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aka, let’s see how much junk is in this trunk.

After Phase One, you now have a “working” DIY website. It works, but it ain’t pretty. I know you want to jump into the demo day portion of this build, a la Chip Gaines but you need to make sure to check the foundation of this DIY website first. Type in your URL & login to your website. You have now entered the Dashboard.

The Dashboard

This is your home base. As you can see on your website, there is a bar above that has buttons to go back and forth between the Dashboard & viewing your site (look for the home symbol on the top left & click that) & also has a button to view & log out of your account (look where it says “Howdy, {your name}” in the top right). On the left, you should see a BUNCH of options. The ones I want you to worry about today are Appearance, Plugins, & Settings.

Appearance

Hover over “Appearance” & choose “Themes” from the menu that pops up. There are two things that you need to do in this section:

Upload your theme

At the top of the screen, you should see a small button that says “Add New”. Click that button & follow the on-screen instructions. Oh, if you haven’t downloaded the files for your theme then do that now! Make sure to select the theme that you chose as the “Current Theme”. (It’ll say at the top if it is when it is uploaded!)

Delete all other themes

You don’t need all those other files clogging up your site. Click on the theme & choose “Delete”. Make sure the only theme in this section is the theme you chose!

Plugins

Go to the menu on the left and click “Plugins”. Plugins give WordPress extra functionality, but don’t trust all of them! Just like a theme, make sure to do your research before adding one to your site & keep them up to date! Two things here to do as well:

Deactivate & delete all pre-loaded plugins.

Except for maybe Akismet. If you have heard of a better spam filter, then go ahead & download that option. For now, Akismet will do just fine for your DIY site. You should see under the name of every plugin that it says “Deactivate” & then it will say “Delete”. Yes, go ahead & do that. Feel the power.

Add the following plugins.

  • WordFence: security, free/paid options
  • Yoast: SEO, free/paid options
  • Google Analytics: data about who is visiting your site
  • WP Smush: smushes your photos so that load time is shorter
  • Under Construction: can “hide” your site for the unveiling day!

Once they are added you will then need to make sure they are activated. Once activated, you will notice the menu on the left getting a leetle longer. Those new sections are the settings for your plugins. Take the time to get them set up! (If you have any questions, make sure to ask!)

Settings

Changing your Homepage

Hover over “Settings” & choose “Reading” from the submenu. Where it says “Your homepage displays…” you can choose for it to be your blog posts or a static page that you create. (More on Pages & Posts next phase.) Make sure to scroll down & click that save button.

Optimizing Posts for the best SEO start possible

Hover over “Settings” & choose “Permalinks” from the submenu. Under “Common Settings” choose “Post name”. Any blog posts that you write will now flow like www.awesomecompany.com/freakinawesomepost instead of www.awesomecompany.com/post#567. What the heck is post #567 about? I don’t know, & neither does Google.

Upload your Favicon

Think of your Favicon as the tiny logo that goes in the tab on your website window. (Mine is the ABVA in the white box.) To upload yours in Divi, you will hover over “Appearance” & choose “Customize”. From the new menu that pops up, click “General Settings” & then click “Site Identity”. At the bottom, it will say “Site icon”. Upload your Favicon there. I made mine using Canva. Once it’s uploaded, scroll to the top & click “Publish” to save!

(Different themes have different locations for the Favicon, so don’t be afraid to do some digging on Google!)

Wireframe your Website

THIS is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Get yourself some pencil & paper because it’s demo day, baby! Sorta. When I say “wireframe” I mean “draw out a rough sketch of your site”. Think about the pages that you want to include, pictures & where they will go, & the general flow of your site. You may also want to start looking into the colors that you want to use & the fonts as well. I would recommend finding 2-3 websites that you lurv & breaking down why you like them. If those sites aren’t in your industry, then I might also look into a couple of options that are in your industry. You’ll be able to see what is “industry standard” & how you can stand out from that!

Wrap Up

You got a taste for the Dashboard & even felt the power of deleting items from your website WITHOUT breaking anything! (If you did break something, then you may want to see about fixing that. Now. Call hosting support.) You started showing off some design skills as well with your favicon & wireframes. Start updating that resume, girl, cause you got skills!

If this post was helpful then make sure to comment below! If you have any questions make sure to comment them as well. And haters…well, to my left.

I’d love to see your wireframes for your site! You can send them to me in a DM on Instagram or Facebook.

Ann Bellow helps women who struggle with booking clients to become her own boss by breaking the patterns that keep her broke.

Do you want 1-3 private clients in the next 30 days? Let's talk!

Work with Me

Ann Bellow helps women who struggle with booking clients to become her own boss by breaking the patterns that keep her broke.

Do you want 1-3 private clients in the next 30 days? Let's talk!

Work with Me

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