WordPress is the most popular platform to build blogs and websites. With WordPress, it is quite easy to create websites and blogs. Many WordPress hosting providers provide one-click WordPress installation, this makes it super easy to set up. So, what are the essential things that you need to do after installing WordPress? I have been working on WordPress for quite a long now, I have compiled the list of important settings that you should implement right after installing WordPress.
These settings are necessary to make sure that your blog is secure, optimized, and SEO ready before publishing content on it.
Essential Settings to Do After Installing WordPress:
# Change the Admin Password/Installation Password:
The first thing you should do right after installing WordPress via cPanel is to reset the default admin password. You can also create a new user with all administrative rights and delete the default admin user.
The default admin user accounts are prone to brute attacks and hackers may get access to your site. It is always better to change the default admin password right after installing WordPress.
Follow the below steps to change the password:
- Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
- Click on Users located on the left sidebar, then click on “Your Profile”.
- Click on Generate Password to create a new password. Make sure you use a strong password.
- You can use the generated password or can type your own. I like to use own password rather than auto-generated one.
- Type your new password and click on Save.
# Clean up WordPress:
After installing WordPress on your server, by default WordPress adds up sample posts, comments, and plugins. You may want to remove them to start with a fresh dashboard.
Log in to your WordPress Dashboard, go to posts. Delete the Default “Hello Word” post.
Similarly, go to pages and delete the “sample page”. Finally, delete the default comment.
You should also configure which things you want to see on your dashboard. To configure these things, click on-screen options located at the top right of a dashboard and check or uncheck the checkboxes to display or hide the particular thing.
# Change the Site Title, Tagline:
WordPress installation comes with a default WordPress site title and Tagline, changing site title and Tagline is a very straightforward process and can be easily done via the settings panel.
- Click on the settings tab present at the left side menu.
- Now click on General settings.
- Type your Site Title in the Site Title Box.
- Type your Tagline in Tagline box
- Your Site Title and Tagline should describe what your site is about.
You can also set Site Title and Tagline via theme customization. Click on Appearance -> Customize->Site Identity. Now enter your Site Title and Tagline here.
Site title and Taglines are important aspects of your website. They appear in search results, they add values to your site’s SEO and it is important to specify them as accurately as possible.
# Set Your WordPress and Site Address URL:
If you have installed WordPress in a different directory than your webroot directory then you need to change these settings. For example, if you installed WordPress in a blog directory than your webroot directory then you need to update the settings for WordPress URL.
Setting up a site address is a very important step, as it will decide how your visitors interact with your blog. You can use www or non-www version depending on which way you prefer. Type your preferred way in the Site Address URL field.
You can also set a different site address URL. By default, your site address is set to the folder where you installed your WordPress. Use the site address field to set it to your desired homepage URL.
# Set Your Timezone, Date, and Time Format:
The next settings that you should change after installing WordPress are to set the Timezone, Date, and Time Format. These settings affect how the time and date are displayed on the post meta and on your site.
Make sure you set the Time Zone to your local time. This will ensure that your posts are scheduled according to your local time zone.
Date and Time tell the visitors when the particular post was published, you can set your own format or choose one of the preformatted.
# Change Your Permalink Structure:
Permalinks are important aspects of your site. It controls how your website URLs displayed. This is the most important setting that you should change right after installing WordPress and before publishing any content on your site.
The default WordPress permalink is: http://domain.com/p=123
This permalink structure is not SEO friendly and also not user-friendly.
To change the permalink structure, Navigate to Settings – > Permalinks and select “Post name” and click on “Save”.
This permalink structure helps to boost SEO and will help you rank higher in google search results. This, in turn, will help you get more traffic.
Note: Do not change your permalinks in the future as it will give a 404 error for all the earlier published posts.
# Enable/Disable Membership:
After installing WordPress, you can add more members to your site by enabling this option. First, you have to decide if you want to have a multi-author blog or single author blog like (wpwiser.com).
If you want to have multi-author blog/guest bloggers then enable this option and set a new user role as “contributor”.
Enabling this option brings up the problem of spam registrations. To get rid of this problem, there are several plugins available in the WordPress Plugin directory. I recommend using the WangGaurd plugin to stop spam registrations.
# Set WordPress Discussion/Comments Settings:
Well, this is a tricky one. If you don’t know what to change here, just follow the image below. Always approve comments manually and use plugins to block spam comments. I recommend using the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin to block spam.
# Configure Reading Settings:
If you are planning to use the static home page for your site, you can do that by setting a static homepage link from Reading Settings. Reading settings also control how many posts you want to display per page on your blog page. You can also choose either to show full blog text or summary on the blog front page.
# Delete Unused Themes:
Once you finalize your theme, delete all other themes as it adds extra files on the server thus increasing the load time of your blog. Speed is a crucial factor in your blog’s success.
You may also need to update those unused themes. So, it adds a bit more workload on you. Not updating themes may trigger security issues. Consider deleting all the unused themes.
Deleting themes is a straightforward process. Just navigate to Appearance – > Themes. To delete a theme, hover over a theme and select theme details. Now click on Delete theme.
# Media File Settings:
Once you upload the image file to the WordPress media library, WordPress Automatically generates thumbnails of that image in different sizes. This adds extra files on the server for the same image thus adding extra load to the server consuming more space.
You can avoid this by changing media file strings. Go to settings -> media and change the settings as below.
Setting all numbers to zero ensures that WordPress won’t generate any other unnecessary image files on your server.
# Add WordPress Ping List:
WordPress Ping list helps your blog post to index quickly in search engines. After installing WordPress, by default WordPress pings only one service. But you can add more service to the ping list.
For adding more ping services, Go to Settings -> Writing and add more services to the ping list.
# Setup Google Analytics:
One thing every blog should do after installing WordPress is to integrate Google Analytics with their blog. Google Analytics is a very powerful free tool provided by Google which helps you to analyze your blog’s traffic. It helps you to track daily, monthly, and annual traffic along with geolocation of users, traffic source, and many more. This helps you to identify your targeted audience. You can sign up for Google Analytics by clicking on this link.
Once you sign up, you need to verify your site by adding an analytics code to your site. You can add analytics code directly to the header.php file of your blog theme or you can use a free plugin like Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.
# Install WordPress Security Plugin:
Though WordPress is a secure platform, No Website/blog on the internet is secure from hacking. Hackers try different tactics to get access to websites. So, it is important to install WordPress security plugins right after installing WordPress.
# Install SEO Plugin:
Every blogger wants their blog to rank higher in search results. SEO plugins are built to help you take care of search engine optimization. You should also install SEO plugins after installing WordPress. Though these plugins do not improve your SEO automatically, they do help you to make sure your blog is SEO ready. I recommend using the Yoast SEO plugin. WPWISER also uses the Yoast SEO Plugin to manage SEO. Yoast SEO has a lot of features like creating an XML sitemap with a single click, integrating with google search console, improving on-page SEO, etc.
# Regular WordPress Backups:
One of the most important things to do after installing WordPress is to install a backup plugin. Backups are one of the most important aspects of your blogging career. You should start taking backups on a regular basis.
You can also read our post on Top 10 WordPress Backup Plugins.
# Optimize for Social Sharing:
You should expose your blog to social sharing to take advantage of large social media users. It will help you to generate more traffic and in turn to rank higher search results.
You can easily integrate social sharing with the help of Social Sharing Plugins. There is a lot of social sharing plugins available. The free one I recommend:
# Install a Cache Plugin:
Cache plugins help to speed up your website. Speed is an important aspect of SEO. You will lose a significant amount of traffic if your site does not load faster, it is recommended that you should install a caching plugin after installing WordPress. Caching plugins helps to reduce this risk serving static pages during load times.
Recommended Caching Plugins:
- W3 Total Cache: with over 1 million active installations, W3 Total Cache plugin is by far the most popular and widely used caching plugin. It has got tons of features that help to boost the speed of your blog.
- WP Super Cache: This is another great caching plugin equally powerful to the W3 cache plugin. It is simple but effective. Just turn on the caching option and you are good to go. There are a lot of advanced options available but if you don’t know what you are doing, I recommend staying away from them at the beginning.
All the above steps are important to make sure that your blog is ready to publish content on it after installing WordPress. You should implement these settings before you publish any content on it to avoid doing tricky changes later. These settings ensure that your blog is SEO ready, optimized, and secure.