Launching ayyo.life!

So, I am still learning Digital Marketing under the guidance and mentorship of two amazing guys – Deepak and Sanjay. Now a lot of the things they talk about has to be tried out. (That’s the whole point of the internship they have. If you haven’t heard of the internship, go here and here to learn more.)

Till now I have been putting all the content and doing the experiments on this site: shyamgovind.com. As I go about these trial and error experiments – I wish to have complete freedom in terms of what I can do with the site. I want to break it, re-build it then remove it altogether to build something new. Now I intend to use shyamgovind.com later as a personal brand. So, doing experiments with it may cause issues later as the online history of the website is not wiped off. It may screw up my SEO attempts later.

Presenting ayyo.life!

So I decided to spend as little as possible on a fresh new domain and buy the liberty of f*cking it up as many times as I want. I search for the most randomest domain names and didn’t find anything cheap which made me jump out of my chair. That’s when out of frustration I typed “ayyo” (an expression of exasperation in South India) on GoDaddy. Out came this result:

I seemed perfect for me, considering that all of India and the world is stuck in a lockdown due to Coronavirus. 🤷🏻‍♂️

It is an “Ayyo life“!

So, the updates to this site will stop for a while. I’ll see what to write on the ayyo.life website. Let’s see.

But before I move my new content to “Ayyo” (I love this name! :D) – let me summarize the state of my current website. The website is a WordPress site with few commonly used plugins. It is hosted on SiteGround. I plan to host ayyo.life on the same host server. I have setup Google Search Console and Google Analytics on the blog. The two tools also talk to each other, which means I can see the Search console data on the Analytics dashboard.

Ayyo.life setup

So in this blog post. I go through the process of setting up the WordPress blog once again. That’ll give me a much needed practice. Let’s get started. 🙂

Step 1: Login to Siteground.com & setup a wordpress site

SiteGround is a fabulous Web hosting service that I use to host my wordpress website, including this one. The plan I am on allows me to have multiple websites hosted. The screen after login looks as follows:

Click “Add new website” > “Existing domain”

Choose “New website” > “WordPress” and create an admin login for your website. SiteGround will create a basic website for you:

Once your basic site is setup, you’ll get the following mail:

But if I type http://ayyo.life on a browser pane right now, I get this:

The reason is DNS. You see when someone types the website name (called domain), our browser goes out to a certain type of Servers (called DNS servers) to find the address (called IP address) of the website. This is like searching for your home address when you say “home” in Google maps. Every website has an IP address, which tells the browser where the site is hosted. In this case, it is my SiteGround hosting address. If you see the email I received above – it is asking me to point my domain “ayyo.life” to site (the WordPress site we just made on SiteGround). Since we are yet to do that – I am unable to see the site.

Step 2: Editing the DNS server entries

DNS server (also called Nameserver) entries are to be edited at the place where you have bought the domains. I bought it from GoDaddy, so I have to go to GoDaddy and tell them that they need to point “ayyo.life” to a different address (sent to me in the SiteGround email). Let’s do that now. Login to GoDaddy and click on “DNS” for the particular domain. (in my case, it is – ayyo.life)

You can also get the NameServer details by right clicking on the SiteGround website entry > “Server Details”. Once you edit the DNS/NameServer entry in GoDaddy, your screens would look something like this:

Once you have done all this, you should see something as below when you type “http://<your domain>” on the browser. Note that “https://<your domain>” will give you an error, because we haven’t installed an SSL certificate.

Step 3 – Setup SSL

Next step is to ensure that you have an “https://” on your website. So, the browser should not throw a warning when someone types “https://<your domain>”. SiteGRound provides you free SSL with the Hosting plan. So, here is how you can add an SSL certificate to your new website.

Go to the SiteGround dashboard > Click on “Site tools” for your website. Click on “SSL Manager” and install the “Let’s Encrypt” certificate. You would see something as below:

Now when you type “https://<your domain>”, you would see a similar page loading.

Step 4 – Install WordPress software

The next step is to install the latest WordPress software on the site. On the same dashboard, you’ll see a WordPress menu > choose “Install & Manage” > “WordPress”. Keep the installation directory as “/”. Choose an admin credential for the new WordPress installation. Once the installation is complete a default wordpress site would come up. Here is how the screens look:

Step 5 – Login to WordPress dashboard and setup basics

Login to WordPress admin dashboard and edit the basic settings like Site title, tagline and time zone.

Step 6 – Install basic plugins and configure them

So, some of the plugins are essential for your blog. I am listing some of them which I found to be good, based on my research. You can choose based on what you think is important for you. Make sure that you install the plugins one at a time and move to the next after configuring the newly installed plugin.

Step 7 – Configure Search console and Analytics.

One of the plugin configurations I do here is for a plugin called Site Kit by Google. This plugin is an easy way to configure Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

Google Search Console is a tool that helps websites know if it is being indexed by Google. Google Analytics tells the website details of the traffic that it coming to its site.

The Site Kit plugin is an easy method to setup the two and link them.

Let’s start with basic Site Kit and Search Console setup:

Next we start with Analytics setup. If you have configured it properly, you should be able to see the stats when you open the website on another browser tab:

As I mentioned, Search Console is used to let Google know that a site like ayyo.life exists.

After the site is successfully indexed by Google, you’ll see something as follows:

Next we connect Search console to Analytics, so that we can see the whole thing in one dash board. This can be done in Google Analytics. Here’s how:

Final part of the puzzle to link the Page speed, which relatively straight forward. Just click on “Connect Service”:

Step 8 – Submit Site Map to Google Search Console

Submitting the sitemap to Google helps Google understand your website structure. Here’s how you do it (Yoast SEO plugin gives you the XML sitemap):

Step 9 – Install a light-weight theme

The final step before we stop is to install a light-weight theme for our brand new site. There are a few options like Astra, GeneratePress etc.

That’s it!

Ayyo.life is launched! Congratulations! 🙂

Until next time,

Shyam

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