As soon as you host your website, you must perform some basic actions before going public in addition to secure your website as well as to allow search engines like google to crawl your website content. Here i listed some basic operations one should perform.
1. Create ssl certificates
SSL Certificates also known as Digital Certificate is a widely used corner-stone of web security. You must create ssl certificates for your domain to prevents Man-in-the-middle attacks. Most of the hosting providers provides GUI (in cpanel) to create ssl certificates. But hosting like google cloud doesn’t provide such features. If you host your website at google cloud, you have to generate ssl certificates separately and then configure it using terminal.
You can check step-wise-step guide to create and configure ssl certificates.
2. Hide directory listing
You must hide directory content listing from your visitors. It adds a security layer on your content to prevent attacks. To do so, create a .htaccess file in you media content directory and add following code to hide content listing:
- Your website must be on Apache Web Server as web server like nginx doesn’t support .htaccess
- You must have enabled .htaccess server overrides in apache configuration
Make a copy of your existing .htaccess file as a backup. An error in .htaccess can down complete website. So whenever you modify your htaccess file, you must check whether your website is working fine. If you accidentally make an error in modified .htaccess later, you can recover old one from backup file.
3. Add a sitemap
If you are not aware about what is a sitemap, A sitemap is nothing but a file where you can provide information about the content like pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them. Search engines like Google read this file repeatedly to more intelligently crawl your website. You can use the “ping” functionality to ask google to crawl your sitemap. Send an HTTP GET request like this:
You should add your sitemap in google webmaster so that you can track the crawl status. Here are steps to add a sitemap in google webmaster.
Step 1: Login to webmaster
To login to google webmaster, click on the link https://www.google.com/webmasters/
Step 2: Add your website to webmaster
You can add and manage multiple websites to single webmaster tool.
Step 3: Add sitemap
Click on “Sitemaps” link in left sidebar menu to add a sitemap. Add your sitemap url as shown below:
4. Verify your domain
To verify your domain, click on the link https://www.google.com/webmasters/verification/home?hl=en and follow steps shown below.
Step 1: Click on “ADD A PROPERTY” link
Step 2: Add your domain url
Step 3: Choose your verification method
5. Add google analytics tracker
Go to https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/ to signup to google analytics. After signup you have to register/add your website to google analytics.
Step 1: Click on “Settings(Gear icon)” in left sidebar menu.
Step 2: Create Account
Step 3: Fill you website details
Step 4: After adding your website, click on “Tracking Info“
Add tracking code to your website. After adding tracking code to website, you can track and get analytics reports.
These are the basic steps to follow before going public. Hope it helps.