After Installing WordPress: 12 Essential Things To Do Next

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This step by step guide shows you what’s next and the essential settings you need to add, delete or change after installing WordPress.

Whether you have created a blog using BlueHost, GoDaddy, Hostgator or any other web hosting company, these items are all things you need to do next.

For easy to follow steps, I start at the top of the WordPress dashboard menu to help you start customizing your new blog.

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Table Of Contents

Delete or Edit Default Post

The Hello World! is the default post after installing WordPress. You can edit this post with a new title and contents or delete it.

To Delete

  1. Click on All Posts
  2. Hoover mouse over Hello World! post
  3. Click on Trash

To Edit:

  1. Click on All Posts
  2. Hoover mouse over Hello World! post
  3. Click on Edit
delete default post page

Categories

Categories help keep all related blog posts together.  

Categories can be hierarchy.  

This means you can have a Parent category and Child (sub-category) categories.

For example, you have a blog about restaurants in New York City, Chicago and the suburbs of each.

New York City (Parent Category)

  • Jericho (sub-category)
  • Kensington (sub-category)

Chicago (Parent Category)

  • Clarendon Hills (sub-category)
  • Buffalo Grove (sub-category)

Most importantly, having parent and child categories can help your visitors find the information they are looking for quickly.

When you create a new blog post and do not add them to a category, the article will be placed into the uncategorized category if you do not choose a category.

You need to rename the uncategorized category anything you want.

Also, when you create a new blog post (article), you will want to assign it to a category. 

Furthermore, each post can be in more than one category but you should designate one of the categories to be primary.

Make sure sub-categories are related. For example: don’t make a sub-category called cats and put it under the parent category called dogs.

Additionally, while writing a new post, you can add a new category. On the right side menu, you will see a box labeled Categories. Click +Add New Category

Quick Tip

Under Settings > Writing. You can set your default category. So when you create a new blog post (article), if you forget to add it to a category, it will automatically go to your default category.

Renaming the Uncategorized Category

  1. Hover mouse over Posts
  2. Click Categories
  3. Click Edit or Quick Edit
  4. Change the name to any word that fits your content
  5. Click Update

Add a New Category

You don’t need to create a lot of them and you can add more as you write more articles.

  1. Type the name of your new category
  2. Add the slug name – this will be the same as the category name but always lower case words
  3. Add description (optional) – some themes do not show the descriptions but if you change themes and your new theme shows the description, by adding it now, it’s already done.
  4. You can have a Parent or leave it as none
  5. Click Add New Category to save

Delete Default Page and Create 2 New Pages

It is easier to delete the default sample page from WordPress and start fresh.

Deleting the Default Page

  1. Click on Pages
  2. Hover your mouse under Sample Page
  3. Click Trash

Create 2 New Pages

Let’s add an About Me and Contact Me page.

These two pages helps your visitors:

  1. Learn a little about you and why you created your blog.
  2. Get in touch with you to obtain more information about a product, service, or question they may have.

How to Create a New Page

  1. Hover your mouse over Pages
  2. Click on Add New

Delete Default Comment

When you installed WordPress, this comment was put in to show you how comments appear in WordPress. You can delete this comment as it serves no purpose to your blog.

  1. Click on Comments
  2. Hover mouse over the comment
  3. Click on Trash
delete default comment wordpress

Pick a New Theme and Delete Unused Themes

If you did not pick a new theme while installing WordPress, you ended up with the default theme.

This theme may not work for your new blog so you can easily change it.

Also, during the install process, a few other themes may have been installed. You should delete any unused themes since you will not be updating them and keeping them could lead to potential security issues with your blog.

Install a New Theme

  1. Click on Appearance
  2. Click on Add New (or WordPress.org Themes)
  3. Find a theme to fit your blog
  4. Hover mouse over theme and click Preview & Details for more information
  5. Click on Install

Deleting Unused Themes

  1. Click on Appearance
  2. Click on Themes – hover mouse over the one you want to delete
  3. Click Theme Details
  4. In the bottom right hand corner, click on Delete

Plugins – What are They and Adding and Deleting

A  WordPress plugin is something that adds new functions to your WordPress site or extends existing functionality on your site.

On each new install of WordPress, the plugin Hello Dolly! has been installed.

If activiated, this plugin will display a line from the lyrics of the Hello Dolly song, which is performed by Louis Armstrong. 

Since this plugin has no practical purpose, you can delete it.

Also, if you purchased a hosting plan from Bluehost, two plugins were installed with your initial setup, MarketPlace and OptinMonster. It is your choice if you would like to keep these or delete them.

Steps to Delete Plugins

  1. Click on Plugins
  2. Click Installed Plugins
  3. Deactivate the plugin  you want to delete
  4. Click on Delete

Essential Plugins Needed for Your New Blog

  1. Wordfence Security – Your #1 priority is to secure your blog from hackers. The free version has a lot of features to achieve added security and is an easy setup.
  2. Yoast SEO for WordPress – With over a million downloads, this is one of the go-to SEO plugins for webmasters. Not only is it very beginner-friendly, but it also helps you optimized each page and post for the search engines.
  3. Google Analytics – This is great to track incoming traffic to your site: which keywords they used to find you, how long they stayed, as well as, which pages are getting traffic and much more.
  4. Contact Form 7 – Using this plugin helps your visitors contact you easily. It is a simple set up to add a contact page to your blog. Furthermore, with over 1 million downloads and updated regularly, you can’t go wrong with it.

Pre-Installed on WordPress

  1. Akismet – is an anti-spam plugin. Spam comments are a huge battle when you use WordPress. But Akismet helps fight that problem. You will need an Akismet.com API key to use it. API keys are free for personal blogs, but there is a paid subscription available for businesses and commercial sites.

Installing a WordPress Plugin

  1. Click on Plugins
  2. Click on Add New
  3. Search by featured, popular or type in a keyword
  4. Click on Install Now (installs usually quickly)
  5.  Click Activate
step by step install wordpress plugin

Essential Settings Setup

Under the Settings area, you will see:

  • General
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Discussion
  • Media
  • Permalinks

I will go through a few of these sub-menu items that are essential for you to set up after installing WordPress.

General – Site Title and Tagline, Time Zone and Change Language

Set Site Title and Tagline

  • Site Title – Use your domain name or any other title that best describes your blog.
  • Tagline – Explain in a few words what your blog is about
setup site title and tagline in wordpress

Setting Your Correct Time Zone

Setting up your correct time is essential. Especially if you plan on scheduling posts on your blog.

timezone setting in wordpress

Changing Your WordPress Site Language

When you installed WordPress, you may not have changed the language to what you need. Verify it has the correct language for your blog.

verify wordpress site language

Writing – Change Default Post Category

If you haven’t already changed the “uncategorized” category on your new blog, change the name now and set one of your categories as a default.

Reading – Setting a Static Front Page (Homepage) in WordPress

A static homepage has content on it that you have created and it will make your site look more like a website than a blog. (Like createawebsitetutorial.com)

It is entirely up to you if you want a static front page or have your “homepage” just show your most current posts.

How to change to a static front page:

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard
  2. Create a Page called Home and click on Publish
  3. Click on Settings
  4. Click on Reading
  5. Click on A static page
  6. In Front Page, pull-down menu and click on the page you want as your homepage
  7. Click on Save Changes
how to make static homepage on wordpress

Permalinks

Change default Permalink to “Pretty Link”

The default permalink structure shows the date your post was created so even if you update the post, potential visitors see it in the search engine results page (SERP),  may not click on it thinking it is an “old post” with outdated information.

So while you are setting up your WordPress site, it is a very essential change that you should make to the permalink structure and make it into a “pretty link”.

Additionally, if you wait to change your permalinks down the road, it is a major undertaking and could impact your SEO (search engine optimization).

change wordpress permalink to a pretty link

Also, under the Settings area in your WordPress dashboard is a lot of information and I recommend taking a little time after installing WordPress and get to know each of the sections.

Getting Your New Blog Love From Google

In May 2021, Google will be using user page experience in their rankings. 

Core Web Vitals is a very essential part of having a blog that Google loves and we all want to have a blog that Google loves.

With this in mind, here is some information from Google explaining the Core Web Vitals.

Also, to get you started in the right direction, this Beginners Guide from Google (free) steps you through signing up with Google Search Console, verifying your site, learning the basics of search engine optimization, and much more.

Set Up Google Analytic

Google Analytics (free) shows you how your visitors found and interact with your blog.

Understanding your blog analytics can really be confusing.

Check out this article about what Google Analytics does to help you get a grasp on all the information you can get from Google about your blog.

Final Thoughts

 In conclusion, I hope this answered your question about what to do after installing WordPress. It may seem like a lot of things to do, but  these items are an essential part of starting your new blog.

I know it may seem like a lot of things to do, but it really will not take you very long.

Also, by taking care of these things, it will save you time down the road and you can focus on building your new blog and making it successful.

Until next time,

Create yours: Step by Step,

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