I’m assuming you have installed your wordpress blog on your server. This post will guide you through some general settings and installations that will get your blog up and running and ready to be spread across the web. Obviously you are here so you can see how some things work but also take a look at my most successful installation, GfK TechTalk
First, choose, install and customize theme.
Add blog Information
Under settings > General fill in your title and tagline, the title will be the name of your website and the tagline what its about, be sure to use some keywords that you want to reach the search engines. Go through all the settings beyond general and make sure the posts, comments etc will behave in a way that suits your blogs intentions.
Widgets can be found under the appearance heading on the left hand side of the control panel. They control the content that appears mainly the right hand column of the site but also header footer.
If you don’t have any image editing software you can easily create a favicon by uploading it to a number of site such as Favicon.co.uk you can then simply download it and upload it to you sites top level folder (htdocs) for it to appear in a browsers address bar.
The Cascading Style Sheet is fully customisable and is accessible by clicking appearance > Editor > StyleSheet under Styling
I’m going to give you a short overview of useful plugins I have tried and tested. It’s not everything I use and everyone’s blog will have different needs but this should give you a good start and save some time.
- Social Media and Viral Marketing
Digg Digg provides convenient buttons by your post for your readers to market your articles on your behalf, essential for the viral marketing aspect of your blog, you may have seen these buttons on site like Mashable.
Twitter Tools AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button
Once you have established your social media platforms that work for your particular target audience then use Digg Digg for these platforms. It is important to remember that everyone has there own browsing habits and favourite bookmarking tools so make sure your blog facilitates them. AddToAny pretty much adds every other bookmarking link to your post.
A very stylish plugin adding additional bookmarking to your post, I have started using this as an alternative to AddToAny.
Social Media Widget
While many seem to think that linking to your social media accounts means you are intergrating Social Media, as you may have picked up from the above plugins it is only a small part. However, this plugin simplifies the adding of icons to the navigational column and gets you to think about a few extra platforms at the same time.
FeedBurner FeedSmith (manual install)
The Feedburner plugin cannot be found on an add new plugin search, you need to download the plugin file from Google and upload the zip file to your server extract the file and refresh the plugin page in WordPress and activate the plugin. Next, got to your google feedburner account and in My Feeds fill in the address of the blog feed in the Burn a feed right this instant box. Navigate to settings and then feedburner and add your new Feedburner feed address.
- Analytics and Tracking
Google XML Sitemaps
Sign into webmaster tools, add new site, upload the html file although there other options for verification, verify the site,
Edit the settings and build the sitemap
- Your sitemap was last built on August 17, 2010 8:51 am.
- Your sitemap (zipped) was last built on August 17, 2010 8:51 am.
- Google was successfully notified about changes.
- Bing was successfully notified about changes.
- Ask.com was successfully notified about changes.
- The building process took about 0.53 seconds to complete and used 27.25 MB of memory.
- If you changed something on your server or blog, you should rebuild the sitemap manually.
- If you encounter any problems with the build process you can use the debug function to get more information.
In order to use the WordPress.com stats plugin you will need a wordpress API key, after you have installed the plugin you will be shown a red error message until you have resolved this, click on the error message and you arrive at a page showing the following “The WordPress.com Stats Plugin is not working because it needs to be linked to a WordPress.com account” click on the link to get an API key and sign up at the wordpress.com site, you only need to sign up for a username, a full blog is not necessary. Once you have gone through the motions got to my account and you will find the API. Copy the API and return your self hosted blog site, enter the key and you will be shown the wordpress account that the api is associated with, now just click and add your blog to the wordpress.com and you’re ready to go.
WP-UserOnline is a handy little plugin that quickly allows you to assess our current users online and monitor marketing efforts in real time.
Ultimate Google Analytics
Go to your Google Analytics and add new website, enter the site address and you will be given some code to paste into your pages, fortunatley the settings for Ultimate GA allow you to just paste the UI code and you are up and running. Give it some time before you start to see your results in Google.
Instruction of accounts to set up
You’re going to need some accounts if you want some traffic and want to take advantage of free tools!
For some of the stats programs and spam plugins you will need a API Key from your WordPress Account. You can set this up at the WordPress site, see above.
Rather than bug your mates posting links to your personal profile and to make sure you have the facebook followers that are actually interested in what you have to say, set up a Facebook page for your blog and put your links in there.
Twitter and Twitter developer account
Your Twitter account is going to be important in pushing out your posts once you have established your following. Use plugins such as Twitter Tools to automate the process.
Google, Analytics, Feedburner, Webmaster Tools
You’re going to need a Google account and a few of their products.
Gravatar is a sister site to wordpress and is a handy way to add an avatar to your email address . Sign up for a Gravatar account, upload your photo, then on any participating site you use that use that email address your avatar will be displayed.
Contact me if you would like more detailed advice, more plugins and information on how this fits into a marketing strategy.