10 Things To Turn Your Vanilla Install Into Double Choc Chip
An out of the box install of WordPress is okay, but you can spice up your vanilla install and make it extra tasty by following these ten steps:
The default permalink structure of WordPress has a lot to be desired, change this to a custom one and you can improve your SEO and make your posts more meaningful to search engine users. Change your default permalinks to %postname% in the custom section.
I wrote an article How To Change Your Slug For SEOon this subject.
2 Jazz Up Your Admin Account
The first user created by WordPress is usually admin, make your blog a bit more personal by giving admin a nick name, give it your name, put a personal touch to your posts. This is done from users and subscribers section.
3 Add a Liberal Dash Of Plugins
Plugins rock, they extend a dull old WordPress install and make it sing, here are my “must have” plugins
4 Put On A Pretty Dress
Figuratively speaking, don’t use dull default themes, go shopping for a new theme, if you are serious about blogging, check out a premium theme, better still check out one of the cool breed of new themes like Headway which allows you to design your own look and feel without any coding skills.
5 The Key To A Good Blog is An API Key
Stop reading and go over to wordpress.com. Create a free account and get yourself and API key, this will be used to register visits for your wordpress stats and combat comment spam.
6 Get Yourself Noticed
You’ve got a fancy new blog, now you need readers, get yourself noticed on the search engines by first getting your self indexed. Step one is to add a sitemap, a text file on your site which tells Google and Co all about your blog posts and pages, read more about sitemaps in my article Getting Your WordPress Posts Into Google Using Sitemaps
7 Set A Comment Policy
The best time to set a comment policy is when your blog is new and you have no comments. Check out How To Control You WordPress Comments
8 Feed Me, Feed Me Now
Get yourself a feedbuner account and stream yoru rss feed into it. Feedburner gives you statistics on how many people are subscribing to your blog, and how people are using the content you publish. You can setup a feedbuner account at http://feedburner.google.com.
9 Backup Your Blog
Learn how to backup and recover your blog before you have too much content.
10 Get Writing
You are thinking I couldn’t think up tenth config item so I threw in get writing, you are wrong, this is the most important item, get writting your pillar content, the important stuff for your niche, have something cool to read when your first visitors begin to arrive.