WordPress blog is widely used among bloggers. The reason for that is because it is user friendly. Most bloggers prefer WordPress platform and for that reason, it is very easy to get help online when you have difficulties.
Now, after launching your first WordPress blog, what should you do next? In this post, I want to discuss some important settings that you need to get done in order for your blog to be optimized and search engines friendly.
Delete your default Post, Page, and Comment
A lot of time when I come across a new WordPress blog, here is what I see:
Make sure that you delete the default post, page, and comment. Simply log into your back office, go to “Comments”, check on the box next to the default comment, select “Bulk Actions / Move to Trash”. You can do the same thing to Post and Page.
General Settings are what you need to look at next. Simply go to “Settings / General” and below is what you will see. Yours might look slightly different depending on what theme you are using.
Site Title is the name of your website. Tagline is a short description of what your site is about. Membership is where you allow guest posting in your site. Leave the box “Anyone can register” unchecked if you don’t plan to let people register to post things in your page.
Time zone can be confusing to some folks so here is how to choose time zone. UTC stands for Universal Time Coordinated. WordPress gives you the UTC. In the image above, it is: 2016-10-16, 17:21:26. Let’s assume that your local time is 2016-10-16, 12:21:26, simply pick UTC-5 from the list since your local time is 5 hours earlier than the UTC.
Check on Discussion Settings
Go to “Settings / Discussion”, below is what you will see:
These are recommended settings that I suggest you to follow. It is up to you to modify these settings based on your own preferences.
WordPress also offers Comment Moderation and Comment Blacklist. Comment Moderation is for anti spam. Your visitors’ comment will be held in queue if it contains some certain words or exceed the number of hyperlinks which are allowed by you.
Comment Blacklist will automatically put one’s comment in the trash if it contains certain words which are set up by you.
Check on your Permalinks Setting
Your Permalink is the directory of your post/page. By default, WordPress picks “Plain” option. Even though it is short, you don’t want that because it is not SEO friendly. “Post name” is recommended. This option will tell WordPress to select your permalink the same as the title of your page/post.
With this option, you can always change your permalink to something else when you write or update your content. Let’s say that you want to target two different keywords. One is in the title and another is in the permalink.
Update your Ping list
Whenever you publish a new post or update an old one, WordPress will signal all the ping services that you have in your list. This will help search engines find your content faster.
To update this list, go to “Settings / Writing” and here is what you will see:
Go to my Ping Services page and copy the list over to your website. (It is a very long list.)
Install All In One SEO Pack Plugin
There are many different plugins which support your website and help you engage your audience. To me, the first and most important plugin you should install is a SEO plugin. It helps you optimize your page effectively and avoid mistakes which potentially are harmful to your page rank.
My recommendation is “All In One SEO Pack”. This plugin is popular since it has more than 30 millions downloads. To install this plugin, first go to “Plugins / Add New” from your WordPress back office. Search for “All in one SEO pack”, then install and activate the plugin.
Other than some basic settings, All In One SEO plugin also comes with 7 free features:
- XML Sitemaps
- Social Meta
- File Editor
- Importer & Exporter
- Bad Bot Blocker
The last feature that they have is Video Sitemap which is available for Pro membership.
To understand how to configure the basic settings, please refer to the video below:
They also have a Pro version that you can purchase for advance settings. For more information on what the Pro version offers, please check out here. It comes with an affiliate program that you can earn 40% commission. Click here to join. You will get accepted immediately and can start promoting All In One SEO Pack Pro.
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