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Top 10 Most Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress

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Top 10 Most Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress

What do you do after installing WordPress? This is a common question asked by beginners. In this article, we will show you the top 10 most important things you must do after installing WordPress.

Video Tutorial

If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

1. Change The Title, Tagline, Time zone, and Favicon

The first three steps can be combined into one because you can quickly make those changes in the same area of your WordPress Admin Dashboard.

Changing title and tagline of your WordPress site

To change these, go to your Settings in your dashboard and choose General. Change both your site title and tagline to something that relates to your site.

Changing timezone in WordPress

Now scroll down the page to update your timezone. This functionality is important to show the most accurate date on your site, and it also helps with scheduling posts.

Towards the middle of the page you’re on (in General Settings), you’ll find the option to set your zone. You can choose a city that is in the same time zone as you live in or set by UTC. To find the right UTC setting, you can search a site like this one here to make sure you select the right time zone.

Don’t forget to save your changes.

The final part of item 1 is updating the favicon. This is the little icon that appears in the browser tab next to your site title which is important for your site’s identity. Often people don’t change this which ends up showing either the default WordPress icon or their hosting provider’s icon such as Bluehost, etc.

The easiest way to add a favicon to your site is by following our guide on How to Add a Favicon in WordPress.

2. Change Your Permalink Structure

Unfortunately, the default permalink structure — the URL structure that tacked on the end of your site name — of WordPress is not very Google friendly. As that is the case, you should be sure to alter this to something else.

Changing permalinks in WordPress

Go back to Settings and then select Permalink from the menu. There you will find a few different choices for setting a new structure. The best ones to use are either the Day and Name or Post Name options.

Select the one you prefer and then save your changes.

3. Configure the Reading Settings

While in the Settings area of your dashboard, you should also configure the Reading settings. Here you can set what your front page display will be.

Reading settings

This part is great if you want to have a custom homepage to display your services and have a separate page to display all your blog posts.

Navigate over to the Reading option in the menu and decide if you want your front page to show your latest posts or if you want to use a static page. Make your choice and then save your changes. You can always change this one later, so don’t feel too pressured.

As a quick note, you can also make some of the above-stated changes using the Customize option in the front-end of your site if you are logged in. However, following this flow of things simply speeds up the process a little.

4. Delete Unused Themes

Most WordPress users will install and test a few themes before deciding on one that’s a keeper. Instead of leaving those unused themes installed, be sure to delete them. Themes even ones that go unused, will need updates.

Leaving them there can create the unnecessary chore of updating them. And not updating them can create a hazard to your sites safety as it can give hackers a way in.

Thankfully, deleting unused themes is a snap. Simply find the menu item named Appearance, and then go to themes. To delete a given theme, you need to hover over it and select Theme Details. After that, a window will open and the option to delete the theme will be available there.

5. Install a Cache Plugin

Why a cache plugin? Because it can help speed up your site. Caching helps take the load off your server and make your site faster. This is great for SEO as well as prevents your site from crashing during heavy load times.

Below are a couple of cache plugins that you can use in your WordPress site:

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache – This plugin can likely lay claim to being the most powerful cache plugin available for WordPress users. It has a ton of options for boosting your site and is a popular plugin of choice for CDN integration. The plugin really does pack a punch and can easily mess things up if you’re not sure how to configure it properly. If you’ve never used the plugin before, it may be better to start small before using this one. However, if you’d like to be brave and use this plugin, be sure to check out our step-by-step guide for setting it up:

WP Super Cache – This one is a bit easier to start using, and yes, it’s still a great cache plugin. Simply install it and turn on caching, and you’re one step closer to a faster site. There are other options that come with the plugin, just be sure you know what you’re selecting before you hit save. Want some help with this plugin? Check out our guide below:

6. Improving WordPress Security

When it comes to your website, it is probably best to be of the philosophy that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

First security step that you can take is installing a backup plugin (we will come to that later). After that you need to protect your WordPress admin area.

WPBeginner uses Sucuri for security purposes. If you’d like to know why we chose this one over others, then be sure to give this post a read:

7. Install an Anti-Spam Plugin

No one likes spam.

Spammy comments are a huge headache for many WordPress site owners. Not only are they irritating, they’re also bad for SEO. To help alleviate the problems that come from this issue, you should install an anti-spam plugin on your site. Here are a few top choices:


Akismet – This plugin by Automattic is a premium anti-spam plugin that does wonders for keeping that icky spam stuff out. If you decide to use Jetpack in your site, then you can use that account to activate Akismet for your site. If not, you’’ll need to follow the prompts for fully activating the plugin after install. The free version is limited but can be upgraded it you pay.

Anti Spam Bee

Antispam Bee – This is another great free plugin that helps to block out those pesky spammers. Even though the Akismet plugin does a better job, this one is a great option too.

Either way, be sure you use one.

8. Install A SEO WordPress Plugin

SEO is an important part of any website. To ensure that your blog posts are getting maximum results, you need to optimize them using an SEO plugin. Though these types of plugins don’t automatically boost SEO, they do help you make the most of your blog posts.

WordPres SEO plugin

A top choice for many is the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. It’s easy to use and can even generate an XML sitemap at the click of the mouse. Want to know how to really boost the power of the plugin? Here’s our tutorial:

9. Optimize For Social Media Sharing via Sharing Plugins

Social Media

First off, is this really important? Yes, absolutely! You shouldn’t wait for your site to get traffic before optimizing your site for social shares. The best and easiest way to optimize your site for social shares is to use a Social Sharing Plugin.

There are hundreds of these to choose from, and some of them shouldn’t be used as they tend to slow down site speed. However, there are others that get the job done without bogging you down.

Here is a great article that narrows down the choice a bit:

10. Start Scheduling Regular Backups

Now that you’ve spent all that time setting up and customizing your WordPress site, you wouldn’t want to lose any of this right? Well, in that case, you should create regular backups.

Here is our post on the best backup plugins for WordPress:

Wrapping It Up

All ten steps mentioned above are vital for a smart WordPress site. Obviously, there are others that some like to take after installing WordPress, but these ones should be at the top of the list.

Taking the time now to get things in order is important so you’re not scrambling to fix things later.

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Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. vishwa says:

    Hi :)

    I found your tutorial very useful and I want to do this with my blog. But my doubt Is

    “whether this is required to all this on site?” I don’t have domain or hosting. I just created a blog on which is free one.

    waiting for reply. thank you :)

  2. AmanDeep Singh says:

    Thank you for this useful post. This will surely help in optimizing WP websites.

  3. Mats Sean Stols says:

    The best way to get rid of spam is by installing Disqus :) And best of all, it’s free!

  4. Erik Emanuelli says:

    What a great and useful post, to use as check list.
    I should add a small suggestion, the favicon!

  5. Bart Van Deuren says:

    I combine practically all these functions in a MainWP installation. But I agree with the logic of your list.

  6. WPBeginner Staff says:

    You are probably using one of our plugins on that site. Installing the same plugin will enable the dashboard widget on your other sites as well.

  7. Alistair Bell says:

    Can I also add that you should connect your site to your webmaster tools and analytics account. Great list though. Thanks

  8. Santanu says:

    I have installed W3 Total cache last and I was amazed by running pingdom analysis. Lot of issues removed by cache plugin itself and website is loading faster now…

  9. Neena says:

    Inactive themes may seem innocent enough, so most people ignore them. But it is good practice to delete the ones you don’t want. Because, as you said – themes that are not updated can make your site vulnerable.

    Recently, I installed wordpress for a client on a host that I had not used before and was dismayed to see that at least 20 free themes were included with the install.

    I had to go through and delete them all. Not fun.

  10. Tom Murphy says:

    One thing perhaps you missed… and that is how to install “Latest from WPBeginner” on the WordPress Dashboard? I have it on one of my sites.. but I don’t know how I got it there.. nor do I know how to put it on my other WP sites. Can you advise??

  11. WPBeginner Staff says:

    It is no longer relevant as WordPress does not create admin user anymore. Instead WordPress allows you to choose a username for the first user during the installation.

  12. Damien Carbery says:

    If you are not going to allow comments on the site, disable them at the start so you don’t have to disable them on all the posts and pages you create later.

  13. Viktoria Michaelis says:

    One small point about your second recommendation: I don’t know whether things have changed with WP 4.0, but up until now it has sometimes been necessary to create or amend the htaccess file when choosing some of the permalink options.

  14. Khürt L. Williams says:

    Good tips but #1 should be “Create a new account with administrator access and DELETE the default admin account”.


    Very helpful tips for anyone getting started or using WP. Always very valuable info at WPB!

  16. Mario Seiwert says:

    its better to not install a caching plugin before/while building a site. An active caching plugin makes it difficult to work on the site smoothly. This can be done later (before going live and driving traffic to the site).

  17. Hazelb says:

    aah ! this is what I need! As my site is a business site it is mainly static with a blog page. These are great tips for SEO, speeding the site up and security..brilliant!

  18. Mark Corder says:

    Excellent list – may I add two more?

    1. You’ll start with one Category by default named “Uncategorized”, and you may want to change the name of this to something else.

    2. Set the image dimensions you’ll want for Thumbnails, Medium and Large images under Settings > Media – and install any other image plugins like “JPEG Quality” – before you start uploading images!

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