Important Things To Do Right After WordPress Installation
If you have just finished the fresh WordPress installation and want to proceed further to build your site or blog. But what to do next? From where to start to move along the way. These questions always arise when you are a new user of WordPress, or you are an old user but want to start your blogging journey more professionally and securely.
Here is the list to follow right after you install WordPress to make you WordPress blog or site run smoothly because the default WordPress setting is not too good to leave there as they are.
Install a Professional Looking Theme:
Themes have a significant impact on the site visitors. It is like the clothing of your blog or site. WordPress out of the box comes with few themes, but often these themes do not meet the user requirement. It is an important step that before uploading your content, post and pages, select a theme that suits you and looks professional and attractive to the visitor also.
There are lots of awesome free and premium theme available to you to choose. Just make the sketch a blog design in your mind that how you want your site to look like. Visit some websites and blogs and see what other people are having on their site and how they look like.
Selecting a premium thing is not all that important. If have no budget, then WordPress theme repository is full of fantastic, awesome themes but If you are having some amount in your pocket then go for a premium theme.
After selecting a theme, go to WordPress Dashboard then to Appearance section and then Themes and either upload a theme if you have downloaded or have a purchase a premium theme or click upload option to install from WordPress free theme repository.
Set Site Title, Tagline and Favicon:
Installing the theme first and the setting the site title, tagline, and favicon or doing it the other way makes no difference. After you install WordPress, you have to change the site title, tagline, and favicon. This step can be done at any time, but it’s good to move along properly.
All most all of the WordPress themes allow you to have a site title or a site logo. Choose a logo or site title that is professional, unique and reflect what is your blog or site is all about.
You can set the tagline for your site from the settings as well. A tagline is a short few words description of what your site is about. Tagline combines with site title and presents your brand even more. So change the WordPress default tagline, i.e., “Just another WordPress site” to your desired one.
Setting the site title and tagline is simple enough. You have to go to setting and then General section from the Dashboard to set things up.
From the WordPress Dashboard, you can set a favicon for your site also. Favicon is a small icon or image that you see at the top of your browser when you visit a site. Also when site visitors want to access your site or blog quickly, and they bookmark it, this favicon appears next to your site name.
Nearly most of the WordPress themes allow you just to upload an image or logo and they will convert it to an icon file and set as a favicon for your site.
If your theme doesn’t support to upload a favicon, then you have to convert the logo file to an icon file first. This can be easily done just go to the site X- Icon Editor and upload your brand logo, and they will convert it to an icon file and download it.
Copy the icon file into your theme folder and just call it from header.php file. In the <head> tag paste the code below to have a favicon for your site also.
<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri();?>/favicon.ico”/>
Keep in mind that favicon.ico is the file that X-Icon Editor site creates for you and you place it in your theme folder.
Set The Permalink Structure:
Out of the box WordPress, default Plain option for permalinks is not SEO friendly. This default option for permalink structure is not understandable by site readers as well as search engines.
Select SEO recommended option, i.e., set the permalink structure to Post name.
You can change the permalink structure by going to Settings and then to Permalinks from WordPress Dashboard.
Note: It is god to set the permalink structure in the first place and never change it after your blog gets traffic. Because when you got backlinks from other sites these links after changing the permalink structure, later on, will go nowhere and you will lose lots of traffic to your blog.
Set WordPress and Site Address URL:
Search engine treats the www and non-www both as a different version of websites. It is recommended to set your preferred WordPress and Site URL in the first place.
WordPress Address URL is the link to the folder where your files live while Site Address URL is the link through which site visitor can access you. It is recommended to keep both the URL same.
To set the Preferred URL, you have to go to Settings then General from the WordPress Dashboard to set things up.
Set Comment Settings:
It is important to set the comment settings if your site is a place where people visit and can make comments.
You can set things according to your preference. Here in the comment settings, you can set things like whether the user has to registered and log in first to comment or they have just to enter the name and email to comment or whether everyone can post comments or not and when to close commenting on an article or blog post and so on.
You can set the settings for comments by going to Settings and Discussion from WordPress Dashboard.
Set Media Settings:
Often the default WordPress settings for images is not suitable for every WordPress Site Owner. By default, WordPress allows three image size, i.e., Thumbnail, Medium and Large Sizes. The default size of Thumbnail size image is 150px by 150px, Medium size image is 300px by 300px and for Large size image the is 1024px by 1024px.
If these default setting, don’t meet your requirement then have to choose your custom image size by going to Settings and Media from the Dashboard.
Rename the Default Category:
By default, WordPress comes with a default category with a name Uncategorized. By going to Posts and then to Categories you can easily edit and rename the default category name and add new categories also.
Remove Default Sample Content:
By default, WordPress comes with a Sample Page, a Hello Word Post, and a default comment.
Leaving them there make no sense. So to delete theme go to WordPress Dashboard and remove sample page from Pages Section and move them to trash, for the dummy post Hello word, delete it from the Posts section and for default comment to delete go to Comments section.
Note: To delete the post, page and comment permanently you have to go to trash and hit Delete Permanently in all the three specified sections.
Delete Any Unused Themes and Plugins:
Always keep your WordPress site neat and clean. Having unused theme and plugins will not only bother you for updating but will also slow down your site.
So after selecting a theme, it’s good to delete other themes. Likewise, by default WordPress comes with a dummy plugin called Hello Dolly. Which has nothing to do with anything. So try to delete the plugin.
To delete a theme go to Appearance and then Themes from WordPress Dashboard to delete and unused theme. For deleting the plugin go to Plugins and hit delete under the plugin.
Set The Timezone and Date & Time Format:
By going to Settings and then General you can adjust the Timezone for your blog where you live. This way your blog post and article will show the date and time according to your time zone. So select your city from the list or any set your time zone if your city is not listed on the list.
Similarly, the Date and Time format can be set from here. These settings will mimic in the post or comment metadata of your blog.
There are many options to set for Date and Time, and you can create your custom format also.
Update Your User Profile:
By going to Users Section and then Your Profile from WordPress Dashboard, you can update and complete your profile. Here you can select First Name and Last Name. You can also choose you Nickname and your publicly displayed name as well.
From these settings, you can enter your Primary Email, enter URL for Social Profile, set your Gravatar image, update your Password and can fix many things as well.
Also, Read How to Secure WordPress Site From Hackers.
That’s enough info to digest. The area as mentioned above can be updated on later also but getting started the right way and setting a roadmap will minimize your headache then. It is not a strict rule to follow the above list in the same manner as mentioned but try to cover all these areas before starting the journey to your WordPress site.