10 important things to do after installing WordPress
August 31, 2020
You decided that you wanted to start a blog and have set-up WordPress….now what?
If you’re wondering what to do next, there are some important things you need to sort before you start making your blog look pretty and publishing blog posts.
So if you’re not sure what the next steps are, here are 10 important things to do after installing WordPress…
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#1 Change your site’s title and tagline
One of the first things you should do before you start writing blog posts is to change some of your WordPress settings. This is really important to make sure you get yourself off to the best start with everything set up correctly and securely.
Changing the title and tagline of your site will help with SEO, posting your content to social media, and it also helps readers to recognise what website they are on.
To update these settings you need to go to Settings > General
You can then set your site title (usually your blog’s name) and your tagline which is either your slogan or just a line describing your blog.
#2 Create yourself a username and password
When you set up your WordPress blog you’ll be given a username and password, one of the most important things to do after installing WordPress is to change these details.
Like with anything important you should always change this so it’s harder to guess – the username will likely be admin by default which is obviously very easy for hackers to guess.
You can’t change or delete a username so it is a good idea to simply change the password and then set yourself up as a new user.
You can find this by going to Users > Add New
Give yourself a new username, add your email address, and select your role as Administrator from the drop down menu.
Add new user will save your settings, then you can log out and log back in with your new user account.
#3 Set up categories
When you publish your blog posts you can choose which category to add them to. If you don’t set up any categories they will automatically be added to the default ‘Uncategorised’ category.
You will want to set up categories relating to the main topics for your niche so that blog posts are easy for your readers to find. You will also be able to add categories to menus to separate different topics.
We have categories for Blogging tips, Social media tips, SEO tips, and Making money.
To set up your own categories go to Posts > Categories and choose a name and a slug (short url), and click on Add Category.
You will now be able to choose which category to put your blog post in before you hit publish.
One of the top important things to do after installing WordPress is to set your permalink structure. By default your URL structure will be set by WordPress to include the date. This goes against Google’s recommendations though, they prefer you to have clean and short URLs without dates.
To change your permalink structure go to Settings > Permalinks and choose the Post Name option.
#5 Set up essential pages
Setting up a Contact Us page allows your readers and PR companies to get in touch with you, and an About Us page tells people visiting your blog all about you.
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#6 Allow or disable comments
This one is up to you, and there are pros and cons to both.
Allowing comments gives you the opportunity to find out what the people reading your blog think about your posts and to engage with your followers. It could also help your blog posts to rank higher on Google and other search engines as lots of comments indicate that your post is offering quality content.
However, you could open yourself up to spam comments so will need to monitor what is posted.
#7 Add a Spam protection plugin
If you do choose to allow comments it’s important to install a plugin to protect your blog from spam comments, to avoid your blog posts being bombarded with spammy links.
Askimet Anti Spam plugin is the most reliable, and popular with many WordPress bloggers. Simply go to Plugins > Add New and search for Askimet.
Askimet will automatically filter out the majority of spam comments so that they don’t appear on your blog and you don’t have to trawl through them.
#8 Install an SEO plugin
Making sure your blog posts are SEO friendly is important but it can be challenging to understand how to make sure everything is set up correctly.
Installing an SEO plugin such as Yoast helps you to optimise your blog posts for SEO by highlighting the areas you need to include before publishing.
There are also lots of other free SEO tools for bloggers that will also help you to write blog posts that appear in search engine results.
#9 Set up Google Analytics
Before you start publishing your posts, create an account with Google Analytics and add the code to your blog (here’s an easy guide to setting up Google Analytics on your blog).
If this is up and running before you start writing then you will be able to track your stats back to day one. You can’t see anything before the code is added to your blog so it’s important not to leave this until you’ve already published a few posts.
By setting up your blog’s menu you can help your readers to easily navigate through your website.
The layout of your menu, where it appears, and what you include will depend on your blog and your theme. You can have a header menu, footer menu, drop down menu, and more.
You can find your menu under Appearance > Customise > Menus.
Don’t forget to include your key pages and links to your social media profiles.
So now you’ve set up your first blog and you know all of the important things to do after installing WordPress, you can get on with writing your first blog posts!