So, You Started Your WordPress Site… Now What?

By | April 26, 2012


 
WordPress is quick and easy to install on your own domain. After installation, however, what comes next?

The most logical thing is to write your first blog post. That’s the whole point of blogging, right? It’s why you chose WordPress for it’s ease of use and fresh, timely posting capacity, for the sake of search engines and human readers alike. But the techie types will tell you that’s not all you need to do. There is some behind-the-scenes work that needs to happen in order to get and keep your WordPress site running efficiently, and in order for search engines to find it easily.

1) Change your user name and password to something you can remember because it is unique to you. Manage your user settings on the USERS panel, and if you want to add any other blog authors, that is also the place to do it.

2) Change the structure of your articles’ URLs so that they are readable. You can do this under Settings/Permalinks.

3) Choose a custom theme for your site, whether you buy one, download a free one or design your own. Activate it under Appearance/Themes.

4) Add some custom categories and change the default from “uncategorized” to another catch-all word that matches your site’s purpose.

5) Activate Akismet, the free plugin available on WordPress that blocks spam comments. It is available on the Plugin page in the Admin area.

6) Install Google XML Sitemaps. This step is really important for search engines to index your WordPress site in order to provide the best page rankings for people searching the web for what you have to offer. This is a plugin available on WordPress.org and downloadable to your site. As you add content to your site it will automatically be noticed by Google, MSN Live Search and Ask.com

7) Install WordPress Database Backup, another plugin available on WordPress.org and  install Google Analytics or Stat Counter to keep track of users and traffic.

After all this tech work you are going to want to test out your site by making several posts, and using various formatting options to check them out. You don’t have to keep these posts, so don’t worry about how perfect they look. Just make sure that your site functions properly now.

And finally, you will want to add your RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed to Feedburner. This can be accomplished under Settings/Reading. Take the time to do this task because Feedburner provides you with several valuable features and services.