So you’ve installed WordPress. Congratulations! You have chosen the World’s best platform for Blogging.
But installing WordPress is half of the battle. You need to do few more things to make it AWESOME.
In this post, I will be sharing a list of essential settings you need to configure after installing WordPress. You can consider it as a checklist.
If you’ve just installed WordPress but don’t know what do next, this checklist is for you. Every time I start a new WordPress blog, I follow this checklist.
#1. Active the Akismet Plugin
If you are new to WordPress, then you may not be aware of Comment and Trackback/Pingback spamming. These things can make your blogging journey difficult. Luckily WordPress has a pre-installed plugin that helps you to get rid of spams.
Akismet is the plugin that filters comments and trackbacks spamming. It comes with every WordPress installation. All you need to do is activating the plugin and enter the API key.
Go to WordPress Admin Panel > Plugins > Installed Plugins > Active Akismet Plugin.
To active your Akismet account, you need to use an API key. Here’s how to setup Akismet With free API key.
#2. Delete the Sample Contents
By default, WordPress creates some sample contents to help you to understand different things. You should delete them right away before start building your site.
Here are 4 types of contents that need to remove.
1. “Hello world” Post To remove this sample post, go to WordPress Admin Panel > Posts > All Posts and click on “Trash” under Hello world post.
2. “Sample Page” Page To remove the sample page, go to Pages > All Pages and click on “Trash”. And it will be deleted.
3. “Mr. WordPress” Comment To remove the default comment, go to Comment section and click on “Trash” under the comment.
4. “Hello Dolly” Plugin WordPress also comes with default plugin named “Hello Dolly”. This plugin is not necessary.
To delete the plugin, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins and click on “Delete”. On the next page, click on “Yes, Delete these files”. This will delete the plugin.
#3. Set Title, Tagline and Timezone
Setting Title, Tagline and Timezone is extremely easy. But most of the newbies neglect these things.
Title and Tagline make it easier to understand what’s your blog about. Proper timezone is essential for scheduling your posts.
You can set all of these from the same page. Just go to Setting > General and enter your Site Title and Tagline. If you are not sure what to write on Tagline, do it later. Then scroll down and choose a city in the same timezone as you.
And click on “Save Changes”.
#4. Choose WWW or Non-WWW
WordPress lets you choose WWW or non-WWW version of your blog. You have to choose one for your blog. There is not much different between the version. But the problem will be raised if you change it later.
If you choose the non-WWW version, then your blog URL will be http://yourdomain.com, and if you choose WWW, it will be http://www.yourdomain.com. Search Engine will consider both as two distinct addresses. So if you change it frequently, a lot of duplicate pages will be created in Google Index. It is very for harmful for SEO.
For Roadtoblogging.com, I am using the non-WWWW version. By default, WordPress keeps it as non-WWW. If you want to add WWW in your WordPress blog, go to Setting > General and add WWW to WordPress Address and Site Address.
And click on “Save Changes”.
#5. Change Permalinks Structure
Permalink is the Permanent Link of your blog posts.
By default, WordPress sets permalinks as plain which is http://yourdomain.com/?p=123. This permalink is short, but it’s not SEO friendly. SEO friendly permalink contains the targeted keywords. For example, permalink of this post is https://roadtoblogging.com/essential-setting-configuration-after-installing-wordpress/
I’d recommend you to use the “Post name” permalink. It is the most SEO friendly permalink. If you want to have a date on your permalink, you can use “Day and name” or “Month and name” permalink. You can also use custom structure.
To change your Permalink go to WordPress Dashboard >Setting > Permalinks. Select your desired permalink and click on “Save Changes”.
#6. Update Ping List
Whenever you publish a new post, WordPress automatically sends notifications to ping services. Ping Services notify your blog to the search engines. It helps you to get quick search engine index.
By default, WordPress sets only one Ping service. But you can update it with more ping services. Just go to WordPress Dashboard > Setting > Writing.
Here is a list of some good Ping Services.
Click on “Save Changes”. Read: How to Get Your Blog Indexed by Google In 24 Hours
#7. Configure Discussion & Comment Settings
By default, WordPress allows people to post comments on your blog posts. You can close the comment section if you want to. Just go to Setting > Discussion > Default article settings and uncheck “Allow people to post comments on new articles”.
You can also stop trackback spam completely from discussion setting. Just uncheck “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles” box.
Make sure you’ve clicked on “Save Changes” button after configuring the settings.
#8. Set Default Gravatar
Gravatar lets users add their images on blog comments. But all of your readers may not have Gravatar. WordPress will show default avatar who haven’t signed up for Gravatar.
By default, WordPress shows Mystery Man avatar. But it doesn’t look good. You can use “Blank” or “Gravatar Logo” instead. Here at RoadToBlogging, we are using Blank option.
To change it, go to Setting > Discussion > Avatar. Click on ‘Save Changes.’
#9. Change the Admin Username
“Admin” is the first username that hackers use to gain access to your blog. You will notice that when you get brute force attacks.
The good news is, you can easily change Admin username by creating a new account. You can also use a WordPress plugin named Username Changer. Once you have activated the plugin, go to WordPress Admin Panel > Users > Username Changer.
Set the username you want to change and enter the new username. And click on “Save Changes”.
What’s Next? Congrats! you’ve configured WordPress settings successfully. Now you need to learn few more things. Here are some important tutorials for you.
- How to Install a WordPress Theme
- How to Install a WordPress Plugin
- 15+ Sites to Find Best WordPress Themes
- How to Create a New Blog Post In WordPress
Hope this post helped you to get started with WordPress. If you have any questions regarding WordPress, let us know via commnet. However, if you found this post helpful, please help me by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.