as well as managed over £12,000 of social media marketing budget.
To help spread my knowledge and expertise of the leading content management system I have decided to create a free guide along with the open source nature of WordPress.
WordPress allowed me to build my business and was the first service I offered customers.
Even today it is at the core of our service list.
I have broken down the tasks into a simplified checklist for a virtual assistant/entrepreneur to follow.
I assume that the reader has no knowledge of coding or programming at all. All you need is a bit of persistence and the tenacity to do the appropriate research in the direction I have pointed you in with this guide. At times aspects of this guide might become outdated. However the core values and directions shall always stay the same. “There is more than one way to skin a cat”
This resource allows you too to build your own website or a website design and development agency which can be completely outsourced through Virtual Assistants.
Allowing you to have free time to develop your business, close new sales and focus on higher level tasks in your business or tasks you find most enjoyable.
The Checklist consists of three key sections:
3. Design and Development
1. Domain: (It turns an I.P Address into letters)
The best domains are the most simple and shortest names. If your desired domain name is unavailable I suggest using a country specific domain name.
Otherwise a .com domain name is the most desirable.
These can be purchased at Namecheap.com which have the best rates and service I have experienced so far.
A common trap for hosts is to get tempted by low rates, these honey pot offers often come tied in to several years at higher rates in the fine print. It is incredibly important to choose a good, reliable host from the beginning.
The best host is a company which is always there for you at a moment’s notice with the best support possible. Without a doubt this is www.siteground.com/www.siteground.co.uk which has fantastic 24/7 chat support.
They also provide advanced assistance with everything a great host could offer from Speed optimization, Security, Automatic Backups and even Automatic Updates.
Perfect for WordPress which is often pushed updates for the CMS, Plugins and Theme due to its open source nature.
Discounted from $14.99/mo.
- 1 Website
- 10 GB Web Space
- ~ 10,000 Visits Monthly
- Unmetered Traffic
- Free WP Installation
- Free WP Migrator
- WordPress Auto Updates
- Free SSL
- Daily Backup
- Free CDN
- Free Email
- WP-CLI and SSH
- Out-of-the-box Caching
- Unlimited Databases
- 100% renewable energy match
- 30-Days Money-Back
3. Design and Development:
A) Once you have purchased your domain you will want to navigate to the Domain Name Servers (DNS) and change the Name Servers to your new Hosting Provider.
This typically takes just a few minutes but a warning will pop up saying that changes require 24 hours.
B) Once you have purchased your hosting plan you will want to access CPanel, this nifty tool will allow you to control your servers without needing to know any code.
Once you are logged in you should be able to find your name servers very quickly to change your domain.
3. Setup your domain by “adding domain” on Cpanel.
Also make sure to visit the security section of your Cpanel create and Install your free SSL certificate.
(Other Hosts might charge you for this)
4. Use a one click WordPress auto installer such as softaculous to install WordPress on your new domain and host.
Create login credentials and keep safe
(refresh periodically for maximum security)
5. Login to the website through the link or
Download a maintenance plugin and activate it to make sure no one can access the site while it’s being built.
6. Buy, Download and Install your Theme.
Other key factors include how fast updates are issued, reviews, ease of use, documentation clarity and compatibility.
While I have used many themes I would suggest picking a basic one such as Rhythm or Foundry which have solid theme options which allow you to change anything you could imagine without the need for coding a single line of CSS.
7. Download and Install Required Plugins:
Your theme will come with a few plugins, make sure these are working correctly before you begin. The best themes have an automated theme installation walkthrough.
Make sure to grab some of the best plugins from Siteground.com such as SG Optimizer which helps with Caching and speed optimisation.
As well as the latest from Google Analytics and Dashboard.
8. Import your Demo Content.
If you are new to web design the most resource efficient way of building your site is to download a demo and just alter it to your liking.
A common trap for this is that people choose demos based on the content and not the layout.
I recommend focusing for a simple layout and just replacing the content if you are new to web design.
Such things like Header styles also make or break sites in terms of layout.
If you are really nervous you can always go with a one page design. These demos are often available for view on the theme page of Envato before purchasing.
The easiest way to run imports is through WordPress importer which can be found under tools and often needs updating.
9. Delete Irrelevant Demo Content:
Depending on your chosen method of downloading the demo content (either through .xml or the theme dashboard itself) you might have some pages or sections that you do not need.
If you are using a page builder that allows you to save your templates you can save sections you might use later and delete the rest of the pages.
10. When logged in and viewing your site you need to click the customiser on the top black bar which will allow you to set your site identity, front page and news section.
This section will change depending on your chosen theme, I recommend
11. Begin Designing your Site:
Once you are back on the page you wish to begin designing you can click the edit page and begin getting to work with the favourite builder of your choice.
Mine is WpBakeryBuilder and personally I like to keep a live window for me to check the design as I go along.
I strongly suggest starting the design from the header style before working on the content of the page.
The most important thing to remember is to keep a website minimal, less is often more.
Concise words at the right places speak volumes. Take the information and images provided by the client and try to sharpen them into powerful sales copy which show the benefit of
12. Graphic Design Work:
For any Graphic Design Elements that you will need to really make your website stand out I would highly recommend Canva.com which is by far the best tool for any non photoshop expert. It is extremely easy to use and best of all FREE if you don’t mind not using a feature or two such as background removers.
You can easily redesign an element by inspecting it and viewing the dimensions then putting these dimensions as custom dimensions on your design on Canva.com
I highly suggest an impressive splash screen/home screen to be made with Canva.com as it is the most important section of the site.
Together with Revslider you can make some truly impressive designs.
An often overlooked part of a website.
I recommend using Canva.com and
favicomatic.com keep in mind it will be very tiny so avoid text or complicated images.
Set the structure of the website and the hierarchy of the pages. Try not to use more than 5 Columns and plan your SEO structure carefully for present and future.
15. Alter 404 and Login Page:
The best examples of these I have seen use witty copywriting to bring some humour as usually only a few key people see this and it’s usually during frustrating times.
16. Create the first few articles in the blog:
The first few articles are vital for setting the tone and direction for future posts within an identified category.
Don’t forget to delete demo posts and set a layout that you favour. Personally I really like the side column which allows smart widgets and other functionality your audience could gain value from.
17. Test Responsiveness:
You can test this by running tests on websites like gtmetrix, google, Neil Patel etc and by opening and inspecting it in your browser while changing the device.
Make sure all images are also showing their best on mobile.
As a general rule you should design by mobile first.
18. Test Contact Form:
The single biggest mistake you can make is to have a broken contact form. Make sure you test each and every contact form on your website to make sure it is working correctly and the correct automated replies are being issued.
19. I highly recommend using Captcha and registering your website.
This will allow you various levels of security and options.
A Feature you really wish you had installed before you start getting swarmed with bots and pesky php injections attacks.
20. On-site SEO:
Install Yoast and make sure all your pages follow the appropriate SEO structure for your business, have the correct alt tags for images and make sure each page/post has an appropriate featured image. Optimize Permalinks by going into the dashboard, settings and then finding Permalinks.
The best Permalink structure (at the time of writing) is as short and clean as possible without a date.
Choose Post Name as a beginner.
21. Off-site SEO:
-Register your business on GoogleMaps (Google My Business) and authenticate by Mobile or Mail.
Click share and embed to get html code for your website.
-Copy Paste all appropriate social media links and include it in the website footer.
-Register your site on Google Search Console
Not to be laughed at or ignored, one of the biggest drawbacks of an open source CMS is the sheer amount of viruses, bots and hackers it attracts.
There are some easy free ways to protect your site that will avoid you having to shell out several hundred dollars on experts per compromised site in the long run.
A. Download and Install Wordfence Plugin
B. Download and Install Loginizer Plugin
C. Download and Install Google XML Sitemap and Disable XML-RPC Authentication
D. Change Default Login URL
E. Use Generate Password for Maximum Security
F. Do NOT use admin as a username
The setup of these need to be researched carefully as security is one of the toughest aspects of wordpress and is constantly updating. Best practices for each plugin can be found by googling and using youtube tutorials.
23. Final Checks:
Check websites using Google Page Speed Insights and GT-Metrix as well as checking multiple browsers and devices for responsiveness.
Finally create and setup mail by using an automated script or manually via siteground and Test your contact forms before going live and removing maintenance mode.
You can create this for free on https://policymaker.io/
24.a My Favourite Growth Hacking Tools for Website Development:
-Remove Background https://www3.lunapic.com/editor/
-Reduce Image Sizes https://tinypng.com/ (Not needed on siteground)
-The Best Host available online Siteground.co.uk
-The Best Domains www.namecheap.com
-The Best Themes www.themeforest.com
Useful Browser Extensions
-Measure your Screen with Page Ruler Redox
Perfect for making minor spacing corrections for various elements and devices
-Find the Colour Hex Colour on screen with Colourpick Eyedropper
Great time saver for matching colours and matching appropriate brand guidelines. Thank You for Test Driving my Growth Hacking Web Development Guide. Feedback Welcome & Encouraged at @ArunTeelock