If you are a web designer or if you set up many WordPress websites, you probably already have some processes that you do with your every new WordPress installation. If not, I will explain you in this article what I do with every WordPress install that I create. In my opinion it’s really good to take care of these 7 steps, as it will make your work with that particular WordPress website easier in the future.
Most Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress
Installing WordPress is easier, but are you using it properly? Here are 7 things to do with every new WordPress install to get the maximum results.
1. Set the Permalinks
The first very important thing to do is to set your permalinks URL structure. In your WordPress admin panel go to Settings > Permalinks and I recommend you to choose the “Post name“ option. So choose this and then click the “Save Changes“ button at the bottom.
If you will be publishing a higher number of blog posts, you might like to include the date in your permalinks structure as well. So then they might look like e.g. http://www.yourwebsite.com/2017/03/sample-post/
2. Set the Comments
To prevent some annoying comments notifications I always set my comments in the following way. In your WordPress admin panel go to: Settings > Discussion and in the Default article settings I deselect the first 2 options (“Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article” and “Allow link notifications from other blogs on new articles”), because I don’t want to receive these kinds of notifications. Then I also tick the following settings:
- Comment author must fill out name and email
- Comment must be manually approved
After that, in the Comment Moderation section I always change the 2 to 1 in the “Hold a comment in the queue if it contains 2 or more links.” setting. I do this to prevent spammy comments that contain 2 or more links in them.
Lastly, in the avatar settings at the bottom I select the “Gravatar Logo” as the default avatar that will show next to the commenter’s name.
3. Delete Unused Themes
Go to Appearance > Themes and delete all themes that you won’t be using. However, don’t delete the theme that you will be using. And I also keep one other theme in reserve if anything goes wrong with my main theme, so that I have an alternative one. I usually use the WordPress-default Twenty Seventeen theme for this. So, in my case I keep the WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme and the Divi theme that I use for most of my projects. Divi is a really popular premium WordPress theme sold by Elegant Themes. It is my favorite theme. It is very flexible and you can build with it virtually anything. However, the are also many nice free themes, so you could start with a free theme and upgrade to a paid one later, when your business grows.
4. Delete Unused Plugins
In the Plugins section delete the plugins that you won’t be using. For example, I always delete both Hello Dolly and Akismet plugins, as I don’t use them. You will most likely don’t need a plugin like Hello Dolly to show you some inspirational quotes in your WordPress admin panel, as you need to concentrate on other things.
And to prevent the comments spam I use a different plugin for that – I use WP-SpamShield and am happy with its features. It blocks quite a lot of spam comments on all my WordPress blogs.
5. Delete Pages
The next step that I do is to delete the default WordPress pages, because obviously you will be creating different new pages. So just move them into trash and then go to the trash and don’t forget to empty it. You should do this if you don’t want some “sample page“ pages appear on your WordPress website.
6. Delete Posts
Now we will do the same with the default WordPress posts. Move them into trash and remove them. This is pretty simple. If you don’t do this, and you would set up a blog on your website, you could see some “Sample post“ article excerpts appearing on your blog page.
7. Change your default category
By default, the default WordPress category name is “Uncategorized“. So I would recommend renaming it to something different. For example, if you will be blogging about cars, simply rename it to “Cars“. Or if you will need more categories, simply create them. For my example it would be e.g. BMW, Audi and Honda.
So this is the end of my WordPress to-do list. If you do some other things that I have not mentioned in this article, feel free to let me know it in the comments section below this article.
There are some other things that I do with WordPress installations as well, but usually only when setting up websites for web design clients. However, this includes installing premium, paid plugins. For example, I almost always install the Monarch plugin. It is a social sharing plugin from Elegant Themes. And I also install the Bloom plugin sometimes, too. Especially if it’s a blog. Bloom is a premium email opt-in plugin from Elegant Themes, too. You can create some nice fly-ins and popups using this plugin. However, these 2 plugins are paid and WordPress is open-source, so I have not included them in my list.
Also, it is important to always have a working backup solution of your WordPress website, especially if you put a lot of effort into it. It can save you many troubles, because if anytime anything goes wrong, you always have a backup to which you can revert. For this I use the plugin BackupBuddy. It is a premium plugin, but there are free alternatives to it as well. For example, Duplicator or Updraft.
About the author: Andrej is a freelance WordPress designer. He studied car design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and he now creates custom WordPress websites using the Divi theme. He also runs a blog about the Divi theme on which he shares WordPress & Divi theme tutorials and tips. Andrej likes creating WordPress websites for clients or friends. He also likes traveling and learning languages.