After installing a fresh WordPress, you need to do some essential settings to make your blog more efficient and ready to go. Here is a list of all essential settings we should do immediately after installing WordPress.
- Delete Dummy Post, Page, and comments
- Set Timezone and Change Site Title & Tagline
- Set Up WordPress Permalinks
- Enable/Disable User Registration
- Configure Reading Settings
- Configure Discussion/Comments Settings
- Change Media Settings
- Set Up User Profile
- Set Up Default Category
- Configure WordPress Ping List
- Install Google Analytics
- Install Caching Plugin
- Install SEO Plugin
- Secure Your Website
- Setup Backups
So let’s begin…
1. Delete Dummy Post, Page, and comments
As soon as you finish installing WordPress, you will see a dummy “Hello World” post, a dummy “Sample Page”, and dummy Comments. It is highly recommended to delete this dummy content immediately after installing a WordPress.
You can easily delete it by login into your WordPress dashboard, and go to Posts > All Posts, and select the dumpy “Hello World” post, and click on trash.
Similarly, you can delete a dummy “Sample Page” by going to Pages > All Pages, and select it and click on trash.
And finally, delete the dummy Comments by heading to the “Comments” section. For better guidance, see the images given below :
2. Set Timezone and Change Site Title & Tagline
To change Timezone, Site Title, and Tagline settings login to the WordPress dashboard, and go to Settings > General.
Changing the Site Title and Tagline is very important because this is what appears in Google search results whenever someone searches your website on Google. Also, change the timezone to your local time.
Here you can also change the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL). If your website is secure with SSL, then you can choose either
https://www.yoursitename.com/ or https:/yoursitename.com/
And if it is not secure, you can choose either
http://www.yoursitename.com/ or http:/yoursitename.com/
3. Set Up WordPress Permalinks
The default permalinks structure is – http://yourwebsite.com/?p=123. This permalink is not search engine friendly and also not good for your website’s SEO so change it to “Post name” by going to Settings > Permalinks. Don’t forget to click on save.
4. Enable/Disable User Registration
Enable/Disable User Registration on your website is entirely your choice, if you have a multi-author blog, You can enable this option as only after enabling this option, users will be able to register on your website.
You can set the default role of users. Here is a list of roles along with their level of permission, so you can decide what type of role you want to assign to them :
- Administrator – The administrator will have access to all admin features on the website. He can edit and delete anything on your website including your entire website.
- Editor – Editor creates and manages posts. They can manage the posts of another user as well. They can edit and publish posts of any user.
- Author – Authors can publish and manage their own posts only.
- Contributor – Contributors can write and manage their own posts, but they can’t publish them. Set this role if you want guest posts.
- Subscriber – Subscribers can manage their profile only.
You can enable user registration by going to General Settings, and tick off the “Anyone can register” box, and set the “New User Default Role” as per your requirement.
Enabling this option also brings a lot of spam registrations on your website, but don’t worry, you can get rid of this with the help of a plugin.
If you don’t want user registrations on your website just don’t enable this option.
5. Configure Reading Settings
By default, WordPress displays your latest posts on your front page, but you can change it, under Reading Settings and can set the front page of your choice.
Just go to Settings > Reading, and select “a static page” option, and then select a page from the list of pages. After that, you can change the number of posts per page from the “Blog pages show at most” option, by default it’s 10.
6. Configure Discussion/Comments Settings
You can set up Discussion/Comments by heading to Settings > Discussion. There are plenty of options available there that may be a bit confusing so just follow the below picture and you will be good.
If you are launching a social media website or any website, where you think user registration is a must to comment, you can enable the “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” option. After enabling this option, only registered users will be able to comment on your website.
7. Change Media Settings
Changing this setting is very important to enhance your website performance as by default WordPress generates multiple sizes for every image uploaded by you. These unnecessary files consume your server space as well as effect website performance.
So, To stop the automatic generation of these images, you need to go to Settings > Media, and follow the below screenshot to configure the settings:
By setting up these values to zero, you will stop WordPress from generating images of all different sizes.
Images play a very vital role in page loading speed, so it’s important to optimize images on your website. You can accomplish this with help of image optimizations plugins like Smush.
8. Set Up User Profile
To complete your User Profile, head over to Users > Your Profile. Here you can change your First Name, Last Name, Nick Name, Public Display Name, Email, Password, and much more.
You can also set up your social media profile here by providing your social media links.
9. Set Up Default Category
In WordPress, each and every post must come under at least one category. If you didn’t select any particular category during post-publication, it would go to the default category “Uncategorized” of WordPress.
So, Changing the default category to your chosen category is a must. And to accomplish this, we have to create a new category. So go to Posts > Categories. Now under the Add New Category fill category Name, Slug, and select Parent category if any. And finally, click on the Add New Category button. In this way, you can create as many categories as you want.
After that, head to the Settings > Writing. Here you will find a “Default Post Category” option, go ahead, and select the category of choice that you want to set as your default category.
10. Configure WordPress Ping List
So, the first question may come in your mind “What is the Ping list?” means in WordPress. A WordPress Ping simply is a service that notifies search engines, website directories, and news feeds whenever You publish a post or updated content on your WordPress website.
Ping is very important for your website SEO, as the ping list tells search engine bots to crawl and index your website, to get new content in the search engine results from your site.
To Configure the ping list, go to Settings > Writing. And populate the ping list by simply copy and paste the below given ping list under the section “Update Service”.
Get Ping list here : WordPress Ping List
11. Setup Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google. It helps you to understand your audience better by tracking their movement on your website.
With Google Analytics, you can track how many people visit your website, what they did on your website, where they came from, how much time they are spending, what devices they are using to visit your website, and much more.
Integrating Google Analytics to your website is very important for your business to grow and every website owner must do it.
Here is a complete guide on “ How To Integrate Google Analytics to Your WordPress Website”.
12. Install Caching Plugin
As a website owner, you need to make sure that your website is fast enough and performs well even under peak traffic.
Website speed mostly depends on two things – First on your hosting provider and second on caching plugin. So always choose a best hosting provider and also use a caching plugin.
Caching plugin reduces server load time, and improves page load speed by quickly serving the cached copies of your website’s pages to visitors instead of generating them in real time on the server side.
Without a caching plugin, each time a user visits your page, your server has to generate it in real time that puts a lot of load on the server, and your website may get slow under high traffic. So every website owner must use a caching plugin.
Here is a list of best caching plugins available for WordPress :
- WP Super Cache – Free
- WP Fastest Cache – Free
- WP Rocket – Paid (Top Rated)
- WP Total Cache -Free
13. Install SEO Plugin
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the best way to get more free traffic from search engines. Google is a big source of organic traffic. As a website owner, it is very important to install an SEO plugin after installing WordPress to drive traffic to your website from Google and other search engines.
There are plenty of SEO plugins out there, but we highly recommend the Yoast SEO plugin. It is a top-rated plugin with all the features that we can expect from a good SEO plugin.
Here is a step by step tutorial on “How to Install and Setup Yoast SEO Plugin”
14. Secure Your Website
Securing your website these days is very important, as the nasty hackers out there are waiting for you. WordPress by default is quite secure, but still you need to follow best security practices to keep your site secure.
We are sharing some best practices to keep your website secure
- Disable Directory Browsing: To disable directory access you need to go to .htaccess file from your hosting cPanel, and simply add this line of code Options All -Indexes at the bottom of your .htaccess file. This is a very important step to secure your website from unwanted trouble.
- Change Password: Make sure you have set a strong password and keep it changing at a regular time interval. In this way, you can prevent hackers from guessing your password.
- Update themes and plugins Regularly: It is very important to update your themes and plugins regularly as the older versions may have some security loopholes which are not good for your website’s security. So keep it up to date.
- Secure your WordPress Admin Area: As we all know WordPress comes with a default admin panel login URL and hackers also know it. So changing it will protect your website from hackers who are targeting this URL to gain access to your website. You can easily change your website admin panel URL with the help of these plugins –WPS Hide login, Protect Your Admin.
15. Setup Backups
Setting up backups for your newly launched website is very important as this is the only sure way to recover or restore your website in case of any disaster.
Hosting providers do provide the backup services, but these backups are not guaranteed and in case of any disaster, you have to ask your hosting provider to restore your website from a recent backup, and for that they charge a handsome amount of money.
So do your site backup on your own, and it’s pretty easy and hassle-free. You can do this with the help of a backup plugin.
There are plenty of WordPress backup plugins out there. You can use any of them, but we recommend the UpdraftPlus. This is the best WordPress backup plugin with over two million active users.
It simplifies backups and restoration processes and allows you to set up automatic backup schedules. You can also backup your website directly into cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, and more.
It comes in two variants free and premium. The free version of UpdraftPlus works just fine, but if you need more features, you can purchase the Premium version that costs around $42 per year.