Done with the 5-minute install of your WordPress website?
What to do next? What should you do before you start setting up your theme and creating content? How do you get the most out of WordPress? There are many questions that need to be answered right after you install your WordPress website. In this post, we will cover in details everything that you should know to keep your WordPress site optimized and secure. Here’s a checklist of things to take control of your newly-installed website:
Change The Structure Of Your Permalink
The URLs of the content published on a website are known as permalinks. They play a vital role in optimizing your website. The default structure of the permalinks is plain, which means that the URLs of your posts and pages will look like yourdomain.com/?p=123. Of course, you don’t want something like this which is not understandable by the search engine bots.
How to change default Permalinks into good Permalinks!
Go to Settings> Permalinks, and select the structure according to your sites. Include your post’s name to make it better for search engines. You can also consider the following permalinks:
Irrespective of the nature of your blog or website, you should have a defined comment policy to allow comments on your posts. Depending on your needs, you can also stop comment notifications, enable the Gravatar settings, and enable manual approval of comments.
How To Modify Comments’ Settings!
Go to Settings>Discussion on your WP site, and change as per your preferences:
Setting Up The Title & Tagline, and the URLs Of Your Website
The title and tagline tell search engines and people about your content and are vital to identifying your website on the internet. The Site Title appears in the title bar of the browser and works as your website’s name.
How To Set Up Your Site Title and Tagline!
Go to Settings>General. Keep the Title short and solid, and the Tagline that suits the Site Title.
How To Set URLs
In case, you are using WordPress in some other directory than your Webroot, you can modify by going to Settings, and then General. Enter the complete URL of the directory that contains all of your WordPress core files.
Remove The Default Content
As soon as you install WordPress, you will find that it comes with a sample page and a sample post( such as “Hello World”). Instead of leaving the default content on your website which you may forget to change, make changes right away.
How To Remove The Sample Post
● Go to Posts. Place your cursor on the “Hello World” post.
● Click on the Trash link, and choose “Delete Permanently”.
● Now, go to “Pages”, and hover your cursor on the “Sample Page”.
● Click on the “Trash”, and hit “Delete Permanently” to remove the sample pages.
Optimize Your Website
SEO is vital for any website to ensure that your content reached to your audience so you get maximum results. An SEO plugin can help you optimize your website for search engines. Though you would need to put in efforts to boost SEO, plugins ‘WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast’ can really help you make the most of your content. Not only this plugin is easy to use, but also allow you to generate an XML sitemap.
Complete Your Profile
Your WordPress profile should match with you. Make necessary changes by filling in your details, such as your name, contact info, and biographical info.
How To Change Your Profile
● Go to Users, and click on Your Profile.
● Enable Visual Editor to select an Admin Color Scheme if you like to show the Toolbar.
● Fill in your Details in “Display name publicly as..”
Speed Up Your Website
The popular way to speed up your website is by installing a cache plugin. Caching helps make your site faster by taking the load off your servers. Not only it optimizes your website for search engines, but also prevents your website from crashing. You can simply go to your Dashboard, and click on Plugins. There are two plugins that you can consider to install:
1) W3 Total Cache
2) WP Super Cache
Both the plugins are available on the Plugin page. Simply follow the instructions to install either of these plugins.
IMP Note–Make sure that you only have one plugin install for caching.
Make Your Website Safe
WordPress is a secure platform that provides security to its users. However, there are still some ways by which you can add more security to your website. One way is that you can create the regular backups of your database in case something goes wrong. You can use
“WordPress Backup To Dropbox” plugin that allows you to create a backup of your data.
Another way is by adding some plugins. Here are three Plugins, famous for scanning your site as soon as it is compromised, and for protecting it from malware and hacks:
3) All In One WP Security
Removing Unused Themes
WordPress has its own default themes that you should delete after installing the theme you are going to use on your website. Why leave them to occupy space?
Default themes that aren’t updated regularly make the security of your site vulnerable.
How To Delete Default Themes
1) Go to Appearances> Themes, and click on the theme you are not using.
2) A lightbox will open.
3) Click on the “Delete” link in the bottom right corner.
Install Anti-Spam Plugins
Your WordPress site can get plenty of spam comments that you should get rid of as soon as you take your website live. Plugins like Akismet and Antispam Bee will help you do that. These plugins check your comments constantly to fight spam.
Akismet is a default plugin, that you can use by getting its API key, which is offered free of cost for personal sites.
In addition, you can also consider getting a Gravatar, adding Categories, changing Default Widgets on Sidebar, etc. Undoubtedly, there are many things you can do to make your WordPress website, but the above steps should be at the top of your checklist. Let us know in the comment section what other steps should be taken to make your WordPress better!