I installed 4 WordPress sites today and coached a friend on his blog setup. I realized I have a definitive checklist for the process and thought I would share it for future first-time blog implementers.
First, for those of you who are struggling with a manual WordPress installation- stop, take a deep breath, and scurry on over to Go Daddy () or another web host that offers WordPress installation. Go Daddy will install this in a matter of a few clicks and the naming of a database- it’s that easy. (They also offer a number of other free installations in their “Hosting Connection” section, including Gallery, Joomla, and Drupal.)
Once your WordPress platform is installed, double back to GoDaddy and check your installation settings. At the bottom of the setup notes, there may be an option to update WordPress. If the version is stable, I opt to update at this point, to avoid having to do it later.
Next, I upload my themes and plugins- I keep a file of favorite WordPress plugins and themes on my computer, categorized and updated as I try out new things and see what’s worthy. I immediately load all of these onto the web server (wordpress themes should be dropped into: wp-content/themes folder.) I usually have in mind what I’ll need specifically for that site. Nevertheless, 9 out of 10 times, I need the “extras” at some point or another and this saves me the time in the future.
After logging into the new WordPress site (at “www.yourdomain.com”):
WordPress > SETTINGS- I review and make appropriate changes to my profile first, and decide which editor I will need to work with. If the site will be using the AdSense Deluxe plugin regularly, then I opt not to use the visual editor.
WordPress > OPTIONS – Next, under “Options” I double check the website and blog addresses. Incidentally, if you find yourself having permalink issues later, try adding or removing the “www” in this section. Often this fixes the issue. I check the “anyone can register” option as well as the “users must be registered to comment” box. Nevermind increasing registered users, this helps to cut back on spam comments by a large portion. For “Discussion options” these tend to vary for me, but I generally check all except “administer must approve all comments” because, well, that would just be a little too much micro-management for my taste.
WordPress > OPTIONS > Privacy You would be surprised how many times I’m asked about SEO-ing a blog only to find out the blogger never switched their Blog Visibility option. Hard to raise those search engine rankings when you’ve got them blocked.
Permalinks- Make them pretty! This makes a huge difference in SEO efforts in my experience. For pretty permalinks in WordPress, you will want to check the option that says: Date and name based.
Next, I target the blogroll. This task always seems tedious to me, so I prefer to import from another blog and then change according to what’s most relevant to the new site.
Next, I install various plugins depending on the purpose of the site.
At this point, I will begin a few drafts for articles and pages. Great for getting started, but really helpful for creating categories. If you’re starting a blog, chances are you have a number of articles in your head already. Try using the draft feature to keep these ideas fresh in your head and go ahead and start growing that category list.
These are just a few of my own get started quick tips. Since the majority of my setup includes themes and plugins, I’ll be posting a follow-up covering these in the near future. In the meantime, I hope this saves you all some time and effort, and helps you start your own WordPress checklists.