How to Set up WordPress Blog [CheckList]

Setup WordPressInstalling a WordPress blog is something anyone with zero experience can do it, and here at ShoutMeLoud we have covered installation guides for popular webhosting companies. Before I share this WordPress checklist, you can browse installation guides below:

One of the important aspect of creating a successful blog is by setting up your blog right way. It may take additional an hour or two, but this effort will surely pay off in long run. If you have gone through ShoutMeLoud previous guide on WordPress post installation essential process, lets move ahead with next one in the series. In this guide, I will share a list of checklist which you should follow to make your WordPress blog publish ready.

I won’t say all the steps are essential here, but I must say that every steps will give you great benefit. Atleast it will take you one step ahead of those WordPress blogs who are missing out to add the essential elements. So lets get on with the list. Feel free to suggest your 2 cents at the end of article via commenting.

How to Setup a Blog on WordPress Platform:

I assume you have your WordPress blog installed, and you have deleted the default “Hello world” post, and default page. If you haven’t done that so far, go ahead and do it right away. Now lets move on and look at this exclusive list of WordPress setup checklist:

Do read: Best WordPress Plugins for SEO

Submit sitemap:

Lets start with SEO tip first and you should start with creating and submitting sitemap to Webmaster tool. The process is easy and it will help search engine bots to deep index your content. You can use Google XML sitemap to generate site map and read below guide to learn how to submit site map.

Another important tip which I would like to give you is, update WordPress ping list to make sure your blog is indexed fast and search engine bots can quickly crawl and index your new post.

About page:

Unless you are only writing a personal diary expecting no readers outside your friends and family circle, an about page is required. Use this page to give a glimpse of yourself to your readers, and also what the blog is all about. Here are two articles which shows importance of About page and what all should be there in your blog about page. For the record, your blog about page will be one of the most viewed page of all time, so make sure you write in a way to turn your one-time visitors into subscribers. You can take some inspiration by looking at ShoutMeLoud about page, where Harsh have beautifully personalised the page and also gave plenty of options for new visitors to subscribe to this blog.

Contact page:

A blog is all about communication. A contact page on your blog will provide a mean of private communication between you and your readers. It can also be a gateway for advertisers to discuss a deal or sponsorship. Most typical contact page consist of only a contact form, but you could also provide other means of communication like Skype.

Customize permalink structure:

WordPress check list

WordPress’s default permalink structure is both not user-friendly and not SEO friendly. Instead of (, customize it to something more meaningful like ( You can learn more about customizing permalink here. Read: How to change WordPress permalink without losing traffic.


Categorizing your articles as Uncategorized is as meaningless as it sounds. Create a few categories you know you will write about beforehand. It will make navigation a little easier and also act as a hint to your readers what the blog is generally about.

Anti-spam plugin:

No sane blogger on WordPress will blog without an anti-spam plugin. There’s a huge army of spammers out there spamming the hell out of out unprotected blogs every single minute. The most popular anti-spam plugin, Akismet is bundled in your WordPress installation, and you can read this guide to get your free Akismet API key and activate it to get rid of spam.

Cache plugin:

Your blog might be new, but you won’t really know how well the genius in you will do. In case any of your articles go rival, the server you paid very little money for might not be able to withstand the waves of visitors. Caching your blog will reduce the load and generally make your blog load faster. W3 Total Cache is the choice of many big and small blogs alike, you probably won’t go wrong with it.

Blog statistics:

It’s important to track your blog’s statistics since day one. Google Analytics is a free service that provides in-depth statistics and information about your visitors. You could also install Jetpack plugin on top of Google Analytics to view your statistics right in your WordPress dashboard.

Complete Blog Backup:

We all have heard of nightmares about web host holding customer’s files and database ransom, getting out of business or losing your data. With a complete blog backup solution, you are rest assured that no matter what happened to your blog, as long as you still have control of your domain name, you can restore your blog’s content on any other host.

I use wp Time Machine for this purpose, automating the backup process and have the files uploaded to Dropbox automatically, and in turn have them synced on my computer automatically.


I believe, a unique design is always great for branding and user experience point of view. One thing, which you need to take care of is theme should not only be fast but should also be search engine friendly. The moment I see a blog using WordPress’s default theme with zero customization, I’ll come to two conclusions. 1) The blogger is not serious. 2) It’s a scraper site. I would suggest pick any good theme or better get a custom WordPress design. Here at ShoutMeLoud we are using Thesis theme.

  • Read: Why Thesis theme for WordPress site

The Optional setup tips for WordPress

If you already have all the above item checked, your new blog is good to go. The following items in my opinion is good to have, but by no means a must.

Social media buttons:

Social media buttons

Make it easier for your readers to share your work by adding social media sharing buttons.Buttons like Facebook “like” button is  popular across many websites. Users are so used to it that they would not hesitate to like your work as a sign of appreciation. Traffic aside, these social shares can also act as a morale booster eespecially when you are just starting out. Check out this post which list best social media bookmarking plugin for WordPress.

Blog account on social sites:

Register your blog’s brand name on popular social sites like Twitter and YouTube. You might not need it now, but don’t get upset later when you discovered someone else has grabbed your blog’s brand name as their username on such sites.

FeedBurner or Aweber:

The popularity of “subscribing to RSS” has definitely gone down compared to several years ago. Readers these days prefer to follow a blog on Twitter or Facebook. That being said, I’m unsure whether it’s still necessary to track its statistics, eespecially on blogs where readers are generally not tech-savvy. What say you? Make sure you offer Email subscription feature from day one, as Email is one of the best too to subscribe to website updates. Here at ShoutMeLoud we use Aweber for sending Email newsletter.

These are some of the basic WordPress set up tips which I can think of now and can suggest you. If you have more to add in this list, do let us know via comment.

This is a guest post by Vincent. If you would like to write for ShoutMeLoud do read ShoutMeLoud guest posting guidelines.

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COMMENTs ( 14 )

  1. Anoop Sudhakaran says

    Best Startup tips for a newbie blogger. Keep up the good work and as stated above your domain name is really nice. Easy to remember. :)

  2. Dean Saliba says

    This is a great post for anyone who is looking to set up a new blog. I’ve been setting them up for years and there are things on this list that even I had never done before.

    • Vincent Chow says

      I think I’d refer back to this post if I were to set up a new blog later on, despite being the one who write it. I’m pretty sure my memory won’t serve me good enough to remember all these to-dos.

  3. Sathish @ TechieMania says

    Hi Vincent, if you going to work on a MMO or affiliate marketing niche, then I would add Aweber to this list, instead of Feedburner. Anyway, thanks for sharing this useful list.

    • Vincent Chow says

      In that case, it’s good to have both of them installed, one for email marketing, while another to deliver new blog post to subscribers.

      I’ll feel more assured if I know the email list I’m subscribing is powered by Aweber, for its ease to unsubscribe later.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Swamykant says

    Hi Vincet

    Excellent Post. You have covered almost everything. I believe you missed Sitemap [ page and xml] and Arhives Page

    • Vincent Chow says

      Archive page is a good addition to make navigation easier. That can be done later though when you have more articles, unless you already have a few dozens article ready to be published before even starting the blog (which is a good idea anyways).

  5. Vuong says

    Great list Vicent! I hope there will be more article on SML from you, Vicent.

    In my case, as you have known, wp Time Machine is a very wonderful suggestion.

    • Vincent Chow says

      Thanks Vuong. This is the second guest post I have ever published, but is the first on SML. wp Time Machine is definitely one of my must-haves now. Dropbox is running a quest giving away 1GB extra bonus to everyone (ending two weeks from now), no one can say they don’t have enough space on Dropbox to store their blog backups.

    • Vincent Chow says

      I have never submitted any of my blogs to search engines manually. After a while, Google will discover your blog automatically through inbound links you’ve received on other blogs.

      While it worked out fine on my blogs, I’m not sure if other blogs would experience the same. Definitely not an expert in SEO.

  6. Suraj @Smartfatblogger says

    Really nice, I’d just asked you for help. But you turned my own game on me. Now this is what I call Good business!
    Cheers Vincent!

    Now you may teach me tricks but yet still you are a true learner.

    By the way, informative post!