wordpress check listThere are quite a few administrative things to do when setting up your WordPress blog for the first time. Some of these items may be on your to do list and others may not.  So here is my basic list:

The Basic Security & Back-up:

  • Check to see that “your display as” name on your blog isn’t the same as your WordPress login/username. This is done for security reasons.

 

 

  • Upload and active essential plugins including Akismet which usually comes installed with your installation by default.  Yes your blog can receive spam from day one, so to nip it in the bud set up Akismet right away. You don’t want unwelcome links or bots sniffing around on your site.
  •  Set up caching so WordPress loads pages faster.
  •  Setup a backup system for your blog. Again, If you go with my host WP Engine  you wont need a back up system or caching, because they provide back-up and caching for you.

 

Basic SEO (Most Can Be Found In The Settings/General Tab):

  • Erase or replace the “just another WordPress blog” tagline. That’s unless you want to keep it that way. I’d rather personalize my site with another tagline of my own or just leave it blank.

 

 

  • Change your permalinks to “Postname.” Otherwise the URL posted with the default settings will generally be your URL followed by the post number(s). Changing your permalinks to Postname will generally change the end of your post URL to your title with a bunch of dashes between the words.

 

  • Set certain pages on your site to “no index” and “no follow.”  These can include your privacy policy and other related pages that you don’t want indexed.
  • Set search engine privacy enabled/disabled. I’m sure you want search engines to find your website :) So its best to make sure this is set to enabled.

 

 

  • Check for and create a Robots.txt in your site root directory. This file allows you to allow or deny search engines indexing access to your site.

 

Basic Functionality:

  • Create a contact form  so people can contact you and test to see if it works with your chosen recipient email address
  • Set the local time in the general settings tab. I do this so all my posts  have my local time stamp on them.
  • Setup RSS: Feedburner is the RSS tool of choice for most bloggers

 

Basic Design:

  • Add a logo. Logos will of course make your blog more interesting in the design department.
  • Add some widgets to your sidebar. Recent posts and comments are always good to add in this category. They help your users navigate your blog a lot easier.
  • Add your own copyright signature to your footer if you feel it is necessary.

 

Social/Sharing/Reading Settings:

  • Add a social sharing plugin for your posts. The default WordPress commenting system works just fine, but if you want a system that helps your users connect with their own networks, I’d try either Livefyre or JetPack
  • Set up a Mailing list. There are many mailing list tools you can use out there. Jetpack works well, so does Aweber.

 

Measurement:

  • Setup your Google Analytics other other tracking code on your blog, so you can measure your traffic.

So that’s my basic list. There is of course lots of other things you can do to keep your blog administration. Did I miss anything? Let me know!

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