WordPress is a massive blogging platform that is used by 14.7% of the top million websites in the world. It has got so popular because of it is easy to customise, expandable with plugin’s and applies good SEO standards. On the WordPress website they have a tutorial which you can learn exactly how to install WordPress on your site. Now you have installed WordPress on your website, what do you do now? How do you get the most out of this blogging platform? Here is a valuable list of things you should do after you have installed WordPress on your website.
1. Manage Authors And Change Admin Password
To start with WordPress will assign a password to your admin user which will be a auto generated password of random numbers and letters, so the first thing you should do is change the password for your admin user to something easier to remember. While you are changing your admin user you can also make changes to add other authors to your blog. This will allow users to login to your blog to post content. You can set this up to not publish the post straight away but set it to pending review before it goes live, which means the admin user will login to approve the post.
2. Manage Your Blog Categories
When you first install WordPress it will setup a default category called Uncategorized. You should delete this category and create your own. Adding your own Categories will automatically add category links to your navigation. To create new categories go to Posts > Categories and fill in the form.
3. Change The Default Theme
You want your blog to look professional, to do this you need a good theme. There are many choices of themes out there some are free and some are premium. If you can’t afford to have your own custom made theme it is always better to have a premium theme over a free theme, this is because they are easier to customise and have better inbuilt SEO.
There is a good WordPress theme marketplace called ThemeForest which gives you the choice of 100s of high quality themes with well written documentation and user guides. To get an example of the sort of themes they do I wrote an article showing the top 10 themes of July 2011.
From CodeCanyon you can also get some premium WordPress plugins to add that little bit of extra functionality to make your blog even more unique.
4. Edit Your Permalinks
The WordPress default URL for your posts is not very user friendly or SEO friendly, your first post URL will look like http://www.paulund.co.uk/index.php?p=1. This needs to be changed to something which is more descriptive, there are many different options you can choose from so you need to decide on which one you will use.
All blogs should at least have the post title in the URL. http://www.paulund.co.uk/post-title.
Other combinations are category/post-title or what I use on this blog data/blog-title. The only reason I have my URLs like this is because I like having the date in the URL so visitors will know how old and how relevant the content is. If I write an SEO post which is over 5 years old they will know that it won’t be very relevant now.
To change the permalinks go to Settings > Permalinks and select which format you want as your new links. You can also change how your tags and categories URLs are shown.
5. Install Analytics Plugin
Now that you have the basics of your blog setup you need to start installing some WordPress plugins to add some additional functionality that is essential to any website.
First of all you will need a good Analytics system to keep track of your visitors. The best free analytics system is Google Analytics, they provide lots of reports and give you the ability to create your own reports to capture exactly what your visitors are doing. You need to know where your visitors are coming from and what marketing is working and what isn’t.
I have wrote a previous article about how to install Google Analytics without using a plugin, so if you are able to change the functions.php file on your theme then you can do this.
If you don’t want to go around playing with the blog theme then here are some good analytics plugins.