Ok WordPress is installed. Now What?

Your WordPress blog is installed and you are all ready to start posting to it. But wait before you do that why not do a little post install configuring to make sure everything is setup correctly from the very beginning. Before I begin I want to make clear that these instructions are specific to a WordPress install that you are hosting on your own hosting account. But thats not to say that most of these items can also be configured on a different blogging platform. They just may be located in different places.

Most of the configuring is done from the Blog admin panel so login with your Admin account or an account with Admin privileges.

1. Change the permalink structure – The default value for your permalinks is something that looks like this http://www.yourdomain.com/?p=21 but this doesn’t tell the search engines anything about the article so a link structure like this http://www.yourdomain.com/the_next_great_article will be a bit more SEO friendly and thus get you a little more Search engine juice.To do this go to options then permalinks. Select the custom field and type /%postname% in the custom structure field.

2. Change the default Theme – Again this is just putting a little work into it from the beginning so people know you serious. There are tons of free themes to choose from. You can search and download one from http://themes.wordpress.net/ Once you have a theme you like you simply upload it to the wp-content/themes directory in your wordpress installation. Then just go to your WordPress admin panel and go to Presentation and select the new theme your want to use.

3. Update your ping services – XMLRPC services let people know when you update your blog. The more people we tell the better. Here is a list of ping services http://codex.wordpress.org/Update_Services Again go to your WordPress control panel click on options > then writing and copy and paste the list of ping services in update services field. Make sure you click the save settings button before navigating away from the page.

4. Activate the akismet plugin – This plugin is included in the core WordPress install so to activate it you will need to click on Plug-ins tab in WordPress control Panel and click Activate link. This plugin requires a WordPress API number so follow the link to sign up and get the API number. This is the must have plug-in to stop SPAM comments.

5. Burn your Feed with Feed Burner – Go to http://www.feedburner.com and have them burn your feed. We people signup for your RSS Feed this will take care of pushing updates to subscribers. Its also nice because they keep track of stats for you. You will need to change the links to your RSS Feed in your WordPress theme or you could get the plugin Feed Smith to redirect all links to your FeedBurner feed.

OK Now I would say its ok to start blogging to your new WordPress Blog. But there are still many things you’ll want to tweak as you go. I’ll cover some of them in my next article.


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