There are a lot of things you need to think about and do before you click Publish on your first post.
This is a list of tasks big and small. Some of them are essential but some, although necessary, can be postponed if you are impatient to get something out there as soon as possible. They are shown here as simple bullet points but most will be expanded on in separate posts.
Remember that most things you do can be altered easily so if you mess up or change your mind on something it doesn't matter much.
There are a couple of exceptions to this though:
- Domain name - if you change your mind you have to start again from scratch
- If you are using WordPress many settings go with the current theme rather than the WP installation so changing themes is a pain
So on to the main list. Please let me know in the comments if you can think of any more.
- Set up a documentation system, spreadsheets and/or paper files, to record usernames, passwords, expiry dates and everything else
- Choose a domain name
- Register the domain name
- Buy hosting (which might include a domain name)
- Get an SSL certificate (which might be included with your hosting)
- Install WordPress if you don't have managed hosting
- Set up an email address on your domain
- Choose and install a WordPress theme (if you don't like the current default)
- Upload a site heading image
- Upload a favicon
- Install WordPress plugins
- Write an About page or add it to the sidebar
- Set the permalink format
- Create a workflow for new post creation
- Create a template for new posts
- Create up a Twitter account
- Create a Facebook page
If you do all these things, or at least have them at the top of your to-do list, you should be good to go.
As I said above though, don't fret too much about them. Most can be changed easily.