1) Make sure you are running the latest version of WordPress
Often when you use web hosting companies to install WordPress they don’t run the latest version. It’s important to make sure you are running the latest version of WordPress to ensure you website is a secure as possible. You can check what version you are running by looking at the bottom right hand corner of the page in your WordPress dashboard. You can download the latest version from WordPress.org or automatically from your website’s dashboard.
2) Set up your pretty urls
By default WordPress installs with ugly urls.
For example here is an ugly url I generated when I published a post on my company website http://www.pootlepress.co.uk/?p=123.
You see that p=123, well that is the post identifier, and as it stands it’s pretty useless for humans and search engines – i.e Google.
Make sure you change this setting by going to settings / permalinks and change your url’s to something more readable e.g http://www.pootlepress.co.uk/wordpress-training.
This will improve your chances of achieving a higher ranking on Google searches e.g for ‘wordpress training’.
3) Check your ‘discussion’ settings
By default WordPress requires that “comment authors must have a previously approved comment” before they are published on your site. This is important setting to get right, as it will impact on the level of engagement and discussion you get on your blog.
I generally untick this option, but make sure that I keep a close eye on any comments being published.
I also tick ‘enable threaded comments’ as this feature is a good way to let your readers engage in discussion with each other.
4) Install the Akismet plugin
Akismet is an automated spam killer and in my view is a really important plugin if you are going to allow comments on your website. Akismet runs as a web service and filters out comment spam. Akismet is free for personal use but does carry a cost for businesses.
5) Install ‘Google Analytics for WordPress’
It’s important to track how many visitors you are getting, where they are coming from and what content they are reading. Google Analytics for WordPress is a free plugin that automatically integrates your website with Google Analytics.
These are my 5 steps. Let me know if you think I have I missed any?