After installing WordPress, there are a couple of things that you need to do. These are the basic steps that you do to customize your blog. These simple customizations will make your site friendlier to you, your visitors and search engines. These are just some basic changes that you make and are simple enough to be done by anyone.
Here are the 10 things that you should do after installing WordPress:
1. Remove the “Hello World” Post and “Sample Page”
After installing WordPress, you will see that you have two content—a post and a page—in your blog. You will want to remove these two default or demo post and page. Visit your admin page at http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/ and send them to trash. You don’t want that content on your website and they are there only to demonstrate.
2. Change the Permalinks
Permalinks are the actual links that are used to access your blog or website content. By default your post permalink will have the date in them. It will be something like http://www.yourblog.com/2015/02/22/hello-world.html. You will surely want to change them to http://www.yourblog.com/hello-world.html or http://www.yourblog.com/about/hello-world.com . To make your permalink structure look good, change them by visiting Settings > Permalinks from your admin.
- You can use the post name structure http://www.yourblog.com/%postname%/.
- You can also add the category to be included in your URLs: http://www.yourblog.com/%category%/%postname%/.
- You may also include your post id: http://www.yourblog.com/%postname%/%post_id%/.
3. Enabling Comments
By default, comments are disabled for posts in WordPress. To have a vibrant blog and community, it is recommended that you enable discussions and commenting on your posts. You can keep the comments on the pages disabled.
To enable comments by default for all future posts, visit Settings > Discussion and make the following changes:
You might have individual preferences, but this is what I prefer. There are also settings related to avatars for you to configure.
4. Change Your Blog’s Time Zone
By default, the time zone of your website is set to UTC + 0. You will want to set it to your time zone. You can even set the time zone to that of your target country. To change the time zone visit Settings > General.
You will also find several other changes that you can make to the date and time display settings. The same page is used to change your site’s name and tagline. Change them if you’re not happy with the ones that you set during installation.
5. Create Categories
You installed WordPress with a vision of creating content under certain categories. To keep yourself focused it does helps if you create categories from the beginning. So visit Post > Categories and spend some time entering category names. You can add, delete or modify them anytime.
6. Basic Plugins
You will need to install some basic plugins in your website. Now, every website will have a different purpose, but there are a couple of basic plugins that every WordPress site should have. Here are a few that I want to mention:
- Akismet: Prevent spam comments and trackbacks. It’s already installed by default. You’ll have to activate it. For activation, you’ll have to sign up to WordPress.com for an API key. It’s a free plugin but in the signing up stages, you’ll be encouraged to donate.
- Jetpack: You will be able to bring the features available for remotely hosted blogs at WordPress.com to your self-hosted blog. It must be connected with your WordPress account and authorized. Some notable features of jetpack are site statistics, photon (serving images from WordPress CDN), contact forms, infinite scroll and email subscription features.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: For simplifying SEO optimization for your content and website. Also for XML sitemaps.
- W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache: Install one of the two to serve cached and fast pages to your visitors.
- BackUpWordPress or any other back up plugin to regularly secure your files and database.
- Social Media Feather: For allowing yourself and your visitors to share your content and follow your social profiles.
- Seo Plugins: Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack.
7. Settings Related to Themes
You will want your website to look sort of unique. So, instead of just using the default themes, you can switch to a custom theme that you can get for free or purchase from several sites out there. Install your theme and configure it to your liking. Then remove the unused themes from your /wp-content/themes/ folder using FTP or File Manager.
8. Add Google Analytics, Webmasters and Bing Webmasters Verification
When you create your new site, you will want to add the codes provided for verification of several webmasters and analytical tools. It allows your content to be discovered by search engines and you can view the reports and stats. You can use Jetpack’s Site Verification service to do it or you can do it by other manual methods.
9. Create the Basic Pages
10. Disable Some WordPress Features
Limit Post Revisions
You can limit post revisions by adding the following code to your wp-config.php file present in the root of your WordPress installation.
To Disable Completely
define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);
To Limit to 3
define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);
Add the line after define(‘DB_COLLATE’, ”);
If you limit post revisions, you will decrease the load it puts on your web server. You can keep it enabled if you have a good server.
Disable HTML in Comments
If you enable HTML in comments, you are opening the door for spammers to spam your comment area with links to spammy websites. Even though Akismet gets most of them, some of them might get through. So, you will want to disable HTML in comments by adding this code in functions.php present in your theme’s folder.
add_filter( 'pre_comment_content', 'esc_html' );