Looks like you have just started a WordPress blog or a website and are thinking about what to do next? After you are done installing WordPress, it’s time to set up WordPress correctly.
Every fresh WordPress install comes with a default page, post, comment, and stock settings. In this blog post, I have prepared a list of the 20 most important things after installing WordPress.
Without further ado let’s dive in and make little adjustments to make sure your WordPress site is secure, optimized and all the details are taken care of.
20 Essential Things to Do After a Fresh WordPress Install
1. Changing the Site Title and Tagline
The Site Title is the name of the website and Tagline is the short description of your website. Both these components are an important part of your online identity.
The Title of your website will be displayed on 2 prominent places
- The title bar of the browser.
- On the WordPress dashboard admin panel
To change the site title and tagline, go to settings >> general
You can see in the above image we have changed the site title to the name of the blog and tagline to The Blogging Effect, which is our tagline.
The default tagline in WordPress is “Just another WordPress site”. And you need to change this to something short, sweet and unique and also does the job of explaining what your website is about.
It can be a slogan or motto of your company. Just make sure you change this to something completely yoursLearn How to Change the Site Title and Tagline Click To Tweet
2. Changing the Timezone, Date Format, and Time Format
Once you have changed the site title and tagline, its time to change the timezone settings.
This is a very important setting and is skipped by many. This will allow you to schedule various tasks such as scheduling backups and posts at the correct time. In case you forget to change the timezone, you may schedule tasks at the wrong time.
To modify timezone navigate to settings >> general. You’ll see the drop-down menu where you can select the timezone. It also gives you the option to select the city, in case you are not comfortable with timezones.
Below the timezone is the date and time format setting. You can either choose the predefined formats or can select the custom format and define how you would like it to be displayed.
The date and time are usually displayed in the metadata of your post and it tells the visitors when the post was published.
3. Completing the User Profile
WordPress by default displays your username on the blog post as the author.
In the above screenshot, you can clearly see the username displayed as the author of the article and you need to change that.
In order to complete the user profile and change the name, go to user >> your profile.
It will take you to a new screen like the screenshot below.
You can add your first name, last name, change the nickname and enter your website and other social media profiles.
Also, this section lets you add a small description about yourself in the biographical info.
4. Removing the Unused WordPress Themes
Whenever we start a new website, we tend to test a few themes and then we finalize one. But what happens next is we don’t delete them and they are there forever.
These old themes are never used and updated on a regular basis. This can put your site’s security at risk.
You can remove these themes by simply going to appearance >> themes.
It will show you all the themes and you can select the ones that are not required and delete.
To delete the theme click the theme and a popup will appear which will show the details of the theme. On the right side bottom of the popup, you will see the option to delete the theme.
Click delete and that’s it you have deleted the unused theme. Follow the same process to remove the other process.Simple Steps to Delete Unused WordPress Themes. Click To Tweet
5. Delete the Default Blog Post
Every WordPress fresh install comes with a default blog post that says “Hello World!”. This is just a demo post that ensures when you install WordPress you see something on your website instead of nothing and it doesn’t appear broken.
For deleting the default blog post, navigate to posts in your WordPress dashboard and hover your mouse pointer over the post. You’ll see a button under the post that says TRASH.
Click Trash to delete the blog post.
When you delete the blog post, you automatically delete the default comment which is of course not required. The comment looks like the screenshot below.
So you have now successfully removed both default post and comment.
6. Deleting the Sample Page
Just like the default blog article, you also get a sample page with WordPress serving the same purpose as a default blog post.
For deleting the sample page, go to WordPress dashboard and click Pages. You’ll find a sample page in the list of pages.
Hover your mouse over the page and click Trash
And the sample page has been deleted.
7. Creating the Contact Page
The contact page is one of the most important components of your website. This page allows the visitors to contact you regarding the services you are offering or maybe feedback on one of your blog posts or even just to say hi.
You can create a contact page using Contact Form 7. This is a free plugin and easy to use.
Recommended Read- How to install a WordPress plugin
Contact Form 7 can be downloaded using this link.
Permalinks are the URL of your various blog posts and pages on your website. By default, the permalink of your website is set to Plain which looks like the image below.
This URL structure contains numbers and it looks a bit spammy. Also, this structure is not good for the SEO of your WordPress site.
To change the permalink settings, head over to settings >> permalinks. In the next screen, you will get the option to select from various URL structures.
If you find none of these structures useful, you can also create a custom structure.
I personally use the Post Name option as I prefer a short, clean and simple URL.
9. Changing the Default Categories
The default category on a new WordPress install is Uncategorized. Categorizing your articles helps better manage and organize your site. It also makes the site more user-friendly.
In case you haven’t created categories and published a post, it will automatically be archived as Uncategorized.
To change the default category, navigate to posts >> categories. Now hover the mouse pointer over the Uncategorized and you will find the option to edit.
In case you want to keep the default category and add a new one instead, it will let you add a new category.
Click edit and it will give you the option to change the name of the category. If you change the category don’t forget to change the slug.
In the edit category section, you can also add a description for the category. Congrats, you have changed the default category.
10. Setting up Reading Settings
WordPress is a versatile platform and is used to create both blogging as well as business websites. If you are creating a business website then you need to change the homepage display settings to static.
The default homepage setting is set to display the latest blog posts.
In order to change the reading settings, simply go to settings >> reading. Under the heading, your homepage displays change the settings according to your requirement.
If you are using your website for the purpose of blogging, then you can configure other settings such as the number of posts to be displayed, if you want to show the summary or full text for each article in the feed.
11. Changing Widgets
Widgets are small entities that perform special functions. These are placed in your sidebars or other widget areas on your website.
These widgets let you add things like photo galleries, social media counters, recent posts, ads and much more. The widgets on sidebar look something like the screenshot below.
In the above image, you can see we are using 3 widgets and visitors can subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on social media platforms and check out other articles by using the categories widgets.
Every WordPress theme comes with at least one widget area. These sidebars or widget areas appear on several pages of your website and are very dynamic areas that help increase engagement on your website.
Keeping that in mind, you may want to add or remove widgets as per your requirements.
To add or remove widgets, navigate to Appearance >> Widgets. It will take you to a new screen where you can see all the widgets and manage the area.
You can use the drag and drop function to add or remove widgets from sidebars or other areas.
12. Adding Favicon or Site Icon
Before we add the favicon, let us first understand what is a favicon?
Favicon is the small icon that you see on the browser tab next to the title. Here is an image showing favicon.
A favicon or the site icon is an important part of the identity of your website. It distinguishes your website from other sites when multiple tabs are being used in a browser.
The favicon can be the logo of your company and the size is 512 x 512 px.
To add the favicon to your website go to Appearance >> Customize.
It will take you to a new screen where you’ll see a tab that says site identity.
Click site identity and you will find the Site Icon section. Select the image and upload it. And click publish.
13. Adding Yoast SEO Plugin
Who doesn’t want to rank on search engines and get organic traffic? It is always vital to take care of the search engine optimizations factors from the beginning.
When you install Yoast it will help you optimize your website for SEO. For installing Yoast SEO plugin, navigate to Plugins >> add new and in the search box type Yoast.
It will return a list of plugins. Click the install now button to install the plugin and once the installation is complete activate the plugin.
Once the installation is complete, you will find the Yoast SEO icon on the WordPress dashboard admin panel and side panel.
You can click any of these two icons to make changes to your Yoast SEO settings
Recommended Read- Quick SEO techniques to boost your rankings
14. Installing Cache
While we are on the subject of improving the SEO of your website. You need to know page speed is a ranking factor and drastically improves the user experience.
Nobody wants to visit a website which is slow loading.
Did you knowOver 50% of visitors leave the website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load Click To Tweet
When you install a cache plugin, it reduces the number of requests made to the server. In turn, serving visitors with the cached pages and not fetching the pages every time the request is made.
This improves page load speed.
There are quite a lot of cache plugins in WordPress. Below are the 2 plugins that we recommend and are free to download.
These plugins will surely improve the site speed drastically.
15. Improving the Security
WordPress is a pretty secure platform but still, some measures are required to boost the security to avoid the mishappening at any cost.
To improve the security of your WordPress site make sure you first change the “admin” username to a unique. Also change the password to something complex and strong which involves numbers, special characters, uppercase, and lowercase letters.
After you have done this you can use a plugin to further improve the security. We recommend using Wordfence. It offers free firewall protection for your WordPress site. It protects your website against brute force attacks and identifies and blocks malicious attacks.
Wordfence offers both free and premium protection. You can download the free plugin using this link.
16. Protecting your website against spam
Once your website is up and running, you will soon face the problem of getting spam comments on your articles. The comments will contain not so natural looking links and these links spread malware.
This problem can be fixed by using a plugin that comes preinstalled in WordPress known as Akismet.
Akismet is an anti-spam plugin that makes the task of comment moderation easy.
Image credits- Akismet you can download Akismet using this link.
Recommended Read- How to get free Akismet API key
Once you have installed the plugin, you now have to activate the comment moderation in the WordPress dashboard to further filter out comments by legitimate users.
17. Setup WordPress backup
Setting up the backup is the most important step you should perform after you have successfully launched your WordPress site.
Quite a lot of times we make changes to our website to improve the functionality, user experience, and many more things. And there is a chance that these changes may cause trouble and you may lose important data. So it is very essential to back up your site’s data on a regular basis.
You may be thinking, risks like these are covered by hosting companies. But let me tell you this your hosting company only offers limited backup service. And to solve this problem you can download the UpdraftPlus plugin.
UpdraftPlus allows you to back up your WordPress website easily. You can perform both manual and scheduled backups. And this plugin stores your data in Dropbox, S3, Google Drive, Rackspace, email and more.
I personally use UpdraftPlus and recommend using it.
18. Uploading Gravatar
Gravatar is also known as a Globally Recognized Avatar and is an Avatar hosting service by Automattic. This image will follow you everywhere on the WordPress network.
To create a Gravatar you need to visit the gravatar.com and create an account using your email address and add an image that will be attached to the account.
Now whenever you use this particular email address to comment or post a blog, you will see this image in the author’s bio or next to the comments on WordPress websites.
19. Integrating Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free service by Google which will help you get a better understanding of your audience. These insights will help you make decisions to get better results and improve audience retention.
Google Analytics provides you with statistics such as
And much more.
To install Google Analytics you need to first sign up for Google Analytics. And you can use one of these plugins to install the analytics.
These plugins are very easy to use and will display analytics in your WordPress Dashboard
Once you have completed this. The next step is setting up the menu structure of your website.
To set up the main menu for your WordPress website, go to Appearance >> Menus
You can use the drag and drop feature to create the main menu for your website.
After you have created the menu its time to submit the website in search console, create a Pinterest business account and verify the website on Pinterest, link the website to other social media accounts and optimize your website for search engines to rank higher and generate organic traffic.Know the 20 important things you need to do after installing #WordPress Click To Tweet
And that’s it your WordPress website is all set and ready to go. Once you have completed these steps the next thing you may like to do is changing the WordPress theme.
I hope this article will help you to set up your WordPress site completely. If you have any queries regarding this feel free to contact me.
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