WordPress 12-Step Set-Up Guide

This is a twelve-step process I use to set up a new WordPress blog. This is for blogs that are self-hosted on a host that provides a cpanel (not for the free WordPress blogs from wordpress.com). These are not the steps in detail, they are just the overview. I may be writing more in detail about issues or instructions for each one at a later time.

Before setup:

Gather the folders for all plugins and put them into one folder to speed up set up later.

Have your WordPress theme selected and downloaded and put it in a folder you can find easily.

Step 1: Log into the cpanel of the site and click on Fantastico Icon

Step 2: Select wordpress and install wordpress (which installs the core files) 

Step 3: Log out of the cpanel and launch your FTP software. Using FTP, copy the folder of the theme into the wp-content/themes folder

Step 4: Using FTP, copy the folders of the plugins into wp-content/plugins folder

Step 5: Log into WordPress dashboard on one site, go to Appearance and select/activate the theme.

Step 6: Go to Plugins and ativate plugins – also for any plugin that requires it, look under Settings for that plugin to add information. One example is the All-in-one SEO plugin that will need the title, description and keywords added.

Step 7: Go to Settings (on the dashboard) and select “General” to check that the url and email are showing correct info

Step 8: Under Settings, select “Writing” and add the Update Services that you want to ping

Step 9: Under Settings, select “Permalinks” and change the Custom Structure to /%category%/%postname%/  … or just to /%postname%/ (note, I recommend this for advanced users only – it will require an .htaccess file and that can get complicated).

Step 10: Click Pages on the Dashboard and add or edit pages for “about us” and other pages if necessary (such as terms or privacy policies) – a Contact us page can be added with a form in it too if you are using a plug in such as cformsII.

Step 11: Select Appearance and then select widgets to add items to the sidebar of your blog (if you are using widget ready themes).

Step 12: Click “Posts” from the dashboard and select “Categories” – enter the categories you want posts to be shown under

Now your blog is ready for you to write your posts. Go to it, and be original, add value with what you share and be interesting!

Note: If you are setting up multiple websites, keep a matrix (using an excel spreadsheet or create a Word file or even a Google doc) of the urls and cpanel logins, as well as wordpress user names and passwords for easy reference.

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About admin

I am a professional graphic designer and a huge student of Internet marketing. I will share advice about what I have learned, as well as tips for SEO for Wordpress and how to use Wordpress plugins.
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One Response to WordPress 12-Step Set-Up Guide

  1. Amanda says:

    Great tips, clearly laid out. I’ve also loaded themes from within the admin area so I can avoid the ftp stuff – and found some themes where there are simple settings for permalinks.

    WordPress is getting easier all the time – but it really does hlep to have a checklist like this if you only do new sites occasionally