2 Important things to do after installing WordPress

I started using CMS with PHPnuke (before I learnt php), then B2evolution, then Movable Type and I assure you nothing beats the ease of Wordpress. However, the ease ends with the installation process and sooner or later any user will whine about the frequent software updates. If you do choose to use WordPress, you will be stuck in an endless loop of updates and the problem escalates with every installed plugin.

For this spanking new Linkcious Blog, we have decided to go with WordPress as we totally understand what we are getting ourselves into and Blogspot is out of the question for corporate purposes. So here are the customary 2 things that I usually do after a new installation because these are really important even if nobody reads my posts.

Edit Permalinks

Search engine optimization is right at the top of the list and nothing beats the power of keywords in URLs. By default, your blog posts will look something like this: http://blog.linkcious.com/?p=11 which is really poor for SEO as there are no keywords in your URL. Change it to http://blog.linkcious.com/112/smartphones/why-microsoft-is-happy-with-apple-win if possible. Google will know that your post is about Smartphones and important keywords like Microsoft and Apple will be indexed and recorded accordingly.

  1. Go to Settings > Permalinks
  2. Under ‘Common settings’ choose ‘Custom Structure’
  3. Enter /%category%/%postname%/ in the field

Sometimes it is wise not to put in the category into the URL if you are unsure what you want your blog to be about as changing the category will affect the URL and you don’t want that. Facebook Likes, Tweets, Pinterest buttons, incoming external links and Google SERPs will all be affected if you change the URLs suddenly. This is why you need to think long and hard about your permalink structure before you start your first post.

It is also rumored that the algorithms that WordPress use are more efficient at sorting through numeric structures than text ones. WordPress documentation describes its text sorting algorithms as its ‘verbose’ rules and therefore recommends its users to employ permalink structures that start with %post_id% or %year%/%monthnum%/%day%. This has been discussed extensively here: WordPress Permalinks Controversy 

Taking all these into account, we have decided to go with just /%post_id%/%postname%/ for this blog.

Site Visibility

There is no point keeping a startup blog if there’s no one to read your stuff. So remember to allow search engines to index the site. This needs to be done really quickly especially for new domains because Google tend to ignore domains for a few months after they first crawl the site before they show links from the site on their SERPs. Video: How does Google determine domain age, and is it important for ranking?
  1. Go to Settings > Privacy
  2. Check the Allow search engines to index this site button.