Build and deploy a high-performing blog
It’s tempting to set up a blog on Wix, Medium or Blogger. Don’t do it.
- You will be at their mercy. “Free-to-use” blogging platforms may shut down without notice or display ads on your blog. Ad-free platforms like Medium are constantly evolving and there’s no guarantee that their changes will be to your benefit.
- You will limit opportunity. Platforms like Wix and Blogger are inflexible. As your blog develops and new opportunities arise, you will have limited mobility to seize those new opportunities.
- Your site won’t benefit from your blog. Google evaluates the authority and helpfulness of your entire site, in part, by looking at all of the links pointing at your domain. So if ‘yourblog.blogger.com’ is super successful, it won’t create any authority for your domain.
Hosting (plus security and support)
If you already know how to set up a WordPress blog on WP Engine with Cloudflare DNS (and CDN) then you can skip ahead to Topics section. Otherwise, here’s how:
WP Engine will automatically set up WordPress and then keep it secure.
WP Engine’s support is unrivaled. They support both the hosting environment and your WordPress software. So if you have, for example, an issue with your theme then WP Engine support will fix it.
And Cloudflare will make your blog load fast and will thwart hackers’ attacks (all of my sites use Cloudflare).
If you’re just starting your blog or your blog gets less than 25,000 visits/mo then get the Personal plan. If you have an existing blog with lots of traffic then migrate to the Professional plan. And if your blog is crushing it then get the Business plan.
DNS and CDN (high-performance)
DNS stands for domain name system. The system gets your domain to point to your blog.
Cloudflare built the world’s fastest and most reliable domain name system.
It’s easy to get your domain to point to your blog with Cloudflare. All you have to do is enter in the Cloudflare name servers at your domain registrar (like GoDaddy or NameCheap) and then enter the WP Engine details at Cloudflare. Here’s how:
The Cloudflare free plan meets the needs for the majority of blogs:
Here’s a collection of free and paid themes.
My Cofounder (and lead designer) at our agency is responsible for the curation.
All themes offer a delightful reading experience and are fully responsive. Most are even multipurpose so that your blog and site will match.
ThemesKingdom provides a membership access to impressively beautiful and functional WordPress themes. Lifetime updates and support for all themes included.
What theme do you use? Should we add a theme to this list? Tweet at me.
- Google Analytics by Monster Insights
- MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
- Yoast SEO
- Yoast SEO has received over a million downloads. It’s simple to set up and use. With Yoast SEO, you can add custom post titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords for your posts, pages, and taxonomies (tags, categories, etc). This becomes incredibly helpful when you want to level up to higher ranking keywords (I explain this in the Google Search section).
- Google Authenticator
- The Google Authenticator plugin for WordPress gives you two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app.
- The Cloudflare plugin for WordPress will automatically purge Cloudflare cache when you make an edit to your site. Without the plugin, you’ll need to login to Cloudflare and manually purge the cache when you edit the styling of your site.
What plugins do you use? Should we add a plugin to this list? Tweet at me.
Facebook pixel is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your blog. Most importantly, with Facebook Pixel you can build custom audiences.
Custom audiences from your blog allow you to target your Facebook ads to audiences of people who have visited your blog and remarket to people who show an interest in your products.
So even if you’re not yet advertising, install Facebook Pixel to put in motion the building of your custom audience.
How to set up Facebook Pixel
Set up the Facebook pixel by placing pixel code on the header of your website.
When someone visits your blog and takes an action (like completing a purchase), the Facebook pixel is triggered and reports this action. This way, you’ll know when a customer takes an action, and will be able to reach that customer again through future Facebook ads.