Essential steps for setting up a new blog
Having set up many blogs in the last year or so, I have a standard set of steps that I take after getting WordPress installed. Here’s a run-down of items that you don’t want to skip:
1. Change the permalinks from the meaningless default set up. I personally prefer
/%postname%/ to get the best looking URL, but there is a lot of disagreement about what the best structure is. Just don’t use the default.
2. Take all the defaults out of the blogroll and add your own.
3. Burn a feed at Feedburner and then install the FeedSmith plugin so that all your feeds will be funneled through Feedburner giving you a more accurate count of subscribers.
4. Get your WordPress API key and activate the Akismet plugin.
5. In the Options/Discussion tab, un-check the boxes about the administrator always approving a comment and readers needing to have a previously approved comment. Those two items make it more difficult for readers to comment, and you want to make it as easy as possible.
6. Set up a pMetrics account and a Google Analytics account and install the code. I like to put it in a sidebar widget, so that if I change themes, I won’t lose the code and miss some days of tracking.
There are zillions of other plugins and tweaks specific to each blog’s needs, but these are steps I take with every single new blog. Is there anything I’ve left out that you think is an absolute must for any blog?