Login to your WordPress dashboard to do all the 21 things you must do after installing WordPress.
Things to do after installing WordPress
1. Create a new admin user
Login to your WP Dashboard https://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin. This is an important step that many people don’t do. In case you have the default admin user, add a new admin user with a different name and add the “administrator” role and delete the default admin user. That’s for security reasons, as the user name “admin” is the first one everyone will try. Users -> Add new
2. Change the public shown display name
Additionally, you should change the Nickname and “public” shown name from your admin user. For example if your admin/login name is “Will333Smith666” -> you can change the nickname and public name to “Will”. Your WordPress login name remains “Will333Smith666” but for your published posts the author name will be “Will”. For security reasons your admin name should not be shown. Select the “Display name publicly as…” option. Users -> Your Profile.
3. Set correct email address
Check that your email address is correct. Otherwise you will not get important information from WordPress Users -> Your Profile.
4. Review or change the site title and tag line.
The site title is important, as that’s what will be shown on google search result or on the top bar on your browser. Settings – general
5. Set the correct time zone
The time zone configuration is not a must, but it is important for setting up backups or scheduled publishing of posts. Settings -> General
6. Disable user registration
Settings -> General -> Membership: make sure that “Anyone can register” is unchecked. At a later stage, when your blog is established and well known you might want to activate this settings if you do a Membership area.
7. Delete pre-installed content and plugins
Delete pre-installed plugins
Go to Plugins -> Installed Plugins and uninstall plugins like jetpack or hello dolly. Only keep the plugin “Loginizer” and “SG Optimizer” installed.
Delete all the pre-installed/demo pages and posts
Click on Post/page -> all posts -> select all the posts -> click on “move to Trash” -> select all posts again -> click on “delete permanently”.
Delete pre-installed/demo themes
Appearance -> Themes: Click on the theme you want to delete -> Click “delete” on the bottom right corner
8. Change settings in the Reading section (Part 1)
Search Engine Visibility
Search engine visibility is important, otherwise search engines as Google or Bing will not find your web page and posts. Go to Settings -> Reading and unselect “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. (If for any reason you don’t wand that your site is indexed from search engines, select this option)
Number of blog posts on blog roll page
Decide how many posts you want to show on your blog roll. Keep the blog post number as low as possible to not slow down your page, but as high as needed to keep it interesting for your readers. Settings -> Reading
Choose if you want to show a summary of your blog post or the whole post on your blog roll. Settings -> Reading
Settings -> Reading (Part 2, can only be set when you have created your first page)
Configure the layout type of your home page
You can decide whether your home page is a standard blog roll page or a static page. Most web pages use nowadays a static page, as you want a different home page than the rest of your pages. If your page is purely a blog and you decide to have a blog roll on your home page then select “Your Latest Posts”. Settings -> Reading –> you can only select the page you want to set as your home page after you have created a page.
9. Settings -> Privacy
10. Change the permalinks structure (very important!)
Settings -> Permalinks. Select the ‘Post name’ option. This is the most common setting for websites and especially blogs. As you normally don’t want your dates or random characters in your URL.
It’s very important to make these settings before you start writing any of your posts and generating URLs. If you change the permalink structure after you have written some posts and if you have links to other blog posts on your website you need to change all the URLs in your blog posts. Nobody wants to do that for sure 😉
11. Change the Media settings
Settings -> Media. Here you can set the size of the media files you are uploading. If you want to use high quality pictures I would enter for large: 2000×1500, Medium: 600×600, Thumbnail: 350×350
12. Check and maybe change the discussion/comments settings
Settings -> Discussion. It depends if you want and allow that people are able to comment on your posts or not. This is the general setting, it can be overwritten for every single page or post later. It is best practice to disable comments for pages and enable them if you want for blog posts.
13. Select the “Show comments cookies opt-in checkbox”.
With this option a checkbox is shown at your comments section on a post and your readers can decide if they want to select it or not that their name and email address will be stored in a cookie. This setting is here for made your comments and website GDPR compliant.
14. Unselect the avatar options for comments
Settings -> Discussion -> unselect “show avatar”. This setting must be done to be GDPR compliant.
Disable comments for a specific page. After you have creates some pages you can go to Pages –» All Pages. Hover your mouse over the desired page and click Quick Edit. Then uncheck the checkbox next to Allow Comments. Click Update to save it.
15. Create new categories and rename the “uncategorized” category
Before you start writing blog posts you definitely should rename the “uncategorized” category and create some more own categories. For the site structure, SEO and user friendliness it is important that you create categories. It is also possible to create sub categories.
Category: Food – Sub-Category: Italian, Chinese, Mexican.
Category: Asia – Sub-Category: Thailand, Japan, Indonesia. Posts -> categories.
16. Set default post category
Set the default post category for all future posts. go to Settings -> Writing and select a category for the Default Post Category
17. Add a Favicon
A Favicon is the little icon you see on the browser tab next to your page title.
Appearance -> Customize. Then click on Site Identity. Below Site Icon, click Select Image
18. Install all the wordpress plugins you need.
Check the Top 14 WordPress Plugins article to find our more detailed information on which WordPress plugins you have to install.
19. Install a WordPress Theme
Appearance -> Themes -> Add new -> select a free theme on wordpress.org or upload your purchased theme via “upload theme” -> select your theme.zip file -> Install now
⇒ I can highly recommend to use Themify as a theme. Themify is a powerful theme for building WordPress websites. Its drag & drop builder helps you a lot to simplify creating your website without coding.
20. Configure your Google Analytics plugin
Go to your Google Analytics account or create a new one with your Google account and generate a new UA code. Then go to Insights -> Settings -> Paste the UA-XXXXXXX-XX code or simply verify with your Google account)
- You have to anonymize the IP address
Either add the line ga(‘set’, ‘anonymizeIp’, true) manually to your Google Analytics tracking code in your <header> part or select the “anonymize IP” option in your analytics plugin in WordPress
Or on your Google Analytics page: Tracking -> Demographics -> select “Anonymize IP addresses” -> with this you are GDPR compliant
- Data retention and collection settings
- Select “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders”
- Site Search-Tracking (q=, s=)
Quick Overview about the most important Google Analytics Parameters
- Sessions – Also known as “visits.” These are the number of times someone visited your blog. It could mean that one person visited 50 times or 50 people visited one time.
- Pageviews – This is the number of pages people visited on your blog. It could be that one person visited 3 pages or 3 people visited 1 page. This is the metric most advertisers and brands care about. If you want to collaborate with brands, they’ll want to know your monthly pageviews.
- Users – This used to be known as “unique visitors,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like: The number of unique visitors to your blog. That means it doesn’t double or triple count one person. I really like the Users metric because it tells me exactly how many individual people visited my blog.
- Session duration: This is how long, on average, people spend on your entire blog. The higher the number, the better.
- Bounce rate: This is the percentage of people who “bounce” from your site within a few seconds. A “bounce” is bad because it means your visitor did not find what they were looking for, so they left. You want your bounce rate to be low.
21. Create a sitemap
Create a sitemap (with the Yoast SEO plugin) and add your websites XML file to the Google Search Console (before it was called Google Webmaster Tool). Go to https://search.google.com/search-console/sitemaps and add your Sitemap URL. In most cases that is: www.yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml. Check the Why you should have a Sitemap blog post for a detailed instruction.
Unfortunately nobody is born with all the knowledge which is needed for running a successful blog and business. Therefore, are you ready to take your blog to the next level and make money?
Get insights from the experts. Famous Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging courses are excellent, all-in-one courses which also offers ongoing support via his closed Facebook groups. Nomadic Matt and his fantastic team offers Superstar Blogging courses for: The business of travel blogging, How to become a travel writing, How to become a travel photographer or How to become a travel filmmaker.
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