Hello Whoops: Delete Your First Blog Post

If you’re starting a new blog, delete your first post. Think of it as a test. When launching this blog, I plunged into my inaugural entry and triumphantly published. Some time later, to my horror, I noticed the URL for that post: http://faithfulweb.wordpress.com/2006/10/02/hello-world/. Yes, that’s the WordPress default name, based on the classic phrase programmers use when learning to display text in a new language. Kind of like see-spot-run, but less sophisticated.

Facing a post whose URL screamed “newbie,” I contemplated deleting it and starting again. At the same time, the house blessings post turned into one of the most popular entries on my site to this day. Deleting or renaming could lose me links or search engine results so I left it as is. When sharing the link, though, I use anchor text whenever possible.

I haven’t made that mistake since, although it would be hard to since WordPress doesn’t set a default file name other than with the first post. But I don’t want any of you who are starting a new blog to make the same mistake so I’m sharing it here. You’ll also find this lesson on Daniel’s “blogging mistakes” group writing project on Daily Blog Tips. If you are looking for more blogging tips, Daniel’s site is a good reference. I previously participated in his site traffic tips project.

Has anyone else pulled a hello-world when starting a new blog?

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89 thoughts on “Hello Whoops: Delete Your First Blog Post

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  13. Rory April 2, 2007 at 11:23 am Reply

    I love this mistake, Mark. Am I reading right? You wrote a post on the first page and it had the WordPress welcome as the URL, although the subject was House Blessings, and now it is your top post. The irony is exquisite.

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  16. Simonne April 2, 2007 at 2:03 pm Reply

    Yes, I did. But I liked the idea that my first post is called Hello World!

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  19. Ronalfy April 2, 2007 at 4:46 pm Reply

    I did as well. I didn’t put up a maintenance page in time. :)

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  26. faithfulweb April 2, 2007 at 9:50 pm Reply

    Rory — my post correctly displayed the blessings info, but the URL itself was “hello-world” instead of “house-blessings.” I’ll follow your lead and enjoy the irony.

    Simonne — Glad it worked for you. If I had gone with a more traditional introduction for my first post, I agree that “hello world” would have worked.

    Ronalfy — Whew, I’m not alone in this!

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  39. GnomeyNewt July 17, 2007 at 5:54 pm Reply

    Well, I am a programmer. So I loved the idea of having the first post named Hello World! I even comment that I am leaving it be for just that reason. So guess it just depends on what boat you are in. But if you do change the title of your first post, good idea to change the slug too.

  40. Mark Alves July 18, 2007 at 6:50 am Reply

    GnomeyNewt — I agree that if your first post is an introduction, such as http://www.bluejar.com/hello-world/, then “hello world” makes sense. Since mine was on another topic, changing the slug as you suggest is the way to go.

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