Contrary to what many people think, creating a blog is simple. Yes, it is. In fact, it’s never been simpler than it is today. However, creating your blog with WordPress is only the first step. You will also need to configure your blog properly, feed it regularly with quality content and do what is necessary to increase its traffic. Creating your blog is just the first step on a long road. And I propose you to see today the second step : configuring your blog correctly. More globally, we will see the essential actions to do immediately after installing WordPress. Basically, once your domain name reserved, your hosting purchased and then
WordPress installed, what do you have to do ? ….
SET UP YOUR WORDPRESS CORRECTLY
WordPress setup is a must. The screens are numerous. But only 1 parameter is really important : the format of the permalinks. The permalink is the address, or URL, of your posts. The default parameter of the permalinks is very bad, in terms of readability and SEO. Fortunately, WordPress allows you to customize the structure of these addresses. Modify this setting to improve your blog’s SEO, even if it’s not the only element that plays. Then leave it alone. To do this, go to the “Settings / Permalinks” menu and choose the “Publication Title” option.
Why this option ? Because it is the simplest and most effective.
CLEAN UP IN WORDPRESS
WordPress comes with a few default elements. So that it is not empty. Most of these elements are useless : delete them like the Hello Word article, its one and only comment and the “Hello Dolly” plugin.
And keep only the default graphical theme (you need one anyway) and the Akismet plugin.
Just for fun, I sometimes either keep the Hello Word article and comment as is or edit the article and reply to the comment. It’s up to you to see what amuses you
DELETE THE ADMIN ACCOUNT
By default, WordPress is installed with the admin account. This is the admin account that has the right to do everything on your site.
Leaving this account is dangerous. Because, being created by default, it is the first one targeted for attack.
Create a new administrator account,
Create a secure password.
Delete the old administrator account,
INSTALL THE ESSENTIAL PLUGINS
One of the great strengths of WordPress is the plugin that allows you to fix, improve or extend WordPress.
Certains types of plugins are essential …
A security plugin
The security of its site does not stop with a single plugin.
However, a plugin dedicated to security does help.
I recommend iThemes Security, formerly called Better WP Security, or SecuPress.
A backup plugin
You are not safe from a problem with your hosting, an attack on your site (despite the previous plugin…), a false manipulation on your part or a plugin problem.
The solution : regularly back up your site. That is to say the backup of the files and the backup of the WordPress database. I advise you to use the BackWPup Free plugin to backup your files and your database. This backup can be kept locally or sent by email, on an FTP server, at Dropbox, …And you can also plan regular backups.
An SEO plugin
Besides good practices, an SEO plugin is a big plus.
2 plugins stand out among the must-have SEO plugins : Yoast SEO Plugin and All in One SEO Pack.
My personal choice goes to Yoast SEO Plugin. However, I find All in One SEO Pack more accessible to beginners.
One thing is for sure : you won’t make a bad choice by taking one or the other.
An anti-spam plugin
WordPress is delivered from the start with a good anti-spam plugin : Akismet. You might as well not look any further and activate it from the start.
I tested 2 or 3 other plugins. But I quickly came back to Akismet.
A cache plugin
Optimizing the loading speed of its site is important for the good referencing of this site.
This criterion is not the most important. But it is still an important element. Because if your site is too slow, your visitor may not stay very long.
The solution : install a cache plugin.
My personal choice is WP-Rocket. Simple, efficient and very powerful. But paying…
To stay in the free, I recommend W3 Total Cache even if it is not necessarily easy to configure.
TO FINISH WELL …
Your WordPress site is up and running and well configured
In closing, I suggest :
To make a global update : WordPress, theme and plugins ;
To make a new global backup : database and files.
AND AFTER ? …
That’s it, your WordPress site is now well configured and really operational.
However, all you ever have is an empty blog. If you forget the default article and comment. But do they really count ?
So take the time to create and write the few indispensable pages :
an “About” page,
a “Popular articles” page : for the moment, there is none, but creating such a page remains a good idea,
the ” Contact me ” page : a contact form or your email address,
So there’s a lot to do after installing WordPress ?
To summarize, the essential actions to do after installing WordPress are :
1. Set up your WordPress correctly,
2. Clean up your WordPress,
3. Secure your admin account,
4. Install essential plugins : security, backup, SEO, anti-spam, cache,
5. Make a global update and a final backup.