Hello there future site owner. Now that you have WordPress installed on your site! Congratulations! Now what? The default WordPress comes with some basic settings which are need to be tuned up, so that your WordPress blog will rock. This involves changing settings, Choosing a layout, and some universally recommended plugins.
Here is a valuable list of things you should do after you have installed WordPress on your website.
WordPress Settings and setup
1. Change permalink structure
This is the first and most important step you should do after every WordPress installation.
- Go to Settings >> Permalinks
- choose ‘Post name’
2. Site Title & Tagline
By default, WordPress inserts “Just another WordPress Blog” as the tagline.Go change it. Add a few words what your site is about.
Settings >> General
3. www or non www
You need to think about what you want your site to show up as, “www.example.com” or simply “example.com”.There’s no appreciable SEO difference in the two.There is no hard rule set out there, Go for non www if you have long domain name. Non-www domains names are easy to read.
Settings >> General
4. Change time zone
By default, WordPress is installed in English with the US Eastern Timezone. You can change the time zone details from settings >> general option.
5. Update Ping Services
Ping update services allow us to automatically notify blog directories and search engines that our blog has been updated. The bigger the ping list the higher the chances of receiving traffic from those sources.
Settings >> Writing >> update services
(Note: WordPress blog pings unnecessarily every time you edit a post. Install “WordPress Ping Optimizer” plugin to save your blog from getting tagged as ping spammer.)
6. Change Admin Account
Change the default ‘admin’ username in WordPress site to prevent your WordPress site from being hacked. To do this go to Users >> Add New and fill out the form. Protect your blog with strong password by including special characters(@!#$^&*), numbers, lower case and upper case letters.
7. Add your site to Google Webmaster Tools
Indeed it’s important to add your site to Google WebmasterTools. Google Webmasters tools let you access data about the crawling and indexing of your website and also helps you diagnose site issues.
(Note: Before attempting to verify your site with Google Webmaster, your site needs to be published because you will need the URL of your site in order to submit it for verification.)
8. Get a Gravatar
Gravatar is an image that represents you online—a little picture that appears next to your name when you interact with websites such as a forum, chat, website, or any other form of online community in which the users wish to have something to distinguish themselves from other users.
Also read: Step-by-Step guide to setup a Gravatar image for your blog
9. Create a Favicon image for your site
A favicon is a website icon, that get displayed in the address bar of every browser.
10. Activate Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales.
11. Get Noticed With an “About Me” Page
About me page is an effective way to show your readers that you are real. Creating an about page is to tell the people who visit your blog a little about the person behind that blog.This will help built trust between you and your readers.
12. Create a “Contact us” page
The easiest way for your readers to get in touch with you to provide comments, suggestions, and reactions is via contact page. Install “contact form 7” plugin that made easier to setup and add contact form to your contact page.
Plugins are a great way to enhance the functionality of your blog by adding extra features. Here are some recommended plugins you need to install after setting up your WordPress blog.
Some Essential plugins
1. Akismet or any anti-spam plugin: Protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep.
2. WordPress SEO by Yoast: Must have plugin for every wordpress users. The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
3. WPtouch – The easy way to deliver great mobile experiences for your visitors.
4. WP Smush.it – Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using within WordPress.
5. W3 Total Cache – Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
6. Google XML Sitemap – Generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
7. WordPress Backup to Dropbox – Backup your site database in safe place. Keep your valuable WordPress website, its media and database backed up to Dropbox in minutes with this sleek, easy to use plugin.
8. Broken Link Checker – Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
Customize your Blog design: Free vs Premium themes
Choosing the Perfect Theme for your blog is an important step to your blog’s success. By survey, the color of a blog is the most important feature. Look for a color you like or one that fits your niche. And just because it looks pretty doesn’t mean it’s going to drive nice, you have to carefully consider the ideal fit, what works for you. Moreover, you must be extremely careful once you opt the design constituents of the Free WordPress Themes since it is necessary that the color of the font should be in synchronization with the surroundings of the webpage. Below are a few items to look for to make sure you are getting a theme that meets this.
- Make sure the theme is regularly updated and current version of wordpress
- Compatible with all major browsers.
- SEO features
For beginners, its better to start with free themes and go from there. There are thousands of free WordPress themes available and new ones are released every week. I recommend checking out the WordPress Theme Directory:
However, I have found some nice wordpress theme developer sites offer best free WordPress themes that are beautifully designed, responsive and much more features like Premium theme.
Tool to check your installed theme is compatible with all browsers
Premium and paid stuff are always better than the free ones.Why? Because premium themes come with premium features and offer great features and support. If your are a serious blogger don’t want to waste your time in messing up with theme editor, installing a premium theme is the best option for you. Premium Wp themes offer great support, security and is regularly updated to stay compatible with latest version of WordPress.
Here are the Best Premium WordPress Theme providers:
- Elegant Themes
What else? I would value hearing what you do when you setup your blog if you already have one or comment to tell me if I missed something. Please do share it with us below.