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8 Things to do After Installing WordPress

Wordpress is a very powerful blogging platform.  With it you can create so many different websites creations.  So keep your Wordpress site safe, easy to use and google friendly.  So here is a list of the first 8 things I do to setup my Wordpress site.

1.  Change your WordPress username and password.  This is to protect your site against hackers.   Manage your user settings via the Users panel.   Add a “New User” with administrator rights with a strong password.  Do NOT name it admin or administrator.   Then delete the user ‘admin’.

2.  Change the Permalinks. To make your site search engine friendly, you have to make your site links readable.  Manage your Permalinks via the Settings panel.

a. Go to Settings > Permalinks
b. In the  ‘Common settings’ choose ‘Custom Structure’
c. Enter in the text field:   /%postname%/
d. If you prefer to have the category in your url, enter/%category%/%postname%/

3.  Enable search engines to find your site. Usually the default installation settings doesn’t allow search engines to find your site.  So you have to enable it in your WordPress Settings panel.

a. Go to Settings > Privacy
b. Under ‘Site Visibility’ choose ‘

4.  Change your Website name and tagline. This is also an important step because this is the title and description of your site that search engines will pick up.   You also manage this from your WordPress Settings panel.

a. Go to Settings > General
b. Under ‘Site Title’.  Change it to your Website title name.  Under ‘Tagline’, enter a short description about your site.

5.  Install a Captcha Spam Detector. Once your site gets picked up by the search engine you are immediatly prone to spam comments.  Believe me, you get a lot of spam if you don’t install the Captcha.  I recommend the plugin ‘SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam’.

a. Go to your Plugins panel
b. Click on ‘Add New”
c.  Search for the plugin ‘SI Captcha Anti-Spam’
d. Click on ‘Install now’ and ‘Activate now’

6.  Install a WordPress Site Backup plugin.  This is critical in case something happens to your website you need to restore it to it’s previous state.  If your webhosting already has a site backup then you don’t need to install this plugin.  But I do it just for my peace of mind.  Follow the same above steps to install a plugin.  The plugin name is “WordPress Database Backup”.

7.  Install the Google Sitemaps plugin. Google XML sitemaps generates an XML sitemap so major search engines such as Google and Yahoo can easily index your site.  This way your site will be listed in their search engines faster.  Every time you add or edit a post, the sitemap will be automatically updated and sent to Google or Yahoo.  The plugin I use is called ‘Google XML SiteMaps’.

After you install the sitemaps, you need to go to the Google Webmaster Central – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/.  From there you need to actually you let Google know about your site and that there is a XML sitemap there waiting for it to pick it up.

a. First page, click on ‘Verify’ your site
b. You will need to add some html file or modify the cname on your site.
c.  Click on ‘Add Sitemap’ link from the first page.
d. Put the URL to your sitemap which is http://www.sitename.com/sitemap.xml

You can also do the same with Yahoo Webmaster tools – they call it the Yahoo Site Explorer – http://siteexporer.search.yahoo.com.

8.  Install a Wordpress Theme/Template. If you like the current look of your wordpress site, you don’t need to change it.  I usually find a free or paid Wordpress template to make my site look less boring.  If my site looks good then I’m more inclined to work on it or keep it updated.  Once you download the wordpress zip file, do not unzip it.  Leave it in it’s zipped format.  Then you can upload and install via the Appearance panel.

a. Click on ‘Appearance’, ‘Theme’
b. Change to the ‘Install Themes’ tab.
c.  Click on ‘upload’ link and then ‘Browse’.  Select the zipped Wordpress Theme you downloaded.
d. After it uploads, you can preview it or activate the them.

These steps are the very first things I do after installing WordPress on any site.  There are many other actions and plugins I install to further advance the security on my site.   Steps such as activating google analytics, installing a wp cache, installing  a google Adsense plugin, and more.  Feel free to add anything.

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