7 Must Do’s Before Launching Your Blog

I’ve launched many a blog in my day.  So many, in fact, that I’ve got the whole procedure down to a science.  With every launch comes the inevitable grab-bag of tweaks, hacks and plugin installations that have been refined and remastered over time.

Every blog is different, they’re like snowflakes – it’s beautiful.  But these are the tweaks that I use on every blog I launch.  I believe these to be universally beneficial, regardless of the site… provided said site is WordPress powered.

Setup a Feedburner Account

Having an RSS feed is a really important – nay, vital – component of any blog.  Few things are as flattering as someone liking your site enough to subscribe to your posts.  The problem is, with traditional RSS feeds you won’t know if that has happened.

With Feedburner, not only can you monitor your subscribers, but you can embed social network links, a comment counter and advertising into your feed if so desired.

Install a Comment Spam Blocker

Comment spam is a plague to most bloggers and a near impossible battle to win without a spam blocker installed.  Luckily, there are a number of plugins for WordPress users.  I use Akismet myself, but have heard good things about Bad Behavior and Wp-SpamFree.

SEO Your Permalinks

For whatever reason, the wonderful folks at WordPress thought we would want our permalinks to be littered with question marks and numeric post ID’s.  This is so very unfriendly to both search engines and humans.  Thankfully there is a quick fix for this problem:

  1. From the Admin panel, select settings > permalinks
  2. Under “Custom Structure” paste this: /%category%/%postname%/
  3. Click “Save Changes”

Setup a Sitemap

As a website owner you want to make things as easy for Google as you possibly can.  Installing a sitemap is like giving Google a cheat sheet for indexing your site.  You do want Google to index your site, don’t you?

I use the plugin Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator.  With a name like that you know it was created by a hardcore programmer.  And don’t forget to submit your sitemap to Google when you’re finished.

Automate Your Database Backups

I am so grateful that I’ve never actually had to restore a crashed site, but you can never be too careful.  There’s a great plugin called WordPress Database Backup that does all the tricky work for you.  Once a week (or daily, if preferred) this plugin compiles a backup of my blog and emails me the file.  The future is now.

Setup Stats

I’m sure everyone has their own preference when it comes to their blog’s statistics.  Myself, I’m partial to Google Analytics.  If I’m feeling particularly adventurous I’ll double it up with the WP-Stats plugin if only to get stats as they happen in real time.  I’m sort of a stats junkie.

For further reading on statistic software check out this awesome article from Outlaw Design Blog.

Even More SEO

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m kind of an SEO Nazi.  So for the search engine obsessed like myself, All In One SEO is a godsend.  This plugin has so many features that it continues to surprise me.  Between this plugin and the other tricks mentioned in this article, your blog will be Google’s best friend.

Have I missed anything?  Leave a comment!

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Author's Profile

Yo, I'm Andrew Lindstrom. I am a freelance web designer based in Vancouver, Canada. When not geeking out over design, I'm likely geeking out over film, technology or pretending to play the guitar.

21 Responses to This Post. Leave Your Own.

  1. […] Andrew Lindstrom wrote a list of 7 Must Dos Before Launching Your Blog. […]

  2. Not everyone has a WordPress blog. Can you add some features that support other blog hosts, also? Thanks.

    Other than that, very good post. Very resourceful to the WordPress crowd.

  3. nice post, thanks i love your blog!

  4. @jim – Good point. I am definitely a little WordPress biased. I probably should have worked that into the title on retrospect.

    @Mike – Thanks!

  5. AHHHH. couple of points here that I missed. thanks for this post. Added it to my favorites.

  6. Great post, really… Do you maybe have any suggestions for me? I’ve recently started my own design magazine/blog….

  7. […] 7 Must Do’s Before Launching Your Blog […]

  8. I found this site about a week ago and have been seriously digging around on it. It’s got so much useful information and links that are extremely helpful since I’m in the process of doing an overhaul of my own site. Not to mention it’s the prettiest blog I’ve found to date. Great work!

  9. @Amy – Thanks! It’s really nice to hear the blog is helping you out. Good luck with your overhaul 🙂

  10. Your permalink seo tip is off base.

    It should just be /%postname%/
    A few known facts support this such as SE crawlers proffering content within 1-2 directories deep, less – in titles (FYI: elGoog considers long blogger urls with tons of -and-like-this-to-be-spam)

    is more effective than
    url.com/cat/postname <- 2 directories deep url.

  11. I cannot tell you how massively helpful this is.

    I’m currently in the works of completely re-doing my site with primary focus on writing. Having never done this before stuff like this is priceless.

    Thank you!

  12. Great info. I didn’t know about submitting a site map to Google (awesome!), but do understand the importance of simpler permalinks for the readers AND the search engine spiders.

    Any advice or suggestions for Joomla based sites?

  13. Nice post. I like your blog, very neat and clean design.

  14. Thanks! Very useful 🙂

  15. […] tomado del articulo: 7 Must Do’s Before Launching Your Blog publicado en el blog Well Medicated Comparte este […]

  16. Hi, really nice post….& very helpful also 🙂

  17. Fantastic information,This is the first time i heard about this. keep it up this good works.


  18. Good read, thanks for the advice.!

  19. Thanks for this Nice post, Really usefull all of us. just bookmarked this post in my digg profile, hope you will update more post soon.
    I really liked your blog!


  20. An amazing post. Definitely helped me out… I was on the edge of a building when I read this post… now I am a self-made millionaire.

  21. […] absolute must read for any designer or developer with topics covering illustration,advertisements,design and blog advice and a host of posts to get the creative juices […]