Once you set up your new WordPress blog, do these 5 things, before you start creating content. They will make your website more efficient and secure.
Roadmap to a Successful Online Business – Part VI | The First 5 Things to do on Your New WordPress Blog
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The First Five Things to Change on Your brand-new WordPress Blog
You’ve done it hurray! You created your very own WordPress blog or WordPress website for your business. 🙂 *kudos*
After the first endorphin delirium has ebbed away, you might be wondering “What the heck do I do next?? Do I just start writing blog posts now?”
Hold your horses, my enthusiastic friend! Before you start creating content like the boss that you are (going to be), let’s build a beautiful and secure castle for king content to reside in (see what I did there? 😉 ).
Em. This does sound a bit obscure, doesn’t it? Don’t you worry though, it will get as clear as day in a minute.
1. Change Your General WordPress Settings
First, we are going to change a few general settings on your new WordPress blog or website, so that it displays its proper name and tagline. Because you really don’t want it to say “Just another WordPress site” (as per default).
That’s something you can fix in an instant – here is how:
Log into your new WordPress account by going to http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin and filling in your password.
When you are logged into your WordPress account, you can see the admin panel on your left-hand side. Scroll down until you see the “Settings” tab.
Click it to see the sub-menu:
Now click “General” and fill in or change the following sections:
- Site Title: That’s – you might have guessed it – the title of your website (duh). Mine is “PearTreePond – The Solopreneur Safety Net“.
- Tagline: That’s a short description of your website’s purpose. Mine is “Online Business Help For New Solopreneurs”.
- Email address: The Email address for the site’s admin.
- Site Language: Select the language for your website.
- Timezone: Well, that’s pretty self-explanatory, I’d say. Just choose your timezone while you are at it.
For the rest, the default settings should be fine. Go through them anyway, just in case.
2. Change Your Permalink Settings
What are permalinks? Permalinks are unique, short, user-friendly URLs that are created for each piece of content (like a blog post) and should not be changed once they are created.
Let’s say you wrote a blog post and someday in the future you decide to update said post and change its title. What happens to all the links that are already out there? Will they still be valid? Yes, they will. UNLESS you change the permalink for that post. THEN you’ll end up with 404 errors (page not found) for that post and would have to create a redirect to the new post URL.
Now that you know what they are, let’s have a look at the permalink format.
A little further down in the “Settings” tab, you’ll find “Permalinks”.
You wanna chose Custom Structure domain/%postname%. As explained in “The perfect WordPress SEO permalink structure“, this will help you with search engine optimisation (SEO) in the long run.
3. Install Essential Plugins
There are a few essential Plugins that I would suggest you install right away to increase your new WordPress blog’s efficiency and security.
This neat Plugin will greatly help you with the SEO for your WordPress blog or website.
Whenever you’ll write a piece of content, you’ll have a Yoast SEO analysis window displayed that tells you exactly the problems, improvements and good results for your post or page. You’ll even get suggestions on how to fix the problems and get the green light for your SEO analysis. *thumbs up*
Moreover, it generates an XML sitemap for your website that you can then submit to Google. Google likes that. 😉
Price: Free; paid upgrade available
This Plugin stops spammers from posting spammy comments or misusing your contact form.
Price: Free for personal blogs
Additional anti-spam Plugin that fights unauthorised login attempts as well.
Imagine you’ve been blogging for months or even years and then something terrible happens: Your content is suddenly gone and you have no backup. *screaming in terror* Don’t let this happen to you, start backing up your website straight away!
Price: Free; paid upgrade available
If you wanna know how well your WordPress blog or website is doing, you need something like Google Analytics to track your website data. That way you’ll learn things like how many people visit your website (users), how many page views you get or where your traffic is coming from.
Sign up for a free Google Analytics account (click sign-in and then sign-up to create an account) and then get this Plugin to show you your stats in your WordPress dashboard.
Check out my post “Ultimate Free WordPress Plugins to Help New Blogs” to see more Plugins that I found helpful so far.
4. Write First Pages
Before you populate your website with content, you should have a few cornerstones in place.
What do I mean by this? Well, there are a few pages your WordPress blog needs to be legal. A Data Privacy Statement of some sort for example, where you disclose what data you collect and how you use those data.
Then, Terms and Conditions, Revocation Conditions and/or Shipping Methods if you are selling something through an online store.
Another page that’s good to have right from the start, is your “About me” and/or “Contact” page. Take advantage of that adverting space! Tell people what you are all about, how to navigate your website and what they can expect from you.
To write those pages go to that WordPress admin panel again and look for “Pages”, then click “Add new” and start writing. Simple as that! 🙂
5. Set up Your Navigation Menu and Widgets
Fantastic, you have created your first pages! Congratulations!
Another thing to do is set up your navigation menu, so that people can find what they are looking for.
At this point at the latest, you should know what your website structure is going to look like. You won’t post random blog posts, right?
Ideally, you’ll have one overarching main topic that you can then further divide into a few different categories. Might be easier to sketch this down on a piece of paper first to help you figure out a proper structure. When you start writing your content, you can assign your posts to one of the categories and thus group them together.
So, let’s create a new category for you! In your WordPress admin panel, look for “Posts” ->”Categories” -> “Add New Category” and fill in all the blanks. Yes. ALL of them.
Once you have created all pages and categories you want to have in your main navigation bar, you can go ahead and set up your main navigation.
To do this go “Appearance” -> “Menu” -> “Edit Menu”. There you can drag and drop the pages and categories you want to have in your navigation bar.
Apart from the top navigation bar, you probably want a sidebar as well. Enter: Widgets. Widgets are little pieces of code (don’t worry, you don’t have to code to use them!), that let you display content in your sidebar.
To add things to your sidebar go -> “Appearances” -> “Widgets”. This will show you a list of all available widgets which you can then simply drag & drop into your blog sidebar.
That’s it! Those are the first 5 things I’d suggest you do right away after setting up your brand-new WordPress blog. 🙂 By following those steps you make sure
- your website title and tagline are displayed properly
- your permalink structure rocks
- you increase your website’s efficiency and security
- have the (legally) required pages in place
- and you built a structure for easily navigating your page.
Cool bananas! 🙂 Now let content be king.
Did you find this post helpful? Anything else you would like to add to this topic? Feel free to comment, pin and share to your heart’s content! 😉
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XIII: 6 WORK-LIFE BALANCE TIPS FOR SOLOPRENEURS