It’s been a while since I’ve done a domain development project and since I’m trying to do my best to stay home to avoid getting the Coronavirus I thought this would be the perfect weekend to do it. The domain name I’ll be developing is TagManager(dot)com, a domain I got actually with development in mind years ago.
Whenever I buy a domain that I think, “hey maybe someday I’ll develop this,” I never have the time so I usually end up putting a landing page on it through a service like Efty. One very useful thing about doing this is that you can still keep track of analytics. I was poking around last week and saw that TagManager(dot)com got 4,500 unique visitors in February which means if I put a site on the name it will instantly have 100+ people a day going to it.
Domain names with traffic provide a great base for a new site, if you’re already getting thousands of visitors a month without showing up in Google, there’s nowhere to go but up once you do start ranking. Since I’ve been using WordPress for over ten years now I’m pretty comfortable getting everything setup and since I also have been writing every day for almost fourteen years, banging out some initial content also isn’t super time-consuming for me. So I thought, why not put together a site in a weekend and share the process with all of you?
If that sounds interesting, read on! 🙌
First I’ll outline the general process I’m going to follow in turning TagManager(dot)com into a living breathing website:
- Setup hosting on WP Engine
- Pick a cool looking theme on ThemeForest.net
- Do initial WordPress setup
- Write first three blog posts
- Create initial pages like About and Contact Us
- Add Google Analytics plugin and tracking code
- Setup my favorite WordPress SEO plugin (All In One SEO Pack)
I already have an account with WP Engine, it’s the same hosting service I use for this blog. I’ve used WP Engine for a long time now, they rock. As for finding a WordPress theme on Themeforest, this can take some time because there are soooooo many options.
I decided to go with a theme called Futura which is considered a “Minimal Blog Theme.” I personally like more simple themes that don’t have a lot of distractions and are easy to setup. It’s also critical that you pick a theme that’s responsive since you can expect 50% or more of your traffic to come from mobile.
Installing a WordPress theme is insanely easy, it takes less than 30 seconds to do. If you’ve never done it before, you can read this to learn how. Once the theme is installed I have a little checklist I go through, I feel like this would probably be better off in a post of its own so I’ll whip that up tomorrow morning.
After doing the initial setup I wrote the first blog post and called it a day. Tomorrow I’ll write two more blog posts, setup the initial pages, get Google Analytics rocking and then see how things go. If you want to know why I bought this name in the first place, just read the blog post, Tag Managers happen to be something we deal with all the time at Bold Metrics so when I saw this expiring a few years ago I couldn’t help but pick it up.
If you want to start your own blog and are looking-into WP Engine I recommend starting with the WP Engine Startup Plan, it’s only $27/month. Managed hosting is the way to go IMO since it means you don’t have to worry about servers, updates, etc. everything is done for you so you can just stay focused on building your site. The support at WP Engine is amazing, if you want to try it just call them and see for yourself.
Okay, here’s what I did today (Saturday), it took about an hour total to get setup the blog on WP Engine, pick the theme, do the initial WordPress setup and write the first post. If it’s your first time doing this I’d probably budget two hours but honestly, getting the basics in place shouldn’t take much longer than that. Here’s what I have after that hour…pretty boring right?
Tomorrow it will all come together, but that’s it for today!