9 Realistic Goals to Set in Your First Month with WordPress

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Before you dive headfirst into the endless ocean of themes, plugins, and widgets, it’s crucial to set some realistic goals for your first month. Setting these goals will not only keep you focused but also ensure you’re building a strong foundation for long-term success.

The goals below are in an order that I think makes sense when you’re starting out, so I recommend you go in the order I have laid out.

It probably looks overwhelming, but keep in mind you don’t need to accomplish all of these goals in one month (even though the title of the post says so). You could do just 1 per month if you wanted, but if you have time and you’re motivated, try to tackle all of them in your first month. You won’t regret it.

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Let’s get started!

Goal 1: Find a high-quality and affordable host

A host is where the files and database of your WordPress site will live and hosts can vary A LOT in terms of price and available features.

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A solid entry-level host is Siteground. I’ve been hosting my websites with them for years without any problems.

In fact, I like them so much that I created this rundown of all my favorite features available on Siteground.

Goal 2: Install WordPress

When you’re starting out, that might sound more difficult than it is. These days it’s mostly automated and it just takes a few clicks.

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I recommend you start using the automated WordPress installs (also called one-click installs) because I want you to get up and running quickly. This video will help you with that.

Once you have a few months and a couple websites under your belt you can look into installing WordPress manually. I highly recommend you do that at some point because it will help you understand a little more about WordPress works, which is never a bad thing.

Goal 3: Install a Quality Theme

Your website’s theme is its visual and functional backbone. Think of it as your site’s outfit—first impressions matter!

A good theme enhances your site’s aesthetics and usability. It can make or break the user experience.

You can discover free themes on the WordPress repository or log into your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearance on the left side and then click Themes. Then click Add Theme and you’ll see a searchable database of all the free themes in the WordPress repository.

I recommend you start with free themes. Premium themes will always be there when you need them, but you can learn the ropes with free ones.

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And if you plan on using a page builder like Elementor, you don’t even really need a theme for much anymore. Check out this Elementor playlist if you want to know more about this page builder.

Goal 4: Explore Available Plugins

Plugins are the magic wands of your WordPress site. There is a plugin for almost everything. And if there isn’t a plugin for what you need, you could be the one to create it and share it with the WordPress community!

You can find the WordPress Repository of free plugins here or you can log into your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins in the left side menu, then click Add New.

There are plugins for SEO, security, speed optimization, mega menus, dynamic content, social sharing, membership sites, learning management systems, eCommerce and the list goes on and on.

So in your first month with WordPress I encourage you to familiarize yourself with how to find free plugins, how to install them and how to use the ones you think you’ll need.

A lot of the free plugins also have premium versions that offer more functionality.

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Goal 5: Create Basic Pages

Your website needs to have some essential pages from the get-go. These include:

Home: Your main landing page with a brief introduction, navigation links, and call-to-action buttons.

About: Tell your story. Who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

Contact: How can people get in touch? This can include an address, hours of operation, a Google map, a contact form, an email address and social media links.

Services: This page showcases value you offer to others and sometimes how much you charge.

Blog: Where your posts will live. Blog content drives most of the search engine traffic on most websites.

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Goal 6: Set Up Your Navigation Menu

Your navigation menu is the roadmap of your site. Without it, visitors might get lost and bounce of your site.

The menu is usually at the very top of your site (the header) and the very bottom (the footer). Most themes will have a menu created for you already. You can edit it by going to Appearance > Menus in your WordPress admin.

Keep your menu simple. Aim for clarity and ease of use. Avoid clutter; typically, 3-4 items are more than enough.

If you need more items in your menu consider using dropdown menus. Check out this video if you need help.

Goal 7: Customize Your Widgets

Widgets are nifty little tools that enhance your site’s sidebar, footer, and other areas. Think of them as your site’s accessories.

They provide additional features or content such as recent posts, categories, social links, search bars and more.

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To explore adding widgets go to Appearance > Widgets, then drag and drop the widgets you want into the designated areas of your theme.

Goal 8: Set Up Basic SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for getting your site noticed by search engines like Google.

Good SEO practices can help you rank higher, attract more visitors, and grow your audience.

A good place to start is setting your permalinks up for SEO. This video is all about that.

After that install an SEO plugin like YoastSEO or RankMath.

These plugins really help with “on-page SEO” when you’re just getting started. Proper On-page SEO makes sure your content is optimized to rank in search engines. RankMath and YoastSEO make this process easy by giving you a checklist of items to work through on each post to make sure it’s optimized.

In addition to on-page SEO, if you make your content valuable and engaging and something your audience is interested in you’ll be off to a great start. I have an on-page SEO checklist that you can have, just email me and I’ll send it to you.

Goal 9: Write and Publish Your First Blog Post

Content is king! Start creating and sharing your ideas with the world.

To create a blog post go Posts > Add New. Every post you publish there will be published to your blog. If you’re not seeing your blog posts show up, here’s a video that should help you.

Wrap Up

So, there you have it—9 realistic goals to set in your first month with WordPress! These steps will set a solid foundation, ensuring you’re on the right track to mastering your website.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take it one step at a time and celebrate small victories. If you have any questions or want to share your progress, drop a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

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