After successfully installing WordPress, there are important things that you need to do to secure, speed up and optimize your WordPress site. Below are the most essential settings that you need to make immediately after installing WordPress.
It’s important for you to go through this dedicated post and ensure all the necessary settings have been configured before you start publishing content on your site.
The Most Essential Settings after Installing WordPress!
When you finish installing your WordPress site, you get a number of stock installations with a few things such as a dummy post, a dummy page, and a dummy comment.
So, the very first thing you’ll need to do…
# Delete Dummy Content (Default Post, Page, and Comment)
After installing WordPress, you’ll find that you have a sample page that shows how your website pages will actually appear and also a sample post titled ‘Hello World’.
To delete those dummy contents, log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Posts > All Posts and delete the default “Hello world” post using the trash button.
After this, similarly, go to Pages > All Pages and delete the default “Sample Page” using the trash button to start creating your own required pages.
And then finally, click on “Comments” section and delete the default comment using the same trash button.
# Set up WordPress Permalink Structure
WordPress Permalinks control how your website URLs appears when you publish pages and posts. Setting permalinks is important before you start publishing content on your site.
Permalinks have SEO significance, and therefore you should change the default permalink setting to custom structure settings:
The default WordPress permalink is – http://yourdomain.com/p=123.
This permalink is short, but not friendly for the search engines.
You can set permalinks by navigating to Settings > Permalink and select “Post name”.
You can also add a category to your permalinks so that they appear with the category:
You can also add category, post name and post ID with the following:
After setting permalinks structure, when your URLs appear in search, some of your keywords will also be visible. This’ll help you rank higher and get more visitors.
# Set the Date and Time Settings
WordPress is one of the best blogging platforms. Under the General Settings, you’re allowed to set how your dates should be displayed, the time format and when your week starts.
These settings allow you to take control of how the time and date will be displayed on your site. You can also set up your time zone from the General Settings.
Under the Settings > General you can set up the time and date settings as shown on the image given below:
Time and Date is an important setting for bloggers that is useful for you when you are scheduling content to get published in the future dates.
You’d make sure to set your timezone to your local time so that when you schedule posts, they will go live according to your selected time zone.
You can also change “Site Title” & “Tagline” anytime from this settings page only. These two things are very important because this is what shows up in search engines.
From this setting page, you can also be able to set your admin email address (where you will receive all admin correspondence).
# Enable/ Disable Membership Option on General Settings
If you find that your Membership option is checked (Anyone can register) under the General Settings, you can uncheck it in order to control who can register on your site.
Leaving this option checked allows anyone to register on your site and opens the opportunities for spammers to take advantage and register on your site.
You need to decide if you’re going to have a multi-author blog site, or if you’re going to be the only author.
If you are going to allow guest posting, then you’ll have to be prepared to get a lot of spam registrations.
To allow this, uncheck the “Anyone can register” box, and set the “New User Default Role” as “Contributor”.
If you don’t want people to register, don’t check the “Anyone can register” box.
# Set WordPress Discussion/ Comments Settings
There are several comments settings that you can set on WordPress discussion settings page among the most important settings, here are some:
Allowing who comments on your site – you can limit the people who comment on your site by requiring them to register first.
Default Avatar for comments on your site – you can set your default avatar that appears in the comment section.
Comments moderation and blacklist to control spam – You can block or moderate comments based on the content or certain words.
To setup discussion settings, go to Settings > Discussion
This can get confusing if you don’t know what to do over here, and then just follow the above screenshot and you will be good to go!
# Populate WordPress Ping List
Adding a WordPress ping list on your WordPress site allows you to have automatic notifications to all the ping services when new content gets published on your site.
By default, WordPress only pings one service. But you can notify many more services by extending the ping list.
Go to Settings > Writing and look for update services option to add in more services to your ping list.
You can add many ping services that should be notified when you publish a post. You can get a big ping list from WordPress Update Services.
There are many pinging sites available, and you can search on search engines for the latest ping list to use it in your pinging list.
# Set WordPress Media Settings
Images play an important role in enhancing the visual appeal of your website. Media setting will greatly improve the way WordPress handles all images on your site.
By default, WordPress creates multiple sizes for every uploaded image. This is not a good idea, as it’ll load up your site with unnecessary files and your site can quickly become bloated.
To avoid this practice, you can set up the default size of uploaded images on your site under the media settings.
Go to Settings > Media, and use the below screenshot to configure the proper settings:
I would also recommend that you’d add a plugin which compresses images such as WP Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin to help you optimize images as they’re uploaded for fast loading.
# Block Access to WordPress Directory/ Folders
WordPress directory/ folders can easily be accessed on any browser and you’ll need to block the access of the wp folders after installing WordPress.
You can simply block access to the WordPress directory/ folders by adding the following line of code in your site’s htaccess file:
But, before you access and edit your htaccess file, it is very important to create a backup copy. When you generate errors, you can always restore the original htaccess file.
# Stop Core Files Indexing by Google
After installing WordPress, you’d control how Google Indexes your site. There are many WordPress default pages that should not be indexed by search engines.
To stop search engines accessing core files, you should confirm the status of your robots.txt files, and it should disable the indexing of these pages:
WordPress admin login – /wp-admin
WordPress Includes – /wp-includes
WordPress themes – /wp-content/themes
WordPress Plugin – /wp-/content/plugins
To stop Google search engine from indexing these pages, your robots.txt file should be as followings:
You can also check the status of your updated robots.txt file from the Google Webmaster console.
# Disable HTML Codes in WordPress Comments
At the end, you’d also disable HTML codes in comments on your site. The WordPress themes allow HTML in comments, this enables the spammers to add codes or links in comments.
To avoid this, you can disable HTML in WordPress comments by adding the following line of code to your theme function.php file:
This code will disable HTML inside comments and help you easily safeguards your website from spam links insides comments.
If you’ve just installed WordPress, make sure that these most essential settings are properly configured. Whenever you install WordPress, you’d make sure to do these essential things before doing anything else.
I would also recommend you to bookmark this page so you can quickly refer back every time you make a WordPress installation with easy!
What other settings you know and would recommend to the WordPress users? Let us know what you think via the comment section below.