There are some people that will install WordPress just once while others will install WordPress sites every single week.
No matter what situation you are in, as soon as the blogging platform is installed, it is important that you do something things before you actually start blogging. That is what we will talk about below.
The Experienced WordPress Installer Problem
Before we start talking about the steps you should follow after the installation is done, we should mention this problem that is connected to the experienced installer. When you install the platform too many times, you do end up entering a state in which you think that you know all the steps that have to be done. Even if that is the case, you still need to check since getting used to the installation and customization processes can lead towards missing something that is important.
When we installed our WordPress, we thought we had everything covered. We then started writing articles and promoting them. Only after 2 months we realized that the permalink structure that we chose was one of the standard ones and that is not what we wanted. We did initially change and it was not so problematic but this lead to some 404 errors due to links that were now coming to pages that did not exist anymore.
Go through the steps that we mention below every single time you install WordPress. It will help you to be sure that your full installation was properly done.
Step 1 – Making Modifications To The Posts & Pages Sections
Get Rid Of Default Posts
WordPress will automatically publish a Hello Post and a Sample page when it is installed. Go to Posts -> All Posts and hover over the post’s title. Then click Trash. Do the same in the Pages section for the Sample Page. Alternatively, change the sample page into a contact page. You most likely have one and the modifications can be done with ease.
Changing Default Category
The default category for WordPress is Uncategorized. Change it to something that is more suitable based on the site that you run. Go to Posts -> Categories and hover over the Uncategorized category. Click Quick Edit, change the name and then press Update Category.
Since you are here, in the event that you have your categories set up in your mind, add them. This is good since you can add a description for each category, which is one thing that people will forget since they usually add new categories as they write a new post or page.
Delete The Default Links
It is surprising to see that there are already so many links added to your blogroll by default but that is the case with all installations and you need to remove them. Do this before adding new links as it would be more complicated at a later point in time. Browse to Links -> All Links. Select all and then from the Bulk Actions menu choose Delete. Click Apply.
Step 2 – Making Modifications To The Appearance Section
Installing Your New Theme
Make sure that you read the guide about WordPress Security before you choose your themes or your plugins. Only choose a theme after you are sure it is often updated and suitable based on WordPress version used.
After you selected the theme that you want and you downloaded it, head over to Appearance -> Themes -> Install Themes and upload your theme in .zip format. Alternatively, choose one from the directory there. When you are prompted to activate it, just do so and it will become operational.
Making Changes Through The Editor
There are some themes that will allow you to add all extra code you need through some forms but not all of them do so. There are cases in which you need to add code manually. You do this from the Editor section. This is where you add codes for Analytics, Webmaster Tools and so on.
In most situations you just need to modify the Header file or the Footer file. However, if you want to add ad codes like Adsense, you will need to go through other files present in the Editor section. Keep in mind that you need HTML knowledge when you perform this step.
Alternatively, there are different plugins that help you to instantly add code to your site when it is needed. This even includes codes for ads. We recommend that you consider this option in the event that you do not have a lot of HTML knowledge or experience in adding such codes.
The Plugins Section
We recommend that you install the plugins that you need from the beginning. This is always better than just adding as you go since you may forget something. Also, it is a great time to remove Akismet and Hello Dolly. While Hello Dolly is completely useless, you might want to use Akismet for comment spam protection but in most situations people use free plugins so there is a pretty good chance that you can safely delete these plugins before you start doing anything else.
We recommend that you also install some useful plugins right now since you are here. Choose a suitable SEO plugin and do not forget about the anti-spam plugin. In order to install a desired plugin, go to Plugins -> Add New. There is a pretty good chance that you will find what you are looking for through the search section. However, you might need to Upload a plugin in the event that it is a paid one. No matter what you install, remember to click Activate. You should also read about WordPress SEO tips.
Step 3 – Making Modifications To The General Section
The General Modifications
For starters, you need to change the title of the site and the tagline. Make sure that you choose something suitable, especially for the tagline. Choose the URL setting and see if you want to use www or not. A lot of people will recommend the use of www but we do not necessarily. This is particularly important when you have a long domain name as you may want to keep it shorter so you make it easier for people to remember it.
Other Important Settings Modifications
To put it as simple as possible, you just need to go through all the sections since that is what counts the most. Simply look at all of them, one by one and make modifications. One section that is really important is the Permalinks one. Here is where you choose URL post structure. Never go for the general setting since it is not at all great or memorable.
Choose one of the predefined ones or learn the different coding options that are available. You have a lot of customization options for the permalinks so choose what you find as being suitable for your blog.
The Discussions Subsection
This is also really important. WordPress will allow comments by default. It is generally a good idea to moderate comments since sooner or later you will be assaulted by spam messages. This is particularly a good idea in the event that you did not install an anti-spam plugin above.
Extra Things To Remember When Installing WordPress
WordPress seems really simple but it is not as you may see it first. All the facts that were mentioned above will help you to make sure that your website looks and acts like you want it to. However, we could mention many other things. As always, some are more important than others.
Besides the actual WordPress installation, nowadays it is really important to secure the site. You already have a great link above that showcases various steps that can be taken. Remember to often create backups since this is something that a lot of people forget.
Also, before you even install WordPress, choose a suitable host. This is particularly important in the event that you want to use shared hosting or you have your very own server. Not all hosting packages are created equally. With some of them, you will end up with a site that runs too slow when you use WordPress as the platform behind it.
Another thing that you have to do before you install WordPress is choose a suitable theme. We recommend the fact that you stay focused on one that is responsive. That is due to the fact that the number of people that use mobile devices for browsing is on a constant rise. Consider this as being an extra tip. Too many use themes that are not responsive and even if this might not seem like a problem at the moment, it will most likely be in the future.
You will easily get the hang of installing WordPress as time passes. It is a lot easier to do so now when compared to the past since the platform is currently evolving. In a few years the tutorial here might not even be relevant but it still is something that you have to remember at the moment. Never believe that you did everything that you have to do after you installed a WordPress site without going through the steps above and checking your site carefully so that it is secured.
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