This is a guide to help out new bloggers who wants to set up a site on the WordPress blogging platform.
Setting up a brand new blog on the WP platform can be challenging especially if it’s your first time. But don’t worry, if you are willing to learn, you will. The key is to learn, and follow through on your learning by taking action asap.
The usual first steps in setting up a WordPress website is to update Settings, add or upload Plugins, and publish the first pages or posts.
This is what I usually do when I set-up a new blog on WordPress. You don’t have to follow all the strategies that will be discuss on this blogging guide, just treat this as one of your references in setting up a WordPress.org website.
*This is a guide for initial set-up for WordPress on own domain and own host.
Note: It is assumed that you have already set-up your new domain on your web hosting cPanel either as an “add-on” domain or as primary domain. And that you have already installed WordPress on your new domain through manual install or using automatic software Softaculous or Fantastico.
If above is not yet done, please refer first to these guides first:
How to set-up a new domain as an Add-On Domain on cPanel.
How to install WordPress via Softaculous. (You can also use this guide to set-up using Fantastico)
BUILD a BRAND NEW BLOG on WORDPRESS
This is a typical WordPress dashboard, there could be more items on the sidebar depending on the plugins and themes that you have activated.
So you now have access to your WordPress dashboard, what do you do first? Detailed below are my usual pattern in setting up a new website or blog.
UPDATE THE SETTINGS
Login in to your WordPress dashboard and update the settings.
- Changing the default theme to a new theme that is better fit for the blog niche.
Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes >> Add New Theme >>> Search and find from available WordPress themes or Upload a new theme manually.
- Changing the permalink of single post.
Dashboard >> Settings >> Permalinks >> Click “Post Name” under Common Settings >> Save Changes
- Changing the “Reading” settings
Dashboard >> Settings >> Reading >>
*Blog pages to show at most – Input 6 or 8
*Syndication feeds to show most recent – Input 1 and select “Summary” in to be shown in each article feed.
- Updating the “General Settings”
* Input Site Title and Tagline. Choose your preferred date and time format too. Then save changes.
5. Sign-up for an account in WordPress.com – you will need a WordPress.com account to activate Jetpack and Akismet plugins.
ADD NEW PLUGINS
These are the usual plugin I add at the onset:
*Remember that the more plugin your site has, the ‘heavier’ it is which can affect site loading time. So minimize the number of plugins you use. Remove unnecessary plugins.
*There are tons of plugins available on WordPress, go for what you think best fit your website.
- Jetpack by WordPress.com
To activate Jetpack, you need to sign-up for an account in WordPress.COM. Choose “FREE” account.
After you successfully connect Jetpack with WordPress, activate the “Related Settings” and “Sharing” modules.
Once that is done, you can now update the Jetpack settings “Reading” and “Sharing” on your WordPress site dashboard.
Dashboard >> Settings >> Reading >>
*Click Related post, select show ‘related header” and select “use a large and visual striking layout”.
Dashboard >> Settings >> Sharing
*Drag the social media buttons that you want to enable in the “Enabled Services” section. Then choose button style and sharing label. Make sure to click Show buttons on “Post”. Then save changes.
Some bloggers do not want Jetpack becuase it’s on the ‘heavy’ site, but for me, it’s just okay.
I usually activate these Jetpack modules: Site Stats, Monitoring, Sharing, XML Sitemap, Subscriptions
- Cookie Notice by dFactory
EURO regulations requires that website show a cookie notice to the readers with the option to opt-out of cookies if reader want to. You can choose this Cookie plugin or look for another one.
Dashboard >> Settings >> Cookie Notice
This plugin stops spams in your comment. Sign up for a free account or personal account.
*Drag the lever to “0” so you don’t have to pay anything, and will just use the free Akismet service.
Dashboard >> Akismet
- Google XML Sitemap by Arne Brachnold
This plugin aids in getting your website and its pages crawled and indexed by search engine robots.
Dashboard >> Settings >> XML-Sitemap
- WordPress Database Backup by Austin Matzko
Set this up to automatically email you a backup of your WordPress database. Choose daily, weekly, or annual backup. Having a backup of your database is very important in case you get hack, suffered tech glitch and you lost your site, etc.
Dashboard >> Tools >> Backup
- All in One SEO or Yoast SEO (skip this if your theme already has inbuilt SEO settings)
This is to help on-page SEO optimization for your site.
Dashboard >> All in One Seo >> General Settings
iSensey uses the inbuilt Genesis SEO Settings, see demo. Click demo thrice to enlarge.
- Official StatCounter plugin by Aodhan Cullen
*Sign up to StatCounter.com and when it’s time to add in the Statcounter code, choose WordPress.ORG.
You can click WordPress.com and then under it find WordPress.org instruction, click it. You will just need to input the “Project ID” and “Security Code” in WordPress dashboard
Dashboard >> Settings >> Statcounter >>
- Ad Inserter
This plugin makes it easy to insert your advertisement code in the homepage, category pages, single post, etc.
Dashboard >> Settings >> Ad Inserter
UPLOAD LOGO and FAVICON
Ideally, you will upload your website logo and favicon when you have a brand new blog. But this is an optional step. If you notice this website iSensey doesn’t have a logo, that’s not because I don’t want one but because I really have no photoshop skill to create a decent looking logo. :/
But if you know how to create a logo, create one. It’s best to have a website logo as this will aid your site branding.
Dashboard >> Appearance >> Header or Header Image
If you open the Header page you will see the ideal size of the logo for your site.
On the favicon – this is the image you see on the browser’s top when you open a website. You can usually upload your own favicon via:
Dashboard >> Appearance >> Customize >> Site Identity >> Site Icon >> Change Image >> Upload your favicon image >> Crop image as needed >> Save
PUBLISH FIRST PAGES
These are my usual first published pages on a brand new blog, and the pages’ title I used. When you create one of these, click on PAGES (not “posts”) and then “Add New Page”.
- Contact and About
- Disclosure Policy, or simply “Disclosure”
- Welcome post (publish as “post” not “pages”).
The easiest way to do this is to drag the widget “Pages” on the sidebar or footer area of your site.
You can search online for samples of these required pages so you can write and publish your own on your new website or blog.
Starting a new blog is exciting but it can be a little intimidating for newbie bloggers. But the best thing to do is to push on, push on. Go lang ng go!
Hope this post has help you set-up a brand new WordPress blog. Cheers to your blogging journey!