Setting up a new WordPress blog is usually a mystery for many users as they are immediately faced with hundreds of options and possible plugins. But the truth is that only a few steps are involved for an good blog setup.
This article combines all the 'powerful' plugin recommendations in one place, with a special accent on SEO concepts.
Setting up permalinks
Right after you installed the blog, first thing should be to set the permalink structure. This is done in Settings->Permalinks menu by choosing "Custom Structure" option.
My favorite setting is just "/%postname" which will make your URLs look something like "yourblog.com/post-title".
Recently I am more inclined to think that using %category%/%postname% may yield you better results if category names contain keywords you want to rank for.
Setting up plugin installation
Next comes the installation of standard plugins. These plugins will help you with every day blog tasks and generally make your job easier.
I always install Plugin central plugin first, as it allows me to easily install all other plugins, with just a few clicks.
Set of plugins I use allow the blog to start working immediately. The plugin generally work out of box and in most cases you should just visit the configuration pages to see what is going on there.
- Google Analyticator allows me to quickly add Information for Google Analytics. You can not run a successful site without an insight to the website analytics.
- Google XML Sitemaps allows me to automatically generate sitemaps and submit it to different search engines. This equals old method of manually submitting your site URL to the search engine, only it is much more effective in terms of what it does for your site. Good and easy install&forget plugin.
- Plugin Central makes the work of installing new plugins and updating old a breeze.
- SEO Friendly Images automatically optimizes all images on the site so I do not have to worry about it.
- Similar Posts allows my posts to have automatically links to the similar posts. This is good for both the reader and the search engines. Requires Post-Plugin library to be installed.
- Theme Test Drive - Usually I will be trying several themes for the new site so I use Theme Test Drive plugin to make the job easier
- WP-SpamFree is anti-spam plugin that unlike the popular Akismet plugin, requires no key to use. That means it is convenient for quick setups. It creates good results but for prolonged uses I ultimately like using them both together.
Additional plugins to consider
After setting up the blog with basic plugins I after install a couple of other plugins that are not SEO related but help the life of the blog.
- Instant Upgrade makes updating WordPress couple of clicks away. Will automatically download and install the latest version of WordPress for you.
- WP-DBManager manages backups. Key features are automatic regular backups to your email and periodic database optimizations.
- WP Super Cache make the blog less susceptible to high traffic and CPU consumption issues by caching the WordPress output.
- FeedBurner Feedsmith is a plugin that automatically links your feeds to Feedburner service
- Inisghts make blog posting a breeze by adding direct access to Youtube, Flickr, Search and Google maps services
This article points out several key plugins and setup options for a typical, if a little bit advanced, blogging setup. Different bloggers use different tools but the methods and plugins presented here fullfil mostly used tasks in an everyday blogging environment.
More like this:
- SEO Smart Links and Category Search plugins
- WordPress plugin recommendations
- Optimizing WordPress Permalinks
Posted in: SEO, WordPress
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