Most Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress: I have explained in this article why a self-hosted WordPress site is the best if you are serious about blogging and want to become a professional blogger. WordPress, as in WordPress.org, is a free software, a Content Management System (CMS) that needs to be installed and set up.
Now that needs a bit of technical knowledge. Most of the web-hosting services provide one-click installation of WordPress. So, you don’t have to worry about the installation part. But there are certain other things to do after installing WordPress which the hosting service will not provide.
These things are not rocket science; it’s just that you need to know what exactly to be done. So, in this article, I will tell you the top things to do after installing WordPress. Read on.
Most Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress
Basically, you need to setup WordPress in a manner to make the best use of it, which, in turn, means making it easier for you to create, manage and optimize content. And you need to do these before you start posting articles. So, let us look into the most important things to do after installing WordPress:
1. Set Up Title & Tagline For Your Site
The Site Title is, basically, the name of your site/blog. It’s good to have your Site Title same as the domain name, but if not, it’s fine. The Tagline explains what your site/blog is about.
2. Set Up WordPress Address & Site Address
Let’s say http://mysite.com is the website for your business. That’s your web root. Your site has a blog as well which is at http://mysite.com/myblog and that’s where you have installed WordPress, i.e. into the directory called myblog. In that case, the WordPress Address (URL) will be http://mysite.com/myblog.
But you have installed WordPress into the root domain, your WordPress Address (URL) will be http://mysite.com.
Site Address is the URL that people type into the address bar to visit your website. If your WordPress Address is http://mysite.com (i.e. if you have installed WordPress into your root directory), then Site Address should be same as the WordPress Address. But if your WordPress Address is http://mysite.com/myblog, the Site Address should be http://mysite.com, because that’s where you want people to land.
3. Set Up Site Language, Timezone, Date Format & Time Format
Site Language should be the language of your blog. Set up the same timezone of the same place as you are. As for Date and Time Format, you can use any of the given formats.
To set up all these (point 1 to 3), go to Settings>>General from the admin dashboard. Make sure you click on “Save Changes” after you have made the changes.
4. Delete Default Content
Certain dummy content are there by default. You need to delete them.
There will be a Sample Page, a Sample Post and Comment. To delete the Sample Post, go to Posts>>All Posts, then hover the mouse over the Sample Post and click on “Trash” or “Bin”.
Likewise, go to Pages>>All Pages and delete the Sample Page. Lastly, go to “Comments” and delete the comment.
5. Change WordPress Permalink Structure
The default permalink structure in WordPress is https://mysite.com/p=6876. Now, this is neither SEO-friendly, nor does it makes sense to the visitors. You need to change the structure to something that understandable to both users and search engines. So, go to Settings>>Permalinks from your dashboard, select “Post Name” and then click on “Save Changes”. This will pick up the title of your post as the slug (with each word separated by a hyphen) which both search engines and humans can read and understand.
6. Uninstall Unused Themes
By default, there will be a few themes already installed in your site. You can either activate any one of them or add new themes from WordPress’ theme directory. You can read this article on how to choose the right WordPress theme.
Once you have decided and installed a theme, make sure you delete all other unused themes. You can go to Appearance>>Themes to delete the unused themes. Click on the theme to preview it. Then scroll down and click on “Delete” in the bottom right corner.
7. Add Services To The Ping List
When you publish something new, a ping is sent to the Ping Services that are there in your Ping Update Services. This, in turn, notifies search engines which index your posts. By default, there is only one Ping Service listed in WordPress, but you can add more services in the list. Go to Settings>>Writing, scroll down to “Update Services” and add the services in the box. Lastly, click on “Save Changes”.
Here is a list of Ping Services that you can add:
8. Change WordPress Media Settings
Every time you upload an image on WordPress, multiple versions of the images are created each having a different size. Basically, many unnecessary files are created. Go to Settings>>Media and then change the Width and Height of Thumbnail Size, Medium Size and Large Size under Image Size to zero.
9. Upload Favicon
Favicon, like a logo, is an image that forms the visual identity of your site and makes it easier for people to identify your site. It can be seen in the web browser of all devices when your site is open in a tab. It can also be seen in bookmark bars and apps. You can add the favicon from Appearance>>Customize>>Site Identity.
10. Install Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO is a powerful plugin that makes On-Page SEO easy even for someone who is totally new in the world of blogging. It is one of the must-have plugins for all WordPress sites. Apart from On-Page SEO, it also helps in creating XML Sitemaps. So, make sure you install and use it right from the beginning. Read this article on how to install and set up Yoast SEO plugin.
11. Create An XML Sitemap
An XML Sitemap is a map of your site that helps search engines to discover and index content, pages, posts, etc. on your website better. This is a must if you want your site to rank in search engines. It basically contains information about the content in your website and the relationship between them. Read this article on XML Sitemap and why they are important. As mentioned above, you can create sitemaps using Yoast SEO plugin.
12. Set Up Google Search Console
In order to make sure Google discovers your content and index them, to keep track of their visibility and to maintain your blog presence, you need Google Search Console, previously known as Google Webmaster Tool. Even various errors in your site can be identified using this tool. This free tool has various other features which you will learn eventually. Make sure you set up Google Search Console for your website.
13. Set Up & Install Google Analytics
Your blog won’t be successful if you don’t keep track of how visitors behave while they are on your website. You need to check things like how many people are visiting your site, how much time they are spending on your site, if or not they are visiting other pages from the landing pages, etc. These information help in identifying what strategy is working for your site and what s not. This is where Google Analytics come to the picture.
14. Add Contact Form
It is a great practice to have Contact Form in your site. This gives your visitors an opportunity to send mails and contact you, thus, giving an impression that you care about your visitors and their feedback matter to you. There are many plugins available for adding Contact Form to your site. You can use Contact Form 7.
15. Create “About” Page
Lastly, you need to have an About page. Your visitors should know who you are; otherwise, why would they trust you? Make sure you add the About Page in the menu.
With all these things done, you are set to write and publish posts.
I hope I have covered all the important things to do after installing WordPress. If you think I have missed out anything, do let me know in the comment section below. You can also ask questions regarding the things to do after installing WordPress. I will try to answer at the earliest.