Undoubtedly WordPress is currently the most popular blog CMS. Various plugins, widgets made it very easy to build a professional blog or website without anyone’s help. Almost every internet users are now interested to have their own blog or website and WordPress is the best easy option.
Installing WordPress isn’t that complicated. But afterward there are some steps that should be taken to keep yourself right. You can do the following things after installing WordPress.
1. Change The Permalink Structure
This is one of the most important things that many people ignore at first. Even I made this mistake as well to one of my blogs. After publishing couple of posts, I come to know that I should have changed the permalink structure earlier. But it was already late and all of my posts were indexed by major search engines. Those blog posts would be valueless to search engines if I would change the permalink. Even I would loose some valuable external links from other websites. Though it was kind of fixable using a plugin named Permalink Redirect, but it’s just not something we should do. Why not changing the permalink to a SEO friendly and smart structure right away after installing WordPress.
WordPress provides an easy way to change permalink structure. Just login to your dashboard, navigate to Settings >> Permalinks. Most of the bloggers are using %postname% structure as it is search engine friendly and make more sense to readers. WordPress codex has a detailed article about it, where you can learn about the other structures.
2. Remove Admin User or Change Password
Its better you delete the default admin user, cause if someone wants to get access to your admin panel, all he needs to do is keep using the admin user name and and some passwords combination’s. To delete the admin user, login to your dashboard then go to User >> Add New and then create a new user using your desired username (make sure its not similar to the name you display publicly) and set it as administrator. After that just logout from admin panel and login again using the new username and password. Then navigate to User >> All Users and delete the admin user.
If you are too lazy to do this, at least change the auto generated password of admin user, because its not something you gonna remember.
3. Activate Akismet
Akismet is a really great plugin that blocks comment spam. Good thing is, it comes with WordPress and all you need to do just get an API key from your WordPress.com account and activate it. To get your API key login to your WordPress.com account and then go to profile where you will easily find the API key.
Once you got the key, go to Plugins >> Akismet Configuration, then enter the key and press ”Update options” button. Thats It!
4. Add a Contact Page
Give your readers a way to contact you privately. Just install Contact Form 7 plugin and activate it. You will see a new ‘Contact’ menu in your WordPress dashboard. Click on that to go to the contact form configuration page. You can keep the default settings as it is a standard one or you can change them however you like.
Then copy the code to your clipboard. Create a new page from Pages manu and name it contact or contact us, whatever you like. Now paste that piece of code under the HTML editor and publish the page. You will see a nice contact form on that page. You can even use that code in any post or page to show a contact form.
5. Install a Database Backup Plugin
This is another very important thing that every WordPress user should focus on. Usually beginners start with a low costing bad hosting provider or even free. If your server permanently goes down or you lose access to your account, then you may lose all of your precious content. You can use WP-DB-Backup plugin that provide some useful options. For lazy people, there is another plugin that needs only one click to backup your database. It just creates a dump of your WordPress MySQL database including all tables
6. Hide WordPress Version and Plugins Directory
Don’t make it easier for hackers to hack your WordPress site. Almost every WordPress version have their own weakness and bugs. These are used to hack a WordPress site. Thats why you should always hide your WordPress version and block access to plugin directory.
To hide the version of WordPress you are using, just open functions.php file from theme editor and paste the following code.
Or even you can use this plugin to hide your WordPress version.
To hide your plugins directory, create a .htaccess file and add the following code then save it.
# disable plugin directory browsing
One you are done go to your plugin directory using file manager or FTP client and upload that file.
7. Add Google XML Sitemap Generator
Use Google XML Sitemaps plugin to automatically create a sitemap of your WordPress site. Every time you make some changes or publish a new post, it will automatically modify itself. To see the installation process click here.
8. Install All in One SEO Pack
This is a great plugin to optimize all of your posts and pages for search engines. If you are a beginner, you don’t even have to change any of the options, it will work fine. Just install and activate. You can download the plugin by clicking here.
9. Add Social Media Profiles
Social media has a big impact to grow your loyal reader base. Add your social profiles links using nice and attractive icons. You can use some attractive free social media icons.
10. Burn Your Feed and Install FeedBurner Plugin
A great free service from google to keep track of your RSS Feed. At first burn your feed using Feedburner. If you have no idea how to do that, then read this post. After burning your feed, install Feedburner plugin and configure it.
This plugin will automatically redirect default WordPress RSS feeds to feedburner and you will be able to keep track of your subscriber.
11. Add Google Analytics
Yeah, sooner or later you will want to know, how many readers your blog has, how often they visit, where are they coming from, which browsers they are using and so many other things. I prefer Google Analytics. Its free and can show enough data to track your visitors.
Sign up for google analytics and get your UA code. Then install google analytics for WordPress plugin and enter your UA code. This plugin has some awesome features like, views per author, category, tag. It also tracks outbout clicks and pageviews.
12. Change The Default Theme
There are lots of WordPress theme out there. You don’t even have to buy a premium theme to give your blog a professional look. Check out this article on TopDesignMag showcasing 35 New and Fresh Free WordPress themes. Hope you will find few of them really cool.
13. Create an About Page
Everyone wants to know who is behind. You shouldn’t really hide yourself. Let them know about you. If you do, your blog will be more social and engaging.
Just create an About page and add some information, like who you are, what you do, your social profiles, how to contact you etc.
14. Edit Your Profile
This is pretty simple. Just go to your profile page, edit some options and change your nickname and add some information about you.
15. General Settings
Navigate to Settings >> General to change some blog settings. Add a title and tag line. You have to decide you want WWW or not. Some people recommend not to use WWW. Its upto you how you want it.
If you allow guest authors to write for you, you cant check the ‘Anyone can register’ box and select ‘Contributor’ as a role. You can change the date and time format as well from here.
What else left? Is there anything else you do after installing WordPress? Let us know by commenting below. If you like the article, don’t forget to share with friends