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New To WordPress, Now What? Newbies Guide

So you are a newbie that has just installed WordPress? Not sure what to do next or which order to do it in? Whether you want to change your permalink structure, tweak your SEO or want to publish your posts on various social networks then here is a little guide to help get you started with you new blog.

Wordpress Logo on Laptop
David Molina G /

Newbie Alert – Change Your permalink structure!

Want to start writing posts straight away? A must for any newbie is to change your permalink structure. Changing your permalink structure is good SEO practice and if you apply it from the start will save you the hassle of having to install redirect plugins to change it later. Go to Settings » Permalinks and change it to something like /%year%/%postname% or /%category%/%postname%/

Further Resources

Enable Spam Blocking

Askimet comes with your WordPress installation and is an excellent tool to filter out the junk. In order to use it you need a WordPress API key and you need to activate it in the Plugins section of your admin page. In addition to Askimet I use WP Captcha free which has eliminated 99.9% of spam and it does not require any configuration or any user interaction such as captcha/image verification.

Further Resources


Don’t know how secure your WordPress installation is? Unsure of file permissions or .htaccess? WP-Security Scan will check your installation for security vulnerabilities and will recommend what actions to take. I also recommend that you block access to the wp-admin folder by using the .htpasswd & .htaccess generator on the htaccesstools website.

Further Resources

Sitemaps and SEO

Want to get your site noticed? Google XML Sitemap Generator will create and publish a sitemap to all major search engines. All-In-One SEO Pack optimises your blog for search engines. Interested in knowing more about who visits your site then enable stats and join Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics.

Further Resources

Contact Form

If I like to contact someone personally I would like to contact them through a contact form other than posting a comment on a blog post. I was recently contacted by someone who wanted the contact details for a blog which was using one of my themes. Having a contact form makes your site more accessible and allows your audience to connect with you. Setting up a contact form isn’t difficult and there are plenty of plugins that can do this for you like Contact Form 7 which is really easy to use.

Social Networking & RSS Feeds

Get your posts noticed more and increase your traffic. Sign up for Twitter, Digg, Delicious etc. and add your blog to a blog directories like Technorati and Blogcatalog. Sign up for Feedburner to process your RSS feeds along with the WordPress FD Feedburner Plugin plugin.

Enjoy this post? Would you do anything differently? Please share your experiences.

5 replies on “New To WordPress, Now What? Newbies Guide”

First off I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.

I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts
prior to writing. I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply
just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or
tips? Many thanks!

Hi Sandy. Sorry it took so long to reply. I don’t particular have topics set out to write about. Most times I come across something by accident, whether it would be whilst designing a website or adding a pre-built script to a website or even building my own. I have come across some websites in the past that have built good scripts or published articles that are not easily understood. This is where I come in.

Firstly I create a post and think of a post name for it that would be easily accessed via search engines, sometimes changing it later if not happy. Then I create a list inside of the post of the possible content. I expand on that list until I have content. I read it several times in my head and out loud before publishing and make final tweaks. Some days it takes a while whilst some days I can just type away.

I guess you have to find your own style. I might not post as much as other bloggers but I would rather publish 1 post a month that is meaningful than spit out several posts each day with little content.

Blog Traffic
Blog Traffic On

Very good initial steps.

Also, start to build those backlinks!

The backlinks from blog directories should be combined with the backlinks from the articles submitted to article directories (on topics closely related to your blog’s most important keywords).

A properly developed backlink program will deliver far more targeted traffic to your blog due to its impact on the search engines than due to the actual directory links themselves.

I maintain a list of The Top 101 Blog Directories & RSS Submission Sites on my blog at:

Since I update this list weekly there are now 506 entries listed with NO DEAD LINKS.

Try to submit to 3-5 directories PER DAY. This discipline will pay big dividends over the long run.

If you find sufficient value in this list, please link to it in your sidebar.


Best of success,

Robert A. Kearse

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