Installing a new WordPress site is a common practice for many designers, but there are some that do it only once or twice in their lives. Whichever type you fall into, once you’ve installed WordPress on your domain, you should consider a few essential things you must do after installing WordPress.
1. Get rid of the default ‘admin’ account
Why would you leave your WordPress account to have the same name every other blog started with? The biggest implication here is security because you’re letting hackers guess the name and break in even against the most secure password. In order to change this, open the User menu and create another account with administrative privileges. Once done, log out of the current account, and log in with the new one’s credentials.
The next step is to access the Users menu again, this time, to remove the admin account. Have in mind that the ‘Hello World’ post is authored by your admin account, and the platform will require your approval to remove the post or re-attribute it to the new user you’ve created.
2. Edit the tile, time zone, and favicon of your website
These are the main elements of your website, so make sure you’ve completed them properly. You should start by editing the main title rather than the ones on the pages: open the Settings >> General section, and add the title you want users to see when accessing your website using SERPs. Google will also use the title to understand the purpose of the website.
Editing time zone information on your website is almost equally important as editing it on your phone because the function of your scheduled posts, integrated plugins, and apps all rely on proper time and date settings.
At the same time, you should think of editing the favicon, namely the small graphic logo that appears in the browser tab and makes your website look polished and more professional. The favicon is also the small icon used in your browser’s favorite list, usually named as ‘favorites icon’.
3. Automate backup
Without backup, you won’t be able to restore information in the case of undesired loss, so in case things go wrong on your website, you need information to be stored in a safe location from where it can be accessed quickly and restored efficiently.
This being said backup is not a desirable practice, but an obligatory one. Instead of leaving it to chance and good luck, ask your hosting company to take care of it, but make sure they will do it properly (many shared hosting ones skip files without your knowledge).
4. Create authentication keys
Take advantage of WordPress’s salts and authentication keys to protect the information kept in WordPress cookies from compromising and hackers’ attacks. The role of salts and authentication keys is just priceless for securing WordPress information, which is why you should use the following link to create them:
Open the wp-config.php file using a text editing program, and replace the content from the Authentication key area with a preferred one.
5. Use premium themes
Free WordPress themes and generally good enough, but they still lack a lot of functionality compared to premium ones.
Even if many people think premium themes are an unnecessary expense, there are few solid reasons why you should make use of their functionalities: it will get up and run your website much faster, and will allow you to be more creative when customizing your homepage, or adding logos and favicons, to mention a few.
Another important advantage of premium themes is that they offer support. Last but not least, premium themes have undergone all the necessary security checks and are regularly updated. This is why websites designed with premium themes are rarely attacked, compared to ones running on free themes.
6. Delete the themes and plugins you’re not using
Once the theme is installed, and all necessary plugins are activated, you can go back to the admin dashboard and check whether there is something to remove there. See how to remove plugins properly.
We’re saying this for new users in particular, because they often experiment with more than one theme, and install plugins just to try them out.
These experiments are already more expensive than running a premium theme website, so why not rethink your decision? If nothing else, update the themes and plugins as often as necessary to avoid the many security vulnerabilities.
7. Install important plugins
Every WordPress installation requires a set of basic plugins which enhance security and add some of the critical functionalities for that website, such as cache, SEO, contact forms, etc.
8. Don’t forget Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
If your website is new and is still not able to drive enough traffic, you’ll probably think there is no need to set up Google Webmaster and Analytics tool, but doing it at this stage will be far easier than doing once there is actual information to calculate.
In fact, it will only take few minutes, and it will still allow you to see how Google is treating your information, and where you stand with keywords, impressions, clicks, and so on.
9. Adjust your permalink structure
More experienced WordPress users know that the default permalink structure of this platform is not that visually appealing. Using the default structure will actually mean that your URLs are designed to be caught by search engines, but speak nothing of your content to users who want to check them out, for instance:
Wouldn’t it be far more pleasant to use a URL which contains the title of the content?
What you need to do in order to make your URLs more appropriate is to change the permalink structure, and use the name of the post it refers to, unless you have several posts with a similar title. It will be much easier for readers to understand what the page is about, instead of skipping it because they don’t know what it contains. Search engines rely on this fact too, and they rank and analyze content based on the information provided in the URL.
10. Put the domain URL you prefer
From the perspective of search engines, sites that have www and the ones that don’t, belong to two different groups of websites. It is completely up to you to decide which domain is better for your website’s SEO and to use it. In order to perform this change, go to Settings >> General, and set then open the WordPress Address site to add the domain URL you prefer.
11. Disable post revisions
The reason why you need to disable post revisions is that they store backup copies of each post you’ve published or edited, and are slowly overwhelming your database and increasing the size of the wp-posts table.
Each time you use the button to save your draft, a revision is made and kept safe in the database, but if you’ve enabled backup already there is no reason to let these copies exhaust your memory limits. You can add the following code to the wp-config.php file in order to disable revisions and to liberate database space for smooth queries performance:
define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);
All the things listed and explained above are crucial in managing a solid WordPress website. If you also have some suggestions regarding this topic, then please share them with us in the comments section below.
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