If this is your first time setting up a new blog, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry, pretty soon it will become second nature to you! You just need to give it some time and everything will make sense.
In the meantime, I wanted to share a few steps that I take to set up my blog each time I launch a new one.
1. Create a Free Blog Email Address
This is one of the first steps I take when launching a new blog. I create a free Gmail or Outlook email address that I can use for all blogging related accounts. Everything from my user profile in WordPress to my social media accounts get registered with this email.
2. Edit the WordPress Settings
I always make sure to go through each option of the WordPress Settings menu to make sure that it appears the way I want it to.
- General: I set the site title and tagline here as well as the URL and email address. I also make sure to set the right timezone for my site as well as the first date and time formats.
- Writing: I set the default post category I plan to post in most often
- Reading: I choose how I want my homepage to appear as well as how many posts to show
- Permalinks: I select “Post name” under the Common Settings to have a simple URL for my posts
3. Add Necessary WordPress Pages
I also like to make sure that these three key pages are added to my site to get started:
- About: Some quick information about who I am and why I started the site
- Contact: I might insert a form here or just copy and paste my email address
If you want to put your email on your Contact page, it’s best to put it in this format without the @ sign : email(at)gmail.com to prevent spammers from scraping your site and sending you spam emails! Using a contact form is a great way to allow readers to contact you without sharing your email publicly.
4. Sign up on Major Social Media Networks
I make sure to create social media accounts on the major networks soon after launching my blog. I focus on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter mostly. If the blog will be visually focused, then an Instagram account gets created as well.
5. Install Basic Plugins
I install and set-up the following plugins to all of my new blogs:
- Akismet: this app requires a WordPress.com account but it works very well for filtering out the spam comments your site will receive.
- Wordfence: This is a great security plugin that will help prevent your site from getting hacked.
- WPS Hide Login: This plugin changes the URL of the log-in page of your blog to custom ending which will prevent hackers from trying to force entry into your site.
- Yoast SEO: Yoast is a trusted industry plugin to ensure that blog posts are search engine optimized.
6. Edit the Visual Appearance
I make sure that a good theme is installed that loads quickly and appears the way that I want it. The free GeneratePress theme is a great starter theme for new bloggers. I also really like the Blocksy (my theme for this site) and OceanWP themes.
7. Create a Logo
Next up, I make sure that I have a logo added to the site which conveys what the blog is all about. This could be a logo with an icon graphic or a text-based logo. This one takes a little bit of time as I usually want to take some time to think about how the logo should appear, but eventually I settle on something that represents the site well.
8. Install Google Site Kit
I have started installing Google Site Kit to my new sites as it’s a one-stop shop for setting up key site metric management tools like Google AdSense, Analytics, and Search Console.