Many new bloggers are so determined to rank their site on Google, that they jump into writing articles and building links right away. Which, of course, is the wrong way! When you install WordPress in Bluehost or any other hosting, the stock installation ends up with few things which have to be changed. In this article, you will get to know the essential things or settings to be done on a fresh WordPress blog.
- 1 1: Change The Title & Tagline
- 2 2: Change The Time Zone, Date Format & Time Format
- 3 3: Enable/Disable User Registration
- 4 4: Remove Dummy Content
- 5 5: Set up the WordPress Permalink Structure
- 6 6: Configure Reading Settings
- 7 7: Configure Discussion Settings
- 8 8: Install Plugins & Themes
- 9 9: Create Categories
- 10 10: Add Google Analytics & Link Site To Google Webmasters
- 11 Wrap up:
1: Change The Title & Tagline
By default, the tagline is set to “Another WordPress installation”. So you have to change it and give the tagline to your site. You can also change the title if necessary.
2: Change The Time Zone, Date Format & Time Format
The default time zone is set to UTC+0. You have to change it to your respective time zone which depends on your location. For Indians, it’s UTC+5:30, which represents Kolkata timings. You can also change the date and time format as you like to.
Note that this is important as your site’s post and page timings in search are also dependent on it.
3: Enable/Disable User Registration
This feature will allow you to decide whether you want users to register on your blog or not. I generally leave it disabled.
4: Remove Dummy Content
The stock installation leaves behind a sample page, a post, a comment and a plugin. You can delete all of them.
- Go to Posts >> All Posts, and delete the default “Hello World” post.
- Go to Pages >> All Pages, and delete the default “Sample Page” page.
- Go to Comments, and delete the default comment.
- Go to Plugins >> Installed Plugins, and delete the “Hello Dolly” plugin.
The default WordPress permalink structure is domain.com/?p=123. Which is neither good for viewers nor search engines, and is obviously not SEO friendly. This has to be changed, and there are multiple options for you to do it. I would recommend you to go with “Post name”.
You can use something like “/%category%/%postname%/” to make your category also display in the permalink structure. This is usually preferred for news listed websites.
6: Configure Reading Settings
By default, WordPress blog posts will be shown on your homepage. This can be changed to a custom static page depending on the way you want your home page to look.
Go to Settings >> Reading, select “A static page” and below you can choose the page you want to show up as your home page and posts page.
7: Configure Discussion Settings
You will find too many things over here, don’t panic. The default settings are pretty good, you can change one or two other settings depending on your requirement.
Check the screenshot if you get confused.
8: Install Plugins & Themes
Plugins and themes are the best options on WordPress which makes it so customisable. You can simply change the theme when you want to change the design of the blog or just add a plugin when you need a new functionality.
Check this article on how to install plugins and themes on WordPress.
Here are few plugins which might help you:
9: Create Categories
By default, a category called “uncategorized” is created. You can add new categories by going to Posts >> Categories. The posts you write can be assigned to the respective categories.
10: Add Google Analytics & Link Site To Google Webmasters
Once the necessary settings are done, go to Google Analytics and add your site. Copy the tracking code and place it in the head section of your blog (in the theme or using a plugin).
Also, create a new site property in Google Search Console (Webmasters) and submit the sitemap. This will help you in verifying the site’s errors and monitoring search stats.
So, these are the basic things to be done if you have just installed WordPress. Never forget to do these steps before jumping into writing articles. Let me know if you have any doubts on any of the settings and share what other settings you would recommend all WordPress users!