You identified your blog niche and you are ready with a domain name and hosting space. You identified WordPress as your blog platform. You installed the wordpress latest version of wordpress.
Now you need to complete certain important tasks to complete your blog setup. Let us discuss the most important things to consider during this stage.
1. Setup your .htaccess parameters
If your web server is Apache, you can setup certain parameters to make your blog faster and more efficient. Static file caching and expiry time set setup etc. can be achieved by configuring .htaccess file. Read more about – A guide and .htaccess tricks and tips
2. Identify the right theme for your blog
If you are an expert in wordpress API and PHP you can create your own theme for your blog. But remember that it should load fast. The speed of loading is the primary thing to consider while choosing your blog theme.
The minimum the number of script ,css and image files used in your theme, the minimum the number of HTTP request fired from browser to the server the complete the web page load.
There are many fast loading wordpress themes are available for free. Read Top 10 Tips to Consider When Choosing WordPress Theme
3. Identify and install must have plugins
There are certain plugins that helps you to build more interactive blog. Some other plugins helps you in terms of search engine optimization. Certain plugins helps you to speed up your blog. The plugins like Google XML Sitemap generator is a must for blogs.
Read 9 Must Have WordPress Plugins
If you are using other blog platforms like blogger find out the similar plugins available for those platforms.
4. Create an XML sitemap for search engines
XML Sitemap is the main file which search engines will be used to index your pages and posts. So setting up he XML Sitemap is mandatory. There are plugins available to create/update XML Sitemaps automatically.
5. Create an HTML sitemap
The HTML Sitemap is for humans. HTML Sitemap gives a tree view of your blog contents. The blog visitors can easily go through the HTML Sitemap to get an idea of your blog posts and contents.
6. Set up a blog search option
Most of the wordpress themes has default search feature built-in. If you are not happy with that you can go for Google custom search engine for your website. This not only allows users to search and find the posts what the are looking for but also will improve your page view.
7. Check your RSS and ATOM feeds
Check and validate your RSS and ATOM feeds. Those should be valid. You can use tools like FEED Validator for Atom and RSS and KML to check their validity.
8. Optimize your images and minify your scripts
You need to optimize all images to make site load faster. Also minification of scripts and CSS will help you to reduce the size and thus improving the loading speed of your blog.
9. Keep your commenting system secure
Comment spamming is one of the common problem encounters by webmasters. if you have enabled comment system on your blog, you need to make sure that you have taken necessary steps to prevent comment spamming.Comments as you know are a great way to build community and readership. Read this post to know more about how to avoid spam comment on your blog/site.
10. Test your blog completely
You must test your blog/website completely for any issues. There can be script error, display and alignment issues, CSS issues or cross browser issues. You need to test and rectify all these. Read more about how to test your blog/website completely.
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