Two critical components of any website
There are many essential components of a successful website, but here are 2 which are often overlooked, and yet are fundamental to your branding and efficient running of your business.
1. An email associated with your domain name
2. Automated back ups for your website.
Not the most exciting part of having a website, but certainly essential. So let’s dig in.
1. How to set up a professional email address
I was going to create screenshots to run you through this process, but as it’s specific to individual hosting providers, and they have their own tutorials, I’m going to link to them here.
I would recommend creating two email addresses, one for you which is what appears on your business card and which you give to business associates eg. email@example.com, and a second one which is for publishing on your website eg. firstname.lastname@example.org. The reason for this is because you are likely to experience spam on any email address which is published online. If you have a generic one, it means you can filter the emails that come to it.
Setting up your email on SiteGround tutorial – https://www.siteground.co.uk/tutorials/email/create_email_addresses.htm
This tutorial will create the email address. In order to receive it in your usual email client, eg. Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail, you can look in the left hand column, where they have tutorials which walk you through that process of configuration. Just click on the + symbol next to the application name, and you can choose the version that you’re using.
Setting up your email on 1&1 tutorial – https://help.1and1.com/e-mail-and-office-c37589/1and1-mail-basic-c37590/getting-started-c85087/create-an-e-mail-account-in-your-1and1-package-a616894.html
At the bottom of their tutorial, they also link to pages which walk you through configuring your email on different platforms such as Outlook.
If your hosting provider is using cPanel, as SiteGround does, the process will be identical to the one outlined in the SiteGround tutorial.
Once you have your emails set up, don’t forget to run a test to make sure that you’re able to send and receive emails on your new account.
If you want to use Gmail to receive your emails, you can follow the steps they have laid out for you in this tutorial here: https://www.siteground.com/kb/how-to-configure-google-mail-with-your-siteground-domain/.
2. Automating back ups for your website
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of backups and yet it’s such an overlooked area. Your hosting provider will hopefully provide backups, and will help you restore your site if there is ever a need to. However, it’s still important to retain your own backups as a safety net. There was an incident a few months ago where a major hosting provider lost all of their clients’ data, website files and backups. It’s HIGHLY unusual for that to happen, but for the sake of the 5 minutes it will take you to run through my outline, it’s absolutely worth the peace of mind.
The great thing about this task is that it’s also going to introduce you to the idea of installing plugins.
There are a number of paid back up plugins which you could use, but I’m going to direct you towards UpdraftPlus which is a free plugin.
To install it, log into your WordPress area and go to Plugins > Add New.
In the search field, type in Updraftplus. When it brings up the details, click on Install Now on the UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin.
Once you have done this, you can configure the plugin by running through a module on my WordPress Success Bootcamp program which I have made free for you to view here: http://wordpress-happiness-academy.teachable.com/p/wordpress-success-bootcamp. There’s no need for you to enrol, simply scroll to the bottom of the page to see the modules, and scroll to Week 2 where you will see the UpdraftPlus module which is free for you to view. (You need to click on the arrow at the bottom of the page to view all the modules and see Week 2).
So by the end of today, you will have a fully functioning email address which is associated with your domain name, and you will have a system which is taking automatic backups of your site without you having to lift a finger.