As a beginner, what to do and what not to do after setting up your blog might be very confusing. Just staring at the WordPress dashboard is like being lost in the desert. It is filled with different links and tools that you may have no idea what each of them does.
However, getting your way around is not difficult as you might think. It is just a matter of knowing what each of the tools does.
So you have bought a domain name and a hosting package, you have installed WordPress and you have no idea where to go next. Don’t worry, I am with you. In this post, I will lay down a few important settings you should do immediately after setting up your blog.
Vital Settings For A New Blog
If you suddenly wake me up and ask me about the first thing to do after setting up a blog, I will shout on top of my voice, “change the permalinks”. The problem is, by default WordPress will give each of your new blog posts permalink structures which are not too search engine friendly.
The default permalink structure is in this form “www.isaacanim/?p=123”. Going in with this form is a recipe for disaster. Take a look at the image below.
The best choice for your SEO needs is the fifth choice. Just go to Settings>Permalinks.
Considering the URL of this page which is “www.isaacanim.com/important-settings-after-installing-wordpress”, you see that it is just a matter of adding the post name to the blog address. This helps search engines to understand what the page is about.
- Default Post And Page
There is a default post and page which comes with the installation of WordPress. If you want, you can delete them and start adding your own post and pages. It is best if you delete it because you do not want it showing up in search engine results. Google is very strict about low quality pages in its index.
In my case, I have not deleted the default post but I have added a noindex meta tag to the post. The noindex meta tag prevents the post from showing up in search engine results.
- Time Zone And Registration
Go to Settings>General and set your time zone. There will be times when you will be scheduling posts. To make sure it gets published at the right time, you have to set the time zone to your country of residence.
In fact, depending on your theme, the date and time when a comment is posted will appear next to the comment. It will be a good idea if they all correspond with your time zone.
Also, if you want just anybody to become a member of your blog, then check the box beside “anyone can register”. This comes in handy when you will be allowing guest posts. Users can register and submit articles for review.
However, this may not be a good idea because you would have to deal with spam registrations.
5 Useful Plugins You Must Install
As your blog gains popularity, you would receive more comments from other bloggers and non-bloggers. There are others who just want to hurt your blog by posting spam comments. Akismet is a spam shield. It checks all the comments and filters the spam comments out.
This plugin mostly is automatically installed when you set up your blog. You would have to sign up at the Akismet official site for an API key because the plugin will not work without it.
- Google Analytics Dashboard For WP
As the name suggests, it shows your Google analytics traffic stats in your WordPress admin area so you can access your traffic stats right from there. Not only that but it also automatically adds the Google analytics tracking code to every page on your blog.
- W3 Total Cache
You will lose visitors if your blog takes too long to load. Page load speed is very important because search engines take it into consideration when ranking websites. W3 total cache is a complete performance plugin which improves the overall user experience.
- Yoast SEO
This plugin is the top rated plugin when it comes to search engine optimization. This plugin takes care of all the technical aspects for you. One of those technical aspects is how you want your homepage description to appear in search engine results. Look at the image below.
Locating the exact place in your HTML to put your site meta description might be difficult because Google pulls it from there. Yoast SEO puts it there for you. SIMPLE!!! It also helps you to write better articles by making real-time on page analysis.
- Social Warfare
You must give visitors a choice to share your articles with their friends. For me, Social Warfare is the best social sharing plugin. It also gives proof of your social engagement by showing the number of shares your post has got.
The pro version comes with even more features like crafting a customized description and image when the post is shared on Pinterest. You can also specify a custom tweet when it is shared on twitter.4 Things to do Immediately after Installing WordPressClick To Tweet
So there you have it. Make sure you don’t skip these important adjustments for anything else. In fact, there are more important things you should do. I just think these are the immediate things you must do after your blog setup.
If you have any questions or any other suggestions, leave it in the comment section.