Planning to start a blog? There’s a good chance that you will use WordPress as your content management system. WordPress is open source software. It can be changed to fit your needs, and thousands of plug-ins are available to make it work differently.
That is fine but creates another problem. Head to Google and search, “Wordpress setup advice.” Prepare to be overwhelmed by a flood of information. Why? Fifty-seven million blog sites worldwide use WordPress. Moreover, everybody from “major heavyweight blogger” to “kid in parents’ basement” has an opinion on the best way to set up a blog using WordPress.
Installing WordPress on a server isn’t difficult for a web savvy person. But figuring out the correct settings, downloading the best plug-ins, and finding and customizing the theme are how you set yourself apart from the blog herd.
When you first install WordPress, you will be asked to configure your blog settings. Some knowledge of SEO and experience with the WordPress backend are essential for setting it up correctly. (What, for example, should you include in the “update services” box?)
There are tens of thousands of plug-ins to choose from, but most are unnecessary and will cause more harm to your blog than good. Too many will slow your blog to a crawl and others will crash it altogether. Some plug-ins, however, are essential. Every article you read on the topic will give you a different list, and the plug-in landscape changes daily.
You want your blog to look good. Although there are plenty of high-quality, out-of-the-box templates, they will still need updating, and if you want a blog customized to your branding, it is probably going to take some coding. How skilled are you at PHP programming and relational databases?
You Need Help
The beauty of WordPress is that you can set up a blog in minutes, but the chances of it being noticed among the 57 million blogs that are out there is minimal if you don’t have help. If you want a higher-level blog, you need help from somebody who has experience setting up and optimizing a WordPress blog for optimum exposure.