We know WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management System (CMS) that is used by millions of bloggers and webmasters to build and run their blog or website. This is the most popular CMS because it’s easy to use, lots of free and premium Themes, Plugins and resource available. From newbie to advance users, anyone can build their own blog/site with this CMS without knowing any single coding language.
But most of the newbie are not aware about some essential WordPress Settings that they should do after installation. These settings are most important to decorate your WP Blog, keep it secure, get more social shares and get more traffic from search engines. So, here I’m going to share some important WordPress Settings that’s been most important and essential for every WordPress blog or site.
Essential WordPress Settings after Installation
Set your Blog/Site URL with our without WWW
Although there is no major difference between with WWW or without WWW of your blog URL. But you must choose anyone first time when you install your blog. You can’t change it frequently because it will affect your blog/site SEO ranking. In case of ThemeColony.com, I set the default URL with WWW. You can choose anyone as you wish.
To set the URL with our without WWW, just goes to Setting => General Setting => Choose WordPress Address URL and Site Address URL as like the above Image.
Disable User Registration
If you’ve provided user registration facilities by default, then you may receive several SPAM user registration per day. So if your blog does not need new user registration then you can easily disable it and protect your blog from SPAM users. When you need to add new users, then you can do it manually from the admin panel for guest posting or other purpose.
To disable user registration, go to Setting => Membership and uncheck the Anyone can register and save it.
Setup Time Zone, Date Format & Time Format
You should change default time zone, date format and time format to keep your WP blog safe and secure from several security reasons. It also help for schedule posting and index your blog regularly & perfectly.
Go to Setting => General Setting => Save your local time zone, date format and time format as you want.
Update WordPress Ping List
WordPress ping list will help to notify many other sites and search engines when you publish a new page or post. This will help to index your new page or post by search engines easily and quickly. By default, WordPress has only two ping service. You can add more ping service.
To update ping list, go to Setting => Writing => Update Service. Add more ping service here and save on click.
Here is the list of most popular ping services for WordPress blog/site. You can add these service in your WP blog/site.
Ping Service List Credit: ShoutMeLoud
Change Default Discussion Settings
In discussion setting, you need to change some setting that will help to protect your site from SPAM blog comments and when someone steals your content, you can easily identify them.
In discussion setting, you need to update default article setting.
Go to Setting => Discussion => Default Article Setting. Check Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article, Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) and Allow people to post comments on new articles and click on save
To set up another comment setting
Go to Setting => Discussion => Other Comment Setting. Check Comment author must fill out name and e-mail & Enable threaded (nested) comments 5 levels deep and uncheck all others option.
You also must check the option Comment must be manually approved in Before a comment appears option.
Change Default Avatar
By default, WP blog avatar will be Mystery Man when you install WordPress. You need to change it for a better user experience. You can choose either Gravator Logo or Identicon. In ThemeColony, I use Gravator avatar.
Change Image Location from Media
When you install WordPress, by default image location is organized by month and year based folder. You should modify this to make the image URL short. It’s also helpful for SEO.
Go to Setting => Media => Uploading Files and Uncheck Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders option.
Change Default Permalink Setting
This is most important to make your blog URL SEO friendly and get good score in SEO. It will help to drive more traffic from search engines to your blog. When you install WordPress, then the default permalink something like this http://www.themecolony.com/?p=123. You should change it with Post name or Month and name.
Go to Setting => Permalinks => Common Setting and choose Month and Name or Post Name
Change or Delete Default Admin User
When you install WordPress, your admin user name is ‘Admin’ by default if you didn’t change it during installation time. You should change or delete this default admin user to keep your blog secure from any kind hacking attempts.
To delete or change default admin user, Go to User => All User and delete or change admin user.
To create a new user, Go to User => Add new and you can create new administrator account here.
Active Akismet Plugin
When you install WordPress, by default, you will find the Akismet plugin installed. You just need to active this plugin and configure it. This plugin will help to keep your blog safe from Spam comments.
To active and configure Akismet Plugin, Go to Plugins => Active Akismet Plugin => Setting => Add API Key and save.
See this post on How to Install, Get Free API Key and Configure Akismet Plugin to get free API key and configure Akismet Plugin properly.
Setup Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best ways to see detailed traffic information about your blog. So you must setup Google Analytics when you install WP blog first time. Go to Google Analytics, create an account, setup your blog, get the tracking code and add it on your blog. You can add Analytics tracking code with the help of this WordPress plugin or you can also add it manually.
Verify your Blog in Google Webmaster tool and Submit Sitemap
When you start your blog with a fresh domain, you need to verify ownership of your blog in Google Webmaster Tool. This will help to see detail search report, backlinks report and much more about your blog. This also helps to index your blog faster in Google.
After verifying in Google Webmaster Tool, you need to submit XML sitemap of your blog in Google Webmaster. Just create an XML Sitemap for your blog with the Google XML sitemap generator plugin and submit it in webmaster tool.
Customize Your Blog Theme
After installing WordPress and theme, you need to do some basic customization of your blog theme. It will be better to use a Premium WordPress Theme to build your blog that will help to decorate your blog better, provide better user experience and get good ranking in SERPs.
Install SEO Plugin
Installing SEO plugin is most important for a WP blog/site. This will help to boost your rank in SERPs and get traffic from search engines. Personally, I would recommend WordPress SEO by Yoast as SEO plugin. You can choose others one from this list.
Install Social Sharing Button
Social sharing button helps to get more social shares of your content by readers. This will help to get more traffic from social media sites and also help to boost SEO rank. You can use Digg Digg, Sharebar, Flare, Shareholic or AddThis Plugin to install social sharing button on your blog. You can also choose any other Social Sharing Plugin from this list.
Update Your Profile Information
After creating user, you can change password, adds some information about yourself, add your website/blog and social networking profile link in your Profile area. These information will show after every post written by you.
Delete Unused Themes and Plugins
When you install WordPress, by default, you will see some themes and plugin will automatically install in your blog. You need to delete unused themes and plugins from your blog.
To delete themes, Go to Appearance => Themes and then delete unused Themes
To delete plugins, Go to Plugins => Installed Plugins => Delete unused plugin here
Stop Visitors Accessing your WordPress Folder Structure
By default, anyone can easily access your WP blog structure such as anyone can access your images folder here http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-content/uploads/. Like this folder, visitors can also access your others folder and this will be harmful for your blog. Anyone can hack your blog with this folder access feature. You should stop this folder access.
To Stop folder access, add this code “Options All -Indexes” in your blog .htaces file from your blog Cpanel.
Create a Robots.txt file
Robots.txt file let search engines bots which files and folders will search engines crawl and index. So you must allow search engine bots like Google to crawl and index specific files, pages and post on your blog. This will helpful to get Good Rank in SEO.
Here is the example of an ideal Robots.txt file for WordPress blog/site. Just create a notepad file with the name Robots.txt and add these following codes. Save the file and upload it to your server root folder.
It’s Your Time
Do you miss any WordPress Settings from the above list? Check your WordPress blog/site now and update it if you miss anyone. Because all settings are important. If I miss any settings to include this list that are essential and important, then please let me know by commenting below.