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Blogs 101 The Essential Tips For Setting Up WordPress

blogs-101So this guide is based on what I have learnt while setting up my wordpress blog, the mistakes I made and how you can avoid them plus the good plugins I have found that will make your blog a raging success!

Why use wordpress?

It has an easy user interface, there are a trillion different themes and they are easily interchanged, it is SEO friendly and probably the most important is the plugins. With wordpress you can simply add a plug-in activate it and then add it to your sidebar. Simple

So setting up wordpress is really really easy just go here http://wordpress.com/ and fill out your ‘deets’. If you want all the functions and¬†edit-ability¬†you need to host wordpress on your own domain (looks like www.yourblog.com instead of yourblog.wordpress.com).

Next thing you will want to do is find a theme to match your style. Free themes are perfect when you are just starting out.

Tips for choosing your theme:

  • Find one that has a 2 or 3 columns. More than 3 and you start to get confused and with no sidebar (1 column design) you will have trouble adding widgets.
  • Make sure the main column is a normal width (like mine). You want a normal width one because if you change themes later and the main column size is different you will find that your pictures may not fit properly.

As far as free themes, wordpress provides loads that you can browse from you admin page (Appearance>Themes).

If you are hosting your blog there are also some other providers, here are some I found useful:

For information on how to install themes go here “Installing WordPress Themes And Plugins“.

Change your permalinks

When you first start your posts’ URL will be in this form www.timscullin.com/?p=4, which is not very search engine friendly, no one searches for “?p=4″. To change permalinks go Settings>Permalinks in admin control. Then choose ‘Custom Structure’ and paste “/%category%/%postname%” into the box. This is the structure I recommend and will change your URL to www.timscullin.com/Category/PostTitle. Now your posts can be found on search engines.

Install some plugins.

Here are the plugins I recommend and use:

  • All in one SEO pack – Adds Keywords, Titles and Descriptions to your pages for more search engine appeal.
  • Flicker RSS – Lets you add Flickr photos to your blog via an RSS feed (essential for some themes).
  • Google Analytics For WordPress – Automatically adds analytic tracking code to your wordpress pages.
  • Quick Subscribe – Lets people quickly subscribe to your blog via email (remember not everyone is familiar with RSS).
  • Share This – Let your visitors share a post with others via email, social bookmarking and more.
  • Tweetmeme Button- Let your visitors tweet your posts to twitter via a “tweets” button at the bottom of each post.

Once again for any issues installing plugins go to “Installing WordPress Themes And Plugins“.

There are tons more but that is all you need to get started.

So now your ready, start writing some posts!

5 Comments »

  • mystudio said:

    but wordpress does not allow uploading themes.. . . . then how?

    Reply

  • ffmpeg hosting | Blog XHN.ES said:

    [...] Blogs 101. The Essential Tips For Setting Up WordPress | Tim Scullin Online (March 29th, 2009 at 6:34 pm ) [...]

  • Generic said:

    However wordpress does not allow uploading themes.. then how to do?

    Reply

  • Teressa W said:

    You would not believe how long ive been googling for something like this. Scrolled through 5 pages of Yahoo results without finding anything. Quick search on bing. There you are!…. Gotta start using that more often

    Reply

  • Anissa Kjellsen said:

    My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of
    websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform.
    I have heard very good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all
    my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply

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