When you first install WordPress, you might be worried about what’s next to do. But in the process and excitement to start your blog or website, somethings might be left undone. In this post, we will talk about the ultimate checklist for every new WordPress installs and how to fix them. 

Every fresh WordPress install usually have some lapses behind. And to fix this, you’ll need to have with you, a checklist to help with putting the right thing in the right place without leaving anything behind.

WordPress Checklist

|Buying More than what You Need

To get started with a self-hosted WordPress blog, all you really need is domain and web hosting. However, a lot of domain registrars upsell other useless services. This confuses the heck out of small business owners. Some of these services are: Private registration, branded emails, SSL, 5-years registration etc

|Choose the Right Directory

When you try installing WordPress, you may find yourself being asked the folder/directory you want to install, it is advice able to install in the Root Directory.

How to make it right

To make the right option, you will need not to enter any text when asked to input your installation directory or folder. This make it easy for you to install in the Public_html. Except you are installing WordPress on a Website, you don’t need to install in a sub-folder.

|Not Deleting the Sample Page

WordPress used to come with a default about page, but now it comes with a default sample page. A quick google search showed that there are 1.1 million sites that still have the sample page on their site. Most folks don’t know about it or they simply don’t want to delete it.

|Change WordPress Database Prefix

Another level of security layer you can add to WordPress is to change WordPress database prefix. WordPress comes with a default database prefix.

The database prefix is usually “wp“. Since this can be so common to many blogs or website using WordPress as their framework, you will need not to install WordPress with this settings.

How to make it right

To make it right, you will have to change that during installation. You can use any letter to set the database prefix.

Another problem to you might have is if you have already installed WordPress without changing this prefix. But that’s not a problem at all if you will use a plugin called iTheme Security. The plugin will do a lot for your WordPress site security. Remember to backup your WordPress site before making any changes.

|Failing to Moderate Comments

Often when developers setup sites for small businesses, they fail to provide proper training. This results in their clients not knowing how to manage their WordPress sites. By the time they realize, they have a tons of work to do. One of our users ran into this issue, and he is still working on getting caught up.

Also Read  Dealing with WordPress Password

|Understanding Permalink Structure

One of the important step in a fresh WordPress install is to understand it’s permalink structure. WordPress comes by default with a permalink structure that is not SEO friendly.

Setting up an SEO-friendly permalink structure is important in order to create shareable and identifiable content.

New post on WordPress will automatically be assigned its own permalink, which will look something like this: http://www.yoursite.com/?p=123. Ugly, right?

Using the default permalink means that your content fails to tick any of these boxes. This kind of permalink also makes it more difficult for search engine crawlers to associate the relevant keywords within your content, reducing the page’s SEO performance.

How to make it right

In your WordPress dashboard, go into the Settings and select Permalinks. From here you can choose your permalinks structure to make them relevant to the title of the page. We always recommend Post Name option. That’s what we use here at CMSFol.com. 

WordPress Permalink Settings Dashboard
WordPress Permalink Settings Dashboard

|Not Saving Images for the Web

As a beginner, we don’t really care about performance, storage space and such which is why we upload non-optimized images. As we get more experienced we realize that the images we uploaded could have been so much smaller if only we compressed it for web. Often the quality doesn’t go away either.

Adobe Photoshop has an option to Save for Web. GIMP (free software does as well). JPEG Mini is a neat tool that lets you do this as well.

 |Too Many Categories

WordPress makes it really easy for users to create categories. Often this is the reason why people get carried away and create categories for just about every post. We have all been down this path before only to learn and change everything to add proper structure to our sites.

|Changing The Site URL and Losing All Traffic

How many of you hated the first domain you registered and wanted to switch away from it when you got serious about blogging? Yup, it happens to all of us. What could be worst though is changing your site URL without taking the proper steps because that can cause a significant drop in your traffic and income.

|Not Creating a WordPress Backup

We have all made the mistake of not creating a WordPress backup. You only realize this when you fall in a hole and absolutely need the backup for rescue. We advise all of our users that you should create automatic backups in WordPress.

How to make it right

To make it right, install and activate a plugin called Updraftplus. It’s free and easy to setup for use.

|Choosing WordPress Theme from a Bad Source

We have helped numerous beginners clean up their sites after they reported their sites were infested with malicious links. This happens when you download your WordPress themes from a bad source.

|Unblock Search Engines

You want your business to be found by online, right? Of course, you do! Otherwise, you wouldn’t run an online business. 

Also Read  How to create posts in WordPress

WordPress, however, gives you an option either to ‘discourage search engines from indexing pages’ or not which to some may have a negative tone to it so you would turn it on.

|How to make it right

From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings, select Reading

20 Ultimate WordPress Checklist for Beginners
Uncheck the box to make search engines index your site or blog

|You Need To Change Default Login Username

Unfortunately, when you first install WordPress, you’ll notice that your username is automatically set to the default “admin”, which you can then use to log into your dashboard with Administrator User Role.

How to make it right

If you already have “admin” as a username – don’t worry, there is an easy fix to this. First, create a new administrator account by logging into your dashboard and going to “Users” and selecting “Add New.”

20 Ultimate WordPress Checklist for Beginners
WordPress Add New User Dashboard

|Not Installing a Caching Plugin

A lot of beginners don’t know what caching is which explains why they wouldn’t install a caching plugin. We have explained here on why we use W3 Total Cache. In short, caching allows you speed up your site and prevent downtime if you get a lot of traffic at once.

Ensure you set the role of the new user is to administrator. Then logout of your account. Log in again under your new administrator account. Delete the old account where “admin” is the username under “Users” – All Users.

|Use Strong Password

To use a strong password is one of the best security layer you can add to your website.

Always use a strong password for your website. And enforce it for your users as well.

How to make it right

To set a strong password for your WordPress site, login to your site dashboard and click on User then go to your profile.

Scroll down to the Account management Section and either use the Password Generator button or input your password in the text provided and utilize the password strength bar.

|Understanding The Favicon

Do you know what a favicon is? The favicon is basically the little icon that appears beside the name of your website in the browser’s tab, also found in lists of bookmarks on browsers.

Here’s ours:

20 Ultimate WordPress Checklist for Beginners
How to make it right

You can create an icon that you want to display alongside your website using programs such as CanvaFavicon Generator, or Favicon.CC.

Your favicon file must be square and at least 512px x 512px in .ico format or .png format.Once your favicon is created, it’s time to upload into WordPress.

Log into the WordPress admin menu go to Appearance > Customize > click Site Identity and select the favicon file to upload.

20 Ultimate WordPress Checklist for Beginners

|Not Having a Contact Form

At one time or another, we have all created contact page and simply listed our emails there. Only to realize that few months later our inbox has started receiving insane amount of SPAM. Yes, that’s when you look into solutions and find contact forms.

Also Read  How to Display and Manage your Users in WordPress

| Rename “Uncategorized” Category Option

WordPress enables you to file posts in certain categories, providing users with easy navigation of your site and giving them ‘content clouds’ with similar posts that might interest them. When you install WordPress, you begin with a single default category entitled “Uncategorized”. If you fail to assign your posts to the relevant category (an easy mistake to make), they are all going to end up in the “Uncategorized” pile.

How to make it right

A simple solution to this problem is renaming the “Uncategorized” Category to “Other.”

To do this, go to Posts – Categories – mouse over to “Uncategorized” – click Quick Edit and change your category name and slug to “Other” (or any category name that you choose).

20 Ultimate WordPress Checklist for Beginners

Click Save and you are done.

|Remove “Just Another Blog” Tagline

When you set up your site on WordPress, it will automatically add a tagline to each published page that reads “Just Another Blog”.

What this tagline should be is a one-line description of what your site is all about, yet often, users forget to update it from the default setting.

How to make it right

Head to Settings, select General and alter your page’s tagline. Select a tagline that portrays your brand ad use relevant keywords in your description so the right people can find you.

20 Ultimate WordPress Checklist for Beginners

|Ignoring WordPress Updates

At one time or another, we have all been afraid of updates. Sometimes, we simply forget to upgrade sites that we own because we are not managing it properly. This can come back to bite you big time if there was a security vulnerability, and your site gets hacked.

How to make it Work

Always make sure you update WordPress core files whenever new updates are available. WordPress itself releases major and minor updates for you to use and always make sure your themes are always up to date. To update either of your core files (WordPress, Themes, and Plugins), simply go to your WordPress dashboard and hover your mouse to the Dashboard Menu at the right-hand side, click on update and you will be taken to the available updates. Update every available file.

20 Ultimate WordPress Checklist for Beginners

and you will be taken to the available updates. Update every available file.

|Not Learning More

One of the worst mistakes you can make is not learning more about the platform that you use. There are new plugins and solutions coming out every day. Some that significantly improve the way things were done before. This is why we always recommend our readers to make a conscious effort to learn more about WordPress and get involved


This list cannot be complete without you, use the comment section to tell us about your WordPress installation checklist.

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

CMSFolks Editorial Crew

Editorial Staff at CMSFolks is a team of WordPress experts led by Ajayi Adekunle. Site maintained by CMSFolks Studio.

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