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14 Important Things to Do After Starting Your WordPress Blog

Update 2020: Originally this post had 17 things to do, but 3 of those things are outdated, so there are only 14 things to do now! 🙂

So, you’ve got a brand new wordpress blog!wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb

Now what?

This post will tell you what you need to do after you start your wordpress blog.

If you already have a wordpress blog, you can still do these things if you haven’t done them yet 😉 .

So, here is my checklist of the 17 important things to do after starting your wordpress blog! Enjoy! 🙂

(Psst…If you’re thinking about why you should start a blog, >> 22 Reasons for You to Blog
And if you don’t use wordpress, click here to read about why you should use wordpress).

1. Decide whether you want to ‘www’ or not

www If you have noticed, some blogs, like http://mashable.com/, don’t use the ‘www’ in their address. And some blogs, like http://www.techcrunch.com/, use the ‘www’.

So if you type http://www.mashable.com, it will redirect to http://mashable.com, and vice versa.

One advantage of having a www is your blog address will look more formal.

And if you don’t use the ‘www’, your address would be shorter.

To decide, go to yourblog.com/wp-admin/options-general.php and change both the ‘WordPress address’ and ‘Blog address’ to http://www.yourblog.com, or vice versa.

wwwornot

WWW Image by bull3t

2. Set up a feed so people can subscribe to your blog

If you are wondering what a blog feed is, it is a slimmed-down version of a blog that is created to be easily syndicated. You can subscribe to it using email or an RSS reader. A feed is represented by the orange RSS icon.

This is the orange RSS icon. Many people prefer to get updates of your new blog posts through this easy way.

You can set one up at feedburner (Here’s how mine looks like). It’s free and easy! Just type in your blog address and click Burn Feed 😉 .

After that, set up email subscriptions, which enables your readers to subscribe by email. Go to Publicize >> Email Subscriptions in order to activate it and get the form.

Not setting up email subscriptions is a big mistake when it comes to getting subscribers to your blog because most people don’t know about RSS readers. Also, about 50% of my blog subscribers subscribe by email, so email subscriptions is a must!

After that, put the form and the RSS icon on your blog and link it to your feed at feedburner so people can subscribe.feedburner

3. Install Feedburner Feedsmith

Feedburner Feedsmith is a plugin that detects all ways to access your original wordpress feed and redirects them to http://feeds2.feedburner.com/yourfeed.

This plugin is needed for feedburner to track every possible subscriber to your blog by redirecting those who access http://www.yourblog.com/feed to feedburner. So, click here to install this plugin!

4. Subscribe to your own feed via RSS and email

It’s important to subscribe to your own feed, because it lets you see what your subscribers see, and when something is not right with your feed, you’ll notice. Besides, it boosts your subscriber count by 1 too 😉 . Hehe.

You can either use an RSS reader or email to subscribe to your feed, but it is best if you subscribe to both of them.

If you have a google account (which you most probably do – if you use Gmail, you have one), you can go to Google Reader. After logging in, click ‘Add a subscription’ and type in your blog address there.

5. Get your blog a favicon

A favicon is the icon you see next to your browser address bar and in your browser bookmarks. Gloson Blog’s favicon is .

It helps you brand your blog and also helps people locate your site more easily in their bookmarks.

To do this,

1. Create a square image and upload it to http://www.html-kit.com/favicon/ to generate a favicon.

2. Download it and upload the .ico file it using an FTP client to /wp-content/themes/yourthemefilename.

3. Go to the wordpress administration area and then go to Appearance >> Editor.

4. Click on “header.php” to edit it.

5. Add this code on the line just before </head>:

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”wp-content/themes/yourthemefilename/favicon.ico” type=”image/ico” />

(Be sure to replace ‘yourthemefilename’ with your theme file name 😉 )

6. Press Ctrl + F5 (Clear cache and reload) on your homepage. You should see it now! 😉

6. Change the permalink structure

A permalink is the address of a blog post. This post’s permalink is https://www.glosonblog.com/17-important-things-to-do-after-starting-your-wordpress-blog/.

By default, the permalink structure is like this: http://yourblog.com/?p=123.

Instead of the post ID, I suggest changing it to http://yourblog.com/your-post-title in order to gain SEO benefits. Also, if  a visitor looks at it, he will know what the post is about before clicking it.

To do this, go to yourblog.com/wp-admin/options-permalink.php and then, type in   “/%postname%/” in Custom Structure.

custompermalink

Don’t worry about broken links because the default structure will redirect itself to the new structure 😉 .

For example, this post’s old permalink structure is https://www.glosonblog.com/?p=1833. Click it and see what happens 😉 .

Link photo by cindy47452glosont

7. Write Your About Me page

An ‘About Me’ page is essential for every blog. When your readers are interested in your content, they want to know who wrote it. That’s when they go to the ‘About Me’ page.

Basically, it is just a page that tells who you are, what is your blog about, interesting things about you, and of course, a picture of yourself.

It really helps your readers to know you and your blog better! (Here’s my ‘About Me’ page by the way.)

8. Set up a contact form

A contact form is an professional and easy way for your readers to contact you. It also protects your email address from spammers.

There are some wordpress plugins that allow you to put up a contact form. I recommend Contact Form 7, a very popular contact form plugin.

After installing it, make a new page called ‘Contact’ and insert the form into it. (Here’s how it looks like on this blog 😉 )

9. and don’t forget the archive page too!

An archive page (here’s mine) is where people can find all the posts on your blog, from the first post to the latest post.

An archive page is important because it lets people discover your older content easily (and generate more pageviews).

To make an archive page, I recommend SRG Clean Archives, the one I’m using now. It’s clean and displays all your posts neatly.

If you are looking for a more creative and fun archive plugin, you should try Snazzy Archives, and here’s how it looks like.

10. Find a free theme and tweak it to make it unique

or hire someone to design it or design one yourself 😉 .

A theme (design) is really important to a blog because it represents the blog’s brand. Because if content is king, the design is the shiny robe and crown.

So I recommend you to find a not-so-common theme that you like. Then tweak it and make it a little (or better, a lot) different than the original.

One way is to change the structure of the theme by going to the Theme Editor (yourblog.com/wp-admin/theme-editor.php) in wordpress.

Another easier way is to change the images of the theme. The images are located in the theme’s folder.

After editing the images (like changing its color or texture), you can overwrite them to your blog using an FTP client like Filezilla.
(In the directory /wp-content/themes/yourthemefilename/images)

Be sure to press Ctrl + F5 to clear the cache to see the new design.

11. Set up your ping list

A ping list is a list of services that will be pinged each time you post. The services will notify sites and directories that you have posted a new post, thus giving you more exposure.

To set up your pinglist, go to the Update Services section in yourblog.com/wp-admin/options-writing.php.

And paste the sites you want to send a ping to. Note that the more pings you list, the more server resources your host has to use. So you might get suspended on a shared hosting if you use too much server resources.

This is a short recommended list of pings.

http://api.moreover.com/RPC2
http://bblog.com/ping.php
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/
http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates
http://xping.pubsub.com/ping

12. Install Google Analytics (or any site stats counter you want)

GoogleAnalytics Site statistics counters are important for you to monitor, analyze and study your blog’s traffic, so you can get to know your visitors better

I recommend Google Analytics, because it’s quite advanced and has lots of features. It’s free and all you need is a Google Account.

Google Analyticator, a wordpress plugin, allows you to easily add a Google Analytics tracking code.

Note: And please don’t become a stataholic! Write more posts!

13. Install WordPress DB Backup to schedule blog backups

WordPress Database Backup, a wordpress plugin, allows you to schedule blog backups (hourly, twice daily, daily, weekly) easily and have them automatically sent to you by email or stored in the server.

Backups are really important because if anything ever happens to your blog, you have the backup, your best defense.

14. Change the admin username

Most of the login usernames of wordpress blogs is ‘admin’. If your wordpress blog’s login username is ‘admin’, too, you should really change it to something that can’t be guessed easily because the default name makes hackers’ lives so much easier.

Changing it is super duper easy. Here are the steps to do it:

1. Go to the wordpress admin area.

2. Go to Users >> Add new

3. Fill in the details with a different username and give it administrator privileges.

4. Log out and log in with the new username.

5. Delete the ‘admin’ user.

6. When you do so, it will ask you whether you want to move the posts and links of ‘admin’ to another user or delete them. Attribute the posts to the new username you have just created.

Photo by Darwin Bell

15. Install the All-in-One-SEO Pack Plugin

All-in-One-SEO-Pack is a really popular wordpress plugin to do all the basic SEO things on your blog like page titles, post titles, meta tags, descriptions and those kinds of stuff. By default, the browser title of a wordpress blog post is:

Blog Title >> Blog Archive >> Post Title.

If you install All in One SEO, the structure will be changed to (or you can customize it):

Post Title | Blog Title

Which looks simply much better and shorter.

It also noindexes the date and category archives so that it won’t appear in search engine results pages and won’t receive duplicate content penalty.

16. Create your own 404 page

404error A 404 page is what your readers see when they go to a non-existing page on your blog. Like this: https://www.glosonblog.com/thispagedoesntexist.

By default, the page is just a ‘404 error – Page not Found’ 404 page that isn’t much help to your readers. Why not make it more helpful instead?

To do this, go to the wordpress admin area and then Appearance >> Editor. Click on 404.php to edit it.

Find the part of the code where it says <h2>404 Page Not Found</h2> or something like that. Then overwrite that line with this code (My version of a 404 page).

Be sure to make a backup of your old code before overwriting. It will probably work on most themes, but in some cases, it won’t, then you need to have a little bit of HTML knowledge in order to make it work.

<h2>404 Page Not Found</h2>
<p>Oopsie! The page you are looking for cannot be found! It might be renamed or removed. Please check your spelling or return to the homepage.</p>

<p>Or, you can also view our latest posts below. Hope you’ll enjoy them. Thanks! ;-)</p>

<p>
<h2>Latest Posts</h2></p>
<ul>
<?php
query_posts(‘posts_per_page=10’);
if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<li><a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>” title=”Permalink for : <?php the_title(); ?>”><?php the_title(); ?></a>
<?php endwhile; endif; ?>
</ul>

Feel free to edit and customize the code! 🙂 Do tell me if this code doesn’t work!

17. Write a post!

Still, without any content, a blog won’t be a blog.

So go on and write a post! Write a unique high-quality thought provoking post on a topic you are passionate about!

After that, promote it on twitter, facebook, stumbleupon, and so on and on. Ask your friends to read it too! 🙂

Photo by KatieKrueger
_______________

So here are my 17 things to do after starting a wordpress blog checklist. Be sure to bookmark this post and read it when you start a new wordpress blog! 😉

If you know of another thing to do after starting a wordpress blog, please tell me in the comments!

And if you have any questions, please drop me a comment and I’ll be very glad to answer it! 🙂

By Gloson

Hello, my name is Gloson and I am an 11-year-old kid who lives in Malaysia. Here, I blog about anything interesting that I learn, including how-to's tips, and more.

Besides blogging, I am a funny poet who writes funny poetry that makes you giggle. Some of my funny poems can be found in this blog.

You can also find my cats series, a series of the funny and cute cat photos I took, here.

161 replies on “14 Important Things to Do After Starting Your WordPress Blog”

Hi Gloson,
Its an excellent article. You have covered almost all the to-do list immediately after starting a blog. I like the 16th point because I have not customized my blog with 404 page not found. You should also include installing Akismet plugin which is also very useful for checking spam comments. Whats your opinion?
Pritam Nagrale

Yes, very true. Its the most effective plugin to prevent spam. I don’t how would we handle the comment spam if there was no Akismet.

Truly awesome article! I have been blogging for almost four years and have done almost everything on your list. The one thing you wrote that I don’t think is necessary is blog pinging. If you have a well indexed site that you post to often there should be no need to do this.

Well, I should have listened. Watching that video DID lead to work 🙂
I wonder, how long does it take you, Gloson, to compile a post like this?
Sometimes I think I’m too slow…

Haha yeah… Kudos to problogger for making that video. To write this post, it took me about 3 weeks I guess. Writing these posts are not easy but it is worth it 🙂 .

You are -so right- about adding the www. So many ppl do not do this. It is really important. Also, the ping list is important too. Why not get extra attention that that post you just wrote. Good guide, thanx.

Awesome lists.

If we are talking about this stuff, we differ from one blogger to each other.

I personally would delete the MrWordPress comment and change “uncategorized”.

Then doing those steps above.

Thanks Gloson.

Thanks a lot Kimi! 🙂

Yeah, that’s also the very first thing I would do, but I hadn’t listed it here because this post was about important things to do (Hmm. on second thoughts, that is an important thing to do because otherwise it would make a not-very-good impression. 🙂 ).

Cheers!
Gloson

Woah! Honestly, Gloson, I never knew about that Ping Pong, I mean Ping list. 😛

Thanks for sharing, lil bro. 😀 A really, really great and detailed list you have here.

Ooo, nice post. Though it somewhat worries me that i think i’ve only done 2 of your reccomended actions so far. I think i need to sit down this weekend and go through your post again implementing the things you suggest, thankyou!

Minor correction: Technorati no longer uses ping service, so you can remove that from the list.

Otherwise, great advice! Wish I found this earlier, I had to figure out all of this from different sources. And I only got around to installing WP-DB-Backup now, thanks to your post!

Indeed deciding between a www and non www way is very important for SEO and not to have duplicate content. This is a very good list of things to do.

Thanks for this. This is just perfect for me. I am about to put up another blog and this should take care of my questions and concerns.

Thanks.
Chris

This is whole like a checklist for me and action i often miss after installing WP. Thanks for nice list. WP-DB is way important, who know when you’ll experience server glitch end up with entire data lost?

Hi Joel. LOL. Totally agree. One time a similar thing happened to me and because my latest blog backup was a month ago, I had to manually restore everything. Ever since then, I’ve learned my lesson and have made regular backups 😛 .

Gloson, these are awesome tips that will help us all when starting a new blog. I used the tip with optimizing the ping list to improve my wordpress setup, heck I didnt even know that I had the www option before my blog and I promoted the version without www. Well, we learn from our own faults.

All the best, Jane

Hi, I have use the both options www and non www, is this good for me? Should I decide just for one? I am new in the field and I appreciate all advice.
Thanks, Allice

Hi Alice, no it’s not really good because search engines might get confused on which version of your site is genuine, or they might think your site is plagiarizing another site (the other version w/o the www). So, yeah, choose one. 🙂

Cheers!
Gloson

You should pick either ‘www’ or no ‘www’, if you are trying to rank your site in a certain market. When you do a backlink analysis of a wordpress site using ‘www” then the same analysis using non-‘www’, you’ll see a different number of backlinks. While you’d think Google would sort all this out for you, don’t count on it. I recall Matt Cutts giving this same guidance when asked about this issue.

I had no idea that feedburner had subscribe to email functionality. I’ve only been using it for RSS. Thanks for opening my eyes to that!

Going to start using that DB backup plugin too. I do it manually but having it automated would be way easier.

One thing I’m not sure I agree with is the permalink structure:
http://yourblog.com/your-post-title

From what I’ve read about the wordpress database structure, configuring your permalinks like this can cause problems with internal redirects.
(This guy knows more than me: http://www.weberz.com/blog/wordpress/seo-experts-give-wrong-advice-wordpress-permalinks/)

I’ve always used http://yourblog.com/year/your-post-title and I think that works fine. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t lose anything SEO wise by adding the year either.

Hi Tim,

Thanks so much, I’m really glad you found my post useful. 🙂

Wow, thanks so much for pointing me to that post. :O It really is an eye-opener. I didn’t know WordPress warned us against the %postname% permalink structure. I think I’ll consider changing all my permalinks to /year/post-title. =)

Cheers!
Gloson

Gloson

You put me and most of us to shame with your knowledge and attention to detail at such a young age.

I’d add two more things.

1. Add a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. I do this now out of habit because I heard Matt Cutts of Google say that it’s something they look for in authority sites. Whether it makes a real difference or not, I don’t know, but if it comes from the horse’s mouth!

2. Add a speed optimisation plug-in such as W3 Total Cache. This one I do know makes a difference as Google wants sites to be efficient and fast loading and those kind of plug-ins take care of that.

Keep up your great posts.

Ian Clifford
Webmaster
MiiM – expert advice in music marketing

Hi Ian,

LOL, thanks? 😛

Very interesting, I didn’t know Matt Cutts said that. Yeah, adding a caching plugin is indeed quite essential, for usability and SEO.

Thank a lot for the two extra tips, Ian. Appreciate it. 🙂

Cheers!
Gloson

“7. Write Your About Me page”

I’m glad you stressed this out here!! The about me page is one of the many things that i look for when i open blogs! This just adds to the credibility of the site.

thanks Glosson for this post as they say you learn something everyday.

for me the Flavicon tip did it, I always wondered about them little icons in the browser address , but never knew what they were called (doh) and thought I didnt have the time to look into it,

so now I know where to get my logo flavicon made

thanks a bunch

I didn’t think that having www or not is important to a site. I just think that without www, I could shorten my typing of url of the website. I am not aware of favicon but I am familiar with pinging because I usually use it.

WOW! and I mean, WOW. this is fantastic. I am SO impressed with you — a KID who already speaks wordpress fluently. 😀 Keep it up, you’re really impressive for someone your age. I am using blogger for the moment but I am also creating another wordpress blog and these tips are really helpful. Thank you so much. I’m just floored with what you wrote, and I think I’m now your number one fan. 🙂

Hi Emmie!

Awww.. Thank you very much the nice words! =) I really appreciate it. Glad to hear that you’re moving to wordpress. WordPress is indeed better than blogspot and more flexible as well. I’m glad you like my post! Thanks Emmie! 🙂

Best Regards,
Gloson

Oh wow…and to think that you’re just 13 years old? Well I’m ashamed of myself for not knowing that. I want to start a new blog on the WP, and I have no idea about the know-how, and you, my friend, taught me that! Great job!!

Hey Gloson, awesome post. You just reminded me of a few things i need to do on my new blog. Firstly i need to create a favicon, i forgot about that.

But more importantly i need to backup my site and the database files. Thanks for the reminder.

– Jenny.

I honestly admire this post. So, simple yet informative.
I’ve been blogging for more than a year and I realized I haven’t done all this basic stuffs on my blog. I definitely picked out something essential from your post Gloson.

Hey Gloson..thanks for the list..

definitely i follow most of them except email subscription and database backup. I didn’t realise i need to active for email subscription. What I do is use aweber form to capture emails of people and then send them my blog post.

For database, that plugin is good..If you have plenty of sites then you can use wp twin script to make copy of your sites. It work perfectly. I either use it or do the backup every week through php my admin [and do the export under tool section of wp admin]

keep up the good work..you are true inspiration

thanks

Indeed deciding between a www and non www way is very important for SEO and not to have duplicate content. This is a very impressive list, thanks for sharing the details in each step also.
you are great kid.

thanks
-Sara

Hi, Gloson! Long time no talk! 😀 I really missed your blog and poems! 😉

This is such a must read for bloggers. Even though I’ve been blogging for such a long time, I actually missed like 3 points here. 🙂

I would also inform everyone of another thing: Since WordPress blogs’ avatars are defaultly handled by Gravatar (like this blog, for example), I would suggest everyone to signup for Gravatar and upload their happy face’s photos (or even the non-smiling one) already. 🙂

( They can also upload a plugin for a different comment system (Disqus, etc.) if they’re not into Gravatar. It’s such a must have to decide on it as soon as possible since comment back-up is such a mess afterwards :S )

Thanks for the list! 🙂 I’ll make one for my readers too! 😀

Hi Jaja!

Nice to see you here again! Long time no see! =)

Great suggestion, Jaja! Commentators should always have a Gravatar because it works on almost all wordpress blogs, and it helps to build their name. 🙂 Disqus or other comment systems are ideal as well. 🙂

Cheers,
Gloson

Hello Gloson,

Long time no see, I’ve came again to read your posts and found this article that I haven’t read. I found this list of things to do after starting your WordPress blog very useful. I wish I would’ve found this article when I started my WordPress websites, years ago, hehe. Thanks for sharing! You’re a smart boy Gloson, congratulations again, I never forget to mention that!

George Williams

Took me several hours to figure out why my links were showing with /?p=123. Couldn’t understand why other blogs had pretty links and mine didn’t :))

Keep up the good work, Gloson, you’re helping a lot of people.

Glad i ran in to you,
Amit.

Great tips gloson. Although I already knew most of them, you seem to be helping a lot of people here. Permalink structure, about me are all vital things when starting a blog. We were all their at some point or another. Keep it up

You put in just one article everything that a WordPress user should make and that’s awesome. I’ll bookmark this article and recommend to every WordPress user that I know.

Hi Gloson,

You’ve got some really great information here. There’s not much I can add, since you’ve covered a lot. So I’ll just offer one tidbit.

You lead off with whether people want to include www. or not in their URLs. To add to this, once you (as in, anyone reading this) choose whether or not to use http://www., use only that version of your URL when building backlinks. If you build backlinks using both www. and no http://www., then you are diluting your backlink efforts.

Your such a great blogger Gloson. Even I myself can’t do this or have knowledge about this. I started my blog last september but I failed to update my blog. Will try to blog again and will apply your tips here.

nice article dude i really want this article i daily vivit your blog and see many updates it is nice one i really like to visit u r visit .your blod is inspiration for me .gud work keep it up

Glad to come back! Your post here will surely help my sister learn the ropes in building her own blog. I was kinda looking for a good tutorial for beginners. I think she would owe you one. Thanks!

Recently i have started my blog site on wordpress plat form and these information is really helpful for me and my kind of people. who work on it. thanks for sharing this informative post.

Hi Gloson,Its really astonishes me that you are only 14 years old and you write such an informative posts.I found that you like to share you knowledge and spread your words to others.Thanks for sharing 17 important things to do after starting wordpress blog.

Hi Gloson, I have recently started a blog about technology. One thing which always irritated me was that every time i posted my article, the link structure looked uglier than me. Thanks for your tip.

Hi Gloson
Thanks for sharing this valuable information,
I really appreciate your effort to provide us with that useful information.
It helps me to take some necessary steps to increase my WordPress website traffic.

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