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WordPress new setup and optimization guide - steps to take after installation.

Introduction


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on WordPress installation and post-installation steps! This article will walk you through the must-do tasks after successfully installing WordPress on your website. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced user, understanding these steps is crucial for optimizing your WordPress site's performance, security, and usability.


From customizing your site's settings to selecting the suitable theme and installing essential plugins, we'll cover everything you need to know to build a robust and professional website. So let's dive in and discover the vital actions to take after your WordPress installation to ensure a successful online presence.


After completing the installation of WordPress, several essential tasks still need to be completed to configure and launch your website effectively.


We have prepared a comprehensive list of essential settings for your convenience.


1. Adding a Contact Form To Communicate With Visitors


2. Changing Site Title, Tagline, and Timezone


3. Setting up WordPress SEO


4. Installing Google Analytics


5. Enabling Caching


6. Configuring Backups


7. Enhancing WordPress Security


8. Implementing Spam Protection


9. Removing Unused WordPress Themes


10. Managing WordPress Comments


11. Remove Dummy Content & Publish Interactive Pages


12. Creating a Default Category


13. Configuring Front and Blog Pages


14. Uploading Your Gravatar


15. Completing Your User Profile


16. Uploading Favicon and Site Icon


17. Updating the WordPress Email Address


18. Setup Your WordPress Theme


1. Adding a Contact Form To Communicate With Visitors in WordPress


Adding a contact form to your website is essential in facilitating communication between you and your visitors. Users can quickly contact you with a contact form, inquire about your products or services, provide feedback, or ask questions.


It offers a professional and convenient way for visitors to get in touch without revealing your email address publicly. WordPress provides various plugins that make creating and integrating contact forms into your website simple.


By customizing the form fields and settings, you can set it to suit your specific requirements and ensure you receive the necessary information from your users.


2. Update your Site Title, Tagline, and Timezone in WordPress


Update the site title, tagline, and timezone in WordPress allows you to personalize your website and ensure accurate representation. The site title is displayed prominently on your site, while the tagline provides a brief description or slogan.


Adjusting the timezone is vital for displaying accurate dates and times throughout your website. By accessing the WordPress settings, you can easily modify these elements to align with your brand, convey your site's purpose, and ensure that time-sensitive information is displayed correctly to your visitors.


3. Setting up WordPress SEO


Setting up WordPress SEO is crucial for optimizing your website's visibility and search engine rankings. Installing an SEO plugin and configuring its settings allows you to optimize meta tags, generate XML sitemaps, improve website speed, and enhance overall SEO performance.


That ensures that your website is easily discoverable by search engines, attracting more organic traffic and increasing your online presence.


4. Installing Google Analytics in WordPress


Installing Google Analytics is crucial in gaining valuable insights into your website's performance. Integrating the Google Analytics tracking code into your WordPress site lets you track and analyze essential data such as visitor demographics, behavior, traffic sources, and conversion rates.


This information empowers you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your website, improve user experience, and enhance your marketing strategies. With Google Analytics, you can better learn how your web site performs and make informed decisions to drive your online success.


5. Enabling WordPress Caching


Research indicates that a mere 1-second delay in loading a web page can significantly impact various metrics. Specifically, it can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions, an 11% reduction in page views, and a 16% decline in customer satisfaction.


Enabling caching on your WordPress website is an effective way to enhance its performance and speed. By utilizing caching plugins, you can store static versions of your web pages, reducing the need for dynamic content generation with each visitor's request. That results in faster webpage loading times and a smoother user experience.


6. Configuring Backups for WordPress


Configuring backups is essential for safeguarding your data. Identify critical files and systems, choose a reliable backup solution, establish a backup schedule, and regularly test the backups for reliability — store backups in a secure location separate from the original data to mitigate potential risks.


One highly recommended backup plugin is Duplicator Pro. It offers a comprehensive solution for WordPress websites, allowing you to create backups and migrate or clone your site easily.


7. Enhancing WordPress Security


Setting up WordPress security is crucial to protect your website from potential threats. Start by keeping your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins up to date. Utilize strong and unique passwords, enable two-factor authentication, install security plugins, and regularly monitor your site for suspicious activity.


There are excellent options for WordPress security plugins, and one highly recommended choice is Sucuri. As a leader in website security, vulnerability scanning, and malware protection, Sucuri provides comprehensive solutions to protect your site.


8. Implementing WordPress Spam Protection


Spam comments pose significant challenges as they often include hyperlinks leading to harmful websites notorious for spreading malware. These unwelcome comments can detrimentally impact both your search engine rankings and your website's credibility.


Install a reliable anti-spam plugin such as Akismet or Antispam Bee to implement spam protection for your WordPress website. Configure and activate the plugin settings to prevent spam comments and form submissions. Additionally, consider enabling comment moderation and implementing CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA to enhance your spam protection measures further.


9. Removing Unused WordPress Themes


After installing WordPress, removing unused themes is an excellent practice to optimize your website's performance and reduce potential security risks. Unused themes can consume storage space and may not receive regular updates, making them vulnerable to vulnerabilities.


To remove unused themes, navigate to the "Appearance" section in your WordPress dashboard, click on "Themes," and then delete the themes you no longer need. Ensure you keep your active theme and any necessary backup themes, while removing the rest to streamline your website's resources.


10. Managing WordPress Comments


Comments are an integral part of most blogs as they serve as a valuable measure of user engagement and facilitate the creation of a vibrant community around your blog.


After installing WordPress, setting up comments is a straightforward process. First, log in to your WordPress dashboard area and navigate to the "Settings" tab. Click on "Discussion" to access the comment settings. Here, you can customize options such as allowing or moderating comments, setting comment display settings, and configuring notification preferences. Properly configuring your comment settings can encourage user engagement and foster a lively community around your blog.


11. Remove Dummy Content & Publish Interactive Pages in WordPress


Once you've installed WordPress, you'll notice a default sample post titled 'Hello World.' To optimize your website's space, that essential to remove all dummy content.


After installing WordPress, you can remove the dummy content and publish interactive pages by following simple steps. Access the "Posts" or "Pages" section in your WordPress dashboard, delete the existing sample content, and create your engaging pages. Customize them with media, text, and interactive elements to make them visually appealing and user-friendly.


12. Creating a Default Category in WordPress


When working with WordPress, you must ensure that every post must be assigned to at least one category. WordPress sets the category "Uncategorized" as the default category for posts that haven't been categorized. If you wish to modify the default category, you can visit the "Posts" section and select "Categories."


You can create a new category on this page that will serve as your desired default category. This new category will be automatically assigned to posts that do not have a specific category selected. Therefore, by setting up a new default category in the "Posts » Categories" page, you can ensure that all uncategorized posts are appropriately filed under the chosen category.


13. Configuring Front and Blog Pages in WordPress


By default, WordPress shows new blog posts on the homepage, but for small business websites, it's better to use a static page as the homepage. That allows you to create a customized front page highlighting your business and its offerings.


To do this, log in to your WordPress dashboard, go to "Settings," then "Reading," and choose a static page as your homepage. This way, visitors will see a dedicated front page when they visit your site, providing a professional and tailored experience.


14. Uploading Your Gravatar into WordPress


WordPress leverages Gravatar to showcase user photos in author bios and comments throughout its platform. Gravatar is a convenient profile image hosting service enabling individuals to employ a consistent picture across numerous websites.


To get started, head to the Gravatar website and create an account utilizing the same email address associated with your WordPress account. Once your account is set up, you can use this email address to leave comments on countless Gravatar-enabled websites, including your site. This integration enhances user engagement and fosters a cohesive online presence across the WordPress community and beyond.


15. Completing Your User Profile in WordPress


After installing WordPress, filling out your user profile to provide accurate information and enhance your online presence is crucial. To do that, log in to your WordPress dashboard area and navigate to the "Users" section. Click on your username field to access your profile.


Fill in essential details such as your display name, a brief bio, and contact information. Completing your user profile adds a professional touch and enables visitors to connect with you quickly, and promotes a more engaging user experience on your WordPress site.


16. Uploading Favicon and Site Icon in WordPress


A WordPress favicon or site icon is a small image that appears beside your website title in the browser, adding a visual representation and enhancing brand recognition for your website.


It is necessary to create an image with precise dimensions of 512x512 pixels and save it in either PNG, JPEG, or GIF format.


To upload a favicon and site icon on WordPress, go to the WordPress dashboard and navigate to "Appearance" > "Customize." Look for the "Site Identity" or "Site Identity & Logo" option and click on it. From there, you can upload your favicon and site icon to represent your website's brand and enhance its visual identity.


17. Change the WordPress Email Address


To change the email address associated with your WordPress website


1. Access the WordPress admin dashboard area and navigate to the "Settings" section.


2. Click on "General" and locate the "Email Address" field.


3. Enter the new email address you want to use for your website.


Choosing an email address designated explicitly for automated website emails is advisable.


After entering the new email, ensure its validity, as the WordPress sendmail tool will send a confirmation email to that address. Save the changes; from then on, all website notifications and correspondence emails will be directed to the updated email address.


18. Setup Your WordPress Theme


Once you've installed WordPress, the next important step is to set up your WordPress theme. While each theme may have unique features and customization options, some fundamental settings are standard across most themes.


Firstly, you'll want to configure your navigation menus. Typically located in the header section, these menus contain links to various areas of your website. WordPress provides a user-friendly interface to create and manage menus, allowing you to easily add, remove, and organize menu items.


Next, you'll want to leverage widgets to enhance your website's functionality. Widgets are blocks of visual content that can be added to sidebars or widget-ready areas on your site. By default, WordPress includes a few default widgets in the primary sidebar. However, you can customize and rearrange them or add new widgets to suit your needs. Some themes even offer custom widgets tailored to social media integration or other features.


Remember to explore the theme options and settings provided by your chosen theme. That may include options for colors, typography, layouts, and additional customization features. Familiarize yourself with these settings to create a visually appealing and user-friendly website.


Lastly, consider installing relevant plugins to extend the functionality of your theme. Numerous plugins are available for various purposes, such as SEO optimization, contact forms, and image galleries. Install the plugins that align with your website goals and ensure they are compatible with your theme.


Updating your theme, plugins, and WordPress core is essential for security and performance. Stay up-to-date with the latest releases and periodically review and adjust your theme settings to keep your website running smoothly.


Here are a few more steps you can include after installing WordPress:



Installing Essential WordPress Plugins


Installing essential plugins is crucial to enhance your WordPress website's functionality and extend its capabilities. Those additional plugins offer a range of features and easy-to-use tools to optimize your site for search engines, improve security, boost performance, integrate social media, and more.


From SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack to security plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri, installing the right plugins can significantly enhance your website's performance and user experience.


Research popular plugins in various categories, carefully select the ones that align with your website's goals and follow the installation instructions provided by each plugin to unlock their benefits.


Integrating Social Sharing Buttons for WordPress


Integrating social sharing buttons on your WordPress website encourages visitors to easily share your content across popular social media platforms, increasing your content's reach and engagement. With social sharing plugins like ShareThis or AddToAny, you can add customizable buttons to your posts and pages, allowing users to share your content with just a click.


These buttons enable visitors to promote your content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. By facilitating social sharing, you amplify your content's visibility, attract more traffic, and foster a sense of community as readers share and engage with your posts.


Implementing SSL / TLS Security for WordPress content


SSL/TLS security is crucial for protecting sensitive data and ensuring secure communication on your WordPress website. By obtaining an SSL/TLS certificate, you enable HTTPS encryption, encrypting data transmitted between your website and visitors. That safeguards user information, such as login credentials and payment details, from potential eavesdropping or tampering.


SSL/TLS security also boosts visitor trust, improves search engine rankings, and helps prevent security warnings. Configure SSL/TLS certificates through certificate authorities or free providers like Let's Encrypt, and enable HTTPS to maintain a secure connection between your website and users.


Creating an XML Sitemap for WordPress website


Creating a WordPress website XML sitemap is crucial for optimizing search engine visibility. Using plugins like Yoast SEO or Google XML Sitemaps, generate a file that lists all your pages, helping search engines understand and index your content more effectively. Submitting this sitemap to search engines improves your site's discoverability.


Optimizing Permalinks Structure in WordPress


Optimizing the permalink structure of your WordPress website is vital for better search engine optimization and user experience. You create more user-friendly and memorable links by setting up descriptive and SEO-friendly URLs, such as post names or custom structures. Update permalinks for existing content to ensure consistency and improved search engine visibility.




Additional WordPress end-user guides provided by Web750 Support Team:


WordPress: Essential Security Setup – protect your website from malware and hacking attacks.


WordPress: how to customize your website appearance with a custom look and feel with help of WP themes and plugins.


WordPress: Recovery guide on what to do if your website gets hacked or infected with malware.


WordPress: Steps to speed up your website or blog performance and reduce server-side resources utilization.


WordPress: manual migration guide to new web hosting provider or your own dedicated server


WordPress: troubleshooting common errors and issues step-by-step guide


WordPress: managing your blog from an iPhone or Android mobile phone


WordPress: the essential SEO guide


Dedicated Server Guide to WordPress performance tuning


Conclusion


In conclusion, the steps to take after installing WordPress are crucial for optimizing your website and maximizing its potential. From adding contact forms and customizing site details to implementing SEO, analytics, and security measures, each step enhances functionality, security, and user experience.


You create an engaging and organized platform by managing comments, removing unused themes, and publishing interactive content. Optimizing permalinks, integrating social sharing buttons, and implementing SSL/TLS security further enhance visibility, reach, and user trust.


These post-installation steps empower you to build a professional, secure, and user-friendly WordPress website that stands out in the digital landscape. Keep exploring customization options and continually stay updated to improve your site's performance.


Useful links / Resources


  • WordPress "Getting Started" (Official Guide by WordPress.org)

  • WordPress: Essential setup guide after installation (in Spanish)

  • WordPress: Essential setup guide after installation (in Portuguese)

  • WordPress hosting plans (Web750)

  • Go back to Web750