Although WordPress is really easy to install but new bloggers usually get lost where to start after installing WordPress. There is no doubt WordPress works out-of-the-box but still there are some important settings need to be taken care of.
Let’s discuss all those initial settings one by one so you can take a smooth start right from your beginning.
We have strategically numbered the list below so you can follow along exactly in the same order. Login to your dashboard and let’s start.
01. Change Site Title and Tagline
Many bloggers skip this step during installation or fill it with generic information for the time being. Adding a proper site title and tagline is a must not only for your site branding but also for SEO.
- From your dashboard, go to Settings > General.
- Fill in Site Title and Tagline fields.
- Press Save Changes button at the bottom.
Use your niche keywords in Tagline for good SEO.Woopoo's Good Practice
02. Make a new Administrator account
WordPress by default creates a username admin with administrator privileges. Hackers usually brute force attack this account to take control of a blog so keep using this account will be your first blogging mistake.
- To add a new user as an administrator, go to Users > Add New
- Fill in the required fields, choose a strong password and select Administrator (very important!) under Role.
- Press Add New User button.
A new user account has been created. Go ahead, logout and login with your new account.
- Once you login with your new administrator account, go to Users > All Users.
- Delete the old admin user. Don’t let it there.
03. Make a new Author account
You must create an additional Author account as well. This is a user role with less privileges. Use this account as a general purpose account to make posts, approve comments etc.
Administrator account should only be used when you want to make global or structural changes to your website.
04. Change permalinks in WordPress
In case you don’t know this term, permalinks are the URLs given to your articles. By default, WordPress permalinks are not SEO friendly and even lacks human readability. You should change them to something more sensible.
- From your dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks and choose an option you feel more appropriate for your blog.
- See our detailed article on Easy guide to WordPress permalink settings
05. Add Categories
Categories in WordPress are a great way to organize your posts. Defining categories right from start will help you structure your website and creating content later on.
- Go to Posts > Categories
- Under Add New Category, fill in the fields and press the button at the bottom.
Once done with creating categories, you also need to change default category which is Uncategorized right now.
- Go to Settings > Writing
- Under Writing Settings, change Default Post Category to any of the categories you created earlier.
See how to properly add categories in WordPress for more details
Posts with no given category will automatically get associated with default category.Woopoo's Tip
06. Create a main menu
A main navigation menu is one of the absolutely necessary items. Give your visitors a way to browse your website with ease.
- Go to Appearance > Menus
- Create your menu by adding any of the four items i.e. pages, posts, custom links, or categories. See our article how to create menu in WordPress (step by step) for more details
07. Install your WordPress theme
This is one step which is going to change how your blog looks. If you are not happy with the default WordPress theme then it’s time to change your theme now. Consider themes as skins which can entirely change the look-n-feel of your blog.
- From your dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes.
- Click Add New button at the top and select any of the free themes to install.
- You can also upload a theme to use in WordPress using Upload Theme button at the top or using your WordPress FTP account.
- Once the theme is activated, go to Appearance > Customize to configure theme settings or check theme documentation.
Give some time to this section, you are free to test different themes and see which theme best suits your blog.
08. Install Plugins
One reason why WordPress is so popular is its ability to add additional features so easily using plugins. WordPress has a massive plugins directory at https://wordpress.org/plugins/.
During your blogging journey, you will find yourself installing plugins as specific needs occur but if you already have any preferred plugins, install and configure them now.
- Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins to see a list of plugins already installed.
- Go to Plugins > Add New to install a new plugin.
09. Add or delete Widgets
Widgets are used to show your blog features in the sidebar. WordPress by default comes with some widgets already placed in the sidebar which you may want to get rid of.
- From your dashboard, go to Appearance > Widgets.
- All of your active widgets are displaying under blog sidebar or footer sections. You can keep or delete them.
- To add new widgets to sidebar, drag and drop widgets from Available Widgets.
See our article what is a widget in WordPress for more details.
10. Add About and Contact pages
About and Contact pages are extremely helpful for your visitors to know about your company in detail. Mention your services, expertise, and related information.
- Go to Pages > Add New to create pages.
Pages then can be linked either from main menu or footer menu.
11. Make your first Post
Finally the time has come for which you took all this pain 🙂 . Yes! we are done with fixing all those important settings and it’s time to write your first post showing it to the world. Best of luck!
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We have tried our best to thoroughly covered all those important settings need to be done after every fresh install of WordPress site. We wish you all the best with your blogging career and keep visiting learningcms.