Installed WordPress! now what?? It can be a chaotic question for a novice blogger. When I installed WordPress for the first time, I was totally confused about the next thing to do. In this article, I will save you from getting anxious, by providing you with a checklist of things to do after installing WordPress and before publishing your first post. Let’s begin…
Things To Do After Installing WordPress
Change the default username
After installing WordPress you get a username(Admin) by default. It becomes comparatively easy for hackers to access your dashboard because they only need to crack your password. For saving your account from unauthorized access it is better to change the username and set a strong password. Follow the instruction below to change it.
From your dashboard Go to Users > All Users > Add New
Fill out the required information > Choose the role as Administrator (important) > Click on Add new user button.
Once you add a new user, Logout from your account > Login with your new username & password > Delete the previous user.
Choose a Backup Strategy
I know how much effort you have made or going to make to create a solid website. Just imagine one day you woke up and your website is hacked or you have made an incorrigible mistake and all your content are gone.
That’s why after installing WordPress it is necessary to choose a backup plan for your site so that you will have a backup to restore from, in case anything goes wrong.
Enhance the Site Security
WordPress is a widely used platform, tons of websites are being powered by WordPress. Which attracts more and more hackers to hack WordPress website and use them in an unethical way. Therefore after installing WordPress, enhancing your site’s security is one of the most important things to do.
There are several security measures you can take to protect your website, but for a beginner, it may be difficult to deal with the technical aspects of WordPress security.
A beginner can simply install a good plugin like Sucuri or WordFence to protect his/her website without getting into the technicalities.
Choose Your Theme and Delete Unused Themes
A theme is an important aspect of your websites. A good design always attracts more visitors. Choosing a good design can be confusing for a newbie blogger but don’t worry you can always change it later, although it is advised to choose a good design and stick to it.
Delete the unused themes as well, because if you keep them then you need to update them, or it might act as a vulnerability to your site’s security.
To choose or delete your theme Go to Appearance > Themes
There are tons of free themes available there but if you want you can choose a paid theme too. It’s better to choose a paid theme as they come with a lot of different customization options and settings. They are better from the security point of view too.
Here is a list of 45 best premium WordPress themes by Envato. Use google if you want to see some more.
Delete the default post and plugin
After installing WordPress you will see a default post named as “Hello world” and a default plugin as “Hello dolly”. These are just samples, so it’s better to delete them. To delete the default post
From your dashboard Go to Posts > All posts > Select the default post > Delete
To Delete the default plugin
From your dashboard Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins > Select the default plugin > delete
Change The Title, Tagline and Time Zone of Your Site
Your site title is the main title or name of your blog whereas tagline describes your title in a line. Both of them are visible to everyone who visits your website, so choose a good one (you can always change them later). To change your title, tagline and time zone, Go to Settings > General
For time zone choose a city in the same timezone or a UTC offset.
Set The Discussion and Comment Settings
Discussion settings let you change the general discussion and comment properties. To change the discussion setting:
Go to Settings > Discussion
If its confusing let everything be the same as shown in the screenshot.
Change Media Settings
WordPress comes with a default media settings which stores multiple sizes of images for every upload. It reduces your site loading speed. Therefore change it to following settings. To change the media settings Go to Settings > Media
Change the settings as shown in the picture then save the changes.
Change The Permalink Structure
Permalink is the link to your post, that appears next to your domain name. Permalink structures are essential from SEO point of view. After installing WordPress you will get a default permalink structure which is not SEO friendly, that’s why we need to change the permalink structure.
To change the permalink structure Go to Settings > Permalinks
Change the permalink structure to post name because the post name contains your keyword and it helps the search engine to find your post easily.
Update Your Profile
To update your profile Go to Users > Your Profile
Here you can change things like your name, display name, email address, bio and profile pictures.
Display name and email are two important things because your display name is the name which will be shown in your posts, and you will be contacted through the email address provided here.
Choose a Logo and a Favicon
Choosing a logo and favicon(browser or app icon) is important because it helps in branding your site. A website without a logo and favicon doesn’t look that professional.
To change your logo and favicon Go to Appearance > Customization (it may be different for different theme but for most of the themes you will find it somewhere in the customization menu)
If you don’t want to use a logo then its fine, however, you should upload a favicon, websites without a favicon look unprofessional.
Create a Domain-Based Email Id ([email protected])
A domain-based email id looks way more professional. Your website looks organized and professional with a domain based email id. It’s a recommendation if you are building a website for business purposes.
You can create a domain-based email id from your web hosting c-panel if your hosting plan includes email account. If not don’t worry you can create a free, custom domain based email account using services like Zoho mail.
Install Necessary Plugins
One of the most beautiful features of WordPress is the availability of plugins. In WordPress, you will get a plugin for almost everything, which helps the non-techies a lot.
Keep in mind that you only need to install the necessary plugins, a lot of plugins may affect your site’s performance and plugins which are not updated regularly may make your site vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Some of the essential plugin includes
- Sucuri-For sites security
- Backup Guard-For site backup
- Jetpack- Multipurpose plugin
- Yoast SEO
- Contact Form 7
- W3 Super Cache-Cache plugin to improve site performance
- Smush it-To compress your images
If you are confused about which plugins to install, take a look at this article 10 must have WordPress plugins for beginners.
Create Social Media Pages
Nowadays more and more people spending their time on social networks, which makes social media sites a great tool for promotion.
Especially if you are a beginner social media sites are best to keep the visitors coming to your website. Social media sites give a great exposure to your website.
Plus social media pages help your readers to connect with you and receive your content easily.
Automate Your Social Media Publishing
Its true that social media pages are great when it comes to promoting your content but managing all the pages can be a daunting task. This is when automation comes into action.
Yes! You can automate your social media publishing with plugins like Jetpack and Revive Old Post.
With these plugins, every time you publish something will automatically be published to your social media pages. With Revive Old Post plugin you can also publish the old contents from time to time automatically.
If you want to know about more plugins for automating your social media share here is a great article by WP warfare.
Generate Site Map of Your Website
A sitemap is an organized hierarchical structure of your website, generally generated for easy accessibility of web crawlers and visitors to your website content.
With plugins like Google XML Sitemap or Yoast SEO, you can easily generate a sitemap.
For more knowledge about sitemap visit this post by WP beginners.
Submit Your Sitemap To Google & Other Search Engine Webmaster Tool
Created a sitemap for your website? What next?
Although Google claims that their web crawlers can find your website even if you don’t submit your sitemap, it is better to be on the safe side. No doubt Google will find your website but submitting a sitemap makes it faster.
If you are confused about how to submit your sitemap to search engines visit this guide on How to submit your sitemap to search engines by Yoast SEO.
Setup Google Analytics Account
Google analytics is a free tool offered by Google to track your website traffic. By far it is the best free traffic tracking tool. It comes with a lot of advanced features, like real-time analysis, e-commerce reporting, Audience behavior etc..
Some people say it is not necessary for a beginner to have a google analytics account, but I think you can improve your site and content quality by analyzing your traffic stats and behavior from the day one of your blogging.
Its free, so there is no harm in creating a Google analytics account.
To know more about google analytics and how to set it up visit The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics by moz.com
Burn Your Feeds
Feed burner is a free tool by Google to add your RSS feed. Burning your feed increases the accessibility of your blog post for a larger audience.
To add your feeds just Go to Feed Burner > Add your feed address
Create Important Pages
To create a new page Go to Pages > Add new
Now You Are Ready To Publish Your First Post
After following all the steps above you are ready to publish your first post.
I hope this article gave you a clear idea of things to do after installing WordPress.
If you have any question regarding this topic or you are having difficulty in setting up your WordPress blog then comment below or contact me directly.
If this post was helpful to you don’t hesitate to help others by sharing it with them. Thanks.