You want to make it look more appealing to your audience. You want to rank higher in the search engines, and be easily found by your target audience. Alright, without any further ado, here are the lings of important things you should do after installing WordPress.
Edit Your Permalink Structure
Modify your permalink structure to make your URLs search-friendly. It’s important that you change it before publishing to make your URLs more readable – not just for humans but also for search engines. Here’s an example:
- WordPress Default Permalink Format: http://www.domain.com/?=n
- Custom Permalink: http://www.domain.com/first-post-name
See how the second URL is more readable and more appealing? Search engines love pretty and descriptive URLs as well!
To change your permalink:
- Login to your WordPress
- Click “Settings” at the left sidebar > “Permalinks” from the menu
- Select “Custom URL” then add this /%postname%/ .. Here’s a visual example:
Check Your Admin Username
If you’re using an auto-installer supplied by your hosting company, make sure you don’t have a username of “admin”. It’s becoming more common for hosting companies to automatically set you up with something more cryptic, but double check just to be sure.
Another good idea is to make sure you’re not using your administrator account for non-administrative tasks. If you’re publishing post or pages, create a separate account with author privileges.
Delete Unused Plugins and Themes
Once you’ve installed your chosen theme and all of your required plugins, it’s a good idea to go back into your admin dashboard and remove any plugins or themes that you are not using (good-bye, Hello Dolly). Having been down this road before, I know that many people who are new to WordPress end up experimenting with one or more free themes. Then, they realize it might be easier to spend a few dollars on a premium theme – saving themselves hours of time in the process. Old themes and plugins that are not updated can contain potential security vulnerabilities and it only takes a few seconds to delete from your WordPress installation.
Install an antispam plugin
WordPress have a great discussion feature called comments. Comments allow your website’s visitors to add their thoughts about your article directly on your website for other visitors to see. When you activate comments on a Page or post, WordPress inserts several text boxes after your content where users can submit their comments. Once you approve a comment, it appears underneath your content. Spammy comments are a huge headache for many WordPress site owners to help alleviate the problems that come from this issue, you should install an anti-spam plugin on your site.
Akismet – This plugin by Automattic is a premium anti-spam plugin that does wonders for keeping that icky spam stuff out. If you decide to use Jetpack in your site, then you can use that account to activate Akismet for your site. If not, you’’ll need to follow the prompts for fully activating the plugin after install. The free version is limited but can be upgraded it you pay.
Yoast SEO Plugin
Let the Yoast SEO plugin take care of the search engine optimization of your site
The name of this plugin makes it clear that its primary focus is on search engine optimization. The benefit of SEO is all about getting more visitors to your website, via the search engines. As well as optimizing your content for the search engines, good SEO also has a strong focus on creating a better user experience. Truthfully, this should always be your top priority anyway – a great user experience means visitors are more likely to come back. When you’re installing your essential WordPress plugins, making time to include Yoast SEO on the list is a great idea. Laying a solid SEO foundation for your site is very important and there’s nothing worse than having to trawl back through your previously published posts to update their SEO fields at a later date.
Use an XML sitemap to help search engines index all your content correctly. If you installed Yoast SEO, you can skip this step. If you went with another SEO plugin that does not automatically create a sitemap, make sure you install a separate plugin like Google XML Sitemaps. When Googlebot comes crawling through your website content, the XML sitemap will help to make the process easier and ensure that all of your content is indexed in the search engine. An XML sitemap is a simple document that provides search engines with vital information about the pages and posts contained on your site. If you are publishing news or video, make sure you also use a sitemap that contains the appropriate metadata for those mediums.
Update Your Site Title
As one of the most important elements of your website, you’ll want to make sure your site title is properly completed. Although every page on your site should have an appropriate title, the one we’re referring to here is your site title. It can be found under Settings >> General. When someone visits your homepage or finds your site via the SERPs, the site title is usually what they’ll see. It can also help to tell Google what you website is all about. Following best practices, you should keep your site title close to 55 characters in length. It should be descriptive, specific and not spammy. An appropriate site title would be “Dave’s Barber Shop | Portland, OR”. An example of an inappropriate site title would be “Men’s Haircuts, Women’s Haircuts, Cheap Haircuts, Affordable Haircuts | Portland, OR”. Spend a few minutes searching the web and you’ll discover the spammy site titles get even worst than that.
Install Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools from the outset
Google Analytics – Track your performance with Google Analytics. Sign up and integrate it on your site. Google Analytics will help you monitor your traffic and analyze the behavior of your visitors. It provides details that can tell you what your visitors are looking for in your site. If you want an easier way, you can install Joost’s “Google Analytics For WordPress” plugin at: wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress.
Change Your Blog Tagline
Tagline is important in branding. It reinforces your site’s message and connects your ideas with your visitors.
To change your tagline: Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Tagline”.
Change Date & Time Format
You can change the format of your date & timestamp according to your liking. Here’s how I do mine:
Set Your Preferred Domain URL
Set your preferred domain by pointing your domain to either www or non-www. Search engines view these as two different sites, so make sure you stick to only one version of your domain. To do this, go to “Settings” > “General” > Change the “WordPress Address” & “Site Address” with either www or non-www. Here’s how mine looks like:
After installing WordPress, you’ll find sample content that isn’t necessary. Before you go live, you must get rid of it. A default content has a “Hello World” as a title. All links and sample pages must also be deleted. To remove Sample Page: Login to your WordPress dashboard > “Pages” > “All Pages” > “Trash” Sample Page
To delete Sample Post: Login to your WordPress > “Posts” > “All Posts” > “Trash” Hello World Post
Delete HELLO DOLLY Plugins
This default plug-in has no real use. Just delete it. Remember, having too much plugins can slow down your site.
Create An About Me Or Start Here Page
This page will introduce what you’re all about to your visitors. It’ll also help you showcase your achievements and strong points. It’s an important element that must not be taken for granted.
Add A Contact Page
It’ll give your visitors a chance to contact you for something that doesn’t need to be published on the comment portion. If you have a business location, It’s also a good idea to embed Google Map to further help your visitors in finding your company.
Create Fav Icon
Favicon isn’t an absolute necessary. However, if you want to improve the overall quality of your site, then you should consider it. It has a role of building your site’s brand.
Gravatar isn’t a necessary tool but it also plays an important role in your company’s branding. It helps in developing relationships between you and your visitors. Plus, it adds authority to your site.
Install Broken Link Checker
For most web designers, link checking is a time-consuming chore. Removing broken links from your website will make your readers happy as you’re not sending them on a wild goose chase. Plus, fixing helps the search engine spiders in navigating your site. You can use Broken Link Checker plugin.