So you’ve installed your WordPress site, now you’re ready to start creating content – nice!
Before you do though, have you set everything up to maximize your traffic and prevent any future problems from arising?
There are a number of things in WordPress that are better done straight away because once some of these are overlooked it can be difficult to go back and fix them at a later date.
You can relax though, there’s not a lot to this list so let’s get into it.
You can follow these steps in the video below or I have them written underneath :)
Disclaimer: By watching this video you consent to the use of YouTube’s Cookies.
Delete “Hello World”
I remember one of the first websites I built in WordPress about 10 years ago – I created a website (no blog) and was using it as a bit of an online brochure.
Then a friend called me and asked “What’s ‘Hello world’? When I search you in Google it shows up.”
I then realised that I hadn’t deleted the sample ‘Hello World’ post that comes with WordPress and Search Engines were listing it as a part of my site!
So I highly recommend logging into WordPress, navigating to your ‘Posts’ page on the left side menu and then clicking ‘Trash’ when you hover over the ‘Hello World’ post.
The same goes for ‘Sample Page’. So head into your pages section in the dashboard and Trash that too!
Decide – Blog or No Blog
Is this website a blog or just a business website with no regular updates?
Either way, it’s good to set this up early, although it can be set at any time.
If you want your home page to have your latest blog posts, you can skip this step altogether.
Create a Home Page:
Create a new page by hovering over your pages section on left menu of the WordPress Dashboard, when the fly out menu appears, click ‘Add New’. In the title type ‘Home’ and then on the right of the screen hit the button that says ‘Publish’.
If you do want a blog, create a Blog Page:
Do the same again but make the title of the page ‘Blog’, hit publish.
Hover over ‘Settings’, on the left menu in your WordPress dashboard, on the fly out menu click ‘Reading’. Once the page loads, there’s a section titled “Your Homepage displays”…
If you don’t want a blog on your site, use the following settings (leave blog as ‘—Select –‘)
If you do want a blog (and have created your blog page as described earlier), use these settings:
….and you’re good to go!
Remove unwanted Plugins
When you set up WordPress, most hosting companies will install a bunch of plugins you simply don’t want with your website.
Leaving these plugins installed can have the following effects:
- Slow down your website
- Conflict with other software and cause errors & crashes
- May have security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit
So, head into your plugins page (‘Plugins’ on the left side menu of WordPress).
Find all the highlighted/active plugins, tick the left box and then on the ‘Bulk Actions’ drop down menu above, click ‘Deactivate’.
When the page reloads, click the tab above the table that says ‘inactive’ – this will display all inactive plugins. You can tick each box individually or check the top tick box above the plugins to select all of them. Now on the ‘Bulk Actions’ drop down click ‘delete’.
Watch as WordPress delete these inactive plugins (don’t look away! Just kidding ;) )
Fill out your User Profile (for Security Reasons)
If someone wanted to log into your site and cause all sorts of mischief, the first step is learning your username.
By default WordPress publicly displays your username in comments and author profiles, essentially giving away that first key to hacking your website!
So head to ‘Users’ in your left menu, find your profile and click ‘edit’.
When the page loads, fill out your First Name, Last Name and Nickname – make your nickname completely different to your user name.
The on the drop down “Display Name publicly as”, click an option that is different from your username and WordPress will display that instead.
Set your ‘Site Title’ & ‘Tagline’
By default, our ‘Site Title’ and ‘Tagline’ can sometimes be set to a default value, with the Tagline being something like ‘Just another WordPress website’.
Change this by going to ‘Settings’ -> ‘General’ and updating to something more relevant that describes your website.
That one is easy ;)
Set Permalinks up correctly.
Do this one as soon as possible.
If you don’t set this up and publish a heap of posts you may end up with a longer URL than is optimal for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and changing these can at a later date can do further damage to your Search Engine Traffic (or any links that point to blog posts on your website).
So head down to your Settings again, and click ‘Permalinks’.
Use the following option for best results:
This cuts out the fluff in your URL, making it more keyword dense. All future posts will carry this format and it will help improve your SEO.
Set up Security.
Finally, this is another step that should be done really early as messing with settings to secure your website can mess up existing content and plugins.
I recommend getting the plugin ‘iThemes Security’ (free from the WordPress dashboard) or even better, the ‘iThemes Security Pro’ (link) so you can use 2 factor authentication and better proitect your website.
So check that out and get your site secured :)
Now start creating some content!
You’ve managed to sort out these few little tweaks that you should perform to get your website running efficiently and effectively.
If you are new to running a WordPress website and found these tips useful, checkout our free Email Course below which walks you through everything, including a few steps not mentioned here which should be added during the early months of your blog.
Otherwise, if you have any feedback please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading!
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