These 10 things will help you to set up a WordPress blog or website with a smooth experience.
These ideas and tricks are a combination of security, optimization, performance and general things everyone needs to follow with every new WordPress install. Let’s discover and apply them to fresh WordPress install.
1. Use Better Username and Strong Password for Admin Access
There is a lot about WordPress security. We will discuss them in upcoming articles. For now, as good security practice, don’t use a standard username like admin or password like; test, 123456 or name of your blog. We have seen WordPress log, full with some login attempts with such common guesses of username/password.
Don’t use admin as your username and choose a strong password, a combination of number, alphabet (lower & upper) and special characters. This will make a hacker or bot much harder to guess your dashboard credentials.
2. Find and Install a Good Theme
It might need time but you’re not going to change your site’s layout for years. So look into WordPress theme repository and choose the theme which fits best with your content. Premium themes give you more tools & power to build better websites and save your time.
Try themes by ThemeRella which are capable to turn your WP blog into either attractive business presentation or beautiful portfolio or high performing WooCommerce site or even anything. This powerful Boo theme is featured by Themeforest – largest WordPress marketplace.
3. Replace Dummy Content with Your Own
WordPress by default comes with a sample Post, Page, and Comment. You can delete them or replace entirely with your own. If you want to display a page as homepage, create it too.
4. Add a Site Icon
Site Icon is an image and used as a favicon for browser & app icon for your site. Prepare a square image of 512*512 pixels. Then go to Appearance > Customize, click Site Identity then Select Image button. You can drag & drop the image there to set it as Site Icon.
5. Update Site Title, Tagline, Membership, and Timezone
From Settings > General menu on your dashboard, update Site Title and Tagline to describe your site.
Default tagline of WordPress is “Just another WordPress site”. Make sure you replace it with your own, otherwise it won’t look that nice 🙂
If you are allowing anyone to register, tick Membership and assign New User Default Role. A Contributor role is quite good. Also, set Timezone according to your location.
6. Update Reading Settings
From Settings > Reading menu, set Your latest posts as Front page displays if you wish to show latest blog posts on your website’s homepage. Alternatively, you can create 2 pages in Page menu to show one as static homepage and another to display your blog posts. Just you need to assign them here as Frontpage and Posts Page respectively. If you don’t want search engines to index your site, check the Search Engine Visibility checkbox at the bottom.
7. Update Your Permalink to Be User and Search Engine Friendly
This is one of the most important tasks in every new WordPress install.
Permalink structure is the URL structure which added on the end of your site name.
If you go to wp-admin > Settings > Permalinks, you will see this something like yoursite.com/?p=123. “123” is the id of a corresponding post or page. This is ok for computers but not a good fit for users and search engines.
We recommend changing to post name structure which is readable for users, also SEO friendly.
8. Configure Discussion
Discussion Settings are for comments. Default settings are ok still you can modify as per your requirement. Also, spam comment protection is necessary which is expressed just next. Selected Default Avatar will be shown in comments if the commentator has no Gravatar account or display image.
9. Install Necessary Plugins
You can delete pre-installed Hello Dolly plugin. Activate Akismet for spam comment protection or install better comment plugin like Disqus. We also recommend installing & configuring these plugins:
- Contact Form 7 for contact pages
- W3 Total Cache for speed improvement
- Yoast SEO for search engine optimization
- Smush Image Compression and Optimization (WP Smushit)
10. Link Social Profiles to Your Website
For promotion and branding of your website, show your social profiles activities on your website. You can add Facebook Like Box, Twitter Widget or YouTube Videos on the website either using code/plugin or a good theme always comes with essential sharing features and kind of these widgets.
These 10 things described here are general, should follow tips to do with a new WordPress install. And last but not least, always periodically backup your WP site and update WordPress, theme, and plugins when dashboard notifies you about the new version of either.