5 minute setup checklist for new WordPress websites

Once again, you are setting up a new WordPress website or maybe you’re a newbie setting up your own website for the first time.

Doesn’t matter because it’s simple, but some critical maintenance items need to be done when launching a new website or blog.

Hence the title on this posting could be ‘Things to do after installing WordPress’

Domain names and website hosting we’ll cover in another posting, but for now you’re ready to go and although you may have done this a 100 times over, there is a chance you may miss or forget some of the ‘best practices’ for setting up a WordPress website.

No fear – create your own list or simply start with this one for now:

Settings > General

  1. Tagline – many simply install and go. Tagline will show up in some themes in interesting places. Add something here about your website.
  2. URL – review this and decide on ‘www’ vs ‘non-www’. Standard is to go with ‘www’ unless you have a bigger picture strategy for sub-domains in the near future.
  3. Timezone – not too important, but set it anyways if you wonder why your postings time is off. Sometimes your web server may play games with you, but WordPress will assist in keeping things in check.

Settings > Reading

  1. If you plan on having a ‘static page’ for your business website, select ‘static page’ from Front Page display. If running a blog, leave as is for now.
  2. Decide on ‘Full Text’ or ‘Summary’ for article RSS feeds. I choose ‘Summary’ within feeds – if people want to know more, they can click in further.
  3. Search Engine Visibility – this one is big people! If you do not want Google, Bing or other crawling your website (think SEO) and do not want to show up in the search engines, then check this to yes. Once checked, you’ll get warning along the way that it is on … it’s on because it’s your choice.

Settings > Discussion

This one can be fun after you start getting spam comments and such.

  1. Turn on: Automatically close comments on articles older than …
  2. Optional depending on the type of blog you are running: Comment must be manually approvedĀ 
  3. Comment moderation: 1 set this to ‘1 link’
  4. Avatar – go with Gravatar setting

Settings > Permalinks

Yes, this one is big and good for SEO – all up to you.

If you plan to blog monthly, weekly, daily or other and plan to look back or want to review what you did last year in May, then leave as is, otherwise setting the permalink to ‘Post Name’ is sufficient for most 10-15 page small business website or something similar.

Is that it?

5 minutes or less is done.

More to follow on WordPress optimization, plugins, themes and such.

Your thoughts? What are some of your common routines when setting up WordPress?