New WordPress Blog Install Checklist

I’ve recently started new blog, and thought it would be useful for you to know my checklist for making sure the website is build with SEO basics in mind, ready to attract traffic and has its feed delegated to FeedBurner service for easier management.

Update 15/03/2008: – I’ve just noticed how someone liked this post enough to stumble it, so I have made a quick update to the post with some more steps of my new blog routine. Also, please check out the WordPress Plugins Magic website for a ready-made collection of plugins for download.

Here is what I do, feel free to ask questions in comments:

WordPress Setup

  • Enable Akismet plugin, you’ll need a WordPress API for this
  • Make all the files under wp-content/themes writable for your webserver – this will allow you to edit themes from WordPress control panel
  • Create a .htaccess file in the top level directory of your WordPress install, and make it writable for your webserver to allow permalinks config from WordPress control panel

Basic SEO

  • Enable permalinks, chose the permalink structure wisely – if you’re aiming for a timeless content, don’t use date tags.
  • Download and activate the SEO Title Tag plugin. Change the options to use category names and blog name in relevant titles if you like.
  • Download and activate the Google Sitemap Generator plugin. Submit your newly generated sitemap through the Google Webmaster Tools page.

Improve experience for your visitors

  • Download and activate the Smart Archives plugin , you will probably need to create a separate page for it and put the appropriate tag for it to show the archives.
  • Register a FeedBurner feed, install and point to it the FeedSmith plugin. Enable the SmartFeed option in FeedBurner‘s Optimize section for your new feed.

Open ways for interaction

  • Set up a comment form (cForms for me – the best forms plugin ever!) – again, you’ll probably want to create a separate page for this.
  • Download and activate the Sociable plugin (check out my tutorial on configuring it: Must Have Plugins: Sociable)

Hope this helps. My list is never static, I practically reinvent it every time I start a new project, so I’ll be updating this post from time to time.


  1. Mark McManus says

    Great stuff Gleb. I’ve implemented almost all these now and stumbled the article – cheers!

  2. Nice post. I’ll have to go through it and see if I am in compliance!

    I just went through my WordPress plugins after a fresh 2.2 install to see what was really working (and useful) and put together this list:

    Might be of interest. Especially check out the “checkbox” to get email followups on comments … you don’t have one!


  3. Thanks for sharing the list, Greg! Yes, the comment follow-up is a great plugin. Thanks for spotting it for me! I use it on my other blogs, but never installed it here.

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