OK, so you are done with your WordPress installation and new theme installation. Your fresh new blog is live. Before posting any new recipes/posts on your food blog, please follow this important and essential settings for your fresh WordPress installed site.
No, you can’t leave the default settings as it is. It is necessary to change these settings in order to improve the site and its performance.
8 important settings after installing WordPress
- General Settings (Change site title, tagline and time zone)
- WordPress Ping list
- Configure reading settings
- WordPress discussion/Comment settings
- WordPress Media settings
- Set up the permalink
- Update your profile
- Delete defaults
To do above necessary changes, you need to login to WordPress Admin Dashboard.
Go to your site’s admin URL which was given to you after the WordPress installation.
It should looks like below
You will see the login page, enter your credentials and click on “Log in”
Once you are logged in, you will see your Dashboard. On the left side, you will see all the links. We will be using those links and making needed changes. So let’s get started.
1. General Settings (Change site title, tagline and time zone)
Go to Settings → General.
Site Title and tagline:
When the WordPress was installed for your site, It will give the default Site name “My Site” and tagline “Just another WordPress site”. This will be seen to everyone and you must change this.
Now the general settings page will get open. Here you need to change the Site Title and Tagline. You can leave the tagline blank or add catchy and short line which describes your site.
Next you will see two URLs – WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL). NEVER change this. If you change it then your site/blog will be broken
Enter your working/live email address. On this email address, you will receive all the notifications.
Timezone, Date Format and Time Format:
To set the timezone, scroll down and set your local timezone. Choose the city where you live or the one has the same timezone as yours. In future, when you schedule a blog post/recipe post this local time zone will be helpful.
Below that you can change the date and time format. I have set my timezone to New York. For the date format, I recommend F j, y. I do not prefer m/d/y or d/m/y because it may confuse to your visitors sometimes because in some countries month is mentioned first while in some days is mentioned first. For time format, I prefer 12hr format instead of 24hr.
Once you make all the changes, don’t forget to click on “Save Changes” to secure all the updates.
2. WordPress Ping list
Go to Settings → Writing. Then scroll down to the end.
By default, WordPress ping only one ping service, you can notify more than one services by updating this list.
After scrolling down, you will see the ‘Update Services’ section. In that section, there is a line written under the title. You will see a link ‘Update services’ in that sentence. Open that link on the new tab.
On that new opened page, scroll down and look for the heading ‘XML-RPC Ping Services’. Copy that list and paste it in that box in your WordPress.
Then click on “Save Changes”
3. Configure reading settings
Go to Settings → Reading.
Here on ‘Front page displays’, you can choose how your blog’s front page or homepage looks like.
The first option is ‘Your latest posts’. If you choose this, your homepage will have list of all the latest posts you have published. You can choose the static page too. Make your choice, you can always change this later on at any moment.
On next ‘Blog pages show at most’, here you can choose how many posts to show on your homepage (If you have chosen ‘Your latest posts’ option above). I have kept it to 18. So 18 most recent recipes will be shown on my sites homepage.
Once done, click on “Save Changes”.
4. WordPress discussion/Comment settings
Go to Settings → Discussions
This section is self explanatory. Below is the screenshot of my setting. You can choose as per your need.
One thing I want to mention here – I have chosen the option where I need to manually approve the readers’ comments. You can avoid choosing this and comment will appear immediately after the reader has submitted the comment , but I prefer not to do so.
Couple of reasons 1) by doing this you can delete Spam comments. Robotic comments will be automatically removed by Akismet plugin but there are few that may get skipped and it is the worst user experience if someone sees those. 2) I always reply to each and every comment. So to keep the tack of it, I approve and reply to that comment at the same time. By doing so, I make sure that I did not skip or forget any.
5. WordPress Media settings
Go to Settings → Media
By default, WordPress creates multiple sizes of one image that you will upload. This is not good and it will take lot of space. At the end, it will affect the performance of the blog. So set everything to 0. This will stop the WordPress from generating images of different sizes.
6. Set up the permalink
Go to Settings → Permalinks.
By default, WordPress permalink is set to like this http://yoursite.com/?p=123. This is ugly looking and not search engine friendly.
To make it pretty looking and SEO friendly, change it to ‘Post name’
After this change, now your blog post’s link will look like this http://yoursite.com/chocolate-cake-recipe/ where chocolate cake recipe is your post title.
Whatever you choose here, make sure that it is your final decision. You should not change this later on. If you do so, the already published posts URLs will also get changed. Google has already indexed those pages, and now it has been changed, so your all the search engine traffic will go away.
7. Update your profile
On your WordPress dashboard, on upper right corner, got to Howdy, admin → Edit my profile.
This section is self explanatory. Update all your information. Also here you can add your site’s social profile links (facebook, twitter, pinterest and so on). Make sure not to add your personal social profile links. Create your site’s social profile to promote your blog and add those links here.
You can add little intro/bio about yourself here. In some theme, this may appear in author box. Once done, make sure to click on “Save Changes” button.
8. Delete defaults
When you have installed the WordPress for the first time, there are many default posts, pages, plugins, themes and links present. We do not need those.
Default posts and pages are published and they are visible to everyone. This is not good idea that people see those.
To delete the default post, go to dashboard → Posts → All posts. Here you will see ‘Hello world’ post. Hover over that post and click on trash.
To delete the default page, go to dashboard → Pages → All pages. Here you will see ‘Sample Page’. Hover over that and click on trash.
Default Links – WordPress comes with many links, we don’t need those as well. All of these can be deleted.
Go to dashboard → Links → All links → (check the box at ‘Name’) → (choose “Delete” from pull down menu titled ‘Bulk actions’) → Apply.
Default theme and plugins
You have already installed your selected free or premium theme. So not your don’t need extra themes. These extras will add more code to your site. Extra coding needs extra load time which affect the site’s performance. So you should delete the unused and unwanted themes. Same applies for plugins as well.
Go to dashboard → Appearance → Themes → (hover over the not needed theme) → Theme Details → Delete (on bottom right) → OK (on pop up).
Do the same for all unwanted themes except the live/activated one for your blog.
By default there are couple of plugins installed in WordPress namely Hello Dolly, Jetpack by WordPress.com and Akismet. You should keep the akismet and delete the rest two. If you have installed WordPress from Bluehost cpanel, there will be MOJO Marketplace plugin will be installed. You can delete that as well.
Go to dashboard → Plugins → Installed Plugins → (check the box on not needed plugins) → (choose “Delete” from pull down menu titled ‘Bulk actions’) → Apply.
The above mentioned settings are not must but it is good to make those. So take your time and do so.