If you know how to make a website, go back now! This thread isn't for people who know what they're doing (Although you may still find some value) This is for people who are just getting started in the world of Internet Marketing and want to learn the complete process of building a website. I understand you won't want to read the whole thing if there's nothing in there that may interest you. Here's what's inside the thread: Domains While domains are a significantly large factor when it comes to ranking, they’re not the be-all and end-all. There’s no denying that picking up a strong domain will give you a nice initial boost and help you to get ranking faster, however, for people who want to build up an authoritative brand over months (possibly even years), having a recognisable and memorable domain name is much more important than a little SEO boost. If you’re going to go down the brand route, it’s important that you come up with a name that you are 100% happy with. Changing your domain name down the road is a possibility, but it’s not something that you should even be considering. If you’re struggling to come up with a catchy, interesting brand name then you could try a “Domain name generator” that takes a keyword you enter and runs millions of possible domain combinations related to it, displaying a list of domain ideas in a matter of seconds. Things to remember: Competition: Before deciding on a domain name, quickly check that there aren’t any major competitors with a similar name. The last thing you want is a cease and desist letter because you violated a trademark or something. Keep it short and sweet! If I asked you to list five websites with names over ten characters, could you? Keeping your domain name as short and simple as possible is incredibly important when building an authority site. Try to avoid using numbers and hyphens. Take your time. Don’t rush into a decision that you will regret later. You can get started on your site without a domain name, so don’t feel that you have to get it done first. Relax and take some time. Saving Money with Expired Domains: ** Already Covered in my other thread: [Tutorial] How to Scrape for Expired Domains [12,223 Characters] ** Auctions: If you are very lucky, the domain name you want for your site will be available, and you can purchase it right there. But in many cases, you may find yourself in the market for a previously owned domain. For that, you will want to turn to an auction site like GoDaddy or Sedo. You may very well be able to snag an excellent domain name at a very good price. What to look for: Avoid domains that are currently in use by active, real businesses. These domains generally are not going to go up for sale. If you find a site “under construction,” the domain may be owned by a serious businessperson who is setting up shop, but often these are amateur sites that will go right back on sale. How to spot upcoming auctions: How can you be sure you don’t miss out on an upcoming auction that interests you? First of all, use a service like WHOIS lookup to find out the current registrar of a domain you think may soon be auctioned off. Next, look up the registrar and see which auction house they partner with. Then go and register and place a back order at the auction house in question before the domain expires. You will then be actively monitoring the domain name’s status, and if an auction launches, you will receive a notification. You can then go ahead and place a bid at the auction house. Is it a good deal? It can be hard to determine whether a domain is a good deal or not. As of right now, there is no standardized formula for determining value. Here are a few suggestions: Check the domain's metrics on a few SEO tools. Go through the entire process mentioned in my Expired Domains thread. Look to pay around 5-10% less for a hyphenated version of a name than you would for a version without a hyphen. Expect some significant variation in costs since there is no way to objectively determine a domain name’s value. You might think that a domain name is worth $10,000, but it could sell for $5,000 or $15,000. Obviously, you would be getting an incredible deal at the lower end. Sites with the “.com” extension are usually worth more than those with other extensions but don't think that makes them better. I'm a big believer in using different domain extensions and I've found them to have little-no effect SEO-wise. Price guideline: The price range for domain names at auction houses is tremendously wide. Many domains will cost you less than $100. Many more cost several thousand dollars. At the higher end, for premium aged domain names (really short domains which consist of one or two memorable words), you could pay hundreds of thousands of dollars. You will need to do some research in order to establish the approximate worth of a domain, and you will next need to consider its subjective worth to you. You can then determine whether an auction price you see is a good value given your needs. Registering your chosen domain: Now that all of the hard work is out of the way, it’s time to register your chosen domain(s). Getting the best bang for your buck is often a tricky task when it comes to registering domains, as there are lots of optional extras that registrars tempt you with and, if you’re not careful, the price can rack up incredibly quickly. WHOIS: By far one of the worst parts about purchasing a domain is that, by default, anyone is able to look up your domain and find out who purchased it, as well as all sorts of other personal information that really shouldn’t be public knowledge. If you are building up a brand related site that has a business address then this probably isn’t such a big concern for you, but if you’re an individual who is likely to piss of competitors when you out-rank them then having your personal details attached to your site is definitely not a good idea. Nearly every registrar out there offers what they call “WHOIS Protection” which effectively replaces all of your personal information with theirs. There’s really no reason not to get it, especially when it only costs a few dollars. Obscure domain extensions: If you’re sticking to conventional domain extensions like .org, .com, and .net then there usually isn’t much difference between the prices that registrars charge, however, if you’re interested in some of the other 277 domain extensions, prices can vary a LOT. For example, if you want to register a Peruvian domain (.PE) GoDaddy will charge you a whopping $80 per year, while the exact same domain at 101domains will run you $29. Yes, it’s still incredibly expensive but when compared to GoDady’s price, it’s a steal! What I’m getting at is... don’t just go to the first registrar you find on Google. Coupon Deals: Registrars are constantly offering promotional discounts and coupons to entice new customers, which is great news for us! There are a few sites out there, like Domain Promo Codes that – you guessed it – keep an up-to-date collection of the best deals out there. Granted, the deals may not be life-savers, but it’s always nice to save a bit of cash. ---------- Hosting Imagine your Web Host is your Bank. You need to be able to trust them with your life, and they need to provide the very best service possible. It’s no good going for a lesser-known bank that promises the world, when you have no assurance that they’re still going to be there when you wake up. There are thousands of cheap hosts out there that claim to offer amazing hosting for $1/year and, while they do have their uses, I wouldn’t touch them. Is it really worth risking your site for a few dollars? Location: Similarly, you want your bank to be close by. There’s no point opening an account at a South African bank when you live in Canada, just like there’s not point hosting your website on one side of the globe and targeting users from the other. If you are targeting a specific country/ geographic location then it’s important that you pick a relatively local host. Just to put it into perspective, a site of mine targeting UK visitors loads in an impressive 1.1s if you are visiting from Europe, but takes a staggering 11.5s to load in from America. This isn’t a massive issue for me, as the product is strictly UK-only, but you can imagine how big of an impact it would have if I was targeting Americans. Getting a CDN, or Content Delivery Network, will help you massively if you are targeting a wider audience, and it will ensure that every user receives the very best loading times. CDN’s work by hosting your website on multiple different servers around the world, connecting visitors to the one closest to them. CloudFlare is one of the most popular CDN’s out there, and their Basic Plan, for Professional websites (Their service is free for personal blogs) will set you back around $20/month. Speeds: Server location isn’t the only factor that affects page load times and it’s important that your chosen host ticks all of the boxes. Some hosts offer HDD Hosting (Run from Hard Drives), which isn’t as fast as the more moderns SSD options, which use faster Solid State Drives to store sites. There are various comparison and test sites out there that give you and in-depth comparison of different web hosts. One of my favorites is HostBenchmarker. IP Address: The vast majority of entry-level hosting plans will be shared, meaning that there will be other sites hosted on the same server as you. While every site has a different domain name, and it’s almost impossible for the average user to see the other sites on the hosting plan, all of the sites share an IP (Internet Protocol) address, which Search Engines can use to link sites together. The last thing you want is to be penalised by Google because another site on your server is doing something shady. The best way to get around this is to get a dedicated IP for your site. Nearly every hosting provider will offer this and it’s well worth the small fee. Connecting your Domain: Now that you have your domain and your host, it’s time to connect the two. This step varies massively on the host/domain registrar you decided to go with, but they should all have detailed instructions on their site. Step 1: Finding your Host’s DNS Settings. Every Hosting provider has a unique DNS (Domain Name System) address that you will point your domain towards. This address can usually be found in the FAQ, if not, just contact Support. I’m using TSOHost, whose nameservers are ns1.tsohost.co.uk and ns2.tsohost.co.uk. Note this down somewhere and then head over to your domain registrar. Step 2: Connecting the two. Now that you’ve found your host’s nameservers, it’s time to configure them in your domain panel. Head over to the registrar of your choice and locate your domain name. You should see a screen like this (I’m using OnlyDomains) Go ahead and add in your Host’s details. Click save and hey presto, you’re done! Step 3: Wait: Domain delegations aren’t always instantaneous and can take up to 48. Be patient and wait it out! It’s usually done within a matter of minutes (At least with OnlyDomains and TSOHost) but don’t start panicking if you still see the domain parking screen after a few hours. ---------- Making The Website So far we've decided on a niche and found some really good keywords, registered a domain and connected it to our host, and now we're ready to build the actual website. Building a website is like riding a bike. It's a completely new thing to learn at the beggining, but once you can do it once, you can do it over and over again. Logos: Go ahead and take this quiz. Tell me you don't know most of them... Just like your domain name, logos are one of the first things people will think of when they hear your company name, which is why creating a good first impression is critical. Making it yourself: If you're a creative person and know your way around PhotoShop, making your own Logo is probably the best idea. It may not come off as the most professional thing in the world, but you can always have a cheap designer refine it once you start making a profit. There are thousands of tutorial videos out there dedicated to cool PhotoShop effects etc. I'd recommend watching a few of them to get an idea of what's possible. Alternatively, if you want to make your own logo but don't have the skills to do it in Photoshop, you could always try a free logo generator. They're a lot more limited and a few of them probably have watermarks/paid upgrades, but they're good to get started with. Hiring a Designer: Hiring a graphic designer is by far the easiest way to get a logo made, but (obviously) it comes at a cost. Bigger companies will spend literally thousands of dollars hiring a logo, while us lucky sods can get the job done for $5 on Fiverr. I've never really dealt with many designers, as I do most stuff myself, but I would definitely recommend the BHW marketplace for graphic work. While you're probably paying more money for the same work, you get the benefit of being able to communicate a lot easier and open a Shit List if something goes wrong. Installing WordPress: There are a few CMS' out there, like Joomla, but for the most part, people use WordPress. Most web hosts use Cpanel, which makes installing and configuring WordPress incredibly easy. Head over to your client panel and scroll down until you find a screen like this: Click on the WordPress Installer, follow the steps and boom... You may need to wait a while for the page to update, but you should be able to access the WordPress panel by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ (We'll change this later) Some Hosts (Like the one I'm using) have a different dashboard. The process is almost identical and you'd have to be pretty darn stupid to mess it up. Rember to change the default username/pw you are given and update to the latest version of WP if your installer doesn't already. Picking a Theme: When I first started making websites around five years ago, I was typing everything in the most primitive HTML code ever. I was coming home from school and spending hours and hours each night making this site out of funny code, only to produce something that looked like a twelve-year-old had made it (Looking back on it... that's probably because I was 12) A year or so later, I discovered Wordpress, and my website making skills skyrocketed overnight. Think of a WordPress theme as an interactive template. All of the code and styling behind it has already been written, and all you have to do is mess around with a few options for a while and you're good to go. When it comes to looking for a WordPress theme, there are a few important things to remember: Is it mobile friendly? With an estimated 56% (As of 2015) of search traffic coming from mobile devices, making sure your website looks just as good from a 5" display as it does from a 15" laptop should be your number one priority. Seriously.... so many people neglect mobile users. It's crazy. Speed. When people are on their way to the store searching up the best product they should buy, they're not going to stick around for your website to load in at snail's pace. When picking a theme you need to make sure that it loads in as fast as possible. What does it have to offer? Some themes come with a lot of pre-packed plugins that make things like page-building and creating stores seamless, while others require you to purchase all of this on top of the theme price. Make sure that you're getting a good deal when buying a theme. Where to find themes: Selling themes is big money and, as such, there are thousands of marketplaces that they're sold. Easily the biggest, and IMO the best, place to find and purchase a theme is Themeforest. They have a massive selection ranging from App templates to blog themes, and I've never really bought a theme from anywhere else. While I would definitely recommend getting your desired theme from the official vendor, I understand that they are often expensive. A lot of people chose to download a nulled version of the theme (A nulled theme/plugin means that you are able to use it for free. Like a pirated game). There are a few downsides to this: No updates. If the theme author updates the code later on down the line, you'll have to install an updated nulled theme again. No support. If you run into an issue with your website (I can almost guarantee you will) you won't be able to contact the theme developer for help. Viruses. People installing nulled themes are desperate and often won't bother to check a theme file for malware. Backdoors are a massive problem with nulled themes and you can easily lose all of your work just because you couldn't be bothered to fork out $50. BHW has it's very own Member Downloads section where you can request/download themes and plugins. While a VT often catches out themes with malware, files sometimes slip through the cracks. Make sure to check for yourself, before uploading it tot your site. Is it really worth it? That's up for you to decide. Plugins (Addons): Think of your websites as a house. You've got the builder (Theme coder) who's laid the foundations and built the walls, but you still have to furnish the inside. That's where plugins come in. They're add-ons for your website, and allow you to do some really cool things that may not be supported natively in your theme. Paid: I understand that not everyone can afford to pay money for things like plugins, but there are a few that are honestly worth every penny. Yoast SEO - Premium ($69) This is easily the most comprehensive SEO plugin out there, and it's a must if you're looking to rank your site in Google. The feature list is incredibly long for both the paid and free versions of the plugin and can be seen here. Visual Composer ($34) A lot of themes will come with this pre-packed (So it's included in the theme files) or with their own page-builder, but make sure you have it from somewhere. I'm going to be talking about VC page building later on. Facebook Like Jacker ($10/month) Imagine you could get every person who visits your site to like your Facebook page... Well, with FB Jacker, you can do just that. For only $10 per month, this is well worth the cost! Free: I'm sure most of the above plugins can be easily downloaded for free but, as I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't recommend it. There are hundreds of amazing plugins that I have come across in the past, but I'm just going to mention my favorite few here. Yoast SEO - Free - Even without some of the premium features, this is still an amazing plugin. It's still incredibly powerful and well worth the install if you don't want to splash $69 on a Edit Flow - I've mentioned this a few times on the forum recently, but it's amazing! It basically allows you to create an article calendar inside of the WordPress dashboard, where you can give yourself and your writers deadlines to write certain things etc. Considering it's free, there's literally no reason not to get this. FaceBook Comments - The comments system built into WordPress is good, but it's nowhere near as good as Facebook's alternatives. This plugin will not only engage your site visitors - keeping them on a page for longer - but it will also increase social shares/ likes if you have something controversial. Force Regenerate Thumbnails - This allows you to change the size of all thumbnails on your site if you decide to change the layout etc later on. Limit Login Attempts - I know it seems obvious, but a lot of people overlook brute force attacks. Limiting how many times someone can attempt to log in from one IP will stop the majority of attacks. RJ Quickcharts - This allows you to create charts and graphs from the WP Dashboard that can be easily placed in a page with the shortcode. I've found that using graphs massively increases session duration. iThemes Security - Shoutout to @t0mmy for this recommendation (Read his thread here) This plugin allows you to easily change the location of your WordPress login page (Located at yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ by default) While this doesn't completely secure your website, it will significantly lower the risks of being hacked. It's a must-have. Creating a Page: If you installed Visual Composer like I suggested, then creating a page for your website is a really simple job. There's a slight learning curve at the beginning, but it's effectively a drag-and-drop page builder with some really cool options. (I wrote up a full guide when I originally wrote this ebook, but now that I'm posting this on BHW and can attach videos, I would recommend just watching a few of these from YouTube) There are some really cool add-on packages you can get for VC. here's one that I've used in the past: Misc: Now that we've got a theme and some great plugins installed, we can go ahead and do some odd-jobs here and there. Some themes will be set up so that your home page is just a view of recent posts from your site and, while this does have its uses, having a static homepage is much better in my opinion. To set up a static homepage you need to go to yourdomain..com/wp-admin/options-reading.php and then select "A static homepage" and the page that you want to use. Another useful thing to do is change your site's permalink structure. By default, all articles will have an URL of yourdomain.com/?p=123 which is bad for both SEO and memorability. You can change this option at yourdomain.com/wp-admin/options-permalink.php. I'm not going to tell you what to pick, but I usually opt for the Post Name option, and sometimes Day and name for news sites. Another thing that I like to change is the Author name. Having "Posted by Admin" after every article doesn't exactly create the feeling of community on your site, which is important when building up a brand/blog. Changing the profile image is also a good idea. Gravatar is usually the best way but if you can't get it to work for you there are plenty of Custom Profile Image plugins. You can change this at yourdomain.com/wp-admin/users.php. Google Analytics: Once you know how to add your site to Google Analytics it's a really easy process to repeat, but a lot of people get stuck their first time around. Go ahead and add your website to GA. Input your domain and go through the steps - similar to GWMT - and then you should see some funny looking code surrounded by <script> tags. Head over to your WordPress dashboard, and from there go to Appearance > Editor (yourdomain.com/wp-admin/theme-editor.php) What you see will depend on what theme you're using, but you should see something along the lines of "Theme header" (header.php) on the right-hand side. Once again, what you see will depend on what theme you have, but you need to paste in the <script> code that Google Analytics gave you earlier on, somewhere between the <head> and </head> tags at the top. Once your page looks somewhat similar to the above image, go ahead and save the changes and head back to GA. You should now be able to see visitors to your site by going to the Real-Time section. If that doesn't work, or you're looking for an easier way to do it, there are plenty of Google Analytics plugins for WordPress that even display visitor data inside of the WP Dashboard. While plugins like the one above are a really good way to set up Analytics quickly, a lot of webmasters report their sites running slower when using them, which is why I always go for the <script> method. CONTENT: (Thanks to @alwaysinvisible for help with this section!) Content is the cornerstone of your website. While content can cover a wide scope of media, including infographics and videos, this section is only about written content. The internet runs on words. It’s important that you formulate your content in a way that makes your audience want to keep coming back for more. Research Conducting research is not hard, but it can be a long and tedious process. You need to be patient and find the right type of content to base your articles off of. Basically, you’re looking for reputable sources. Reputable sources are well-known sources, and usually mainstream. Think of sites like Forbes, Time and Business Insider. These sites are seen as authorities, and they get millions of visitors every day. These are good places to start doing research. You can also use news sites like USA Today, Yahoo, and The Wall Street Journal. No matter your personal feelings about these sites, they are generally well known and trusted by millions of individuals. Therefore, when you link to articles on these websites, you are showing that you’ve done good research and that your information can be trusted. Length The length of your content matters, but how long your articles are depends on the purpose of your article. If you run a news website, you can get away with short blurbs (150-300 words) on your website. If you run a blog, your articles need to be over 700 words. That may sound daunting but it’s actually not that hard to accomplish. The more details and research you put into your articles, the longer they will be. It may seem that search engines favor very long content, over 2000 words. Well-written, in-depth articles rank a lot higher than short, flimsy articles. But this isn’t always the case. The length of your article should depend on the niche you’re in, the purpose of your article, and your audience. It also depends on your traffic source. The best way to determine how long your article should be is to research the top 10 websites listed in Google (or Bing) for your niche. See how long those articles are. Then write your article within the range of your competitors. So, if your competitors all rank on page one with articles that are between 1000 and 1500 words, it's a good idea to make your article at least 1200-1500 words, if not longer. Staying Engaging While you may think that you should only write content for search engines, your primary focus is always your audience. Your audience wants engaging content, so that’s what you should give them. The best way to engage your audience is to showcase your personality and invoke emotions. This is why listicles (list articles; ex: 10 Best Ways to Feed Your Dog) are so popular. People love to be entertained while learning new things, and list articles do exactly that. You don’t want your content to be flat and nothing but facts, unless that’s just the niche you’re in. Make people want to come back to your website by making them feel emotions through your article. This means you have to write with passion. When you write with passion, it shows. Your audience will continue to come back, because they will enjoy your writing and the information you’re providing them. A perfect example of engaging content is the website Cracked. You’ll notice that there is a bit of humor in every article, no matter how serious the subject is. There’s also a lot of relevant pictures with captions that are either snarky or designed to get a laugh out of you. Even though there are different authors, every last one of them showcases their personality in their writing. While they may follow the same format for every article, their style isn’t the same. The variety, entertainment, and reliable sources that they quote from keeps their audience coming back to them. A good rule of thumb is to present your information in a way that you would want it presented to you. You’re not going to sit around and read a bland, boring article, so don’t put your audience through that. Take some time to research the top websites in your niche. See what they’re doing with their content. Chances are their content reads like an encyclopedia. Improve on that by giving your audience engaging content that is written with passion and a bit of personality. Hiring Writers Most people would prefer to hire writers for their content. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem comes in at trying to find excellent content for cheap prices, i.e. 500 words for $2. You are going to struggle to get a real writer to write for that little. (It's not impossible. But it's damn hard) Stay away from anyone who charges less than a penny per word. Half-assed English written by someone who has no idea what they’re doing has no place on a professional website. Your competitors are on the first page because their content was written by someone who has a firm grasp of written English. Follow their lead and hire someone who knows what they’re doing. Beware of anyone who charges a high amount (2-10 cents or more per word) and can’t put together a grammatically correct sentence. They will claim to have a “team of native English speakers.” Native English speakers are not the same as native English writers. Most people who fall for that can’t write a sentence themselves, so they’re happy with whatever they can get. If you’re having trouble telling if someone can really deliver on their promises of excellent content, read their reviews. They should tell you everything you need to know. That's not to say that price = quality though because, as I found out with a recent test of mine, that's not the case. I found that there are plenty of good writers around the $1.5-2.5/100 words mark, but you need to do a bit of digging to find them. BlackHatWorld(Forum) Writers: There are numerous content threads in the BHW marketplace. Most of them promise excellent English content for cheap. They fail to deliver. However, you can get some decent content there, if you’re willing to try out everyone in your price range and see who has the most to offer. This is where all of the advice from the last section comes into play. Follow it to the letter and do not deviate. Otherwise, you will not get your money’s worth. Local Students: Local college students will happily write articles for you for a decent amount of money. They’re usually looking for ways to make extra cash, so writing is perfect for them. Be sure to pick a college student that majors in a subject that requires a lot of writing, like History, Literature or the Arts. Finding them isn’t hard; you can post an ad on Craigslist or head down to your local college and see if they’ll let you put up a flier advertising your position. College students usually get busy with homework, midterms, finals, reports and all of that college related stuff. If possible, try to give them plenty of time to meet your deadline, at least 5-7 days. If they have to choose between your articles and their college degree, they’re going to pick the degree every time. Try to have backup writers on hand that are ready to take emergency work, just in case the college student you hired flakes out on you. ---------- On-Site SEO I'm going to have a dedicated thread on off-page SEO at some point, but I'll talk briefly about on-site SEO here. Take this image from my Domain thread, and replace competition with optimization. A lot of people spend too much time and effort optimizing their pages for Keywords, and they ultimately end up losing their ranks in the SERPs because of it. While it is definitely important to take on board what I'm talking about here, it's just as important not to go OTT and do every tactic under the sun, because I can guarantee right now it will have a negative effect. Site structure: While you might not think about it a lot, your site structure is actually incredibly important. Not only is site structure good for users trying to navigate your site, but it's also good in terms of SEO. A good site structure (Often referred to as Internal Linking) will distribute "link juice" as evenly as possible across your whole site. There are a lot of different variations of this, but they all follow a similar pattern: Starting with one page at the top and fanning out into a pyramid-like shape, also known as a Silo. If done correctly, this usually leads to higher rankings for all the pages involved. Here are a few (slightly) different site structures: I usually just build my pages in a logical order (For example, having a "Running Shoe" article mention an article on "Running Socks") instead of overthinking it and, to be honest, I think either of the two ways is perfectly fine. Keyword Placement: As I'm sure you can imagine, it's important that search engines are able to understand what your content is about, which is why the correct use of Keywords is incredibly important. Making sure that your keyword is in the article's title as well as somewhat close to the start is a must, and mixing in some lower-search keywords into longer articles is a good idea. A lot of SEO's will drone on about making sure your main Keyword appears for no more than 2% of the article, or 1%, or 0.7646363blahblah2344355% and I have to say, I don't believe that one bit. Personally, I find that writing an article naturally and not even thinking about Keywords works most of the time, but I do sometimes check with Yoast SEO (At the bottom of the article page if you installed it) if I've gone a bit OTT. A recent article, shared by @davids355 is really interesting (Read it here) as the author of that seems to think that the optimum Keyword density depends on the niche and, I have to say, I agree with that a lot more than the retards who think all articles should have the same density. Ranking Images: One thing that amazes me when downloading pictures from Google Images, is how many of them are named random stuff like img_282828282.png or 2017may282828282.jpg. Ranking images is something that you should definitely focus on, as it can bring in a nice portion of traffic. Giving your image a proper name like "RunningShoe.jpg" and adding a caption etc inside of WordPress is a great way to get a head-start over your competitors. Also, make sure that you don't have image indexing turned off (Read more about this in the indexing portion of this thread) The last thing you want is to do all this work if Google can't even find your images. Getting Indexed: Now that we've got everything set-up and functional, we need to let Google and other Search Engines about the site. The first thing you need to do is head over to Google Search Console, and add a new property. Add your domain name in the field (Make sure to use the HTTPS version of your site if you have one) And then follow the verification options on the next screen. Go ahead and download the text file and either make your way to your hosts Cpanel or FTP account and upload the file to the root folder of your site. Now when you visit https://example.com/file.html you should see the verification file. The first option that they offer is honestly the easiest, but there are other alternatives in case you get stuck. After verifying the account and adding the relevant information, you should be able to view the dashboard. From there you can go to "SiteMaps" and then "Add/Test Sitemap" If you installed Yoast SEO (Premium or free) as I advised earlier on, then your sitemap should be located at /sitemap_index.xml. If you don't want all of your site to be indexed or want to tweak the settings, you can do so at yourdomain.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=wpseo_xml After submitting and testing your sitemap, you should now see the number of "Submitted Content" increase. After a while (Depends but normally a few days) You should see some pages starting to index. This means that people can now find your site via Google, which is what we want. If you're still unsure as to what parts of your site can be found from Google, go ahead and search site:yourdomain.com and see what's indexed. It's important not to neglect other Search Engines. Go ahead and submit your site to Bing, as well as Yahoo. There are some more big search engines that you want to rank on, but their crawlers will find you later on anyway. ----------I understand that this isn't the most comprehensive thread out there, and there's a lot that I haven't talked about. Some things, like BH SEO techniques and Social Media, I plan to talk about in other threads later down the line, but there are other things that I can't see myself dedicating a thread to, ever. This was my first draft of the project, which is why it's so rough, but I thought it'd be better to share it here than to just delete the file. I highly recommend you check out some of these other threads that go into much greater detail on portions of this thread & other aspects of SEO: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/g...uilding-your-site-with-silo-structure.864763/ (Silo) https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/5...egies-tips-advice-inside-15-000-words.821874/ https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/6...bsite-traffic-get-ready-to-work-smart.740933/ https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/3-years-on-bhw-the-only-seo-guide-thats-worth-your-time.873651/ https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/g...-first-site-part-1-picking-your-niche.863733/ https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/g...first-site-part-5-onsite-seo-for-2016.875328/ I originally wrote this as part of an ebook, so there are still two parts I haven't yet posted. A complete guide to SEO (Probably longer than this thread) as well as A Complete Guide to Social Media, both for traffic generation and social media services.