So you have read countless blog posts telling you that you can have your blog setup in minutes.
While this is technically true, at the end of that 5 minutes, you are not left with much and WordPress isn’t a platform where you can just wing it!
It has taken me years to master WordPress and there are still times where Google and Pinterest are my best friends in terms of research!
If this is your first time ever using WordPress, you might feel like you are in over your head. I definitely did my first time and sadly gave up shortly after.
The second time around, I was much more determined!
I also think a post like this one could have really been beneficial for me to walk me through step-by-step to set up the necessary items after installing WordPress.
You’ll see that this post is the fourth one in this WordPress Website Series, so make sure you’re completely up to speed before reading through!
After Installing WordPress #1
Change your Username and Password
Sadly, I didn’t realize this one for a long time after starting my blog/website. But, I am soo thankful I came across this tip along the way.
You don’t have to become famous before jerks will start to try and hack your site. I received my first hacker attempt after about 3 months of starting.
How to do I know this? There is a free Plug-in I recommend further down that will keep an eye on things for you!
So…how do you actually change your username and password? Follow the steps below, it will only take you a few quick minutes!
Step 1. Go to Users (on the left menu of your Dashboard).
Select “Add New” to create a new username and password.
I suggest using the auto-generated password that WordPress will give you since it will be super difficult to crack.
Then try logging back in with your new credentials.
Ensure it works fine and you can log in.
Disable the Admin only after you have made sure that the new username and password you created works!
After Installing WordPress #2
Update your Profile
Here you can access your WordPress Profile to fill in some information about yourself and your business. You can also choose the colour profile you want for your WordPress Dashboard.
Then select the dropdown menu for “Display name publicly as:”.
This will apply to places on your site where your name is shown.
I recommend changing this to something other than your username, since showing your username in public is not the best idea in terms of security.
After Installing WordPress #3
Change your Tagline and Favicon
Your what and your what?
That’s exactly what I said at first!
Your tagline is your opportunity to tell the world what your site is about in a few words! So, when someone hovers over the tab where your page is in their browser, it will give them a description.
For Lady Boss Studio it’s “Providing the best resources and design templates for female entrepreneurs!”
Take a sec and hover over some of the open tabs in your browser!
Your tagline will also show up in a google search if someone is looking for your site specifically or one of the key words in your tagline, so make it count!
This little itty bitty icon can literally become one of the most recognizable parts of your brand!!! Just look below at this example:
Do any of these catch your eye or seem familiar?
You can instantly navigate between open tabs in your browser without even needing to think because you recognize the favicon without even thinking about it!
This can literally be your logo so long as it fits into the square constraints.
If your logo doesn’t, try and come up with a symbol that is recognizable to help people to start remembering your brand!
To change your tagline and favicon go to:
Appearance – Customize – Site Identity
After Installing WordPress #4
Set Up the Date and Time Zone
This one is very simple and will only take you a few seconds, literally!
Go to Settings – General and then scroll down to set your timezone, date and time preferences.
After Installing WordPress #5
Change Permalink Style
I think this one is super important and plays a BIG role in how easy it is to navigate to certain blog posts!
You want people to easily find and remember your posts! So, we don’t want them all crammed up with numbers and dates!
Go to: Setting Permalinks and there you will see many options for how you want the permalinks on your site to show up. My recommendation is to go with the URL plus the Blog Post Name.
After Installing WordPress #6
Change Default Post Layout
There are two parts to this equation!
The second one is just below this with determining your Reading Page Settings.
For this first part, we are just going to determine how we want our Blog Posts to show up, style wise.
Depending on your Theme, you may have some different options, but here is what is typically available:
As you can see, I use the image style as I want the feature image to show up alongside my blog post. I think this makes it a lot more enticing for readers to want to click on the post!
After Installing WordPress #7
Determine Reading Page Settings
This one is also a biggy as it will determine a big part of your home page.
Most WordPress Themes will allow you to choose if you want a static homepage (you might want this if you offer services or want something specific to always show up). Or, if you want your latest posts to show up on your Homepage.
Choosing “latest posts” doesn’t mean the whole look of your homepage will change everytime you have a new blog posts. There is usually a designated area where the blog posts will live.
If you look at Lady Boss Studio, you will see that I have the same look for the homepage but the blog posts section will update with new posts when then are published!
The other selection you will have to make is whether you want the Blog Posts page to show the full text of the posts or just the summary of the text. This is so your reader can scroll through to see all of them quickly.
I personally prefer the Summary option but it’s up to you!
Go to: Settings – Reading
After Installing WordPress #8
Add Relevant Blog Categories
Do you plan to Blog about several different topics under a broader niche?
Maybe you have a mom/lifestyle blog and literally cover everything from pregnancy, to kids, to parenting, to DIY Home projects etc…
You will want to make it as easy on your readers as possible to find the overall topic they are wanting to read about.
The person looking for DIY Home projects or saving money isn’t going to want to scroll through your posts on breastfeeding or disciplining a toddler.
This is where Blog Categories comes in and will allow you to select the appropriate categories when you are creating your blog posts.
Go to: Posts – Categories and add as many as will work for you.
Don’t forget to change the default “Uncategorized” one to an actual category.
After Installing WordPress #9
Remove Sample Blog Post Content
Your Theme likely came with a few default posts just to show you how they would look inside the actual theme.
My suggestion is to go ahead and straight up delete them but you can also go into each one and change the content. Just make sure you also change the slug and URL so they match the new post name!!
If you want to keep them in your dashboard just to have as an example for later, you can just go in and “Unpublish Them” so that they aren’t actually deleted.
Go to: Posts – All Posts. *You can “quick edit” them if you simply want to “Unpublish” them for now.
After Installing WordPress #10
Install Remaining Essential Plugins
Plugins are going to help your site run smoothly and help you add more functionality to your WordPress Site.
Please keep in mind that adding tons of plugins can slow down your site so don’t go plugin crazy. If you download a plugin and then realize you don’t like it or need it, please de-activate it and delete it!
Below is my list of essential plugins that I use on the day to day to help make my site run better and allow me to do more with it.
This will help to keep your site secure from hackers!
They have a free plugin and a premium, I’m still using the free plugin.
I love that they send you an email the second one of your other plugins needs to be updated.
They do this, as when a plugin requires an update, it can become vulnerable to attacks, which means that your site can then become vulnerable.
This is pretty much my number one recommendation for making your site amazing.
One of the main things that scares people away from using WordPress is they think they need to be able to code to make their site look great.
This plugin allows you to edit your site on the front end while being able to see the whole thing as you are doing it!
I have upgraded to the pro version because I plan to use it for clients’ sites as well, but you can totally stay with the free version for your personal site. That is up to your discretion!
As far as I’m concerned this is not even debatable!
I’m sure you have heard of Search Engine Optimization. Essentially, it helps you set up a blog page or post to increase your chances of it being found in an online search, such as Google.
This plugin is free and literally tells you what you can do to improve your pages and post. This will give you the best chance of being found by potential clients and readers.
They also offer a number of courses, some of which I have taken, that will turn you into an SEO whiz.
This plugin links your Google Analytics right to your WordPress dashboard.
You can quickly get an overview as to what is going on.
If you want in-depth stats you will still need to log in to your Google Analytics dashboard but this will give you a quick overview of the day to day.
This is a great plugin to use for any forms on your site such as your contact form.
This is the lite version which means the free version.
So, there are obviously some functions of the pro version you won’t have access to but I haven’t needed any of the extras yet.
You would only download this plugin if you are subscribing to MailerLite to handle all of your email/newsletter subscribers.
They are who we used at first and recommend. Therefore this plugin is a necessity for you.
I can literally plug any signup form I’ve created with MailerLite at the touch of a button instead of trying to embed the code on my site. It also works great with Elementor!
This will help speed up your site so that you rank higher in search engines. This is so that people don’t get annoyed waiting for your content to load.
This plugin will be crucial to you when you start using affiliate links.
Instead of having to constantly copy and paste your affiliate links into individual posts, you can easily place links.
The benefit to this is also, in the case that for some reason the link changes for one of your affiliate programs, you only need to change it in the plugin. It will then update the link in every post you have used it in!
This can save you soo much time and frustration.
If you want to open up your own online shop then this will be a great help to you with your WordPress Site.
Once you download the plugin, you can literally start adding products to your site.
I was thrilled the first time I got to publish one of my products and I know you will be too!
Now that we’re ALL caught up, be sure to check out the next post in the series!
And definitely let us know in the comments if you have any questions thus far about WordPress!