In Part 2 of this series we looked at Domain Names and Hosting options, be sure to check that out if you need it.
Carrying straight on from Part 2 we are going to take a quick dive into SSL, CDN, and getting the basic WordPress setup done. This should be a quick set of tasks to complete and then we are one step closer to making 1 dollar online.
What is SSL?
Ever notice that little padlock in the address bar?
An SSL certificate on a website gives visitors the security that ensures their confidential information is encrypted (scrambled up) while being transmitted. This helps protect against “eavesdropping” by people who want to steal people’s data.
In Cloudways switch to Applications, then select your new website.
You will see a screen similar to below.. select “SSL Certificate” from the left menu.
Click into the drop-down box and select “Let’s Encrypt”
Make sure Auto Renewal is set to Enable
Finally, click Save Changes.
>> That’s SSL setup on your website and we don’t have to touch that again.
Content Delivery Network is basically making copies of your website and storing them all around the world so wherever someone is they will get to see your website quickly.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a collection of servers located around the world that deliver web content in an efficient manner. This means that if you have a popular website, it will load faster for your visitors. CDNs are especially useful for hosting large amounts of data, such as graphics, movies, and other media-rich files.
We are going to use Cloudflare CDN at this stage… because it’s free and super quick too.
Creating Cloudflare CDN
You should be directed to a page asking for your site same, enter your site, and click next to the Select plan screen.
It may not be immediately obvious, but the Free option is sneakily disguised at the bottom.
Select the Free option at the bottom and click Continue.
The next screen is asking you to review the DNS settings. Don’t worry about this for now and click Continue.
Cloudflare will ask you to change the NameServers. For this step we need to go back to NameCheap.com
Inside NameCheap on your dashboard, click “Manage ” next to your domain name
Find the Nameserver section and click the drop-down to select Custom DNS
Directly below replace the text with the following:
Click the little green tick to save.
Sometimes it can take up to 48 hours for these settings to apply, so if you cant see your site. Don’t worry it’s perfectly normal.
Now, its time to see your brand new shiny website 🙂
WordPress Proper URL’s
I’ve decided to start a new site as I write this tutorial and as you can see above it is called GetBike.fit
The plan is to use GetBike.fit as an example of what can be achieved by following this guide alone.
Go to your Cloudways account and login into the Applications section.
You should be on the Access Details screen like below:
I have oranged out my personal details just in case!
Click the icon next to your URL under Admin Panel to open your WordPress Site.
Click the password to copy the password. You may want to save this password so you don’t lose it. But, it should always be available here for you.
In the login page of your new site, enter your email and paste in your new password.
If this is your first time using WordPress it may look a bit confusing at first, don’t worry over time it will you’ll know it like the back of your hand.
From the menu on the left head over to Settings > Permalinks.
Select the Post Name option and save changes.
Changing this to Post Name will tell WordPress to show nice and clean URL’s to your visitors. For example, by default if you had a page titled “best winter tires” then the URL would be:
Which looks really ugly and can make it harder for Google to crawl your site. By changing Permalinks to post name we will get a clean URL like this:
A much better look, I’m sure you agree.
Get a new WordPress theme
Ok, we are really shifting gears now…
The theme I use on all my sites is GeneratePress, they have a free version and a paid version. You will be OK using the free version for now, and if you want to upgrade for some of the paid features later that’s up to you.
A WordPress theme used to be about what it lets you do, now with this GeneratePress theme it’s more of a blank canvas to create your masterpiece. There are no real obstacles in your way… if you want a footer with 20 columns – by damn you can have it!
There are other themes out there so feel free to look around, install a couple and get a feel for different themes. I’m just so used to this one and feel comfortable guiding other people around this one as this is where my experience is.
Alternatively, use this link to download the GeneratePress theme directly from the developer’s website.
Click install and then Activate.
Little bit of design
Click Customize to enter the themes design screen.
I have the free version on this website right now and you can see from the screenshot below, there are plenty of options.
I will say go for a simple design right now… by this, I mean white background, one simple font, simple header. This is not the time to design your site like, we only want it to be presentable. This is because… firstly it’s empty and it’s hard to design an empty site, the second I’ve seen people lose weeks and months designing their sites.
Crazy – I know right!
We are not here to build beautiful sites, we are to learn affiliate marketing and make money. So lets keep the priority on point.
Set a time Iimit, say 1 to 3 hours fiddling with your website design… then get back on track to the job at hand… making money online.
If your worried about how it looks… don’t be… we will come back to the design later in this series.
- Clear font. If unsure use Roboto for everything.
- Use a light color, I start with white
- Set a side bar
- Don’t create a custom for your home page
Wrapping up this article
When I create a new site for the purpose of making money i.e. starting an affiliate site, the focus is on speed. I want to get the site on Google as quickly as possible, I want to get that first dollar faster than an Olympian sprinter!
So, I keep everything to bare-bones minimum, I can come back to these small jobs later because I know these have next to zero value yet can soak up mountains of time.
However, if you want a more in-depth guide with detailed videos and explanations on every little detail then I recommend you check the guys at Authority Hacker. Now, this isn’t just a floozy plug… this is where I learned to do what I do now. These guys are in-depth and spend the time making sure you are fully covered in training. I am always grateful to Gael and Mark at Authority Hacker (and their team) for giving me the tools I have today.
So if you want more in-depth video training check out Authority Hacker free training here.
In the next article we will be setting up analysis tools like Google Analytics, Search Console and looking for an SEO Plugin to help us in the future.
Just to add… I didn’t realize until writing this blog series that there is actually rather a lot of work getting set up before we start writing our first article/blog post. But, don’t worry, as this stuff is set it up once and forget about it for many years.