You have installed WordPress, now what in the world do you need to do? Fear not, I have come to the rescue. In the following article I will discuss how to adjust your settings, the most essential plugins you should install and important tips to help you prevent errors on your site.
Step 1. Setting up your Settings
First, go to Settings> General. Give your website a name on the Site Title which will appear on the top of your website. This can be your domain name. You can also give your site a Tagline that will appear just below your site title, but it’s optional. I recommend that you focus on your main keywords for the Tagline.
Scroll under and enter your e-mail address. Make sure you change your time zone because if you don’t, your post won’t publish until the time that your time zone is set on.
Always click on Save Changes when you’re done as I go through this guide.
Step 2. Add your First Few Pages
Step 3. Going back to the Settings
You can leave the Settings>Writing alone. Everything is fine just the way it is.
Next, go to Settings> Reading. At the top where it says Front Page Displays, you have an option of either having your latest post show up or a static page. I have mine set up to show ten of my latest blog posts. If you do this, make sure you insert the read more tag within the top right hand corner of your WordPress editor so summaries of your posts show up instead of the whole post. All you do is click on where you want it to appear when you’re done writing your post.
If you have a static page, you can go ahead and set your front page to the main page that you want and have all your blog post go to your Blog page.
Do not check on the Discourage search engines from indexing this site because Google will not index your site and what’s the point of that unless you want to make a private site.
On Settings> Discussion, the only thing that I would mess around with is changing the Avatar on the bottom of the page. I choose to have the Gravatar Logo in which your face and others will show up if they have a gravatar set up in the comments section. This adds more trust. To set up Gravatar, follow the instructions found at their support page.
The Media and Permalinks can be left alone. Do not change this as you can cause errors to your site.
Step 4. Getting Rid of The Junk
Scroll up to your comments, pages and posts area and delete the default ones so Hello World! doesn’t show up.
Step 5. Change Your Theme
If you’re very unsatisfied with your theme or the look of your site, you can give your site a complete makeover by going to the Appearance> Themes section or you can upload your own premium theme. I would recommend just using a free theme for now and when you start making a profit from your site, you can re-invest that money to get a premium theme if you want. To make changing your theme easier, go here where you can search for themes based on colors, layouts, and features.
Step 6. Setting up Your Plugins- The Website Enhancers
The major plugins that you need to activate are All In One SEO by Michael Torbert, Akismet, Google XML Sitemaps, Sociable, and WordPress Ping Optimizer.
The All in One SEO allows you to optimize your site for your keywords and Akismet protects your website from spam. If you want to add more protection to your blog, you can install the SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam that adds CAPTCHA anti-spam methods to WordPress forms for comments, registration, lost password, login, or all.
Google XML Sitemaps helps Google find and index all the pages and posts on our website so they can be found in the search engines. Sociable automatically adds links on your posts, pages and RSS feed to your favorite social bookmarking sites. WordPress Ping Optimizer saves your WordPress blog from getting tagged as ping spammer because every time you make a change to a post, your blog automatically pings and notifies Google that you made a change so this can hurt your rankings if you make dozens of changes to your posts.
You can easily install most of the plugins that I’m about to talk about by searching for them by going to Plugins>Add New, searching and finding the plugin, clicking on Install Now and Activate Plugin.
Once you install Akismet, click on Akismet Configuration. Go to Akismet.com and click on Get a WordPress Key to get your API key. After you click on personal, drag the slider all the way to the left if you wish, this is if you want to give a small donation. Once you fill in all your information on the next page, you’ll receive an e-mail with your API key that can be used on multiple sites. Copy and paste this into the Akismet Configuration.
If you want to change the font of your website, the best plugin for this is WP Google Fonts.
The Google Analytics plugin is not necessary because you can add your analytics code in the Google Analytics ID under the Google Settings section within the All in One SEO plugin. To set up Google Analytics, you just need a Google Account.
How to Install Google Analytics Using the All in One SEO Plugin
Search for “Google XML Sitemaps” by Arne Brachhold.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the plugin, head over to the dashboard and look under Settings for XML-Sitemap, click on Build Sitemap at the top of the page. It will be updated weekly with each new post and page. Look for the location in the plugin’s settings if you want to link to your sitemap on your site.
Look for a contact plugin if you want a contact form on your page. Contact Buddy is a recommended choice that can be downloaded from the developer’s website.
To install it, go to Plugins>Add New and click on Upload. Find Contact Buddy by pluginbuddy.com. After you’ve clicked Install Now and Activate, go to ContactBuddy> Settings so you can change the e-mail address and the style of the form. Finally, copy and paste the public and private keys. If you wanted to add it into a page, click on a little @ to add the shortcode for you.
And that’s it! Just fill in you pages and begin adding high quality content.