Alright, you have installed WordPress and are ready to start picking out your theme and adding some content to your site.
But first it’s a good idea to go in and change some of the default settings and clean things up a bit.
In this post, I share with you 11 things you should do after installing WordPress. Even if you have had your site up for awhile, it is not too late to make some of these simple tweaks.
The 11 Most Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress
1. Setup Your Site Title / Tagline
Your site title and tagline are essential elements that help tell people and the search engines what your site is all about.
Site Title – This is used as the name of your site and will display in the title bar and in your site’s header (depending on your theme). Make sure this is set to what you want to use as the name of your site.
Tagline – This is a short description of what your site is all about. You can think of it as a slogan. After installing WordPress your site will have the default tagline of “Just Another WordPress Site”. That doesn’t sound very professional now, does it? Depending on the theme you choose, this tag line may or may not be displayed. However this tagline may still get picked up by the search engines.
You can change either of these by going to Settings >> General.
2. Change the time zone, date and time format
Make sure you have the right timezone selected as this will effect your scheduling of blog posts and when they are published.
Also go ahead and chose the format you would like the date and time displayed on your blog posts.
3. Change The Permalink Structure
Permalink structure defines the way WordPress builds the URL’s that link to your content. By default the “plain” permalink structure is selected.
This structure looks something like this and is not good at all for SEO as it doesn’t contain any readable words giving the search engines more detail about the content on the page
http://stevenstromick.com/?p=xxx (where xxx is the numeric id of you page/post).
A much better permalink would be
To change your permalink structure, go to Settings >> Permalinks. Under Common Settings, select Post name and click Save changes.
4. Delete Sample Content
Go ahead and delete the default “Hello World” post and “Sample Page” page that are created automatically.
Go to Posts >> All Posts, hover over the titles and click delete.
Go to Pages >> All Pages, hover over the titles and click delete.
5. Delete Unnecessary Installed Plugins
Depending on the installer you used to install WordPress, you probably have a number of plugins already installed. Check them out and delete the ones you don’t need.
One that is typically always installed but never need is the “Hello Dolly” plugin.
Go to Plugins. Find Hello Dolly and click Delete to delete it. You may have to deactivate it first.
6. Add Categories and Change the Default One
The default category for posts will be Uncategorized after installing WordPress. Any new posts will by default go under this category.
To change the default category name go to Posts » Categories, hover on Uncategorized and click Edit.
Go ahead and give it a new name and don’t forget to change its slug as well.
At this time if you know of other categories your blog will have, you can create them now by going to Posts » Categories and adding them right there.
7. Check Default Admin Username
Sometimes WordPress is installed and the username for the admin is Admin, this makes it all too easy for hackers to try to hack their way into your site.
To check your username, go to Users >> All Users. If the user you see if named admin then follow the steps below to change it.
- Add a new user with an admin role. When creating this user use a unique username.
- Then go back and delete the user with the username of “admin”.
8. Change Your Password To A Complex One
Trust me when I say the last thing you want is a hacker getting into your site and messing it all up. One of the best ways to keep them out is to use a complex password.
A complex password is one that combines letters, numbers and special characters. If you did not create one like this when you installed WordPress the it is time to go in and change it.
To change your password, go to Users >> Your Profile and click on the Generate Password button under Account Management.
A random complex password will be created for you. You can use this or change it to whatever you want.
I suggest you use the auto generated one and use a program such as LastPass to store it for you. But you can go ahead and create your own password if you want to.
Be sure to click Update Profile to save your changes.
9. Set-up Your Gravatar
Gravatar stands for globally recognized avatar and is a specific type of avatar WordPress uses to display when you post or comment on other WordPress blogs.
Depending on the theme, Gravatars may also be displayed next to your author info in a post you write, or a comment you make.
To create your Gravatar go to gravatar.com.
10. Delete Unused Themes
WordPress comes with a number of pre-installed themes. Once you have installed the theme you want to use, go ahead and delete all those other themes.
Deleting those unused themes will not only free up space but will also save you the hassle from having to update them when security patches and fixes are released.
To delete a theme, go to Appearance » Themes, click on the theme you want to remove. It’ll open a lightbox, and on the bottom right corner you’ll find the Delete link.
11. Install Essential Plugins
After installing WordPress, there are going to be a number of important features you will want 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
Here is a post detailing the 15 Must Have WordPress Plugins For Bloggers.
There you go, those are the 11 Most Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress. Go ahead and start adding your content now and let me know if you have any questions.