So you finally installed WordPress. Now what. Before you starting writing your contents, there are few things you should do right after. At this point, you should have Admin account setup for the WordPress. This is done when you install the Wordpess. Hopefully, you Admin account name isn’t “Admin”. If it is, you need to change it right away for security reason. Hackers know what many of you won’t change the admin user account, so they will use it to see if they can hack into your Wordpess. So go ahead and change it some other name besides “admin” or “administrator”.
Now login to WordPress admin page. There are two ways to get there. Login page for WordPress is http://<domain name>/wp-admin. For example, if your domain name is MyWebsite.com, your admin page is http://MyWebsite.com/wp-admin. Or you can always access from 1and1.com control panel.
1. Delete Unused Plugins and Themes
When you first install WordPress, your hosting company might install few default plugins. Usually, you don’t need these default plugins. So it recommended that you uninstall these plugins, or other plugins that you don’t need. Rule of thumb about the plugin is that less is always the best. So install plugins you only need. To find all your plugin, go to PLUGINS menu on your left column and go to INSTALLED PLUGINS
If you have 1and1 hosting, it will install plugin called “1&1 WP Wizard”. First thing I did was delete it. It will also install “Akismet” plugin, but you can leave that alone since, you might need this plugin later on. Akismet is useful security plugin. In order to uninstall a plugin, you first have to deactivate it. Once you deactivate it, you’ll see “delete” option.
At the same time, when you first install WordPress, it will install few default theme. It is recommended that you delete the theme that you are not going to use.
To get to theme section, go to APPEARANCE from left column menu and go to THEME.
In order to delete a theme, go to THEME DETAILS.
There is DELETE option on the bottom in THEME DETAILS.
2. Edit General Settings
This is where you setup basic setting for your website such as Title of your website and URL. In order to go to General Setting, go to SETTING on your left column and go to General.
You can leave most of the setting to default. Just pay attention to SITE TITLE, TAGLINE, WORDPRESS ADDRESS (URL), SITE ADDRESS (URL), Email, and TIME ZONE.
- Site Title – Title of your website
- Tagline – Catch hook phrase for your website.
- WordPress Address (URL) and Site Addrss (URL) is same. It is just your domain name of your website.
- Email address – Emaill address for any kind of Wordprss notification to send.
- Time Zone – Time zone where you are located.
3. Change Permalink Setting
Permalink setting is very important. Permalink setting is how your post looks in URL. You want your each post to have title of your article in URL. For example, if you write a post with title “Ice Cream”, you want the word “Ice Cream” in your URL. So it will looks like this: http://MyWebsite.com/ice-cream/. The reason why you want the title in your URL is for SEO reason. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It will help Google search engine to find your article easier. Fortunately, latest Wordprss now has this setup as default. So you don’t have to worry about it, but just double check and make sure it is setup this way.
In order to change your PERMALINK, go to SETTING on your left column and go to PERMALINK.
4. Change Comment Setting
You want people to comment on your post. But you also have to expect there will be lots of spam comments on your post. There are way to bring some order in your comment setting so that you can manage spam comments in the future.
In order to change comment setting, go to SETTINGS, and DISCUSSION.
Fortunately, latest WordPress has comment setting set correctly by default so you don’t have to do anything. But just to double check the setting and make sure it is set up correctly.
Pay attention to “Before a comment appears” and “Comment Moderation” section. This setting basically means, if you commenter is already approved by you before, you don’t have to manually approved the comment. Also most of the spammer put links on comments to promote whatever they are promoting, “Comment Moderation” setting only allow 2 links on the comments, if it has more than 3 links, it will not post it.
5. Install Theme
Now it’s time to install a theme. Theme is how your website will look, so you want to take some time to explore different themes that is available and even tryout few different themes. If you are starting out, it is recommend that you explore from free themes that is available. There are many free themes that’s is available to you to use. Once you are familiar with how theme works and how you can customize it, you can start exploring paid premium themes. Premium themes, overall, are better design themes. They have more features and looks better.
In order to change your theme, go to APPEARANCE on left column and choose THEMES. First theme you see the current active theme. To install new theme, click on “Add New”.
One of the things you should look for in a theme is what kind of functionality you want in your website. For example, if your website is going to feature different photographs each week, you want to install theme that cater towards of photography. There are many different themes that are available to cater towards how you want your website to look. It is matter of spending time and look around and trying out many different themes.
If you find a theme you like, you can install it by click on “Install”. Or you can preview the theme before you install by click on “Preview”.
If you install a theme and decided didn’t want it, be sure to delete them.
Customizing theme is different in each theme. But there few things that is same. We can talk more about customizing theme in different post in the future.
6. Install Essential Plugins
Plugin is the best thing about WordPress. By installing different plugin, you can install different functionality to the website easy as just few clicks. There are many plugins that is available, but there few things you must install right away after you install WordPress. Just like theme, most of the plugins are free. But there are also paid premium plugins where it has more features.
In order to install a new plugin, go to PLUGINS on left column and click on “Add New”. To install a plugin, you can scroll down to look for different plugins but there are so many there. If you know what you are looking for it is better to search for plugin in search box.
If you find the plugin you want to install, just click on “Install”.
Here are list of recommended plugins you should install right away:
- Akismet should be already installed. This plugin protect you from spam comments
- Yoast SEO handles SEO functionality for all your posts and more. This is essential plugin.
- Jetpack does many cool things such as social media share functionality and more.
- Updraft Plus Backup and Restore is backup plugin where it backup your wordpress website. This is very important because when your website get hacked, only way to bring back your website is restore from backup.
- Google Analyticator plugin connects your website with Google Analytics tool. Google Analytics is tool by Google that is available for you to signup which allows you to see detailed stats about your website traffic. This is something you should do to keep track of how your website is doing. We can talk more about this in later post.
Now you know what to do, so go ahead and take action and start building your website! If you don’t a hosting for your website yet, check out 1and1 Hosting.