So you have decided to blog on self-hosted WordPress platform. I appreciate it.
Self-hosted WordPress platform is a must have component for a successful blog.
For self-hosted WordPress blog you have to rent a hosting from host provider.
Most of the host providers offer you a one-click WordPress install option. You can install WordPress easily with that option.
To understand various jargon about WordPress blog like domain, hosting, self-hosted, etc. read the following post.
After installing WordPress successfully what should you do? Publish content?
No. You have to setup WordPress properly so that you won’t face any trouble in your blogging journey in future.
26 Most Essential WordPress Setting After Install
1. Change Username
After installing WordPress the first thing to do is to change your WordPress username. By default it is set to admin which is vulnerable for your WordPress security. So immediately persinalize it as you want.
For changing username…
Login to your WordPress dashboard > user (on left sidebar) > your profile.
There you can change your WordPress username.
Read More: How to change your WordPress Username?
2. Change password
You should also change your password after installing WordPress. You can do this on the same window where you’ve changed your WordPress Username.
After changing username and password successfully, go to WordPress menu on left sidebar > setting > general.
After clicking on general, a window will open. On this window change the following things.
3. Change site title
Whatever the site title there replace that with your blog’s name.
4. Change Tagline
By default your WordPress blog tagline is “just another WordPress site” which is not good for your branding and also not good for SEO. So replace it with your blog tagline.
My blog’s tagline is “Together We Make Money Blogging“. So I replaced the default tagline with this.
5. WordPress address (url)
This is your blog’s url or blog’s web address. Whatever you call this, put your blog url here in this field. Your blog url should be http://domain.com.
In my case, it is http://sharpnlogger.com.
6. Setup your site address (url)
If your blog’s homepage is different from WordPress installation directory you have to enter your blog’s homepage address here in this field.
You can do this on same window (WordPress dashboard > setting > general).
7. Enter Email address
On the same window enter your email address in the email field. This email address should be the one where you want to get notification of new user of your blog.
8. Enable/disable User Registration
If your blog is single authored blog then you don’t need this setting. But if your blog is multi-authored blog or if you allow guest posting in your blog then you need this setting.
Tick off the anyone can register tick box under the membership option in general setting window to allow multiple author in your blog. Set the new user default role as contributor.
Keep in mind allowing multiple author will also allow the spam registration.
9. Set language
On the general setting window you can set the language also.
If your target audiences are global then set international language like english (us).
If your target audiences are local then set this language as your local language.
10. Setup timezone
Set your time zone so that your scheduled post goes online timely.
For setting time zone login to your WordPress dashboard > setting > General.
And look for the time zone field.
I’ll recommend to set your time zone as EST (eastern standard time) or as your local time.
11. Set Date and Time Format
On the same window that is WordPress dashboard > setting > general, set your prefered date and time format.
I found the top most option useful for both setting.
We just have finished the setting of general setting window so far.
Now lets move for other settings.
12. Update your WordPress Version
WordPress installation package of some host provider packet with older version of WordPress.
If you install older version WordPress will automatically prompt you to update the version. Update this immediately to secure your website.
If WordPress won’t automatically prompt you to update the version you can click on notification on top of your WordPress dashboard and update it.
13. Delete Default Post, Page and Comment
When you first install WordPress you’ll see a default post titled Hello world, and a default page and a default comment. You should delete those things to make your WordPress ready to publish your blog posts.
For deleting default post, go to the left sidebar of WordPress dashboard > posts > all posts.
Now select the post and click on trash to delete the post.
For deleting the default page go to left sidebar of WordPress dashboard > pages > all pages.
Now select the page and click on trash to delete it.
At last click on comments and delete the default comment by following same procedure.
14. Create pages for your blog
After successfully deleting default post, page and comment from your WordPress blog, the first step is to create the basic pages for your blog.
Creating contact page is essential for your blog. Because if your readers love your work they may want to contact you directly for some reason.
After all you are blogging to solve people’s problem somehow. So show your reader that how they can contact you by creating a separate page in your blog.
How to create contact page?
For creating contact page login to your WordPress dashboard > left sidebar > pages > add new.
Use a plugin named WPForms Lite to create the form and embed it to your Contact page.
If you want step by step tutorial on how to embed a contact form in contact page click here.
Another basic page of a blog is About page. Go to your WordPress dashboard > left sidebar > pages > add new again.
In the opened blank page write about your blog as you write a post.
15. Setup you blog menu
Setting up blog menu in WordPress is easy. Just go to left sidebar of WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Menus.
On this setting page you’ll see two types of menu Primary menu and Secondary menu.
Home page is automatically included in your primary menu. You can include your blog’s Contact page and About page as well as your post category in your primary menu by dragging them.
As a new blogger you don’t need the secondary menu to have in your blog. If you want it to have then you can follow the same procedure as you do to setup your blog’s primary manu.
16. Delete Unused Theme
WordPress comes with a few pre-installed theme when you first install WordPress in your hosting account.
But the default WordPress theme may not suit your blog. So you look for some other good-looking theme for your blog.
After installing a new theme you shouldn’t leave your unused WordPress theme there. because this’ll slow down your blog.
So delete those unused theme from your WordPress directory.
For deleting theme go to left sidebar of your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes.
Now select the unused theme and hit on delete button.
But I’ll suggest to keep at least one default theme. Because if your current theme somehow doesn’t work then the default theme will save you.
17. Delete Unused Plugin
You WordPress installed with some default plugins depending on the installation process and your host provider.
I’m sure you are not going to activate all the plugins. Delete those plugins which you are not using. Doing this will increase your blog’s speed and will give you some seo benefits.
18. Discussion setting
Discussion setting has four sections.
- Default article settings
- Other comment settings
- Email me whenever
- Before a comment appears
For these setting go to WordPress Dashboard > Setting > Discussion.
Now lets set one by one.
Default article settings
In default article setting you should tick off all the check boxes. For your easy understanding I’m sharing what those mean.
Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article – If you linked any blog in your post it’ll attempt to send them a notification.
Allow link notification from other blogs – When someone linked your blog in anywhere in their website allowing this will send you a notification.
Allow people to post comments on new post – This is straight forward. Allowing it will allow your reader to post comment on your post.
19. Setup permalink
Permalink is a url of a post or page. WordPress uses an ugly permalink structure as its default permalink like http://sharpblogger.com/?p=123
It isn’t seo friendly. So change it to make it SEO friendly.
How to change the permalink of your WordPress blog?
Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks.
Click on “post name” radio button to change the default permalink.
One thing you should remember that once you published your post don’t change the permalink for that post. It’ll harm your blog’s SEO.
Related Post: What is a Permalink and How to Use It?
20. Install google analytics
One of the most important element of blogging success is to understand your blog readers. To understand your readers you have to track them.
And google analytics is must for tracking your readers.
Read the following post to know the procedure of installing google analytics in your WordPress blog.
21. Verify Your Site Ownership on Google Search Console
Popular google webmaster tool is now rebranded as google search console. It is a free tool.
It helps your blog to be found on google search result.
Go to this link to create a google search console account.
To know more about how to verify your blog in google search console read the following post.
22. Update WordPress User Profile
This is the author profile which we most often see below blog post.
In this setting you need to provide your name, email address, display name, bio, Gravatar etc.
For this setting go to WordPress Dashboard > Users > your profile.
Enter the required information in the opened window.
Here I want to discuss little about Gravatar.
You should create a Gravatar profile in this setting window by clicking on the link provided there.
Gravatar is a profile with a picture. wherever you go this Gravatar will follow you if you use the email you provided in this Gravatar profile.
Gravatar is very useful for your branding. So don’t ignore this. Create your Gravatar profile immediately.
23. Add logo
Logo is a major part of branding. Create a logo and upload it to your blog header.
For uploading a logo in your WordPress blog go to Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Site identity and click on select image button to upload your logo.
24. Add Favicon
Favicon is like as logo. It also increases your blog’s brand identity. Different theme has different option to upload favicon. So look for the option in theme customization to upload your favicon.
25. Install Plugin
After installing WordPress and set up the above discussed setting now it’s time to install plugin.
Before installing plugin you need to delete unnecessary plugins from your WordPress. I discussed about this above in this post.
Install the most essential plugins. Most essential plugins are…
Google Analytics Dashboard – To view your blog’s google analytic data this plugin is must.
WP Supercache – This is a cache plugin that loads your blog faster.
Yoast SEO – It is the most complete SEO plugin available for WordPress. It gives you everything you need in terms of SEO.
JetPack – it is very useful plugin to auto-publish your post on social media.
26. Add google XML sitemap
Adding google XML sitemap to google search console is a essential part to be indexed your blog on google search result.
You have to create a XML sitemap of your blog to submit it to google search console.
For creating a google XML sitemap for your blog you need a plugin.
There are various plugin available for creating google XML sitemap. We already installed one in the previous step that is yoast SEO. You can use Yoast SEO plugin to create your blog’s XML sitemap.
To generate sitemap go to XML sitemap menu on yoast plugin and follow the instruction there.
I’ve shared the most essential settings you require after installing WordPress. There are some other settings you have to do as you go with WordPress.
As a beginner blogger you don’t need any further setting or plugin. Go with the settings I’ve shared in this post. When you gain experience you’ll be able to set up other settings.
I didn’t share those othersettings here because those will need some coding. As a new blogger you may don’t have enough coding knowledge.
Did I missed anything? Please share in comments…