This is our Phase 3 on "how to start a blog" series. In our previous phase, I discussed 4 important decisions you need to make when starting a successful blog.
In this phase, we are going to talk about things you need to do while setting up your new blog the perfect way. This will cover everything starting from your very first interaction with WordPress to better search engine indexing setting of your blog posts.
You must be thinking I am guiding you from one article to another but believe me explaining the whole topic on how to start a blog in one place will not get you everything you should know about.
I assume you want to know everything from start to end about setting up a professional blog. So let's get started with phase 3.
Installing WordPress on your Blog:
We already discussed in our previous phase 2, choosing the best blogging platform which is WordPress.org.
Right after buying the best web hosting for your blog you need to install the WordPress from your hosting cPanel.
You can go through my detailed guide for newbies on how to install a WordPress on Siteground hosting. (visit the link to get 60% Off SiteGround)
SiteGround is famous for its highly quality services and recommended by all experienced bloggers. They provide one-click WordPress installation with simple user interface, starts at affordable price ($3.95/mo) and they are also officially recommended by WordPress itself.
For a newbie, installing WordPress from cPanel may seem to be a mammoth task. This seems to be a bit technical at the start but believe me, it is insanely simple and will only take 2-3 mins to be completed.
Phase 3 - 11 Basic Things To Do After Installing WordPress On Your Blog
When you are done installing a WordPress on your blog. There are some basic things you need to do right after your WordPress installation.
By following this guide your all WordPress basic settings will be completed within next 30-40 minutes.
There are many default WordPress settings which are not supposed to be well optimized. So it is better to make changes before getting starting with publishing your first blog post.
The very first thing you need to do is to change your "Search Engine Visibility" in Settings »Reading.
The reason behind is that your site will be going through many changes and you don't want the search engine or users to visit your blog while these changes are going under process.
Note: Don't forget to uncheck from discouraging search engines from indexing your site.
A default setting of a WordPress blog is not worth or I can say it's not fully optimized. You must have to make some changes to your WordPress default settings before starting up with your blogging.
Here in this article, I will list out all the basic WordPress settings you need to do right after installing WordPress on your blog:
#1 Change Site Title and Tagline
The default WordPress site’s title and the tagline are something like the title "My blog" and tagline "My WordPress blog". It's obvious that it's not what you want for your blog.
Login to your WordPress dashboard and go to Settings » General.
You will see Site title and Tagline option at the top, change them as you may like. Follow the image above for better understanding.
Note: Your site title and the tagline is editable for future use. You can edit it anytime in the future as per your need.
#2 Set your Time Zone
WordPress default time zone is different and you need to set it according to your regional time zone. This is important for scheduling your blog post publishing.
Again go to Settings » General, you will see "Timezone" set it to your local city time zone, also set your date format and time format. Now "Save changes".
Follow the screenshot above for better understanding.
#3 Get rid of your default WordPress Content (Page, Post and Comment)
WordPress comes with a sample post and a sample comment for better understanding for newbies. It has no purpose for your blog so you need to remove that default sample content.
Go to Posts » All Posts, you will see a post "Hello World" trash it out from your WordPress.
Now, got to your Pages » All Pages, there will be a "Sample Page" remove that page from your WordPress.
The same way, go to Comments and delete the default WordPress comment.
#4 Fix your WordPress Permalink Structure
Now this one is the very important thing to consider, many bloggers made a mistake on this point.
Why do you need to change your permalink structure?
Default permalink structure of your WordPress blog is not SEO optimized and it can harm your search engine ranking.
Your default permalink is set to plain format such as "https://www.loudtechie.com/?p=123"
With this type of permalink structure, Search engines don't get any idea about what your post content could be.
Go to Settings » Permalinks, select "Post Name".
Don't forget to "Save Changes".
All other permalink formats have their own purposes. You can find out more about them on my detailed article on permalink structure.
Note: Set your best-suited permalink structure at the start because changing it, later on, can harm your site links to get broken. All your internal linking will be affected. And you may need to do 301 .htaccess redirection. To avoid going through that long process set it at the initial process only.
#5 Enable/Disable User Registration
If you want to start a multi author WordPress blog where anyone can register and can contribute to your blog, you may want to enable user registration.
To do this, go to Settings » General, in "Membership" set it to "Anyone can register".
And, set your new user default role as "Contributor". Different roles have different capabilities in WordPress. I recommend setting user role as a contributor because he/she can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
#6 Change your Discussion/Comments Settings
This is another important thing you need to do right after your WordPress installation. There is some discussion setting you may want to check out before getting started with your blogging.
The discussion setting is related to your comments and default article settings. You can set permissions and rules for your user comment section.
Go to Settings » Discussion, there will be all comments related settings.
You may also find some complex setting phrases there in discussion setting page. So you can simply follow the above screenshot to set your discussion settings.
#7 Create Categories for your Blog
Creating a category in your WordPress is one essential part. This can be used to provide a structural approach to your categorized content for your visitors and search engines.
Go to Posts » Categories, for every new category you will need to provide a name, slug, parent/child, description and redirection (if required).
You’re free to display your desired categories on the menu bar, sidebar and footer. You can also display them in all three places if you like.
There is no force display rule for any category you create, you can exclude them from anywhere anytime.
There is no limit on the number of categories you can create in WordPress.
#8 Update your WordPress Ping List
The main purpose of updating your WordPress ping list is to get faster indexing of your newly published blog posts.
Go to Settings » Writing, scroll down to find "Update Services". There you can add your list of pinging services in separate lines.
Why do we need to add Ping list in our WordPress blog?
In simple words, Ping is an XML-RPC-based push mechanism. By adding Ping List to your WP blog, whenever you publish, edit/modify any old post, WordPress automatically sends pings to all pinging services added in your blog. This will attracts bots to crawl your blog right away for any new updates. This is how the Ping list makes your blog to get indexed faster than any other normal blogs.
I have already written a detailed article on this topic, you can visit to get the list of pinging services you can add to your WordPress Ping list.
#9 Complete your User profile
Every article you publish will show an author bio box at the end or in your sidebar. That author bio box will display the information you have added to your user profile.
You can add a short bio about yourself regarding what you do and what you like. You can add your contact information like your email id, website link and some famous social media profile links. So that visitors can reach you or follow you if they want to.
Go to Users » Your Profile, and there you can edit your contact and bio info.
I recommend you to add a clear profile picture in your user profile. Getting registered on Gravatar is the best thing you can do. It will display your same profile picture on other blogs when you do a comment on any blog posts.
Getting registered on Gravatar is the best thing you can do. It will display your same profile picture on other blogs when you do a comment on their blog posts.
#10 Crucial Media Settings
Your default media settings in WordPress is not good for your website database.
By using default media settings, your uploaded images will create multiple sizes of its own copy. That can eat up a large size in your WordPress database.
So setting it to this recommended setting will stop WordPress from creating multiple copies of different sizes like thumbnails, medium and large.
Go to Settings » Media, and then just follow the screenshot below.
You can also install an image optimization plugin to speed up your WordPress blog. That could the best image optimization practice I can suggest you.
#11 Setting up Widgets & Menus
This is the last required step to setup your newly installed WordPress blog. Setting up your menus and widgets could be the last complex thing for a newbie blogger.
First, we start with WordPress Widgets:
WordPress widgets are the pre installed sidebar functions in your WordPress. The default WordPress widgets look similar to the image below.
Go to Appearance » Widgets, there you will see your "Widget" window. You can also manage your widgets using your "Theme Customizer".
Some themes do not support theme customizer option.
There will be two blocks one is "Available Widgets" with numbers of features as per your WordPress theme and another one is "Widget Area" where all your active widgets will be shown. You can simply drag and drop widgets from available widgets to the widget area.
You can simply drag and drop widgets from available widgets to the widget area. All your customization in your "widget area" will be displayed in your sidebars including your footer section.
Your blog's footer section also comes with widgets. To be noted different WordPress themes have different types of widgets and their features.
You can edit or set your sidebar widget as per your needs. I recommend making it simple and clean and don't forget to remove your login windows from your sidebar (to avoid spam registration).
Second, WordPress Menus:
Menus are used to provide quick navigation for visitors and search engines. You can add anything in your menu bar including pages, posts, custom links and categories.
Go to Appearance » Menus, a menu editing window will be there, edit ti as per your need.
Check out the screenshot of my blog menus, as you can see first, you need to select the type of menu.
Second, pick your menu items from pages, posts, custom links and categories.
Third, you need to set your menu structure just by dragging them up and down. You can set them as a "parent" menu and a "child" menu.
At last, "Save Menu".
I have tried to be as simple as I can while explaining each WordPress settings. I've tried to avoid most of the complex terms and explained them in a simple language for the better understanding of each setting.
If you just finished installing a WordPress on your blog do not skip any of these settings mentioned above. They are essential to set up your blog properly.
In this Phase 3, I have explained 11 most important things to do after installing WordPress blog. Still, if you have any doubts feel free to ask me using the comment section below or you can directly contact me using our contact us page.
Don't forget to bookmark this post and share it with your friends on your social networks.
Stay tuned for the next Phase 4 in our series how to start a blog.