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20 Most Important Things to Do After Installing WordPress

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.

things to do after installing wordpress

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

Important things to do after you start your WordPress website or a blog

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

  1. The title bar of the browser.
  2. On the WordPress dashboard admin panel

To change the site title and tagline, go to settings >> general

How to change the title and tagline of a WordPress settings

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 yours

Learn 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.

Changing timezone date and time format in WordPress

The date and time are usually displayed in the metadata of your post and it tells the visitors when the post was published.

date displayed on blog post metadata

3. Completing the User Profile

WordPress by default displays your username on the blog post as the author.

Blog post showing username as the author of the article

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.

how to change your username in WordPress

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.

default themes in wordpress

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.

How to delete unused themes in WordPress

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.

Default blog post in WordPress

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.

Default comment on WordPress blog post

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

How to delete a page in WordPress

And the sample page has been deleted.

Web Hosting

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.

8. Selecting the Permalink Structure

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.

Default Permalink Structure in WordPress

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.

selecting permalink structure in WordPress

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.

Edit and add categories in WordPress fresh Install

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.

How to edit categories in WordPress

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.

changing reading settings in WordPress for business website

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.

Widgets on sidebars wordpress

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.

Managing widgets in WordPress

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.

favicon displayed on the browser tab next to the title

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.

customization is WordPress

It will take you to a new screen where you’ll see a tab that says site identity.

site identity WordPress

Click site identity and you will find the Site Icon section. Select the image and upload it. And click publish.

upload favicon in WordPress

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.

adding yoast plugin

Once the installation is complete, you will find the Yoast SEO icon on the WordPress dashboard admin panel and side panel.

yoast icons on WordPress dashboard

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 know

Over 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.

  1. WP Rocket
  2. WP Super Cache
  3. W3 Total Cache

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 dashboard

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.

askimet plugin for spam protection in wordpress

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.

updraftplus plugin for backup

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.

GeekyPlug Gravatar

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

  1. Demographic
  2. Location
  3. Language
  4. Interests
  5. Engagement

And much more.

google analytics

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.

  1. Analytify
  2. Jetpack

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.

20. Setting up the website menu

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.

Setup WordPress website or blog menu

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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GeekyPlug
Tags : Beginner's GuideTutorial
Jasmeet Singh

The author Jasmeet Singh

Jasmeet Singh is the Blogging El Jefe at GeekyPlug. Started his career as a BPO employee and now is a full-time blogger and writes how-to guides and his personal experiences related to blogging. In his spare time, he likes to read books, listen to podcasts and play video games.

51 Comments

  1. This was a very informative post to read. I saw my blogger friends using WordPress with her blogging and I am sure this article will help her to check her account if she miss some of these things.

  2. This post is so helpful! I’ve had my blog for a while so I’ve done all these things, but I would have saved so much time if I had found this post as I was creating it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Some of those things you listed are great reminders. I am always surprised at how many sites I see that still say just another wordpress blog.

  4. I should have followed this blog before. As a beginner, I had a hard time to set up my wordpress blog. I will defenitely recommend this blog for wordpress beginners and those who are already working on wordpress platform

  5. No way! I have been blogging for a few months I and it took me hours and hours to figure this out! Oh how I wish I found this when I started

  6. So many good suggestions here on what you should do once you start a wordpress blog. I really had no idea there were so many essential things to do.

  7. This would have definitely been helpful when I first started blogging aha thanks for the tips though, I still needed some of them.

  8. These are really awesome tips! Good reminders even for people using WordPress already to make sure they haven’t missed any of these important to-dos.

  9. These are all practical tips when setting up a WP site. I have a few wp sites and on the most recent I still have yet to install cache and security. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. I went one by one just to check whether I have done it. Though I have installed WordPress a year back, these tips are really helpful to every blogger out there.

  11. Very useful and in depth post. I was mentally checking off the steps in my mind to make sure I had done all of them lol.

  12. Your post about blogging are some of the most helpful that I have ever seen, anyone who is starting with wordpress should read this to ease up the transition, really helpful, and really well written and easy to follow.

  13. This is very accurate.. i recently made my own blog and was checking things in my mind. I’m missing two things will do to download the cache plugins. Thanks for sharing 👍🏻

  14. I think I’ve done pretty much everything you listed but, I’m going to bookmark your post and run through again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Great tips!

  15. I had given up on deleting the extra themes because I couldn’t find where to do it. Thank you so much for this blog. I was also able to add the site icon (had no idea). This was really helpful among other tips!!!

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