Top Actions To Take On Your WordPress After Installation

In this post, I am going to discuss the most essentials steps to do right away after you install WordPress, this step comes right after you setup WordPress on your host and in case you need to start earlier than that and not sure where to start , I suggest you navigate to the Start here link

Anyway, in this post, I am going to walk you through a to do checklist right after your WordPress site is up and running for the first time.

Complete the following steps listed below for your WordPress site

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If you need to jump directly to any step, just click on any step you want and it will take you there

  1. Create new Administrator user and delete the old Admin one
  2. Delete sample post and sample page
  3. Configure the site title and tagline
  4. Media settings resetting all images sizes to zero
  5. Change the permalinks to post name
  6. Installing Yoast SEO Plugins for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  7. Activating the default Akismet Anti Spam Plugin
  8. Installing security plugin
  9. Installing performance plugin like W3 Total Cache
  10. Installing SumoMe plugin
  11. Installing JetPack by WordPress
  12. Installing No Self Pings
  13. Installing Google Analytics for WordPress
  14. Delete unused themes
  15. Update unique authentication keys and salts

Now it’s time to cover these steps above with some details and images

Step 1: Create new Administrator user and delete the old Admin one

Now when you go to your WordPress site using your domain name e.g. http://DoYourBlogWithMe.com after WordPress Installation, you will see the website loads a page like the screenshot below, click on the Admin Login button

wordpress step 1 logging using admin credentials

Do you remember when I told you to take a screenshot of the last image of your WordPress Installation Process, that’s because you will use the password into the password text field, I assume you kept the username as Admin

wordpress step 2 typing admin credentials to log on to wordpress

After you log on, it will take you to the back office (sometimes it is referred to Dashboard) of WordPress, for the first time, it looks overwhelming but you will get used to it, now go to Users then All Users as shown below

wordpress step 3 selecting users menu to change admin password for wordpress

You will find only one user who is the Admin user, now we need to create another Administrator (your own username) and to delete this old Admin account.

The reason I am doing this because everyone knows that WordPress comes with default username = Admin so it will harden the task for hackers to break into your WordPress.

wordpress step 4 clicking edit under admin user to start changing password

To add a new user, click on Users on the left side menu below Plugins and above Tools, when you hover the mouse on the Users menu item, sub menu with show up, click on Add New, fill up all the required fields, it is good practice to put your first and last name.

The most important thing here is to select Administrator in the Role, WordPress will accept this task as an Administrator is creating another one.

wordpress step 5 adding your name for wordpress admin user

Click on show password, WordPress will generate a new password but also it is very hard to remember so hover the mouse over the New Password text field and delete the generated password to type your own.

Always make sure that there is no spelling mistakes or caps lock is not on as Password is case sensitive, now it is time to go to the very upper right corner and hover the mouse on the Howdy, admin word, this will bring a menu where you will select Log Out link

wordpress step 8 logging out to test your new password

Test your new username and password and now you can log on to the WordPress Dashboard easily with no hassles

wordpress step 9 test again your new password
Last step is to go again to Users then All Users and delete the default Admin account.

N.B. If you already created few posts under the default Admin account, WordPress will display a warning and 2 options to take, first option to delete all contents and I don’t think you will proceed with this option, the second option is to migrate all posts to the newly created Administrator account so please select this one and accept the changes.

Step 2: Delete Sample Post and Sample Page

Removing sample post before you start adding new posts, it happened to me before that I leave it and I forget to remove it later as my number of posts increases so go to Posts then All Posts

Wordpress step 1 selecting all posts under wordpress admin area

This will load the list of all posts, you can chick on the checkbox beside the post you want to delete or same thing if you click on the Trash link underneath the post

Wordpress step 2 clicking trash link under the post you want to delete

Repeat the same steps but for Pages this time, by going to Pages menu to the left then All Pages

Wordpress step 3 selecting all pages under wordpress admin area

This will load a list of all pages, click on the checkbox beside the page or directly click on the Trash link under the page that you need to delete

Wordpress step 4 clicking trash link under the page you want to delete

Step 3: Configure the Site Title and Tagline

You need to give a title to your site and description (as known as Tagline) by going to Settings then General

wordpress step 1 selecting settings general

This will load the General Settings and type your site title and tagline

wordpress step 2 type your site title and tagline

Step 4: Media Settings Resetting All Images Sizes to Zero

This step is just for the sake of practicing saving on data consumption on your hosting, keep on mind that most hosting companies support unlimited data storage and you don’t need to proceed with this step but it is best practice to follow it because when uploading new images to your WordPress site, three different thumbnails will be created for you and always you will use one if required so it is better to set the dimensions for only one medium thumbnail and that is enough.

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Go to Settings then Media and this will load the Media Settings page

Reset small and large thumbnails to zero and keep only the medium size as per the default 300 x 300 and this will generate only one thumbnail when uploading any new image, note that some themes create extra thumbnails so if you need to optimize by removing these images, I will discuss it later on separate post

Step 5: Change the Permalinks to Post Name

When creating new posts and/or pages, you always want them to be displayed as hyphenated title e.g. www.MyOwnWebsite.com/my-title-in-post something like this, there are so many options and this is the best as you want your posts and pages to be optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so to change the Permalinks to Post Name you have to go to Settings then Permalinks


This will load all the possible options, click on Custom Structure and either type /%postname%/ or click on the button that says that below (inside the green rectangle as shown on the screenshot below)

Note after you save your changes, you will find that the page loads again with Post name selected, you are good, proceed to the next step

wordpress-step-2-selecting-postname-in-permalink

Step 6: Installing Yoast SEO Plugins

Yoast SEO Plugins has so many features if you buy the premium one but I always use the free version and it is enough for you, go to Plugins then click on Add New

Add Plugins page will load and under Keyword text field type yoast seo as shown below then click on Install Now

wordpress-step-2-click-on-install-now-to-install-yoast-seo

After Yoast SEO plugin gets installed, button will switch to Activate if you click on it again it turns to Active and will get disabled

Step 7: Activating the Default Akismet

WordPress comes by default with Akismet plugin so you only need to set it up by going to Plugins then Installed Plugins

Either click on Set up your Akismet account or settings under the plugin name as shown below

wordpress-step-2-click-on-set-up-your-akisemt-account

This will load the setup page, click on Get your API key button then follow the steps to create an account on the WordPress site (this is the WordPress company website)

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Remember, Akismet plugin is free so don’t be confused if you see a price to be paid, move the slider on the section that says how much you will pay for Akismet to zero and you should get it for free

Step 8: Installing Security Plugin

This security plugin protects you from getting hacked also it has premium version but I always use the free one, go to Plugins then click on Add New link

On the Add Plugins page, type security under the keyword as shown below and Wordfence Security is shown as first option due to its popularity and highest numbers of installations

wordpress-step-2-installing-wordfence-security-plugin

After installation gets completed, Install Now will change its label to Activate, click on that

Type your email address and it is up to you if you would like to join their mailing list, always click on the checkbox down below to agree to the Wordfence terms and privacy policy then click on Continue button

wordpress-step-4-setting-up-wordfence-security-plugin

Pay attention as the No Thanks button as shown below will take you to the free version (I remember first time it took me a while to find it)

wordpress-step-5-continue-as-free-user-wordfence-security-plugin

This will take you back to the Dashboard, this message shown below will come up, click on the CLICK HERE TO CONFIGURE button

wordpress-step-6-configure-wordfence-security-plugin

This will show the Optimize Wordfence Firewall, click to the DOWNLOAD .HTACCESS button and then click on Continue

wordpress-step-7-optimize-wordfence-security-plugin

Finally Installation Successful popup screen comes up, click on CLOSE button to finish

wordpress-step-8-complete-wordfence-security-plugin

Step 9: Installing Performance Plugin

This is an update which I added later (after 3 months) where I passed through some experience of realizing how important to check for Google Page Speed Test and that’s why I changed my web hosting account

Anyway I am not here to convince you to change your web hosting to Siteground but if you are not using them, I suggest you proceed with the recommended below W3 Total Cache plugin otherwise Siteground comes automatically with built in Supercacher and Cloudflare where they are more than enough and in this case you really don’t need W3 Total Cache plugin

To summarize how important you need to optimize the performance of your website, I will leave it to you to read about how W3 Cache optimizes  WordPress caching just go to Plugins then Add New

Under keyword just type w3 total cache and click on the Install Now
wordpress-step-2-click-install-now-w3-total-cache-plugin

Then click on the Activate button

When installing W3 Total Cache after Yoast SEO, I noticed that I got this message so I clicked on the Click here and it activated something called Yoast SEO extension (I am not sure exactly what is this feature but I may check it later)

wordpress-step-4-extra-activation-for-yoast-seo-extension

Step 10: Installing SumoMe Plugin

SumoMe is Social Media and marketing plugins, you can skip it if you want but if you install it and use the free version, you will be able to get the social media buttons like facebook and twitter to shown up on all your pages to improve your exposure on social media sites

Anyway go to Plugins then Add New

Under keyword, type sumome and click on Install Now button beside the SUMO plugin as shown below

wordpress-step-2-click-on-install-now-sumome-plugin

Click on the Activate button

This screen asks you to create an account, I always use Sign Up with Google (if you have an account with Google, who does not?)

When you get authenticated by Google, you can click on the upper right region Click here to set up Sumo

wordpress-step-4-signing-up-sumome-plugin

Step 11: Installing JetPack by WordPress

JetPack is a very powerful plugins that displays your visitor stats, security services and it helps in speeding up images, these are not the only features, they are many more so I will leave it to you to read about JetPack features

This plugin comes installed by default so click on Set up JetPack to start the setup process

wordpress-step-1-click-on-set-up-jetpack-plugin

I always Continue with Google

wordpress-step-2-sign-up-for-jetpack-plugin

Click on the Start with free button

wordpress-step-3-start-with-free-jetpack-plugin

Then click on the Activate recommended features and you are ready to go

Step 12: Installing No Self Pings

No Self Pings prevents you from pinging your own WordPress site, to install it just click on Plugins then Add New link

Under Keyword text field, type no self pings and it is going to be the first plugins on the list, click on Install Now then Activate button

wordpress-step-2-install-now-no-self-pings-plugins

Now you are ready to go, you don’t need to do anything as this plugin will work in the background, no action from your end.

Step 13: Installing Google Analytics

Every WordPress site requires a way to analyze users’ behaviors like where they are coming and which pages they go to when they visit your website and Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google to track so many things related to user’s interactions

To install this plugin, just to to Plugins then Add New

Search for google analytics under Add Plugins page, click Install Now or if you activate the Google Analytics under MonsterInsights plugin which comes installed by default then you can use this one

wordpress-step-2-install-now-google-analytics-plugin

Step 14: Delete Unused Themes

Default themes which come with WordPress Installation are good for learning how to use WordPress but I don’t believe anyone will use these themes, I always go ahead and delete them by going to Appearance then Themes as shown below

wordpress step 1 selecting appearance themes

Then select Twenty Fifteen and Twenty Sixteen to delete, remember you cannot delete Twenty Seventeen as this is your current theme, WordPress will not delete its currently used theme, please keep it as you need at least one extra theme in case you need to switch to it in the future for any other reasons.

wordpress step 2 click on themes you want to delete

Just click on the theme that you want to delete and then click on the Delete link on the lower right as shown below

wordpress step 3 delete themes you do not need

Step 15: Update authentication keys and salts

This step I added later after I completed this post due to my concern with security, I decided that it will definitely enhance WordPress security, using File Manager from your web hosting cPanel or FTP Software like FileZilla you will find that there is a file called wp-config.php under your WordPress root folder that contains your login credential which was created for you after setting up your WordPress site

I will explain below how to modify your wp-config.php using your File Manager which comes under your web hosting cPanel

Step 1: First logon to your web hosting and select File Manager

Step 2: Then click on your WordPress parent folder

Step 3: This will take you to all the files/folders under your parent, now go and right click on wp-config.php file and select Download to take a backup copy just in case

Step 4: Select Edit to be able to update wp-config.php file

Step 5: Click Edit on the Text Editor confirmation screen

Step 6: Locate the authentication keys and salts (always they are 8 lines)

Step 7: Visit this suggested site https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/ and the code will be generated for you

Step 8: Remove the existing code and paste the lines copied from the URL listed above and then click on Save Changes button

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