If you’ve been following my How To Start Blogging tutorial or if you’ve already started a blog, but you’re looking for more information, there’s a good chance you’ve installed WordPress.

I know setting up a new WordPress site can be overwhelming, but here are ten things you should do before going live with your site! (Don’t worry if you haven’t done them and you already have a site up and going, just make the changes you can as necessary).

Delete The Samples!

It might go without saying, but you want to get rid of the sample content that WordPress provides right away! These are often labeled things like “Hello World”.  You’ll need to look in your “Pages” section, “Posts” section and in the “Comments” and make sure to get rid of all the samples.

Change Your Permalinks!

Permalinks are the links or URLs that lead people to your content.  WordPress automatically is setup to display “Plain” permalinks, which means you’ll see your links like this:

http://yourdomain.com/p=124556

Instead of this:

http://yourdomain.com/how-to-backpack-europe/

Obviously the second option is much more desirable just for user experience, but it’s also a ranking factor for search engines.  This means you definitely want to change the links!

To change them, go to Settings, and then hit Permalinks.

You’ll then want to select the “Post Name” as I have done here.

Set Your Site Title and Tagline (If You Have One)

Your title and tagline are going to help tell search engines and your visitors who you are and what your site is about.  You can always change your tagline later, but for now try to pick something that will help Google direct the right people to you!

To add a title and tagline hover over “Settings” and then click “General”.

Go to Settings > General in WordPress Dashboard.

The “Site Title” bit is the name of your site and probably the name of your URL.

The “Tagline” is like the catchphrase for your website that let’s people know what it is in a few words.  If you haven’t figured out your tagline yet, go ahead and delete the WordPress default one and leave yours blank.

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