In this post, I am going to show you the 5 things that you should know do before launching your blog and your new blogging career.
1. Updating the WordPress Software
It is always a good idea to update your wordpress software with the latest patch. Fortunately, doing this on wordpress is very simple.
If there is a new update, you will see this clearly at the top of the screen. Just click on “Please update now” and the patch will be installed automatically. Very simple.
Once the update is done, you will see this page indicating that your wordpress copy is the latest version.
2. Setting your Link Format
The next thing to do would be to set your URL link format. On the right side of the admin page, look for “Settings” then click on “Permalinks”. You will notice that the default setting for your link format is www.yourdomainname.com/?p=123. This format is not search engine friendly. I would advise changing this to “Post Name http://www.yourdomainname.com/sample-post/. Once you have changed this, the URL for a post on your blog title “my-favorite-food” will be http://www.yourdomainname.com/my-favorite-food/.
3. Register for the plugin “Akismet”
The next to do would be to register for the plugin “Akismet”. The plugin comes preinstalled in wordpress and is a valuable plugin that will help filter spam from your website. You really do not want the comments section under your post to be choke full of spam. It is better to put preventive measures in place before it happens. Fortunately, “Akismet” comes free for personal websites and blogs.
For every comments, trackback or pingback that comes to your website, “Akismet” will run real time multiple tests on the comment and return with an OK or not OK. It is only after the comment is cleared by “Akismet” that your website will appear on your system. Once you have registered for “Akismet”, you will receive an Akismet API Key. Enter this Key into your plugin and you are good to go.
4. Install Plugins
For each of the plugin, you can download the installation files from the links I have provided. So, how do you install a plugin. On the right side of the admin page, click on “Plugins” then “Installed Plugins”. At the top of the page, click on “Add New”. After that, you will see a page with “Install Plugins”. Select “Upload”, then “Browse”. From here, choose the file location of the installation file then click on “Install Now”. The wordpress will now install the plugin.
Brian’s Threaded Comments
This gives you threaded comments and a “wandering” comment form.
Broken Link Checker
Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
Contact Form 7
Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
Mirrors the function of wp_title() exactly, but moves the position of the ‘separator’ to after the title rather than before.
Top Commentators Widget
Adds a sidebar widget to show the top commentators in your WP site.
WP Super Cache WP Super Cache
Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.
FD Feedburner Plugin
This plugin redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed. All existing feeds simply become Feedburner feeds seamlessly and transparently for all users. Just tell the plugin what your Feedburner feed URL is and you’re done.
This plugin helps to automatically backup your entire wordpress blog inclusive of the database. The ultimate backup option.
Once the plugin is installed, click on “Activate”.
If you do not want to skip the part to download the plugin, you can also perform a search within wordpress. Once you have selected the plugin to install, wordpress will download the software then have it installed. The plugins I am recommending above are the ones that I use extensively which is why I highly recommend them.
5. Write your First Blog Post
The last step would be to write your first post – just to make sure the software is working correctly. Select “Posts” then click on “Add New”. Everything else after that should be simple.
Congratulations. You have now started your career as a bonafide blogger.