Since you have landed on this page, it means that you have installed WordPress. You want to know the important things you need to do after installing WordPress. WordPress provides us with the basic default settings for all the components. Here, most bloggers do mistakes and start publishing blog posts without updating default settings. Before publishing any articles, you are recommended to change these settings accordingly as per your requirements. There are lots of things for which we need to make our WordPress website compatible with, right from optimizing our website for both visitors and search engines for securing our website. So, let’s proceed to the article.
Things You Need To Do After Installing WordPress
Before making any further delay, here are the top 15 important things you must do after installing WordPress.
1) Delete default admin account & Create a new one
This is one of the most overlooked things after installing WordPress. Most bloggers skip this. Spammers or hackers know that by default, WordPress provides an ‘admin’ account. Thus, it may be vulnerable. So it is better to delete default admin account and create a new one. To do this, follow the below steps:
- Go to Users and click on Add New.
- A new window will be opened to add a new user. In our case, we will create an admin account so that we can log in to our site later on.
Note: Don’t use generic names for your admin account.
- You have created an admin account now. The Last step is to log in with the new user and delete the default admin account
Note: If you have published any posts with the default admin account, make sure to choose the option to transfer your old posts to your new account when deleting the “admin” account.
2) Configure WordPress Permalink
Setting WordPress Permalink is another important thing to do after installing WordPress. In simple words, permalinks are the URLs of our site. It is one of the most crucial things that you cannot overlook. Permalink is one of the ranking factors and we want to have our keyword also in our URL. By default, WordPress sets permalinks as http://yourdomain.com/?p=123 which is not SEO friendly. Once you start publishing and gaining traffic, changing your permalinks becomes a bit trickier. Because if you change your permalinks, you may lose traffic. And, if you do not want to lose that traffic, you will need to set up redirects. So, it is recommended to change permalink settings right after installing WordPress.
To change the permalink settings, go to Settings –> Permalinks. I’d recommend you to use the “Post name” permalink. It is the most SEO friendly permalink. Here is a snapshot of my permalink settings.
If you want to know more about permalinks, you can read this article on how to optimize permalink structure.
3) Delete/Uninstall Unused Themes & Plugins
Another important thing is to uninstall all the unused themes and plugins. Instead of leaving them unused, you shall delete them. To delete all the existing themes, you will need to install a new one.
To delete a theme, go to Appearance –> Themes from the left navigation bar. Hover over any of the themes and select Theme Details. Then click delete in the bottom right corner.
Similarly, WordPress provides the default plugins. If you do not need any, you will need to delete those plugins.
To delete plugins, Go to Plugins –> Installed Plugins and deactivate/delete the ones you don’t use.
Note: Always keep your themes and plugins updated otherwise your site will become vulnerable to hackers and malicious attacks.
4) Disable User Registration
Disabling user registration is another important thing you need to do after installing WordPress because it may lead to security threat. I made this mistake and overlooked this when I started blogging. I came to know when I had almost hundreds of useless user registrations. Then, I disabled the new user registration for all. Whenever I have to create any user (contributor, author or editor, etc), I create it manually and share the credentials with the users. So stay upfront and disable the useless registrations.
Here is a snapshot to show how you can disable user registrations (Settings –> General). You can simply unselect the option to not let anyone register.
5) Deleting the Default Content
When you install WordPress, there are a few pieces of dummy content installed with WordPress to help you to understand different things. You may want to delete them. Check your posts, pages, comments, and widgets for any dummy content (For example, you may have ‘Hello World’ post, ‘Sample Page’ etc). If you do not need any, delete all default contents.
6) Set Title, Tagline, and Timezone
Next thing in this checklist is – setting Title, Tagline, and Timezone. This is very easy but most newbies ignore these things. Title and Tagline make it easier to understand what’s your blog about. The tagline is important in branding. It reinforces your site’s message and connects your ideas with your visitors.
Timezone is important to show the most accurate date on your site, and it also helps with scheduling posts. By default, Timezone is set to UTC. (UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time. It is a standard by which time is regulated worldwide.)
To update these things, go to Setting –> General and enter your Site Title and Tagline. Now, scroll down and set your timezone. And click on “Save Changes”.
Below is a snapshot of my settings:
7) Setting Your Preferred Domain URL
WordPress lets you choose WWW or non-WWW version of your blog. Search engines view sites ‘with www’ and ‘without www’ as two different sites. Set your preferred domain by pointing your domain to either www or non-www. It is better to have one version of your domain.
To do this, go to Settings –> General –> Change the “WordPress Address” & “Site Address” with either www or non-www. You can view mine in the above screenshot.
Note: If you change ‘Preferred Domain’ frequently, a lot of duplicate pages will be created in Google Index. It is very harmful for SEO.
8) Updating Your Profile
The profile contains several fields that should be filled out including your name, social profile and contact information. You can update your profile to decide how your name appears on your post (there is a drop-down field that allows you to change your publicly displayed name) and modify your contact details and your password. It’s recommended that you provide as much information as possible to maximize your WordPress site. Your profile gives your readers a chance to know more about you and connect with you. It may be visible as ‘author’ bio below posts you publish.
To update profile, Go to Users –> Your Profile and fill up your profile.
9) Update Discussion Settings
This is another thing that you should set up just after installing WordPress. Below is the screenshot of my discussion setting. If you want the same, you can put the checkmark in front of the field as shown in the screenshot.
10) Update Comment Moderation Settings
There are certain comment moderation settings also for your convenience. By default, WordPress requires any person who leaves a comment to have a previously approved comment before the comment is displayed. This means that all comments by new visitors are automatically sent to the moderation queue and will not appear until you approve them. If you are not comfortable with this, you can update your comments moderation settings.
To do so, go to Settings –> Discussion. You can select any setting here. (See above screenshot)
11) Updating Reading Settings
You may need to update ‘Reading’ settings also after installing WordPress. Here, you can see various options to decide if you want your home page to be static or latest posts. If you select latest posts then you can also set the number of posts you want to show on your homepage to visitors. You can also choose whether you want your feeds to display the full text of your content or just the summary.
To do so, go to Settings –> Reading.
12) Setting default Gravatar
Gravatar helps users to add their images to blog comments. Gravatar is a third-party service and you need to register to configure your email with any of your uploaded images. Then your image will be shown in blog comments when you comment with your registered email id. But all of your readers may not have Gravatar. In this case, WordPress will show the default avatar who haven’t signed up for Gravatar. By default, WordPress shows the Mystery Man avatar. If you do not like this, you can use “Blank” or “Gravatar Logo” instead.
To do so, go to Setting –> Discussion –> Avatars. Click on ‘Save Changes.’
13) Configuring the Post Auto-Save Interval
WordPress provides a feature to auto-save your post (as a draft) when you are editing a blog post in the WordPress editor. This is very helpful in recovering your work if your browser crashes accidentally. By default, WordPress autosaves your posts after every minute, but you can change the default duration to say 180 seconds (or 3 minutes) by simply adding a line to your wp-config.php file.
define( ‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL’, 180 );
14) Configuring WordPress Ping List
Whenever you publish a new post, WordPress automatically sends notifications to ping services. By default WordPress ping only one ping service, you can notify many more services by extending the ping service. It helps you to get quick search engine index.
To update your Ping list, go to Setting –> Writing.
15) Setting Default Category
When you install WordPress, it provides you a default category called “Uncategorized.”. By default, all posts will come under the default category. It is your responsibility that your categories should be well structured to provide best user experience to your readers. So, you should change this to something more appropriate for your site niche.
To do so, go to Settings –> Writing.
For example, for my blog, I have set the Default Post Category to ‘Blogging Tips’.
Note: f you are using a plugin to show related posts and your categories are not well structured, it may end up showing irrelevant articles. It can affect bounce rate of your site.
Other Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress
- Set up an account on Google Webmaster and Google Analytics
- Create XML Sitemap for your site and submit it to Google and other search engines.
- To optimize robots.txt and .htaccess file.
- Install essential WordPress plugins such as SEO by Yoast, Akismet, other social sharing & security plugins, etc.
You have now configured your WordPress successfully. All points mentioned above are important to set up a WordPress website. Hope this checklist helps. If you have some helpful tips on what else to do after installing WordPress, please share in the comment section below.