WordPress has become one of the most blogging platform that every bloggers and internet marketers are using over and over again. The reason is simple – it is easy to install, simple to use and above all, it has all the SEO work ready in addition to all the SEO-related plugins available, so you don’t have to spend much time on SEO. Today, I will be talking on how to build a perfect WordPress blog from scratch.
In other to make this article short and enjoyable, I will not be covering how to install a WordPress blog, you can check the topic How to Install a WordPress Blog Automatically using Fantastisco for easy steps on how to do that. But I will be talking in details the important and necessary things that needs to be done after installing your WordPress blog.
Check Your Blog Settings One After the Other
Once your blog installation is completed, the first thing you want to do is get into your Admin area or Dashboard, which can be accessed via http://www.YourBlogURL.com/wp-admin. Once on the page, enter your Username and Password you’ve provided during the installation.
When you get to your Dashboard, scroll down to the settings section (in the left menu column) and go through each one of them.
First item there is the General Settings where you can find the Site Title and Tagline (i.e. what your blog is all about in a few words). You might also want to change the settings for the Time Zone, Date Format and Week start, aside that, please leave all other fields as it is.
Note: Your Tagline must be keyword-rich because it has impact on your blog SEO.
Next is on Writing Settings section. After making the necessary changes, like setting the Default Post Category and the Default Link Category, you should fill in a good list of Update or Ping Services. This is important because it helps you to ping your blog contents automatically each time they are been published. This is usually ignored by almost 90% bloggers, make sure you do that before going any further. By default, you will find just one pinging service URL after installing your WordPress blog but you can add to the list. You can find a list of Update or Ping Services by clicking here. Copy and paste it inside the box.
On the Discussion Settings page, apart from using an Anti-Spam plugin, you might also want to set the Admin to approve comments each time your visitors make a comment and not to email for every comments else your mailbox will have full of junk comment notifications. Also, don’t forget to disable pingbacks and trackbacks as well.
On the Privacy Setting section, make sure your site is visible to Search Engines. I found that many blog installations done via Fantastico have this setting as blocking search engines. If you ignore this, all your efforts will be wasted.
And on the Permalinks page, make sure you set a Custom Structure as this will also boost your blog SEO. I always use this: /%category%/%postname%/ and it makes the individual post links more SEO friendly and also organized by Search Engines.
Add the Categories
As you can notice, the Permalink Structure has the category name on it, every post in WordPress can be assigned to a category and having your primary keywords as Categories will boost your SEO score a lot. To begin, make sure you change the ‘Uncategorized’ or the default category to something else. Use your top keywords to set them up. You can use Google Adwords tool to find related and top keywords for your niche to use as Categories.
Install Important Plugins Only
Here, I am not saying some plugins are not important, but some plugins might not just fit in to your type of blog. Because too much of plugins can slow down your blog, it is therefore necessary to only install the most important plugins. I listed below some necessary and most have plugins every blogs must have irrespective of the niche:
1. DB Backup Plugin – for database backup in case of any crash
2. Google XML Sitemap Plugin – to build a simple sitemap for search engines to easily crawl your blog contents hence enhancing the SEO
3. Anti-Spam Plugin – to keep the spammers away
4. All in One SEO Pack Plugin – as the name implies – Search Engine Optimization
5. Stat Plugins – to know your blog stats, this is good to know how far you are doing
Remember, the more plugins you install, more load you’re giving on your servers and it significantly slows down your blog. Before going any further, make sure you check the individual setting page of every plugins you installed.
To be sincere, I do not have it in mind to part this article but because it is getting too long, I have to divide it into two parts. Please click Building The Perfect WordPress Blog From Scratch Part 2 to continue the series.