Last Updated on: 4th June 2022, 08:15 am
You have accomplished a lot in regards to setting up your blog. You have a domain name, hosting, WordPress installed, and even a theme and some plugins. The next step is to take care of some basic settings that every blog needs in order to be prepared for launch day.
Setting up a blog in 8 steps:
1. Choose your permalink structure
The permalinks on your site play a role in both your site’s Google ranking and its user-friendliness. By choosing the right permalink structure, you can make your site more accessible and visible to both search engines and users.
How to set permalinks: Go to Settings → Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard
What’s the best permalink structure?
Choosing the Post name permalink structure is almost always the best option unless you have a specific reason you need to use one of the others.
2. Make sure your blog is public
WordPress includes a setting that allows you to control whether search engines index your blog. This setting should be turned off by default, but if you turned it on while building your site, you should always check to make sure your blog is public when you’re ready to launch.
Yes, it might seem silly, but I’ve seen a startup with a “no index” tag on their new site design go live. I was trying to research the company before an interview and couldn’t find their site on Google. When I checked the source code, I saw the noindex tag. Needless to say, this can happen to anyone, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
To make your blog public: Go to Settings → Reading and make sure the box for Discourage search engines… is unchecked.
3. Configure basic settings in the WordPress Customizer
The WordPress Customizer facilitates configuring a range of settings for your blog rapidly. A few things to ensure you do are the following:
Set your Site Title and Tagline in the Site Identity tab.
● Add a favicon in the Site Identity tab.
● Explore theme-specific settings.
4. Create a navigation menu
The Menu feature in WordPress lets you control which links appear in the main navigation areas of your site. Creating a menu is important because it provides website visitors with a helpful navigation structure.
You can create a menu by going to Appearance → Menus or by using the WordPress Customizer.
5. Set up the sidebar and/or footer widgets
Widgets can be added to any blank spaces on your blog in order to fill them with content. Most often, this means your blog’s sidebar, but many themes also allow footer widgets, as well as other potential areas.
Not only does this improve the look of your blog by filling in blank spaces, but widgets can also provide helpful information to your readers. You can even find plugins that add additional widgets to your blog.
● How to add widgets: Go to Appearance → Widgets or use the WordPress Customizer.
6. Configure other must-have plugins
Beyond UpdraftPlus, we also laid out some other must-have plugins. To get the most out of some of those plugins, though, you’ll need to configure basic settings. Here’s what to do:
● Follow the Yoast SEO setup wizard to configure basic SEO settings
● Choose where to display your Jetpack social share buttons
● Create an Imagify account to enable image optimizing
7. Decide if you want to allow comments
By default, WordPress is set up to allow comments on your blog posts. Most of the time, that’s good. But some people like to disable comments.
● The argument for comments: They allow your readers to engage with both you and other readers, which creates more of a community.
● The argument against comments: A large percentage of comments are spam, which can get annoying. It’s also hard to build an active comments section.
● Which is right? There’s no right answer – but you should decide.
8. Disable pingbacks and trackbacks
● What pingbacks and trackbacks are: Pingbacks and trackbacks allow other blogs to notify you whenever they link to you.
● Why pingbacks and trackbacks suck: Not only are they not very helpful, but spammers love them, and will happily send heaps of spammy trackbacks and pingbacks.
● How to disable pingbacks and trackbacks: Go to Settings → Discussion and turn off Allow link notifications…