Many WordPress users ask, what are the most important settings of WordPress? What are the best settings for the WordPress? These are few common questions that asked by the WordPress beginners.
Let’s say you are the beginner of WordPress user and are ready to publish post. The default settings of WordPress are not usable, not user-friendly and doesn’t look professional. When any user visits your website, then the user may guess how professional you are. If your content is reach but your website looks like super ordinary, then the user wouldn’t give any value to your site. So all your hard works behind your website will go in vain.
To give a smart look to your WordPress site, you just need to follow some steps. By implementing these settings to your website, you are not only just giving a professional look, but also making your site SEO friendly and user-friendly.
In this article, we’ll share some most important things to do after installing fresh WordPress.
Most Important Settings After Installing WordPress
After installation of WordPress, by default you’ll get a bunch of things like sample post, two or more pre-installed plugins and themes. You have to clear those unnecessary things as soon as you install your WordPress site.
Here’s a checklist of some important things you should do on every fresh WordPress install.
1. Set up site Title and Tagline
Your site title and tagline are essential elements that help to identify your website, and tell people and search engines what your website is about. Your website is unique and your site title and tagline should reflect it.
If you didn’t change the site title and tagline during WordPress installation, you should modify it.
To change or modify it, log in to your WordPress admin dashboard and go to Settings > General. There you have to provide your site title and tagline.
Site Title – is the name of your site and will display in the title bar. Make sure to set the title as you want to use.
Tagline – is a short description of what your site is all about. You can think of it as a motto. After installing WordPress your site will have the default tagline like “Just Another WordPress Site”. That doesn’t sound very professional. Depending on the theme you choose to use, this tag line may or may not be displayed. However this tagline may picked up by the search engines.
2. Change time zone, date and time format
Make sure to select the right timezone. Because this will effect your scheduling of blog posts and when they are published.
Also choose the format you would like the date and time to display on your blog posts. You can choose one of the preformatted options or generate a new format of your own.
In Settings > General you’ll find this options to format Timezone, Date and Time.
3. Add a Contact Form
Your website visitor may want to contact you. So, try to make it simple for people to reach out to you. As a part of WordPress’s default settings, there are no built-in contact forms for use. You can use a free and popular WordPress plugin to create a simple contact form.
4. Set Your WordPress Address and Site Address URLs
If you install WordPress in a blog directory, then you’ll need to let WordPress know that by modifying these two options (WordPress Address and Site Address).
In the WordPress Address (URL) enter the full URL of the directory that contain your WordPress core files. For example, if you install WordPress into a blog directory, then the WordPress address will be http://example.com/blog (where example.com is your domain). If you install WordPress into your web root, then this address will be the root URL: http://example.com.
In the Site Address (URL) enter the your site address that people will type in order to reach your WordPress site. The Site address (URL) should be identical to the WordPress address (URL) unless you are installing WordPress to its own directory (as explained above).
5. Change Permalink Structure
One of the most important elements in WordPress sites is Permalink. Permalink is the permanent URLs to your individual pages and blog posts, as well as your category and tag archives.
By default the “plain” permalink structure is selected. It means that your pages and posts URLs will look something like yourdomain.com/?p=xxx (where xxx is the numeric id of you page/post). It’s not something you want and also not something search engines like.
To turn those ugly Permalinks into pretty Permalinks go to Settings > Permalinks and select the structure that you want. If you don’t like any of the provided options, you can build your own structure. But make sure you include the post name for better SEO.
6. Delete Your Sample Contents
When you will install WordPress on your domain, you’ll notice that it comes with a sample post (the famous “Hello World!”) and a sample page created. But you won’t be using those.
So, when your site is ready, go and trash them right away.
To remove the sample post of your site: go to Posts and hover on the Hello World post. You will see the Trash link. Click on it and then go to “Trash”, and hit Delete Permanently.
To remove the sample page of WordPress: go to Pages and hover on the Sample Page page. You will see the Trash link. Click on it, and then go to “Trash” and hit Delete Permanently.
7. Upload a Favicon
Favicon is another important thing of your website and it has the same value like your website name.
A favicon is an icon that represents your site across the web. It helps people to easily and quickly recognize your website.
By default, WordPress uses its own Favicon. But sometimes many WordPress hosting companies add their logo which is not suitable for your site. So you need to change the Favicon.
To add or change a Favicon, go to Appearance> Customize> Site Identity and there you will see Site Icon. You have to upload your site icon and make sure the image size is at least 512×512 pixels.
After you upload, click on Publish button from the left top corner. Now refresh your browser to see your Favicon.
8. Add Google Analytics
As a website owner, you have to understand your audience, what they are looking for, and how you can help them to find it out. These insights help you make smart decisions to grow your business.
That’s why, you need Google Analytics. It is a free tool that tracks all kinds of stats about your site visitors like:
- 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 you will get a tracking code for your website.
Now, add that tracking code to your website. You can add the code by using plugins like:
Google Analytics – https://wordpress.org/plugins/googleanalytics/
9. Add Categories and Change the Default One
The default post category will be Uncategorized after installing WordPress. If you don’t add a specific category for the posts you create, they will automatically be archived under the default category.
To change the default category nameof your site go to Posts > Categories, hover on Uncategorized and click on Edit.
If you have already in mind some of the categories of your blog, you can create them now by going to Posts » Categories and adding them right there. Don’t forget to change its slug as well.
10. Customize Default Widgets on Sidebar
After installing WordPress, you can see few widgets are already added to the sidebar. By default, WordPress places some widgets on the main sidebar like Search, Archives, Recent Comments, Recent Posts and Categories widgets. WordPress automatically adds them and it also depends on a theme.
To add or remove a widget, just navigate to Appearance> Widgets, there you can see total available widgets for your website.
To remove a widget just click on a widget and click on Delete to remove the widget.
11. Create a Home Page and Customize Reading Settings
If you’re not using your WordPress site mainly for blogging, then you’ll probably want to create a homepage that is not your latest posts. On your site’s homepage, you can either choose “Your Latest Posts” or “A Static Page”.
Navigate to Pages > Add New. Create a page called “Home”. Now go to Settings > Reading. In the Front page displays section choose A static page, and then select the Home page that you’ve created.
You can also set your Posts page let’s say for a new page that you can name Blog.
12. Change Media Settings
By default, WordPress automatically generates all the images that uploaded and create multiple dimensional images. Thus it can create extra load on your web server. To prevent extra load, you can disable WordPress auto-generate images function.
For that purpose go to WordPress Settings> Media Settings. There you will see a list of maximum images dimensions to use when adding an image to WordPress media library.
Now simply add “0” to those fields to set it up. This will stop WordPress from generating your images automatically.
13. Delete Unused WordPress Themes
WordPress comes with its own themes known as the Twenty-Something series. Like the WordPress updates, WordPress themes also need to update. It will be a great headache to update all themes and if you don’t update them, it will become outdated and it can be a security issue for your site.
Hopefully, deleting unused WordPress themes can be the best solution. To delete any theme, go to Appearance> Themes. You can see the theme lists that you have installed. Now click on Theme Details of any theme and click on Delete from the left bottom corner.
14. Complete Your User Profile
Before you publish any post on your website, first you should complete your user profile, no matter if you are the site administrator or a contributor. Each time you publish a post, an author bio box will appear at the end of the post. If your user profile is completely blank or incomplete, users wouldn’t give much value to your site.
So, always complete and updated your user profile. For that purpose go to Users> Your Profile from your WordPress admin panel.
15. Change Your Password
One of the best ways to keep your website safe from hacker is to use a complex password.
A complex password is one that combines letters with capital and small form, numbers and special characters. If you did not create one like this when you installed WordPress then it is time to change it.
To change your password, navigate to Users > Your Profile and click on the Generate Password button under Account Management.
16. Set-up Your Gravatar
Gravatar or globally recognized avatar and is a specific type of avatar WordPress uses to display when you post or comment on other WordPress blogs.
Gravatars may also be displayed next to your author info in a post, or a comment you make, depending on the theme.
To create your own Gravatar go to gravatar.com.
17. Install Essential Plugins
After installing WordPress, you may require some important features to add on in the form of plugins, these include things like:
- Optimizing your site for SEO
- Backing Up your site
- Adding in Google Analytics
- Adding social sharing to your pages/posts
- Securing & Protecting your site from hackers
- and much more
18. Optimize Your Site (On-Page SEO)
The best ways to increase site traffic is by optimizing your site’s content for Search Engines. This technique is called On-Page SEO.
You can optimize your website by using a good SEO Plugin such as Yoast. Yoast SEO plugin helps your post search engine optimized content, title and meta description.
It also generates a sitemap, which is also important for SEO.
The best part of Yoast SEO is that it tells you how your site is well optimized and provides you suggestions to improve it.
After installing WordPress, there are many important things to do. In this article, we have written 18 most important things after you install WordPress.
Most of the WordPress users don’t change their default WordPress settings and it becomes hard to rank a site on search engines.
So, it is highly recommended that you should change your WordPress setting after installing WordPress. Above mentioned 18 different settings are the best for newly installed WordPress and the best setup for WordPress.
Hope this tutorial will help you to perfectly setup your WordPress site.