Publishing a site basically means making your site accesible from a public domain. When thats done, these would be the next steps:
- Make a sitemap
- Check robots.txt
- Create Google Search Console account and index your sitemap
- Write meta descriptions for your pages
- Secure the code
- Handle cookies and privacy
1. Make sitemap
Creating sitemap can be done manually or automatically. The syntax is pretty easy so the manual option is not impossible. I recommend automating this process using tools available for your solution.
Here's my sitemap: https://sampovirmasalo.fi/sitemap.xml
Tip: You can easily check out different kinds of sitemaps by browsing to any public website and adding /sitemap.xml or /sitemap_index.xml after the domain.
2. Check robots.txt
Robots.txt is a file in the root of your website folder structure, the same folder where the index file is. Robots file can either block search engin robots from indexing your site, allow indexing or partially allow and block. The robots.txt is usually handled by the same tool that takes care of your sitemap generation.
User-agent: * Disallow:
User-agent: * Disallow: /
Partially block and allow:
User-agent: * Disallow: /example-subfolder/blocked-page.html
Comprehensive guide to robots.txt can be found from here: MOZ - Robots.txt
3. Create Google Search Console account and index your sitemap
Google does eventually index the sites that allow crawling but this can take some time. To make Google start to index your site faster, you can send the sitemap to be indexed by using the free Google Search Console.
Google Search Console can be found from here: https://search.google.com/search-console/about and can be accessed with your google account.
Tip: Go through the tools found from Google Search Console.
4. Write meta descriptions for your pages
Meta description is one of many possible metadata values that can make your website rise up in ranks. Metadata values are something that you don't see while browsing the site itself, but something the screen readers and robots read. Via metadata you can, for example, define what is shown in the search engine result or is your content be about books or cars or what.
The reason I pointed out the meta description to be the one to define first is that it is probably the most relevant one right after the page title. It's also the part of the search result that can look totally f*cked up if not defined. Here's my example:
The fast lane: https://devhints.io/html-meta
The rabbit hole: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Glossary/Metadata
5. Secure the code
Don't overlook the security. Here's a comprehenisve article that basically lists the many ways you can make your code more secure: https://wordpress.org/support/article/hardening-wordpress/
It might be a good idea to check these from your developer. The article is in context of WordPress but applies to other frameworks and techniques as well.
6. Handle cookies and privacy
This subject is so boring and complex that I'm not going to cover it. Just make sure your website has the following things:
- An "app" that let's user to apply into different types of cookies. Make sure by default there are no tracking before the user applies.
No one will come to your new and shiny website by themselves. That's a fact. No one.
There's various ways to promote your website and it's up to you which to choose. For example, my way of promoting my website is full on querrilla (read: minimal to none). I don't share these articles basically anywhere and that's why there's only very little traffic to this website.
But you shouldn't go this way.
This is what you should do:
- Share, share again, share again, ...and again, again
- Share even you sick and tired of it
- If you have money, spend it to promotional ads on TikTok, Meta, Reddit, Twitter, Linkedin...etc.
Remember this: You can only optimize the content after you have some data to optimize from. So STOP browsing your website as it would reveal some secrets to you and keep on sharing. Performance can be optimized from day one though, so that's something you could do in between sharing.