So, you have installed WordPress on your website server.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System in the world, and it powers almost 32% of the websites on the entire Internet.
Chances of your favorite blog, newspaper, magazine, artist, or shop you daily or weekly visit might be using WordPress.
So you are business and the company is in good hands!
However, getting started with WordPress can be profusing, especially if you are a newbie in WordPress.
In that case, a checklist or roadmap can be a lifesaver.
- What should you do before you start creating your content and setting up your theme?
- If you are creating the website for a client, is it ready to go live and start receiving visitors?
- Before you deliver the website, what are the things that must be done and checked to make sure that your website is optimized and secure?
If you are feeling obscure, here are 11 things that you definitely start doing on your freshly installed WordPress website.
1. Setup Your Website Title and Tagline
Your website title and tagline tell people and the search engine what your website is all about. Your website is unique from others so your website title and tagline should reflect it.
You can change/update/modify your website title and tagline easily on WordPress.
Go to Settings > General in WordPress Dashboard.
The Website Title works as the name of your website. It appears in different places such as:
- The title bar of the browser
- Admin bar at your WordPress Dashboard
Keep your website Title short and solid. It is not necessarily just to have the same name as your website’s URL.
The tagline describes what your website is all about. If your brand or blog has a tagline or a motto, this is a perfect place to display it.
WordPress default Tagline text is “Just another WordPress site”. If you don’t have any tagline, just delete the default texts and leave it empty.
2. Delete Sample Contents
Your default WordPress installation comes with some unnecessary sample contents such as “Hello World” blog post and comments.
Delete them as soon as possible! And replace those sample contents with your own awesome contents!
3. Change Your Permalink Structure
Permalinks are the URLs (links) to your pages, posts, categories, and tags archives.
The default permalinks structure is “Plain”. This means your blog posts and blog pages URLs will look like this:
yourdomain.com/?p=23 or yourdomain.com/?p=153
This is not good for search engines as well as for the user experience. So you must change it. Make the permalinks pretty for both search engines and users.
To change the Permalinks, go to Settings > Permalinks on WordPress dashboard.
Select the Permalink structure that suits your website. You can also create a custom Permalink of your own.
If we look at the Search Engine Optimization perspective, I would recommend you to include the Post’s names in the URLs.
4. Set Your Time Zone
Make sure the time zone is set to your local time zone.
This will help you make sure that the timings are correct whenever you schedule any social media tasks, such as schedule a post to be published or schedule a backup on either WordPress or Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
To change the Time zone, go to Settings > General. Then, scroll down and you will see an option for Time zone, Date, and Time formats.
5. Complete Your User Profile
It’s a must for every User. Keep your WordPress profile complete and updated.
Go to Users > Your Profile on WordPress admin panel.
Here, you can pick how you need your name to be shown on posts, and which email address to be utilized for notifications.
You can likewise change your secret phrase, administrator shading plan, and include your short life story.
6. Setup a Contact Form
There is a chance that the visitors on your website may want to contact you. So, direct them to the page where they can easily reach out to you.
Contact Form 7 is a free and popular WordPress plugin with more than a million downloads. You can use it to create a simple contact form.
Contact Form 7 allows you to create fields like email addresses, names, subjects, and messages. You can even add captcha to prevent spammers from filling the form.
You can also install other contact form plugins if you don’t like Contact Form 7. Some of them are:
Contact form by Supsystic – https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-by-supsystic/
Contact form by Best Web Soft https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-plugin/
7. Add Google Analytics To Your Site
Keeping a track of your website’s statistics and metrics is important for any business – small or big.
There is a lot of different website monitoring platform/application available these days. Some of them are free and some cost you.
What is I think, The best website monitoring system is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free tool that tracks all kinds of stats about your site visitors. These stats include:
- Total number of visitors on your site
- Real-Time information about visitors.
- Average duration a visitor stay on your site
- The source of traffic on your site
- Devices used to visit your website
- Most visited pages
- And so on.
To add Google Analytics on your site, create an account at Google Analytics, and get a tracking code for your website.
Now, add that tracking code to your website. You can add the code using plugins like:
Google Analytics – https://wordpress.org/plugins/googleanalytics/
Google Analyticator – https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analyticator/
8. Fight Spams
Spam comments are totally annoying. Once the incoming starts it’s hard to stop it, they just swarm in.
Therefore, I would recommend you install Akismet plugin to combat them.
Akismet comes pre-installed with WordPress. In order to use it, you will need to enter your Akismet API Key, which you can get from Akismet.com
This plugin checks your comments to see whether they look like spam or not. And, then lets you review the comments. The blocked comments will appear on the “Comments” section of the admin screen.
9. Take Important Security Measures
WordPress itself is a secure platform.
But, WordPress sites are often targeted by hackers to exploit some default settings.
Thus, you can use some security plugins that add extra security features to make your site more secure.
I would recommend the following plugins:
1. WordFence– https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/
Here are some cool features of WordFence that you can use to secure your WordPress site.
- WordPress Firewall
- Blocking Features
- Login Security
- Security Scanning
- Monitoring Features
- Multi-Site Security
2. Sucuri WordPress Security– https://wordpress.org/plugins/sucuri-scanner/
Here are some cool features of Sucuri WordPress Security that you can use to secure your WordPress site.
- Security Activity Audit Logging
- File Integrity Monitoring
- Remote Malware Scanning
- Blacklist Monitoring
- Effective Security Hardening
- Post-Hack Security Actions
- Security Notifications
10. Have a Backup Strategy
One of my friends runs a large hotel aggregator website. He has invested more than 4 years of his life and hundreds of thousands of rupees into it.
One day his website got hacked, and it was down. He was frustrated because all the time and money he had put into his business was in vain, in a blink of an eye.
Luckily for him, his developers had recently taken a backup of the website, and they were able to recover most of the website.
Imagine for a moment what would have happened if there was no backup?
Backup is like an insurance policy of the work you have put on your website. If something goes wrong, you can recover your website using it.
Therefore, always have a solid backup strategy.
WordPress doesn’t have a built-in backup system. So you will need to use a plugin like Backup Guardor Backup and Restore Dropbox to backup your database and files.
11. Optimize Your Website (On-Page SEO)
One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is by optimizing your website’s content for Search Engines. This technique is called On-Page SEO.
You can easily optimize your website with an SEO plugin such as Yoast. Yoast SEO plugin helps your write search engine optimized content, title, and meta description.
It also generates a sitemap, which is also an important factor for SEO.
The best part of Yoast SEO is that it tells you how well optimized your site is and provides you with suggestions to improve it.
Well, if you sorted all the 11 steps mentioned above, your WordPress website is now ready to go live!
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