Blog Setup: 5 Practical Tips Congratulations! You have made the decision to setup a blog. But where do you begin? Getting started is always the hard part of any endeavor. Starting a blog can be particularly complex because of the various options available to bloggers. Use the following tips to get your blog up and running in no time.

Tip #1: Use WordPress, But Don’t Fully Ignore Alternatives

Blog Setup Tips

If you’re just starting out, don’t think about it, just use WordPress – it’s the easiest platform out there. Once you know the rules of the game, you can take a look at Joomla, Drupal and others

WordPress has become synonymous with blogging. Although you can use WordPress for your entire website, it was originally conceived for bloggers. It is a low-cost option with lots of free themes to choose from so you can get the exact blog design you want. You can also purchase WordPress themes from other vendors. An advantage to using WordPress is that there are plenty of WordPress forums online so you can quickly find answers to questions. You can also read about the mistakes others have made before you even setup your own WordPress blog. With WordPress, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Tip #2: Take Advantage of Plugins, But Only Use Essentials

Tip: Don’t install too many plugins at once, they can MASSIVELY slow down your site – and Google will put a penalty on your site for being slow

Plugins makes things easier. They are software components that add functionality to a larger platform or software application. You can get a variety of plugins for your WordPress blog. For example, you can use plugins for social networking purposes, to manage advertising, or to control comments. Whatever you want your blog to do, there is likely a plugin that can help you achieve your goal. Take time to review the various plugins available. You will probably find a few you were unaware of that can take your blog to the next level.

Tip #3: Get Familiar With Post-Panda Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Tip: Panda is the name of an algorithm change that dramatically changed the world of SEO, you better catch up and read all about it if you’ve never heard of it

If you already have a website, you may be blogging to help drive traffic to your website. For this to work, you need to incorporate SEO principles into your blog. You will want to optimize your title and meta tags using keywords. A Google sitemap generator can help get your blog indexed faster so your posts are included in search results. Another aspect of SEO to include is analytics. You want to be able to track your blog stats. Examples of important statistics include the number of visitors to your site, where they are coming from (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), and how long they stay. The last point is especially important to your blog success. If visitors are only staying for a few seconds, you have a high bounce rate which can negatively impact search engine rankings.

Tip #4: Choose a Reliable Web Host

Don’t pick the cheapest – JaguarPC.com is a good choice for VPS. $20 per months is something everyone should be able to afford with some work.

It is common to search for the cheapest web host when you are first getting starting. However, reliability is much more important than cost. You need to know that your site will be up all of the time. Nothing is more frustrating for an online user than trying to get to a website only to find that it is down. You can lose valuable readers and prospective customers that way. And once you lose one, it is extremely difficult to get them back. A reliable web host will also have a solid backup plan. If something goes wrong with their server, they can quickly get your site back up and running on another one. When choosing a web host, ask for details on their backup and restore policy.

Tip #5: Validate Your Blog

Visit http://validator.w3.org/ to validate your blog

Validating Sites

It is essential your blog works in different browsers. You want to be sure that readers can access your blog whether you are using Internet Explorer, Firefox, or any other browser. Some readers may even want mobile access to your blog. Verify the load time of your blog. A slow blog is problematic. Test all of your SEO elements. And check for broken links. Using these five simple tips can help you with your blog setup. Set aside time to dedicate to your blog setup so you can learn along the way. Take notes and learn from others!