The only thing that comes to mind after installing WordPress is to start with the WordPress settings. Naturally, I want to make my blog look presentable and easy to navigate, so I knew there were many things to do about it. Perhaps there is some hidden tricky stuff that I am not aware of.
I got a little disoriented after installing WordPress. I don’t know where to begin with the WordPress settings. What should you do first? I really want to find a complete list to help me get through it all. I want to create the best blog that I can.
So, feel free to use this post as a reference to guide you with your WordPress settings and share it with your new blogger friends. Without further ado, here is my list of what you need to do with WordPress settings!
Delete Default Posts, Page, Comment
WordPress comes in handy. They provide you with some posts to show examples of your blog. But you don’t want these default posts to show when you are building, decorating, and creating your blog.
So, you have to go to your WordPress dashboard and find the “Posts” section in the left sidebar. Find the example posts and delete them. Do the same thing when you head over to the “Pages” section and delete the Hello World page.
Alternatively, you can install the WP Maintenance plugin and activate it to turn your blog into Maintenance mode. Use this plugin when your website is under development or you need to change a few things.
Set Your Title, Tagline, and Timezone
To do all of this, go to WordPress Settings > General on the right side of your WordPress dashboard. The site title is your blog’s name, and if you have a tagline—this is to help people and Google figure out what your blog is about—insert and update them.
Set your time zone so that when you are scheduling or publishing your post, WordPress will post in your time zone. Don’t forget this! It’s crazy when you want to publish your post at 6 p.m. only to realize it’s not posting because of the time zone difference.
When starting a blog, I believe you know what you will write. It’s best to set up your categories at the very beginning. For example, I have a category called “Blogging.” It allows you to group related posts. Go to Posts > Categories and create your categories.
Enable/Disable User Registration
Are you going to work with a multi-author blog? Or are you going to be the sole author?
If you are going to allow guest posting, then be prepared to get a lot of spam registrations. To allow this, go to Settings > General. Tick off the “Anyone can register” box and set the “New User Default Role” as “Contributor.”
If you don’t want people to register, don’t tick the “Anyone can register” box.
Permalinks are the web addresses for your posts. The default WordPress permalink is http://yourdomain.com/p=123.
Some bloggers keep using this format and some are not. Using the default format may make people not know what your post is about and if you are using the Day and name format, people may choose not to read the post if it isn’t a current post.
It’s much better to have your URLs tell something informative. I suggest changing the permalink structure to the blog post name. Go to Settings > Permalinks then tick Post name.
Keep in mind that you need to set this up before you publish any posts. If, in the future, you change your mind, be aware that it will cause harm to all the links that you shared with the old permalink.
The biggest reason is that updating your permalink after going live will cause the posts or pages that Google already indexed to return as “page not found,” which is very bad for your blog’s ranking.
Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics will help with your blog’s growth. You will understand what your audience requires and will continue to improve your blog to make it better. To install this, simply go to Google Analytics from your browser > create an account by clicking on “Start for Free” and then set up your “property” – website address.
Follow the instructions to add the tracking code to your website. It might be confusing if you are not tech-savvy, but I would suggest watching this to install Google Analytics for WordPress.
Installing and removing plugins in WordPress is super easy. You just need to go to Plugins > Installed Plugins on the sidebar, and you will find the list of current plugins you have. To add a plugin, simply click on “Add New,” and you can search for almost 50,000 plugins.
Be aware that plugins can slow down your blog. If you don’t need any of the installed plugins, you can deactivate and remove them. Remove the ones you won’t be using or don’t need when you’ve found and become familiar with the plugins you will keep using.
One plugin that you have to keep is Akismet, which will protect your blog from spam. It will automatically block any spam comments on your blog.
Here is the list of essential plugins you need to install:
- Rank Math SEO – Most of the bloggers will suggest you install Yoast SEO, both of them are good and help you with suggestions and tips to improve your SEO. It depends on which one you’re comfortable with. Sadly, Yoast SEO doesn’t work well with me. I found Rank Math SEO really comfortable since it’s located on the right side of my draft post while Yoast SEO is at the bottom of the post – I don’t need to scroll up and down to check it.
- UpdraftPlus – It will help you to back up and restore your blog. Saving your time and yourself from headaches when something happens to your blog.
- Wordfence Security – It will protect your blog from hackers or malicious traffic.
Install A Theme
Personally, installing a theme and customizing a blog can be fun or make you frustrated. I have an image in my mind of what my blog will look like, and making it come true isn’t as easy as I thought. There are thousands of free and premium themes available in all kinds of styles to help you find the perfect one for your brand.
To install a free theme, simply go to Appearance > Themes. You can find your style by typing in the search bar. Keep in mind that the theme should be easy to navigate, customizable, and have a lovely appearance. You have the option to view what the theme will look like before installing by clicking the Live Preview button. Once you find the one you like, click Activate, and your blog will go live.
Admin + Update User Profile
If your current username happens to be ‘admin’, you must change it to something else. Or you can create a new account with a new username and password, then delete the old admin account. Log in to your WordPress as that new user.
- Go to Users > Add New
- Enter a new username, and email address (can’t be the same email as the previous admin).
- Enter first name, last name, and website (optional)
- Select the Administrator role
- Click Show password and copy it to a safe place
- Click Add New User
- Log out from your WordPress and log in again as the new user
- Go to Users and delete the old Admin user
After changing your admin username, you now need to set up your profile. You can make settings such as entering a bio, changing your password, and changing your gravatar (a little picture against your name when you comment). You can use your nickname as the author of posts and comments.
Create About Page
This is a place where you can tell about yourself and give your audience some insight into what your blog is about. Go to Pages > Add New and start creating your page. The next step is to add your “about” page to the menu. Go to Appearance > Menus. Select the header or footer menu and add your page to the menu.
Create A Contact Page
The contact form is necessary for visitors and potential brands to contact you. As far as I know, Contact Form 7 is a plugin that is automatically installed after you install WordPress. If not, you can install it for free. I don’t have any issues regarding installing it, let me know if you have a problem installing it. I will be more than glad to help you.
Create Legal Pages
Before you post anything and get any traffic to your blog, you have to set up legal pages. Legal pages are a must-have for all entrepreneurs or bloggers to protect their businesses. Amira’s legal bundle provides you with 3 legal pages and 3 bonus templates at affordable prices.
These are the legal pages you need on your blog:
- Disclaimer – this is also important as it will inform your audience that your content is only for informational and educational purposes and not to be seen as professional advice. Even if you spend so much effort to confirm the accuracy of your post information, it is always possible that some of the information may be inaccurate. This will bring harm to other people in some way, however, if you had an appropriate disclaimer on your site or post, you may be able to argue that you are not liable. If you have any affiliate links within your blog, you also need a disclaimer.
- Terms and Conditions – this will help you to lay out the rules for visiting your blog, you own your content, and reusing it will be considered copyright infringement.
When creating a blog with WordPress, many things need to be considered, especially the WordPress settings. This and that must be installed and created. It can be frustrating if you don’t know where to begin, so I hope this post helps you in some way.
What other WordPress settings would you recommend to all WordPress bloggers? Let me know what you think in the comments below.