After installing WordPress, most bloggers get lost on what to do next. This article is going to help you discover what you should configure first, or better still, tag it your WordPress install checklist.
We have put together 10 of them and hope they help you through your configuring process.
When you set up your blog, you would need to make it search engine friendly by choosing post name which is quite common. First, click on Permalinks form your Settings option then select post name and change. Save afterwards
Back up Plugin
When your site gets hack or crumbles you might just lose everything you have put energy into. Back up keeps your mind at peace knowing your blog information and post are safe.
Here are five simple steps to back up your WordPress site using BackupBuddy Plugin;
- Download and install the plugin then activate it from the BackupBuddy Dashboard
- Configure BackupBuddy by going to the Settingpage for BackupBuddy in your WordPress. Under General Options, choose a password for ImportBuddy then enter an email address where error notifications would be sent.
- Set up BackupBuddy Stashwhich comes with your BackupBuddy purchase. Click on Remote Destinations from the BackupBuddy Menu and Add New Destination
- Click Backup from your BackupBuddy menu and watch it back up everything in windows. Download the backup file and send it to your remote destination to verify that the process work
- Now, schedule regular backups that can be weekly or daily for your website.
The best time to set up your wwebsite’s SEO is immediately after installing it because traffic is an essential part of blogging. Although WordPress is SEO friendly, there are other ways to optimize your SEO and increase website traffic.
Yoast SEO is the most comprehensive WordPress SEO plugin on the market and here is how to install it;
- In your dashboard, go to Plugins the Add New
- In the search box, type WordPress SEO by Yoastand Install Now
- You would be asked if you want to install the plugin, click OK
- After the plugin is automatically downloaded click on Activate Plugin
- Go to general setting and navigate to Yoast>SEO>Dashboardafter which you click on General
- On Your infotab you can add a company or a person to help improve your search presence and can give your website an alternative name
- If you are using Webmaster Tools then you need to link your accounts here to help provide insights and analytics
- Optimize your Titles & Meta by clicking Yoast> Titles & Metas and turn on Enabled Analysis section so as to get recommendations to improve readability under every blog post
- Configure other important things like your social media option, archives, taxonomies and so on
Securing your WordPress is essential to avoid spammers’ entry. Even though WordPress is quite secure, some best practices like setting up a strong password, securing your admin area and installing updates are quite easy
For the other things you will need a plugin and we would recommend Wordfence amidst others like Sucuri. Here is how to install Wordfence on your WordPress;
- Click on Plugins menu> Add New link at the top
- Type Wordfence to search then click on Install> Activate
- You would see a message asking you to enter an email address, do so and Save your options
- You can always upgrade to the premium version of Wordfence by visiting their website
Test and improve Page Load Speed using a Caching Plugin
If you test your Page Load Speed and realize it is slow then you would need to improve it as excessive load time can result to low SEO and can also pull you down Google search rank decreasing your overall website potential.
Using a Caching plugin helps in saving HTML pages and are ready to be delivered quickly when it needs to. Here is how to install the WP Super Cache;
- Go the your Admin panel and navigate to Plugins> Add New and search Super Cache
- Locate WP Super Cacheand Install Now then Activate plugin
- Enablethe plugin then click on the Plugin Admin Page Link which takes you to the plugin setting page
- Enable Caching On in the Cashing section and click on Update Status
- Head over to Advanced tab and ensure that Use PHP to serve cache files is enabled
- Use Miscellaneous section> Enable Compress to ensure they are quickly served to visitors
- Make sure Cache Rebuildis Enabled and also Don’t Cache Pages for Visitors
- Under Advanced section, enable Extra Homepage checksthen click Update
- Enable CDNsupport under CDN tab
Setting Up Your theme
The next step is to set up your WordPress website theme and most WordPress themes come with different features and customization options.
Start with setting up Navigation menu after which you add Widgets. Widgets allow you add different blocks to your website’s sidebar.
WordPress display a few default widgets you can rearrange and your chosen theme might also come with its own custom widget.
You might also have other options to set up like, colour scheme, header style, layout and so on. Feel free to set them up to your taste.
Installing Google Analytics
You should understand your audience; what they are looking for and what solution you can offer.
This would help you in making the right content decisions that would grow your business.
Google Analytics shows you how many people visit your website, their location and what they did on your website.
MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics Plug-in for your WordPress Website.
- Download MonsterInsight Plugin by logging into your MonsterInsight account. If you do not have one then you need to sign up.
- Navigate to MonsterInsight ‘s Account Page> Downloads then download the link on the right
- Remove every other Plugin that perform the same function on your WordPress website
- Navigate to Plugins > Add New and click Upload Pluginat the top
- Choose Filethen select the zip file you just downloaded from MonsterInsights
- Click Install Nowand once it has been uploaded and installed click Activate Plugin
- Enter your license key found on your My Account Page in MonsterInsight by navigating to Insights> Settings then Enter license key and click the Verify Key
Add Contact Form
You sure would want your website visitors to quickly contact you by simply filling a form on your website. It also allows you to customize the form and also mail contents to your readers using simple mark up.
Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t come with a built-in contact form. We suggest Plugins like Gravity Forms, Ninja forms and WPForms which we would be installing in this article;
- You have to log into WPForms and get the Download Zip File just as we did for MonsterInsights
- Then go to your Admin Panel> Plugins> Add new and click on Upload at the top
- Click on Choose Fileand select your already downloaded WPForms zip file
- After the File is uploaded, click on the Install Nowbutton and then Activate Plugin button
- Do not forget to add and verify your license key so as to allow you Install and activate WPForms addons
Set up Categories
Your post needs to be filed under categories for easy access by your readers. By default WordPress uses the “uncategorised” category so if you don’t change the category when writing a blog post, it will automatically be filed under the default category.
To change the default category and create new ones;
- Go to Posts> Categoriespage and create new categories for your blog then save
- Go to Settings > Writing page and select the new created category
- Finally, go to Post> Categoriespage and delete uncategorised category
This should be the first thing to do. Go to settings and change your website’s Tagline, Site Title, Timezone and add Favicon(a small icon that shows next to your website address in the search engine
We hope this article would go a long way in helping you set up your WordPress website. Don’t forget to optimize your images, install anti-spam plugins and upload your Gravatar(a picture of you) while completing your user profile