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Make Money Online- the baby steps part 6

Once WordPress has been installed on your website and all the inital details are in place there is a check list of actions that we recommend any aspiring WordPress user to live by. In most cases you need to consider doing all the things on our list, but there are of course always special cases. These actions are based on years of experience, and every time we build a new website we go by this checklist (in all honesty our check list is a lot more comprehensive, but these steps are considered mandatory for us). Without further ado, here is the list of actions you may want to perform after your WordPress installation:

1. Activate Akismet plugin

Akismet is a powerful, yet simple spam filter. It will be installed on your WordPress installation by default, but you need to activate this superb plugin by yourself. Also, you need to register an account at www.wordpress.org in order to receive an akismet API key. We recommend that you start with the free version of akismet. Should you skip this step you will receive spam mails once the search engines start crawling the content of your site. At first the spam will only be a minor nuisance, but it will quickly deteriorate if you do not take action. Save yourself a bit of headache and a lot of time. Activate the Akismet plugin.

2. Change the structure of the Permalinks

The permalinks are by default set to use numbers in your URL. We have always wondered why this is the case. Almost all developers we know of change the default to custom settings. Simply go to “Settings>Permalink”. There you will find that the default box is checked. Instead check the “custom structure” box and type /%postname%/ in the section next to the box. Once you do this the links will show the post names. There are a number of benefits to performing this action, amongthem it enhances SEO and makes the site less complicated. In our opinion this custom option should be the real default settings in WordPress.

3. Install All In One SEO Pack plugin

WordPress does a good job regarding SEO issues as is, but you do need to give it a hand. While there are a number of actions you may want to consider in order to optimize your search engine results, this is easily one of the most important ones. Once you´re website is up and running you are going to want to get some traffic. Apart from unique quality content, you will want to consider your SEO strategy. The “All in One SEO Pack” plugin gives you an excellent start. It is important that all pages and posts on your site have correct titles, description and keyword meta tags. This will help search engines categorize your content more effectively and ultimately lead more search engine traffic to your site.  There are many things to consider regarding SEO, but for now this is an excellent way to start.

4. Install e-mail

This can be done using your hosting service provider control panel. A quick and easy way to get started is to simply redirect incoming mails to another email adress you are using. This can be set up in a minute, and you can easily change this setting at a later date, should you choose to do so.

5. Set a new default category, and add base categories

The default setting once WordPress is installed is to use “uncategorized” as a category. You should change that to a category that better reflects the content of your website. Also you should add some relevant categories that are in line with the content you plan will populate your website.

6. Change admin account

Out of the box WordPress will set “admin” as the default user. Since it is likely you will want to publish content under a different name you should create a new user with a suitable name and give it full administrator rights. There is another way in which you can accomplish this. Simply alter the name under which you publish in “users”, by creating an alias where it says ““.

7. Install Google XML Sitemap

All websites will benefit immensely from installing Google XML Sitemap. This is a no-brainer really. Everybody we know do this step almost mechanically. If you want the Google bots to be able to find, digest and categorize your content, it must first be mapped out. The Google XML Sitemap creates a digital map of your content which helps Google, Bing and Ask.com better understand what your site is about and for whom it may be of relevance.

8. Create “About” Page and Setup Contact Form

The “About” page is a good place for you to eastablish a relationship with your readers/customers. Let them see what you are about. Let the content convey some of your core values, and a little bit of background about your website. Your visitors may also want to contact you for a number of various reasons. While it is important that this possibility exists on most websites, it isn´t important to make this function fancy. There are plenty of contact form plugins out there, but the easiest and best one to start out with is, in our opinion, “Contact Form 7″ which allows you to create a clean-looking and smooth-working contact form without any coding skills whatsoever. It will get the job done. Nothing more, nothing less.

We have done some of the neccessary work, but we are not quite there yet. Click through to “Make Money Online- the baby steps part 7″ to continue reading about our checklist of things to do once you´ve installed WordPress on your site.

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