So you are finally going to setup your blog huh? Thats a great idea! Along with all the excitement of getting your word out there and creating the content, the technical portion can be challenging if you are new to WordPress. But worry no more – I will give you my 3 quick tips on what settings are best to start and what plugins I personally use – all FREE.
Now, I will assume you have your domain name and hosting for this. If not, for domains, I highly recommend Google Domains. You spend $12 per year for a .com AND they give you the privacy for free! Not a bad deal considering others will charge you $7 plus per year just for the privacy!
Hosting, again, I will assume you have that figured out. But if you are starting out with that too, I use (and recommend) Cloudways. They have one-click WordPress installs (like many others) but more importantly, they are really affordable. You can see their current specials right here.
Now, you have installed WordPress and want to get your blog going. Here are the things I run through before getting content written. Keep in mind, others may have differing opinions on plugins I use or recommend, and that’s ok. This is intended to get you going in the right direction – that is the important part.
Quick Tip 1: Security!
Just like in the Chris Rock movie “Head of State” (I’m dating myself huh?), you need a strong security team to protect your blog. Trust me, even a new blog will get brute force attacks, login attempts – they are non-stop. To combat this, I use a WordPress security plugin called WordFence Security. The free version will give you the basic protection.
I also double-down the protection by using another free plugin called Loginizer Security. It will also help block brute force login attempts.
In this tip, my last recommendation is to NEVER use a common login name like “admin”. Those are always the first set of usernames tried when the attacks come.
Quick Tip 2: Permalinks
Perma-what? Ok, this is probably mentioned in any WordPress 101 videos/checklists, but it’s worth noting here so you don’t forget. Permalinks are basically the structure of the links of your page. For example, a permalink looks appealing like this – domain.com/permalinks-work-better as opposed to this – domain.com/?p=11234234 — easier for links and SEO down the road.
To set this up in WordPress, simply go on the dashboard, click on “Settings>>Permalinks”. On that list you want to select “Post Name”. Save your changes and BAM, done!
Quick Tip 3: So, Don’t Forget About SEO
Yes, this is scary. SEO, in my humble opinion, is always a moving target. You may hear that SEO is the only way to go OR that SEO is dead. Well, no matter what the answer really is I say this: I’d rather have SEO setup right and not need it, than to need it and not have it! Am I right?
I like to think of SEO as the search engine’s way of gauging seniority. Particularly related to content. You have to earn it, and nobody ‘new’ at the company becomes top dog too fast.
With that said, there are also tons of SEO plugins out there – some free and paid of course. The plugin I use is Yoast SEO. The plugin is easy to figure out and the support available is abundant.
I hope these quick tips help in your endeavors when setting your blog for the first time. I know when I started I discovered that there was too much information overload, and it became overwhelming.
Thank you for your time and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments.