Mistakes to Avoid with a New WordPress Blog

So you’ve finally got WordPress software installed on your domain. And guess what? Your new blog already has mistakes that need to be fixed! Your configuration defaults may be a dead giveaway that you don’t know your way around your blog’s management panel. In this article, we’ll look at the steps you’ll need to avoid mistakes and to get things working properly.

1) Post and Comment Cleanup

The default WordPress post and comment is a dead giveaway of a new blog. So delete them quickly! We don’t need to hear what “Mr. WordPress” thinks of your first post.

2) Categories cleanup

Another sure sign of a new blog is the “Uncategorized” category. Because all blogs must have at least one category, it can’t be deleted, but it can be modified. Stick with something generic that doesn’t scream “NEW BLOG!” “Announcements” usually works well, but better to add new categories right away.

3) Edit the About Page

Want to disappoint any potential long-term readers of your blog? Simple enough. Leave your “About” page empty. If you want to form a relationship with your readers and get them to stick around, spend a little time customizing your About page. Add your background, what the blog will be about, a photo, etc. Blogging is about connecting with your readers, and this is one way to start.

4) Attend to your Blogroll

If you don’t have any relevant partners or sites to highlight, get rid of the blogroll for now. You can always add it back whenever you want.

5) Change your Timezone

So that your blog posts are properly timestamped, edit the default timezone in your general settings section.

6) Verify your Update Services

Ping, short for Packet Internet Grouper, is a packet sent from one computer to another that essentially says “Hey, I’m here and I’ve updated!” By default, you should have Pingomatic listed, which is an aggregate pinger (it pings other ping services).

7) Determine your Comment Policy

Commenting should be as free as possible, but you need to balance comments with spam and trolls. Decide on your comment policy and set your options accordingly. Many bloggers allow free comment posting with a name and e-mail address, while others hold any comment with more than one link in the moderation queue. You can also add a Disqus plugin – some say you’ll get less comments with Disqus, but you’ll avoid those annoying spammers.

8) Configure your Permalinks

Make your post URL’s look pretty with nice looking permalinks. The most common settings are /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/ and /%postname%/.

While the above steps aren’t inclusive of what you need to do to get your blog up and running, they are the general configuration options you will want to address so that your blogging experience doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb when you start attracting those readers!

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