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Install Google Analytics 4 on your WordPress site

Google Analytics is one of the most widely-used web analytics platforms in the world – used by 56.8% of all websites globally as of today. In 2019, Google came out with a new updated version referred to as Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This post will walk you through how to install Google Analytics 4 on your WordPress site.

Before you begin

If you are signed in to multiple Google accounts (A UNI account, your personal account, etc) this can cause issues when you are creating these accounts. To avoid problems, open an Incognito window in Google Chrome. Using this window, you’ll be signed out of all accounts and can proceed intentionally, only signing into the one Google Account you wish to use.

1. Create a Google Analytics Account

(If you already have one, skip to step 2)

Creating a Google Analytics account is quick, easy, and free. You’ll need to navigate your browser to the Google Analytics website and log in using your Google account.

You’ll have to enter a name for your account (like… “Matthew’s Personal Account” or “My Digital Advertising Account”). It will then ask for permission to share data – only sharing with “Google products and services” is necessary – the other options are up to you.

2. Create a Property to Manage

Once your account is set up, Google will ask you to set up your first property.

You’ll need to give your property a name – I’d use the name of your website. Then set the time zone and currency.

Google will then ask some general questions about your “business” – don’t be alarmed – just select a category that describes your website, put that you have one employee, and check any boxes that sound like they’d be useful.

Next, you’ll want Google to know the type of property you want to manage.

Since we want to use Google Analytics 4 on your WordPress site, select “Web”.

Type in your Website URL and give your stream a name (“My Website Stream” is fine). Be sure “Enhanced Measurement” is enabled. Then click “Create stream”.

Great! You’ve created a Google Analytics account and a web property for your website! Now – keep this window open and open a new tab in your browser to complete the next step.

3. Create a Google Tag Manager Account

Now that you have a GA4 account and web property, we need to get you set up on Google Tag Manager so you can connect your GA4 web property to your WordPress website.

Let’s head over to to create our GTM Account. Log in with the same Google Account you used to create your Google Analytics account. Click “Create Account” to get started:

Once you’ve given your account a name and country, you can set up your first container:

Be sure to check that your Target Platform is “Web” – since your WordPress site is a website, not a mobile app.

4. Add a Google Analytics 4 Tag to your Container

Now that you have created your container, you’ll want to add a GA4 tag to your container and set it to fire every time a page on your website is loaded.

We’ll want to give our tag an identifiable name (like “GA4 Tag”) and select a tag type. Choose the tag type: “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration“.

Next, you’ll need to add your GA4 property’s Measurement ID so that Google knows which Analytics property to use. You can find your Measurement ID in your Google Analytics web stream details.

Now we’ll select a firing trigger that will determine when to run our code. In our case, we’ll want it to run on All Pages.

When finished, your tag should look something like this. Save this tag configuration and click “Submit” to publish your tag.

5. Last Step: Configure the Google Site Kit WordPress Plugin

Ok, you’re nearly there! One last thing to do: Log in to your WordPress Dashboard and click on Plugins. If you don’t yet have the Google Site Kit plugin downloaded and installed, you’ll want to quickly do that.

The Site Kit by Google WordPress Plugin

Go to Site Kit’s Dashboard to set it up – first you will need to authenticate with your Google account by clicking on the “Sign in with Google” button:

You will need to give Google Site Kit access to data from your GTM, GA, and GSC accounts.

Give Google Site Kit Access to the data it needs.

Once you have given access to Site Kit, you should see Tag Manager appear with a green check mark in “Connected Services” in your Site Kit Settings.

This should be all you need to get started – however, if you’d like to view your Google Analytics data in WordPress itself (without having to log into Google Analytics) – you’ll also need to connect your GA4 account.

Site Kit with all services correctly connected.

Once you have Tag Manager, Search Console, and Google Analytics connected, you should be all good!

I Lied – There is One More Step!

We need to confirm that everything is working properly!

The easiest way to do this is to load your website in a Google Chrome Incognito window and while leaving that open, check your Google Analytics Realtime Report to see if you show up.

Hey look – there I am!

Once you have confirmed that Google Tag Manager has fired your GA4 tag from WordPress – you truly are done and should remind yourself how awesome you are!

You Have Now Installed Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager on your WordPress site!

How to Archive Your WordPress Content

Now that you have spent a semester working hard to create content marketing content on your branded website, you will want to archive your WordPress content for future reference.

Why Archive Your WordPress Content?

There are many reasons to archive your WordPress site and its contents. The top three are:

1. Use in your Portfolio

Many employers hiring for content marketing positions will ask for work samples or writing samples to show that you can create content. This is a good reason to spellcheck your posts, as typos in your portfolio content are a definite dealbreaker for employers!

2. Indulge your Inner Archivist

If you’re the type that likes to save and archive your creative efforts – having these saved in a format you can easily view in the future will give you great satisfaction.

3. Keep your Personal Brand Active

Some of you may even want to transfer your WordPress content to a new server with your own domain name that will allow you to keep your site going into the future.

Methods to Use to Archive Your WordPress Posts

Take “full page” screenshots

Use a Chrome extension like GoFullPage to take large screenshots of your entire posts. Then download and save as large PNG image files or PDF files.

A WordPress post after capturing with GoFullPage.

Saving your content as large image files or PDFs will give you lots of flexibility – however it should be noted that if you were to ever need the text / copy of your posts, saving as an image format will not allow you to select or copy the text itself.

Print Your Pages and Posts as PDF Files

PDF files are ubiquitous – everyone can view them regardless of the operating system they use. PDFs can also be easily printed

Most browsers and systems allow users to print webpages directly to PDF files using the “Print” command.

On Macs, this is as simple as selecting the PRINT command, and going to the drop-down menu at the bottom left of the print dialog box:

The PDF drop-down menu in the Print command dialog box

On PCs you can print to PDF files by following these instructions.

Transfer Your Entire Site to a WordPress Installation on a New Server

This is the best option, as it preserves the native format of your content, saves your SEO work, and preserves the visual design of your site. It also gives you the option to continue your website into the future!

To do this, follow these instructions on how to export your WordPress site, secure a web hosting plan with your very own custom URL, install WordPress, and import your site to its new home.

How To Create a Featured Image for your WordPress Post

Most WordPress themes allow for posts to contain a featured image – which appears at the top of the post. In this article, you’ll learn how to create a featured image for your WordPress post using a cool online design tool called Canva.

A featured image will give each post more visual impact – and also a clear recognizable header. By including the title of your post in the featured image, you can also use your featured image as a preview image when sharing your post on Twitter or Facebook.

1. Get a Canva Account

Canva is free to use and available online – so there’s no software to download and install. You just navigate your web browser to and click on the “Sign Up” button.

You can quickly login to Canva using a Google account – that way there’s no password to remember (or forget!).

2. Create a New Design (with Custom Size)

To Create a Featured Image in WordPress, you’ll want a design that is 1200 x 630 pixels. This size will also work well as a Facebook and Twitter preview image.

Click “Create a Design” and choose “Custom Size” to set your design’s pixel dimensions.

I’d suggest keeping your featured image simple – containing a few distinct elements:

  • Background (color, texture, or photograph)
  • Clearly legible headline consisting of the title of your post
  • One or two eye-catching elements (photos, graphics, emoji, logos, or symbols)

There are many apps and integrations with Canva to find graphic elements to use in your design.

Get content from a variety of sources to utilize in your design.

For example – Canva allows you to use royalty-free images from Pexels directly – you can even search the Pexels site directly from Canva – this makes finding the right image fast and easy. In my case, I was trying to find a good image to use for my post on “How to find Content Ideas” so I searched for “binoculars” to metaphorically illustrate someone searching for content ideas.

Pexels image search screen

Once I had a nice background image – I decided to look for a graphical element to add a little more depth to the visual metaphor of “searching” for content. I clicked on Canva’s “Elements” menu and searched for “content” on a whim, to see what I might find – luckily, there were some icon designs I liked and I added them to my design.

Closeup of Canva search tool
Elements search screen

After adding some headline text and a drop shadow, I was ready to call the design “done.”

Screenshot of Canva interface showing image creation
The final design – ready to download.

4. Download Your Design

Once the design is done, you can click on the “download” button on the upper right of screen to see your options. Use the JPEG (JPG) option to keep your image file size small.

5. Add Your Featured Image to Your WordPress Post

Log in to your WordPress dashboard and edit the post you’d like to add your featured image to. Once in edit mode, click on the gear icon on the top right and select the “Post” tab.

How to set your Featured Image in WordPress

Finally, just click “Update” or “Publish” to make your change. When you go to preview your website, you should see the featured image added on the home page – and (depending on your theme) possibly at the top of your post.

You can also use the Yoast SEO plugin to set your featured image as your Facebook and Twitter preview images under the “Social” tab.

That’s it! See how easy it was to create a featured image for a WordPress post using Canva?

How To Export Your UNI WordPress Site

Many #unidigadv students continue their personal branding website after our class project is complete – a few just like to have it online to refer to on their resume or portfolio site. This article will walk you through how to export your UNI WordPress website.

If you just want to save your WordPress posts and pages as work samples, you can read my post on how to simply print them from your web browser as PDF files or use a screen capture extension to take full-page screenshots of each of your posts.

If you want to transfer your entire site to a new location where you can keep it active and add more content in the future, this article will take you through the steps needed to migrate your WordPress site from the UNI server to a new location that you will control and maintain.

1. Install the “All-In-One WP Migration” Plugin and Export Your WordPress Site

Log in to your UNI WordPress account and mouse over the “Plugins” menu – click on the “Add New” option. Search for the All-in-One WP Migration plugin and click Install Now.

Once you have installed the plugin, click “Activate” to make it active. Then it will show up on your side nav bar.

When it does, click on the “Export” option. You should see a dialog box that looks something like this:

The plugin allows you to export to a variety of formats – the easiest is to export as a FILE.

Once you click on Export File, it will take a little time to compress all of your website’s assets into one downloadable file. Once it is done, you’ll be prompted to download it to your local computer.

Once downloaded, save it in a safe place until you are ready to import it into your new WordPress installation.

If you’re not ready to import it anywhere yet – you can keep this file for future use. But if you’re ready to transfer it to a new WordPress installation, go to step 2!

2. Get a Web Hosting Plan and a domain name (URL)

The next thing you need to do is to get a shared web hosting plan. Shared web hosting means you get space on a shared web server. In addition to your WordPress site, you could also host other websites for yourself (e.g. a portfolio site), your projects, or for clients.

Dreamhost offers the best shared hosting package that I’ve found. It includes no storage or bandwidth limitations, unlimited domain hosting, and one-click WordPress installations. They also include a free domain registration with an annual plan. For month-to-month billing the cost is $10.95 / month – but if you prepay for 1 or 3 years in advance, the cost comes down to $9.95 or $7.95 a month respectively.

If you Google “Dreamhost coupon” or “dreamhost discount” often you can find special deals on hosting plans that make it even more affordable.

Often hosting plans will include a domain name registration. You’ll want to select a domain that is relevant to your personal brand or your name. Note that many fun Top Level Domains (TLDs) are now available besides the common .COM, .ORG, and .NET.

Once you have a hosting plan and domain in place, you’re ready to install WordPress.

3. Install WordPress

Once you are set up with your Dreamhost account and custom domain, you need to install WordPress. Fortunately, Dreamhost offers a one-click installer for WordPress in the “Goodies” section of their web hosting control panel.

You’ll just need to fill out the domain and subdirectory (if applicable) that you wish to install WordPress into and click “install it for me now”.

For more information on this step, consult Dreamhost’s help article on installing WordPress with a one-click installer.

4. Install the “All-In-One WP Migration” plugin and Import XML file into your new WordPress installation

Log in to your new WordPress installation hosted on your new Dreamhost account. Download, install, and activate the All-in-one WP Migration plugin like you did in step one. Then under the menu click on the “import” option.

Click “Import From File” and navigate to the exported file you created in step one.

It may take a little time, so be patient as it imports.

5. Check your imported content

Generally, I have found that exporting and importing works pretty flawlessly as far as the content goes – but you may have to do a few things to bring your site back to its former perfection:

  • If you used a custom theme, you’ll need to install and apply that theme on your new WordPress installation.
  • If you tweaked your theme’s customization options on the old site, you may need to re-apply those changes manually to your new site.

Once you’ve double-checked that all of your content imported correctly and that your site’s theme looks correct again, you should be good to go.

6. What about your old WordPress site on the UNI server?

UNI IT will automatically remove your old site – there is no need to do anything else on the UNI server.

That’s it! You now have a new WordPress installation with all of your old content running on a shared hosting environment.