WordPress is now installed – what’s next?

WordPress is a fantastic tool for blogging and publishing content on the web. Especially the many plugins and themes provides a tremendous amount of functionality out of the box. However as a newbie to WordPress, all these possibilities can also be a bit overwhelming.

In this post, we’ll suggest a few things that hopefully can help giving your new site a fantastic start.

Permalinks

Permalinks is the permanent link to a post in WordPress. Permalinks are very important, since the permalinks is the address to your post that will be indexed by search engines, and which other sites will use to link to the post.

The default WordPress permalink format is http:\\www.site.com/?id=347

This format is fine from a technical perspective, however it’s not optimal from a SEO perspective, and it don’t contain much information to the users about what the post might contain. The good news is that this can easily be changed from the WordPress Admin Page.
Go to Settings > Permalinks in the Admin page.

From this page you can change the permalink format. Our recommendation is to select one of the two options that includes “name” of the post, because this will be additional SEO benefit, and also be more informative to users who sees the link.

One very important thing to keep in mind when selecting a permalink format that includes the post name is, that if you at a later point in time changes the name of the post, all SEO benefits and links from other sites to this post won’t work!

A seo optimized permalink including post name: http://tips4php.net/2010/03/wordpress-is-now-installed-whats-next/

So using SEO optimized permalinks also means that you shouldn’t change names on published posts, unless there is a extremely good reason…

Google analytics

Valid and reliable tracking of the traffic on your blog is very important. With the a good traffic measurement you can easily see which part of your blog that’s performing, and if there is part of your blog and content that needs to be improved.

Our favorite tracking solution is currently the free tool from Google – Google Analytics. If you haven’t got an account already, you can sign up here.

When you have set up you’r Google Analytics account, you can install a WordPress plugin, that automatically  integrates Google Analytics in your blog.

There are several Google Analytics plugins available – we have good experience with the Ultimate Google Analytics plugin. The plugin can be installed directly from the “Plugins” page in the WordPress Admin page, if you’re searching for “Google Analytics”

After the plugin has been installed, the only configuration needed is to insert your Google Analytics id in the setup page. Then you’re up an running.

Spam Protection

People trying to spam your blog in comments or from forms can be a problem in WordPress like so many other places on the net. However in WordPress the Akismet plugin can dramatically reduce the amount of spam.  When a new comment, trackback, or pingback comes to your site it is submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down. This means that Akismet effectively removes spam from known sources, and each time you flag a comment as spam, the information is used to add additional spam sources to the Akismet database.

Akismet plugin is installed by default in the newer versions of WordPress, however you need to sign up (free) at Akismet for a API key and activate the plugin in the plugin page in the WordPress Admin page for it to work.

Sitemaps

Installing a sitemap generator improve the seo performance of your blog, since a sitemap can increase the number of pages from your blog that’s beeing indexed by the search engines.

There are several plugins that can generate sitemaps for your blog. Our recommendation is the Google Sitemaps Generator plugin, that creates sitemaps that’s automatically updated each time a new post is published at your blog, and also automatically pings Ask.com, Google, Bing and YAHOO about changes.

SEO Optimization

Unless you have very deep pockets, spending some times on SEO optimization can be one of the most effective ways of attracting traffic to your site. One of the best WordPress plugins for handling this situation is HeadSpace2. HeadSpace is a powerful all-in-one plugin to manage meta-data and handle a wide range of SEO tasks. With it you optimize the tagging process of your posts with suggestions based on the content of the post , create custom titles and descriptions that improve your page ranking, change the theme or run disabled plugins on specific pages, and a whole lot more.

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About the author
Jørgen Nicolaisen has been passionately interested in everything online since 1995. His experience is based on working with small hobby projects as well as high volume websites. Jørgen is currently focused on the PHP based programming framework - Codeigniter, and WordPress naturally

3 Replies to WordPress is now installed – what’s next?

  1. Joe says:

    Thanks, this is useful stuff that will benefit all bloggers.

    My post permalinks are structured like this:

    http://mydomain.com/keyword-targetted-in-this-post

    Please comment. Thanks, Joe

  2. jhnidk says:

    From a SEO perspective this structure is good, however you need to ensure that the URL is unique which can be a problem is you have several posts with the same keywords. The unique URL issue can be solved by adding a date or something similar to the url.

    Since users sometimes looks at the URL before clicking on a link, my personal opinion is that it’s better to have the post title (which should include important post keywords) in the link, but that’s up to you

  3. Joe says:

    Thanks for the explanation.

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