8 Basic Set-up Tasks for a New Blog

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
  • Privacy: I create a basic Privacy Policy following the WordPress standard template

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
  • Privacy Policy: I make sure the default WordPress privacy policy is published

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. 

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