WordPress is the most popular CMS. WordPress powers more than 30% 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.
In this post, I will be sharing a list of things to do 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. Every time I start a new WordPress blog, I follow this checklist.
Let’s dive into the details.
1. Active the Akismet Plugin
If you are new to WordPress, you may not be aware of comment & trackback spams. These things are really annoying.
But the good news is, WordPress has a pre-installed plugin called Akismet that helps you to get rid of these spams.
All you have to do is activate the plugin and enter the API key. Now go to your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Installed Plugins and activate Akismet plugin.
To active your Akismet account, you need to use an API key. Here’s how to set up 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 Dashboard > 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: This comment will be deleted automatically once you delete the “Hello world” post.
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”.
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 site 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 site. You have to choose one for your site. There is no much difference 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 harmful for SEO.
Here at RoadToBlogging, I am using the non-WWW 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 Your Default Theme
WordPress Installation comes up with some default WordPress themes. Those are good for personal blogs.
But if you’re going to create a professional blog/site, you should consider using a better theme.
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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