WordPress is famous for it’s 5 minute install. That’s how much you actually need to install a new WordPress website. However, that does not mean that after these 5 minute, the website is ready to be shown to the public. There are more things you need to do after you install it and here are some you may want to consider.
1. Update the permalink structure.
By default, the link structure of your articles or pages is not “human friendly” and it is not good for SEO either. Our recommendation is to log-in to your dashboard, go to Settings and click on “Permalinks”. From this page you can select a better structure for your links. We usually go with “post name”.
2. Add categories for your articles.
Before creating your website, you probably have an idea of what you are going to write about, It is probably a bit more efficient to add the categories before starting to write your stories.
3. Remove sample content.
Every fresh WordPress install will come with some sample content to help you get an idea of how the site looks. You probably want to remove this information from your website. You will a find a sample blog post, a sample page and a comment.
4. Set the homepage and blog page.
By default, the homepage of your website will be set to show an archive of the latest blog posts. You may want to change that to be a personalized landing page and create a different blog page, where your stories will live. Go to Settings and click on Reading to find this option.
5. Choose the theme you want to use and delete the rest.
WordPress will come with some standard themes already installed: Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Sixteen, Twenty Seventeen and soon Twenty Nineteen. These may not give your website the look that you want and for this reason you may want to search and install a new theme. There are plenty of options out there, both free and premium. After installing your new theme, we recommend to remove the rest. OK, maybe leave just one standard theme as a back-up, in case your chosen one goes rogue. To remove a theme, go on Appearance > Themes and click on the thumbnail. In the lower, right corner you can click on “Delete”.
6. Install the plugins you want to use and delete the rest.
As you know, plugins help extend the functionality of your website. Every new install comes with 2 plugins, ready to be activated: Akismet Anti-Spam and Hello Dolly. While Akismet will help you filter out spam, the other one has no functionality, so you can remove it. Depending on your needs, there is a very big variety of plugins that can be installed. We made a list of the most common used plugins in our projects. Even if these plugins open up your horizon, they come at a cost. As you ad more plugins, your website will carry the load and will be slower. We recommend keeping the plugin number to a minimum and only install the ones that get updated regularly and have been tested by many users.
7. Activate Akismet. We already talked about Akismet.
It comes already installed in your WordPress package and will help protect your website from spam. In order to activate it you will need to get an API key. Follow the steps, after clicking the “Get your API key” button, and you will be set. The personal plan is free.
8. Add a favicon.
The favicon is the small image you see on the browser tab, near the address of the website. It helps users identify your website more easily, especially if they bookmark your page. To add a favicon, go to Appearance > Customize and click on Site identity. The recommended size of the image is 512 by 512 pixels.
9. Install Google Analytics.
You will not need this from the start, but after some time, you may want to see the metrics of your website traffic. While there are some other ways to measure traffic, Google Analytics is still the most common. In order to get these metrics, you will need to log in with your google account and get the tracking code. While some themes have a built in option to add this code, others don’t, and you will need to install a plugin.
10. Submit your site to Google Search Console.
Google Search Console is a free service, offered by Google, that helps you check your site’s performance in the search results. It is very useful and you can get a lot of information from the platform. After logging in with your google account, you will be able to submit the site. To finish this process, you will need to confirm that you are the owner of the website. Luckily, if you have added the tracking code from the previous step, you can confirm it with the Google Analytics code.