7 Most Important Settings After Installing WordPress
We have already discussed how to buy a domain name, get hosting and install WordPress for your website/blog.
Congratulations for entering into your WordPress dashboard for the first time. Bravo!! It’s an achievement as you have decided to Do It Yourself (DIY) which we also encourage and in case you are stuck somewhere just let us know.
As you have logged into your WordPress dashboard for the very first time, it’s time to alter few default settings to get your blog up and running. We will discuss themes and plugins in the subsequent articles. This article is more about customizing the default WordPess settings to get better results.
Step 1: Remove default pages and posts
These are the default pages and posts with the name “Hello World” remove those pages and posts.
What will happen if you don’t remove them? These default posts are not eating much data on your server, but they should be deleted because:
- Once you have added your own pages/ posts, it becomes confusing to browse through them as these default posts/ pages will also keep on appearing in your search result.
- Google crawler will crawl these pages and make them appear in Google search. This is completely not desirable for two reasons
- Firstly, you do want these shoddy pages to appear in Google result
- Secondly, google crawlers have certain resources allocated to crawl your site. If you waste them in crawling these default pages then your own pages, can suffer in Google ranking.
Hence, get rid of these default posts/ pages.
Step 2: Delete default admin account
As we also discussed while installing WordPress through QuickInstall that username should not be “admin” due to security reasons. In many cases, by default your account is called “admin” which can put your website to hacking risk as it leaves the backdoor open for hackers. 70% of the hackers by default try to hack with Username = “admin” on their first attempt.
Create another admin account with a real name and a memorable but secure password.
Step 3: Set your Site Title/ Tagline and Time Zone
This is the basic information about your website your users will see the site title and the tagline.
Depending on whether you are the only author or you also host articles authored by others choose the membership settings. Since, Exploring Startups is a platform where anyone can register and participate, we have checked the membership column.
Carefully choose your timezone.
Step 4: Ping List
Once you have written a great post what next? You want others to know about it. WordPress notifies a set of ping services about your recent post and modifications by default. You may also manually add the tested list of ping services to get your post indexed quickly.
Step 5: Homepage
Choose what should come on your Homepage. If yours is a blog and you want people to see your latest posts then choose “Your latest posts” and if yours is a website/ platform like Exploring Startups then select “static page”. After selecting “static page” you would be asked to choose which page you want to show as a home page. Remember depending on your theme you can have multiple home pages to select from.
I have chosen to show ten blog posts on one post page, and if your post exceeds ten then it will automatically give you an option of going to next page. I think ten is a balanced number as, more posts can affect the speed of your page load and lesser posts may not give your readers a good idea about the type of articles you write.
Syndication feeds show 15 items and this feed will be helpful for custom crawlers to read my articles. Give the only summary to the feed and check the appropriate button.
Do not check the last box implying you want the search engine bots to crawl and index your pages.
Step 6: Manage comments
Settings > discussion
When you are sharing your posts and getting the good traffic, it becomes imperative to manage comments on your website. You might wake up some morning and see your website spammed with promotional comments in various languages. To avoid such situation make sure you receive a notification for approval before a comment goes live on your website.
Basically, you are moderating the comments here. It has its pros and cons.
No spamming on your site. Saves your valuable time in deleting the spam comments. Spamming discourages other users from post meaningful comments.
If you moderate comments on your site then discussions cannot happen in real time.
You can copy the settings for your blog as it is shown below.
Step 7: Set the correct permalink
To understand what is a permalink the difference between a URL and a permalink we need to look at the following example:
The first one is the URL where you can find all the posts and the second one is the link to a specific post (permalink). A permalink is the permanent link to your page/post and does not change with time.
Below mentioned is the default WordPress permalink which is not SEO and user-friendly. These permalinks look shoddy and are difficult to understand.
The best way to make your permalink user and search engine friendly is to change the setting line the one mentioned below.
In the dashboard Go to settings (scroll down and search in right column), and click on the permalink.
Check the Common Setting “Post Name”.
With this setting, you have a keyword in the post URL and hence the probability of its showing up in the search result increases. Like exploring Startups’ post on quick article writing appears 3rd in Google Search for a particular keyword.
With all the above essential settings done, you are good to set up and select a suitable theme for your blog/website.