WordPress is the most popular CMS. WordPress powers more than 25% sites on the web.
If you’ve installed WordPress on your server, you have done a great job. But installing WordPress is just starting, you need to do few more things after installing WordPress.
All of my blogs are powered by WordPress. Every time I start a new WordPress blog, I follow a checklist.
This checklist contains everything to give a solid foundation to a WordPress blog. In this post, I will be sharing a list of things that you need to follow after installing WordPress.
Note: If you’ve not installed WordPress yet, check our guide on installing WordPress on HostGator.
1. Configure Essential Settings
Before doing anything else, you have to configure some basic settings from WordPress dashboard. I’ve already written about 9 essential settings to configure after installing WordPress. Here are those things.
- Active the Akismet Plugin.
- Delete the Sample Contents.
- Set Title, Tagline, and Timezone.
- Choose WWW or Non-WWW Version.
- Change Permalink Structure.
- Update Ping List
- Configure Discussion & Comment Settings
- Set Default Gravatar
- Change the Admin Username
These settings will optimize your blog for better performance.
2. Install an Awesome Theme
WordPress Installation comes up with some default WordPress themes. Those are good for personal blog. But if you are serious about blogging or want to create a business site, you need to change your WordPress theme.
From tech blog to eCommerce site, WordPress has themes for almost every kind of blog/site. You can get started with a free or premium theme. Free themes are good just because they are free. If you want to build a professional looking WordPress blog/site, you have to invest some money on a premium theme.
Here are some best premium WordPress theme providers.
- Thrive Themes (I use and recommend Thrive Themes to Bloggers)
- Elegant Themes (Get 87 Themes for $69)
- StudioPress (Popular Premium WordPress Theme Club)
Once you’ve found the right WordPress theme for your blog, it’s time to change your default theme. It’s easy. All you need to do is, install the new theme.
3. Add Favicon and Logo
A favicon is a small icon that shows on the browser tabs and bookmarks mostly. And a logo is the small design that represents your site around the web. It’s crucial to have unique favicon and logo to increase your brand awareness.
Once you’ve prepared the favicon, go to WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Site Identity > Site Icon. And upload your icon.
When it comes to designing a logo, you can do it yourself if you have designing skills. Otherwise, you need to hire someone to create a logo for you.
However, you can also use online tools to create a logo.
4. Install Essential Plugins
The best thing about WordPress is, you can do almost everything in WordPress by using a plugin.
There are plenty of free and premium WordPress plugins out there. Some of them are common and essential for every kind of WordPress sites. Here are some essential plugins you should install.
- Yoast SEO: By default, WordPress is not SEO optimized. You need to use an SEO plugin to make your WordPress blog SEO friendly. Yoast SEO is our number one recommendation for WordPress SEO. Read: How to Setup Yoast SEO Plugin
- Jetpack: Jetpack is the ultimate WordPress plugin by Automattic. It can secure your site, increase performance & traffic, and simplify how to manage your site.
- W3 Total Cache: W3 Total Cache is a WordPress cache plugin that improves user experience of your site by increasing site speed. It’s a must have plugin for every WordPress site.
- VaultPress: VaultPress is a premium backup service that offers automated backups with easy restores. It’s is the best backup solution for WordPress users.
- Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress: This plugin allows you to add social sharing buttons and social media widget to your WordPress blog. You don’t need to use this plugin if your theme offers such feature.
5. Update Your User Profile
Having biographical info and profile picture helps your readers to know more about you and to connect with you.
To update your user profile, go to WordPress Dashboard > Users > Your Profile. Then enter your name, contact info, biographical info, etc. You need to create Gravatar account to show your profile picture.
Your biographical info and profile picture will be displayed under every blog post like this –
6. Connect Your Site With Google Analytics and Search Console
Google Analytics and Search Console are the must have tools for site owners. Google Analytics tracks your visitors and Search Console helps you to monitor your site performance in Google Search. Both are free.
You need to connect your site with Google Analytics and Search Console to track your site performance.
- How to Set Up Google Analytics on WordPress
- How to Create a Sitemap in WordPress
- How to Submit Sitemap to Google Search Console
7. Add Widgets to Sidebar
Almost all of the WordPress themes have a widget-ready sidebar. It normally placed on the right or left-hand side of the webpage. You can add Social Media widget, Recent Posts widget, Facebook Like Box widget, Alexa Ranking Widget, etc on your sidebar.
WordPress has some built-in widgets. And most of the premium WordPress themes also add additional widgets to your WordPress site.
To add a widget in your sidebar, go to WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets. Then drag a widget (that you want to add) from “Available Widgets” to “Sidebar.” Click on widget and configure the widget setting.
8. Add New Categories
While you can add a new category when writing a post, it’s recommended to add all categories before publishing posts. It will help you to plan your posts properly.
To add categories, go to WordPress Dashboard > Posts > Categories. Then enter your category name, slug (URL) and description. And click on “Add New Category”.
9. Create Essential Pages
Like every website, WordPress sites need some essential pages. You should build these pages before publishing posts. These pages vary from niche to niche.
Here are three important pages that you should build immediately.
Over to You
So these are the things that you should do after installing WordPress.
If you’ve faced any issues regarding these things, let us know via comment.
To learn more about WordPress, check our WordPress Guide for Beginners.
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