Pub. July 24, 2015 | Revised: July 6, 2016.
What To Do After You Install WordPress
If you have not already done so, please read my post about how to Set Up WordPress Properly and Quickly. Even if you have already installed WordPress, there may be some helpful tips there where you can assist someone else with their installation.
At this stage, you should have already installed the latest version of WordPress. You can find the installation inside of your cPanel with your web hosting service. After WordPress is installed, you can find your installation in the cPanel below, “My Installs.”
You can also download it here for free.
After you have successfully installed WordPress with MoJo Marketplace, you will be given your site credentials. Keep this information safe, don’t lose it! I like to take a screenshot and keep it as well as saving all of the information.
You begin by logging into the “Administration Area” or the back end of your website. Use the Admin URL you were provided after you set up your WordPress. Don’t worry, you can always remember the link by placing “wp-admin” after your domain name (i.e. http://example.com/wp-admin).
I know you want to jump right in and start designing your site (I know I always do!) but don’t be tempted just yet. There are a few more important things you should focus on right now, don’t get distracted. Stay with me here.
After logging in to WordPress, you will be on your Administration Screen, your Dashboard. This is where all of the power and creativity of your site comes together. This is just the beginning of organizing your site.
On the left, you will see “Settings.” Hover over Settings, a menu appears, select “General Settings.”
Settings » General Settings. One thing that is very important! Make sure you DO NOT CHECK “Anyone can register” unless you understand the consequences and take steps to keep your site secure. I cannot go into all of the details in the post but the reason I say this is because without taking steps to secure your site, I can guarantee you a lot of “registration spam.”
I had this and it created quite a mess that cost me more work than I’d like to remember! It sounds good doesn’t it, that someone just registered on your blog? At first you think this means they love your content and want to get closer to you. The last part is true, but it’s not for the reason you think! There are malicious spam bots trolling the Internet searching for WordPress sites that are open for registration. These bots can add spam accounts into your WordPress site which could be a threat to your site’s security and credibility. Now don’t be too concerned because now I’m going to share with you the solution to this problem. Learn from my experiences so you don’t have to go through unnecessary work and risk your site’s security.
Install the Anti-Spam Plugin
The very core of WordPress is designed to be fast, lightweight, and flexible. Plugins offer custom functions and features so that your blog will be customized to your specific needs. When I first set up this blog, I tried several plugins. A few were not compatible with my theme for some reason. Then, I found about 5 that either gave me error messages, or were to complicated for site visitors just to leave a comment. Who wants their site visitors to struggle or have to take time to figure out how to leave a comment? That just wouldn’t do! The last one I tried was so secure, it locked me out of my own site and I had to call my web hosting company to let me back in! The plugin labeled my IP Address as a spammer and it wouldn’t even let me log in to my own site! Technical support and I had quite a laugh over this incident. They said they have never heard of such a thing. Leave it to me to break new ground, 😀
After much time-wasting, research, and experimentation, I went back to a plugin I used to use years ago. It the CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin. I gave them a great review on WordPress so if you click the link, you will get two months FREE. So click that link!
Look at your menu on the left. Choose Plugins, hover over it and the menu displays. Choose Add New. Search for the “Anti-Spam by CleanTalk” plugin. Also, notice on the description for the plugin it tells you when it was last updated and that it is compatible with your version of WordPress. Look for this each time you choose to download and install a plugin. Click Install Now. It will take you a page showing the installation progress. Click the Activate Plugin link. Then it will take you to the Installed Plugins page. Yay! You just successfully installed your first plugin!
You will need to retrieve an access key. Just click “Get Access Key Automatically.” It will retrieve it for you. Then click, “Save Changes.”
Now, log out of your WordPress Admin. Go to your blog and try to submit a comment as if you were a random site visitor. This way you can see that the plugin is working correctly. If you have questions about how this plugin stops spam and want to see it’s other features, you can review the information here.
Another thing to help prevent spam is to watch and qualify all registered users on your site; you can click on Users on your Dashboard. WordPress will show you a list of users with their usernames, names, roles, and email addresses. You have complete control as an administrator to delete any user at any time you want. You can also edit user profiles, change their roles, and even change their passwords. This gives you full control on what users can or cannot do on your WordPress site.
Under Users, choose Your Profile. Fill everything out. Some of the information will be visible on your blog. Later on, I will help you set up a Gravatar, which will be visible across the Internet as you comment on blogs and websites. This, too, will be part of your Brand. It will show up under your name when you click on All Users and when you reply to comments on your blog. But I’ll walk you through that during the “Designing and Decorating Phase.”
Next go to Settings » Writing. Scroll down to Update Services. We will now discuss pinging. In blogging, a ping is a when you create new content on your site and WordPress notifies various pinging services that your content has changed. A Ping Service may notify several services when it gets the notification by WordPress. The service then “pings” Now this is what you want right? You want the many servers out there to spread the word that your website has a new blog post or a new page. But, if we leave WordPress in its current condition, you could get your site temporarily banned!
Why? Because the way WordPress is set up out-of-the-box so-to-speak, it pings the services on your list even with a blog post revision. I have 27 revisions just on this post so far! That means I am annoying the servers over and over again. What you really desire is to ping the servers when you have a completed new blog post or you have updated content. Not with each revision as well! Every single time you hit “Save Draft,” a new copy of your post gets saved. Don’t panic, there’s a solution for this too.
In the beginning, I used MaxBlogPress Optimizer Plugin. But, as is the way of developed plugins, it appears to no longer be supported or available. See what I’m using below.
How To Install the Stealth-Publish Ping Optimizer Plugin:
Download the zip file to your computer by clicking the download link on this page: Stealth-Publish Plugin.
In your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins » Add New » Upload Plugin. You will find the Upload Plugin button at the top of the page on the left. Then upload the zip file from the folder on your hard drive. If you didn’t rename the file, you should find the file name to be “stealth-publish 2.6”.
- Go back to your blog and activate the plugin.
- After successfully installing the plugin, go to Posts » Add New. If you look under your “Publish” options for a new post, you should see something similar to this:
A “Stealth publish?” checkbox is added to the publish options. Posts which are saved with that checkbox checked will no longer be featured on the front page of the blog, nor will the post be included in any feeds.
A stealth published post will also not notify any external services about the publication. This includes not sending out pingbacks, trackbacks, and pings to update services such as pingomatic.com. This behavior can be overridden. Look for details from the developer on the download page.
The plugin records when a post is stealth published, so subsequent edits of the post will have the “Stealth publish?” checkbox checked by default.
- Next, you add a list of pinging sites you want to ping. I am sharing my list with you here if you want to use it. Just copy and paste the list into the box provided by the plugin settings. Add any other services you like to your list, on link per line.
- Save the settings. That’s it!
Best Practices For Setting Up Your Permalinks
Permalinks are the way your URLS will look when you publish a new page or blog post. If we just use the WordPress default setting, it does more harm than good. DO NOT USE the default WordPress setting for your permalinks! Go to your Dashboard, select Permalinks.
As you can see, the default permalink structure choice in WordPress in the image above gives us no clue what the post or page is about. If it is worthless to you, a human, then I can guarantee you that search engines like Google can’t read it either. Fortunately, WordPress gives us a couple of much better options. SEO (search engine optimization) is very important for search engine ranking. What is preferred is that your keywords should show up in your URL. This means you cannot use the default permalink structure.
Under “Common Settings” you’ll see where it says Custom Structure. Select one of the better Custom Structure choices and then copy and paste this code: /%postname%/ for Post Name Option, or /%month/%postname%/. I have specific reasons that I personally am using /%category%/%postname%/. Now when you see your URL, it will look like this www.your-site.com/your-posts-name or your-site.com/month-your-posts-name. Now that’s a much better structure for your site URLs.
It is easiest to set your permalink structure when you are setting up your WordPress site.
[ct_leading][/ct_leading]NOTE: If your blog is an established blog, this process can give you an unexpected error. This could break all of the links on your blog. Please research prior to changing your established blog’s permalink structure.
Now I am not an SEO expert, but it isn’t a requirement with a WordPress site. My next post will take you through some plugins that do the heavy lifting for you. Until then, take your site for a test drive. See how your site is laid out, what features it comes with, and think about what you like and what you don’t like. It won’t be long and we’ll be in the “Designing and Decorating Phase.” That appears to be everyone’s favorite! Think of it like picking colors, carpeting, and kitchen packages for a new home. After all, this will be your virtual home!
- Spam is one of the most unpleasant things we have to deal with when we have a blog. I use Akismet and Stop Spammers plugin so spam typically doesn’t reach my eyes at all.
- Creating unique and valuable content is why we have blog and websites. We want traffic to look at our art, buy our creative work, come to our shows. That means we want a good online reputation. This is especially important with search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Install the MaxBlogPress Optimizer plugin so that your pings are welcomed and not considered spam.
- To have the most useful and beneficial SEO permalinks, make sure that the structure you choose allows you to focus on your keywords.
- If you have questions or concerns, you can go to the WordPress Forums or Support Center.
- Go to the next post in this series about what to do after installing WordPress > Yoast SEO Settings – Installing And Configuring The Plugin.
If you have installed a WordPress site before, please share your experience, tell us what you feel is important right after setting up your site. Are you familiar with these plugins or do you have some favorites of your own?
If you found value in this post, please like, share, and distribute. I want to help as many Artists and Creatives that I can to get started with their Branding and blogging.
As always, wishing you prosperity and online success,