Now that I have a layout of sorts, it’s time to make this site ready for the public (and Google).
In order to get some additional functionality – for example, knowing how many people, if any, subscribe to it – I am running the RSS feed for this site through Feedburner. Feedburner not only gives you statistics, but also the ability to embed ads in your feeds. I use the FD Feedburner plugin to redirect WordPress Feed URLs to Feedburner. I also added the Jetpack RSS Button widget to the sidebar since the WordPress theme Twenty Eleven doesn’t have “built in” links for that.
I’ve also added Analytics to this site. For this, I like the Google Analyticator plugin. As an aside, I also use the Google Ad Wrap plugin – even though FromTheOfficeToTheBeach does not contain any advertisement right now. The Ad Wrap plugin wraps the actual content of my posts in HTML comments:
<!-- google_ad_section_start --> <!-- google_ad_section_end -->
These comments are used by Google to determine what part of the web page is actual content as opposed to supporting structure. My theory and hope is that Google will still pick up on this even when no advertisement is used, at any rate it shouldn’t hurt to have these.
To prevent content from being indexed multiple times, I’ve edited my robots.txt file to add /category/ and /tag/ to the list of directories crawlers should ignore. I use SEO Ultimate, but for this experiment I turned everything off except the File Editor module.
I’ve registered this webpage in my Google Webmaster tools account. I like Google Webmaster tools because of the statistics and “health checks” it offers. I am also submitting my XML sitemap to Google; it is being automagically created by the XML & Google News Sitemap Feeds plugin for WordPress. This will cause Google to index the site but as I write this post that hasn’t happened yet.
Finally, my “Just do it” friend commented that I should add a Facebook “Like” button. The social media sharing buttons did include a Facebook button, but it did not look like the normal “Like” button. I looked into it and it turns out that Jetpack’s sharing module allows you to the sharing buttons to “official” styles. I did that, figuring less confusion on the function of these buttons is absolutely essential in the long run. I’ve also enabled the Open Graph Pro plugin to provide metadata to social media sites in the event someone shares an URL with them.
That pretty much covers all the basics, I think. Now that I have a functional site I can tackle some actual content – next time.