This post was last updated on November 22nd, 2020 at 08:25 am
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The only thing that comes in my mind after installing WordPress is to start with WordPress settings. Naturally, I want to make my blog look presentable and easy to navigate, therefore I knew there are many things to do about it. Perhaps some hidden tricky stuff that I hadn’t known about yet.
After installing WordPress, I kinda lost. I don’t know where to begin – with WordPress settings. What first thing to do? I really want to find a complete and perfect list to help me get through it all. I want to create the best blog that I can.
So, feel free to use this post as a reference to guide you with WordPress settings and share it with your new blogger friends.
Without further ado – here is my list of what you need to do with WordPress settings!
Delete Sample Posts, Sample Page
WordPress comes in handy. They provide you some posts to show examples of your blog. BUT, you don’t want these default posts to show when you are building, decorating, creating your blog.
SO, you have to go to your WordPress Dashboard and find the “Posts” section in the right sidebar. Find the example posts and delete them. Do the same thing when you head over to the “Pages” section and delete the Hello World page.
Alternatively, you can install the WP Maintenance plugin and activate it to turn your blog into “Maintenance mode” – use this plugin when your website is in development or you need to change a few things.
WordPress Setting: Title, Tagline, and Timezone
To do this, go to the WordPress Settings>General on the right side of your WordPress dashboard. The site title is your blog’s name and if you have a tag line – this is to help people and Google to figure out what your blog is about – insert and update them.
Update your time zone so when you are scheduling or publishing your post, WordPress will post in your time zone. Don’t forget this! It’s crazy when you want to publish your post at 6 PM but only to realize it’s not posting because of the time zone difference.
When creating a blog, I believe you know what you are going to write. It’s best to set up your categories at the very beginning. For example, I have a category called Blogging Tips. It allows you to group related posts. Go to Posts>Categories and create your categories.
Permalinks are what your post web address is. WordPress defaults to setting your permalink to day and name format (http://monodreame.com/2020/06/06/sample-post/). Some bloggers keep using this format and some are not. By using the default format may make people choose not to read the post if it isn’t current post. It’s much better to have your URLs tell something informative.
I suggest changing the permalink structure to the blog post name. Go to WordPress Settings>Permalinks then tick Post Name and Save. As shown in the photo below:
Keep in mind that you need to do this before you create any posts. If in the future you change your mind, be aware that it will bring harm to all your links that you shared with the old permalink.
The biggest reason is that updating your permalink after going live will cause the posts or pages that Google already indexed to return as ‘page not found’, which is very bad for your blog ranking.
Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics will definitely help with your blog growth. You will know what is your audience needs and keep improve your blog to be better. To install this, simply go to Google Analytics from your browser > create an account by clicking on “Start for Free” then set up your “property” – website address.
Follow the instructions to add the tracking code to your website. Its might be confusing if you are not tech-savvy, I would suggest watching this to install Google Analytics for WordPress.
To install and remove plugins in WordPress is super easy. You just need to go to Plugins>Installed Plugins on the sidebar and you will find the list of current plugins you have. To add a plugin, simply click on Add New and you can search for almost more than 50,000 plugins.
Be aware that plugins can slow down your blog. If you don’t need any of installed plugin, you can deactivate and remove it. Remove the ones you won’t be using or don’t need when you’ve found and become familiar with the plugins you will keep using.
One plugin that you HAVE to keep is Akismet as it will protect your blog from spam. For example, anyone that leaves inappropriate comments or spammed links. Akismet really works well. I already found more than 30+ spams – just in one day after installing WordPress – which automatically blocked by Akismet.
Here is list of essential plugins you need to install:
- Rank Math SEO – Most of the bloggers will suggest you install Yoast SEO, both of them are good and help you with suggestions and tips to improve your SEO. It depends on which one is you’re comfortable with. Sadly, Yoast SEO doesn’t work well with me. I found Rank Math SEO really comfortable since it’s located on the right side of my draft post while Yoast SEO at the bottom of the post – I don’t need to scroll up and down to check it.
- UpdraftPlus – It will help you to backup and restore your blog. Saving your time and yourself from headache when something happens to your blog.
- Wordfence Security – It will protect your blog from hackers or malicious traffic.
Set Up Jetpack
After publishing a post, the thing that really important is you need to promote your post, isn’t it?
Every time you publish a post, you will need to market it in almost all social media. You won’t think you will just post it and expect someone just accidentally stumble to your blog, right? I WISH!
By using a Jetpack plugin, it will automatically help you to send out your post to the major social media, such as Facebook and Twitter when your post publishes. Setting it up is super easy! Install and activate it. Go to Jetpack in your sidebar and click on Settings then Sharing. Connect your social media accounts.
Install A Theme
For me, installing a theme and decorating a blog can be fun or make you frustrated. I have an image on my mind how will my blog look like and make it come true isn’t as easy as I thought. There are thousands ++ of free and premium themes available, in all kinds of styles to help you find the perfect style for your brand.
To install a theme, simply go to Appearance>Themes>Add New. You can find your style by typing in the search bar. Keep in mind that the theme should be easy to navigate, customizable, and has a nice appearance. You have an option to view how the theme will look like before installing by clicking the Live Preview. Once you find the one you like, click Activate and your blog will go live.
I tried to use a free theme before upgrading my theme to look more presentable. You can find thousands of themes in places like the Creative Market or with Bluechic.
Favicon, which is also known as a website icon used by web browsers to show a representation of the site. You can see it on the left side of the browser’s address bar. A favicon makes your blog identifiable. Is it really important? I say YES – for the same reason when you create your branding. You can use your logo branding as a favicon, just like what I did.
- Go to Appearance>Customize
- Click Site Identity
- Scroll down until you find Site Icon
- Click on Select Image
- Select your favicon from your Gallery or upload one
Admin + Update User Profile
If your current username happens to be ‘admin’, you must change it into something else. Or you can create a new account with a new username and password, then delete the old admin account. Log in to your WordPress as that new user.
- Go to Users>Add New
- Enter a new username, email address (can’t be the same email as the previous admin).
- Enter first name, last name, website (optional)
- Select the Administrator role
- Click Show password and copy it to a safe place
- Click Add New User
- Log out from your WordPress and log in again as the new user
- Go to Users and delete the old Admin user
After changing your admin username, now you need to set up your profile. You can make settings such as enter a bio, change your password, and change your Gravatar (little picture against your name when you comment). You can use your nickname as the author of posts and comments.
Set Up Widgets
Where ever you go, I can say that ALL blog have a widget. To make your website more engaging, widgets can help your audience to go to the new sections of your site. For instance, I put Convertkit widget on my sidebar so my audience can immediately notice that and sign up for my newsletter. Go to Appearance>Widgets to pick which widget you need to put on your blog.
Create About Page
This is a place where you can tell about yourself and give your audience some insight into what your blog is about. You can see what I wrote here and check what other bloggers put in there about me page.
Go to Pages>Add New and start creating your page. The next step is to add your about page to the menu. Go to Appearance>Menus. Select the header or footer menu and add your page to the menu.
I recommend using the Elementor page builder plugin for designing pages. I use it for all of my pages, including my homepage. It’s really easy to use. You just need to drag-drop any elements you want to put on your page. Click, click, and VOILA! You’re done.
Create A Contact Page
The contact form is really necessary for visitors and potential brands to contact you. As I know, Contact Form 7 is a plugin that automatically installed after you install WordPress. If not, you can install it for free.
I don’t have any issues regarding installing it, let me know if you have a problem installing it. I will be more than glad to help you.
Create Legal Pages
Before you post anything and get any traffic to your blog, you HAVE to set up legal pages. Legal pages is a MUST-HAVE for all entrepreneurs or bloggers to PROTECT your biz. Amira’s legal bundle provides you 3 legal pages + 9 bonus templates at affordable prices.
These are legal pages you need on your blog:
- Disclaimer – this is also important as it will inform your audience that your content is only for informational and educational purposes and not to be seen as professional advice. Even if you spend so much effort to confirm the accuracy of your post information, it is always possible that some of the information may be inaccurate. THIS will bring harm to other people in some way, however, if you had an appropriate disclaimer in your site or post, you may be able to argue that you are not liable. If you have any affiliate links within your blog, you also need a Disclaimer.
- Terms and Conditions – this will help you to lay out the rules for visiting your blog and you own your content and reusing it will be considered copyright infringement.
Those lists above are mainly the things I need to do after installing WordPress.
When creating a blog, many things to be considered. You need to install and create this, this, and this. It can be frustrating if you don’t know where to begin, so I hope this post helps you in some way.
Photo credit: Suhyeon Choi
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