WordPress blogging and content management platform

Setting Up a WordPress Blog

WordPress blogging and content management platformWordPress is the most flexible and most-used blogging platform on the Internet today. And Google just loves this platform. Here is a simple guide to getting your WordPress blog up and running. There are many resources online that are a Google search away if you need further assistance.

1. Plan

Plan out how you want your business blog to be organized. What pages will you have on it? A contact page? An “about” page? Make sure you know what categories you will be using to organize your posts as well.

2. Get a unique domain

Invest a few dollars in purchasing your own domain name. If you put up a free WordPress blog, your blog will be located at http://yourwebsitename.wordpress.com, which is less powerful for SEO results, less memorable, less brand-able, and less secure. Domains are very inexpensive, so purchase one and buy a hosting package for it if you are not already setting up the blog as part of your existing site.

3. Install

Your web hosting provider will likely have a “one-click install” option for WordPress. If not, do a search for “WordPress manual install” and find directions, or contact your web hosting provider for further assistance. They may be able to install it on their end. But most major web hosting providers offer you the option to install WordPress with just a few clicks.

4. Set it up

Once WordPress is installed, you need to set it up and add all the details. Under the “Administration” section, start going through each page. Flesh out your profile and your details. Under the “General” page, add a tagline for your site and other general site information. The “Writing” and “Reading” sections will help you customize how your readers navigate and read your content, and how you will be creating it. The “Discussion” page then gives you the options for handling comments, and whether or not you want them at all.

5. Post content

Under “Posts,” you can organize your categories and manage all your posts. Click “Add New” to start adding blog posts. The “Pages” section is similar, but it adds static pages to your blog, not blog posts. This would be where you create and add your contact page, “about” page, etc.

6. Customize appearance

Once you have a few pages of content created, and posts written and published, go to “Appearance” and play around with different themes for your site. You can also search for and install other ones. If you search for “free WordPress themes” in a search engine (like Google), you can find even more that you may like. It’s important to have some content and pages created first so that you can see how your content will be viewed in the theme. Alternatively, have a web designer create a blog “look” that harmonizes with your company branding and existing website. Famous premium themes (meaning you pay to use them) that are great for SEO and are very flexible include Thesis and Genesis.

7. Add plug-ins

Check for plug-ins, which are extensions to your WordPress installation that can offer additional functionality, like built-in contact forms. They install in the same manner as themes do, and you can search the Internet for useful plug-ins. Look for plug-ins that integrate seamlessly with Facebook and Twitter especially, and start moving your content around by simple sharing options. Yoast.com is a great source for SEO plug-ins. “Social” by MailChimp is an awesome plug-in for allowing comments that encourage retweets and Facebook shares. Don’t just install any plug-in you find, however, as they are often a source of security breaches. WP Plugin Security Check on wordpress.org is a good tool that checks plug-ins for bad practices and possible security holes.

Photo credit: thisismyurl / Foter / CC BY-SA

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