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2018-11-09 15:04

15 Steps You Should Take After Wordpress Installation

Congrats! Your have successfully completed the famous 5 minutes Wordpress installation and ready to create first website! But don’t be in a hurry and make sure you take all of these steps first before drive in the further site building. So you don’t miss a thing we have prepared a handy guide on 15 steps you should take after Wordpress installation.

Highlighting the Key Aspects of This Guide:

Let's start from the very beginning.

Chapter 1. Customizing general Wordpress settings

1. Change site title and headline

Clearly, website title and headline provides website crawlers and your visitors with the brief understanding of where they are and what is your website about. To change this information, navigate to Settings > General in the Wordpress dashboard.

General Settings

While thinking over website title bare in mind that it appears in the numerous places:

  • left top corner in your Wordpress dashboard (clicking on it opens your website);
  • “Sender name” field inside mails your subscribers receive;
  • in the end of every post, page, category or website archive title;
  • website header (depending on the theme installed).

So try to make it short and easy to remember, read and write.

2. Set up timezone, date and time format

First of all, it is of a great importance for the news websites and those ones, which are updated with the new content several times a day so the visitors can see whether the post is up to date and they are viewing the fresh one.
To set up date, time format and a timezone navigate to Settings > General and check needed.

Set up time zone, date and time format

3. Update services

The main job of ping services is notifying search engines and other web-resources that your website was updated with a fresh content, or the previous one was changed.

Official Wordpress site provides you with a list of such services which should be added manually. Navigate to Settings > Writing and add this list to the Update Services block.

Update services

Another noteworthy thing about this tool is that notification is send every time, even when you save the draft or schedule a post. These authors who prefer saving text after every little change while creating a new post or page can get in a trouble - ping-services probably will tag their website as a ping spammer.

You can avoid this by WordPress Ping Optimizer installation. Once it is activated, navigate to Settings > WordPress Ping Optimizer and add the list of ping-services.

Ping Optimizer

4. Make sure search bots can index your website

Wordpress allows you to hide website from the crawlers and therefore makes impossible to appear in the search results. It is a good idea when there is no content on your website yet and you don’t want crawlers to index it ahead of time.

Make sure search bots can index your website

But after website release when it is waiting for the first visitors - make sure it is available for indexing. Navigate to Settings > Reading and in the Search Engine Visibility part make sure “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is not checked.

Make sure search bots can index your website

Now it is time to create your first page, setup Gravatar and set the default post category. Also, it is a high time explain why default Wordpress settings include three Letter Twenty themes, a few plugins and a single page with a post.

Chapter 2. Creating your first website page

5. Setup Gravatar in Wordpress

Gravatar is the image that follows you, appearing beside your name when leaving a comment or a post in the website. Though, displaying gravatar depends on whether used theme for the website supports it or no.
Having said that, let’s do a little bit practice.

Getting started with Gravatar is quite easy. Let’s take this steps to create your first one.

  1. On the Gravatar home page press the Sign In button on the right-side part of your window.
  2. If you already have Wordpress account, then login using your credentials. If you don’t have the account yet, then you should create one first by clicking on Create an account link. When registration is completed, get back to Gravatar home page and login to your account.
  3. Login to Gravatar
  4. Click on the link Add a new image.
  5. Manage Gravatars
  6. Press the button Upload n the new window and choose a photo, company logo or other needed image which you want to upload from the drive and crop the image.
  7. Upload image Crop your photo
  8. Set appropriate rating:
Choose rating

If you want to enable the display of avatars for people who comment on your site navigate to Settings > Discussion Settings and put a checkmark in a box Show Avatars in the Avatar Display block.

6. Delete all default pages, posts, themes and plugins added with the Wordpress installation

To help webmasters explore CMS basic WP installation package includes the page example “Page Sample” with posted on it “Hello, world!” together with a set of standard Wordpress themes and plugins.
If you have used WordPress before, just delete plugins, disable themes and delete all pages with the posts.

Notice. If your future website suggests leaving comments to the posts or product reviews (for e-commerce websites) it is better to leave Akismet Anti-Spam plugin, created to protect your website from spam.

7. Set up the default post category

Every post on the Wordpress website should belong at least to one category and the default one is called “Uncategorized”. Clearly, that in case you want to change default category, first of all you should create the new one in Posts > Categories in Wordpress dashboard.

Categories

Once the new category is created, get back to Settings > Writing, choose it in the drop-down list Default Post Category and save changes.

Writing settings

Now every new post you create with undefined category will be posted in this one. You’re done!

Lets set up comments, custom URL structures and install your first plugins.

Chapter 3. Setting up the website

8. How to set up comments on the website

Let us explain why comments are very important part of your website and why you should spend a minute to make them available on your website, namely:

  • Comments are free and mostly unique content.
  • Comments is a way to go about the interests of your target audience.
  • Comments is the powerful tool of internal linking
  • Comments inspire for the new blog post ideas or adding new popular product items for your online store.

To set up comments follow Settings > Discussion in your Wordpress admin bar and choose or list what you need.

9. Set up custom URL structures

Custom URL structure is the web-address which is easy to remember and gives your visitors a clear understanding what kind of website they are surfing.

The main part of custom URL structure - slug - consists of a single or a few words, usually written in latin after the website address. For example, in https://example.com/sample-slug/ “sample-slug” is the slug.

To create a custom URL structure navigate to Settings > Permalinks and choose one of the following options:

  • Day and name - to display year, month and day before the slug, e.g: https://example.com/2018/10/28/sample-slug/
  • Month and name - unlike the previous option, in the URL will be displayed only month and year like: https://example.com/2018/10/sample-slug/
  • Post name - URL displays slug only: https://example.com/sample-slug/

Except these options, there is also possibility to create your own structure of custom URL by checking Custom Structure and placing available tags in correct order:

year of publication – %year%
month of publication – %monthnum%
day of publication – %day%
publication time (hour, minute, second) – %hour%, %minute% и %second%
post number – %post_id%
slug – %postname%
category slug – %category%
author’s slug – %author%

If you like, you may enter custom structures for your category and tag URLs here.

Permalink settings

Custom URL structures can improve the aesthetics, usability, and forward-compatibility of your links. Screaming Frog experts well known for creating the most popular SEO-tool Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool highly recommend to use latin letters and hyphen only while creating custom URL structures. Together with http:// or https:// its perfect length is measured in 115 symbols.

10. Install useful plugins

Plugin is an addon which makes Wordpress functionable and easy to use. Can you just imagine, there are more than 55 thousands of free plugins ready for installation!

Notice. Before any plugin installation, take a closer look on the action it performs and make sure that is really what you are looking for. Numerous installed plugins can slow down your website and be a reason of unattractive performance.

Moreover, the most part of tasks popular plugins perform can be replaced with the appropriate server settings. So instead of plugin installation you can just drop a line for your web host of choice with request to set up firewall, caching and backup policy. In such a way, you don’t need to install these plugins anymore, winning more and more points in your website performance:

Fine server adjustment instead of using plugins is a good practice due to the fact that it gives extra points to the website scores, reduces the size of used drive space, protects from the interruptions in the website workin case bugs in the plugin code or after plugin updates.

While creating your first site, you might also need to install the following plugins:

Depending on the website type you’re planning to run, you might need as well:

  • WooCommerce for creating online store (e-commerce site);
  • BuddyPress if your plan is to create social network on Wordpress;
  • bbPress to create forum.

The last steps relate to improving website appearance, its aesthetics and usability for the visitors. In the last chapter you’ll find the answers regarding free and premium themes and places they can be found, how to know more about your visitors and their behaviour on your website and put your knowledge into action.

Chapter 4. Improving website appearance

11. Set up the Homepage

By default, hHomepage displays latest posts. If you want to display static page instead - you can easily do it with Wordpress tools.

First of all, create the new page in Pages > Add new in the Wordpress admin bar, fill it with the needed content and publish it.

Set up the home page

After this, navigate to Settings > Reading and check “A static page” behind "Your homepage displays" option. Finish with pointing on website page you’ve already created as a “Homepage” and save changes.

Reading settings

Now, the visitor will see a static page you want him to instead of the latest posts.

Site title

12. Install fresh theme

Twenty Seventeen, Twenty Sixteen and Twenty Fifteen are the latest series of free themes offered directly by Wordpress developers and installed together with Wordpress which can be used for running personal blog, but are definitely not the best choice for those who are planning to launch tube site, site-gallery, e-commerce site or a news one.
Taking into account that website appearance should be appropriate to its type - sounds good to find your theme. For example, you can start your search in the WordPress official theme directory by navigating to Appearance > Themes > Add New Theme from your dashboard. You can find it using filters where you can point all requirements to the website appearance. This is certainly not the only place where you can download theme for free, there are a lot of other placemarkets offering a bundle of themes for every taste. Once your choice is made - install (or download it) and customize.

Install fresh theme

Though, sometimes using free themes may sound not such a good idea when you can’t check the code quality, or your project requires more features which are absent in the free one, or the chosen theme has so many downloads that your website looks alike the rest thousands of websites using the same theme, etc.

If your budget is not so tight and you can spend hundred dollars and invest more in your business - spend them on a premium theme. Compared to the free one, usually it is highly customizable, compatible with all popular browsers and responsive to use on any device. If you’re doubting where you can find one - here’s the most reliable marketplaces you can start your search at:

  1. TemplateMoster
  2. ThemeForest
  3. Elegant Themes

13. Add Favicon

Favicon - is a small iconic image which represent your website and displayed behind site title in the browser tabs and bookmark bars.

To set up one for your site follow Appearance > Customize > Site Identity > Site Icon and press the button Select image. It is highly recommended to upload image in PNG format and its size should be 512x512 pixels.

While choosing Favicon, make sure it doesn’t contain any small details which probably will be indistinguishable in the reduced size.

14. Fill in the user profile

Plenty of Wordpress themes allows to display block with information about the post author. If you want to list such info by navigating Users > Your profile in the Wordpress dashboard and fill in the fields you like.

Important! Nickname must differ from the username which is used to login to dashboard. Th7e same nickname and username makes easier to break into your site.

15. Add your website to Google Search Console and Google Analytics

This free tools will help you a lot with tracking the number of visits and the keywords they use to find your website, conversion rate, the most popular website pages and a lot of other useful information.

Don’t get upset if you don’t know how to add website to the Google Search Console, just follow up these guides:

Now, your website looks fine and you can get straight to its deeper customizations, creating pages and filling them with the content. Have a good luck on your road!

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