I usually create sites in Joomla or WordPress, but the last nine or ten sites were done in WordPress only. So I will here gather several posts by people that also install WordPress frequently, to peek a little into their gardens and see what are they doing when they are alone with WordPress.
The first article was actually No. 1 on Google at the time of this writing for the phrase “10 things to do for a new wordpress site“. It was written by Amit Agarwal and published on his blog. The article is written purely from a programming point of view, and requires you to delve into the code of WordPress itself. It is fairly easy to do, should you be inclined to.
So, here is the article:
Things You Should Do After Installing WordPress
The WordPress tips and hacks mentioned below apply to a self-hosted installation of WordPress. You may skip if your WordPress blog is hosted on WordPress.com and not WordPress.org.
Tip 0: Change the Default Image Upload Folder
The default installation of WordPress will store all your images inside wp-content/uploads folder.
You can however use a different folder or even sub-domain on your web server for saving file uploads as in the setting screen above. This offers two advantages – your image URLs become relatively shorter and second, the size of your WordPress folder will always remain small and manageable.
Also deselect the option – “Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders.”
Tip 1: Remove unnecessary code from your WordPress header.
WordPress by default adds a version number to the header of all your blog pages.<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 2.5" />
This information may prove a goldmine for WordPress hackers as they can easily target blogs that are using the older and less secure versions of WordPress software. To completely remove the version number from WordPress header, add this line to your functions.php file in the WordPress themes folder.<?php remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator'); ?>
Tip 2: Prevent people from casually browsing your WordPress Folders
Since you definitely don’t want Peeping Toms to navigate your WordPress files and folders using the explorer view in web browsers, add the following link to your .htaccess file that exists in the main WordPress installation directory.
Related tip: Most Essential WordPress PluginsOptions All -Indexes
Tip 3: Windows Live Writer Templates & WordPress
If you not blogging via the Windows Live Writer client, add the following line to your functions.php file.<?php remove_action('wp_head', 'wlwmanifest_link'); ?>
The WLW-Manifest function is used by Windows Live Writer to download the styles / themes used in your WordPress blog. Windows Live Writer users who do not use the live preview feature may also turn off this function.
Tip 4: Turn off Post Revisions in WordPress 2.6
WordPress 2.6 introduced Wikipedia style document revisions where you have access to all previous version of the document making it easy to revert incase you make any mistakes.
This may be a great feature for blogs where multiple authors work on the same blog post but 99% of WordPress users don’t need it. Post revisions also increase the size of WordPress wp_posts table as each revision means an additional row.
To disable post revisions in WordPress 2.6, add this to your wp-config.php file.define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);
Tip 5: Disable HTML in WordPress Comments
The comment box is WordPress is like a basic HTML editor – people can use HTML tags like <b>, <a>, <i>, etc to highlight certain words in their comment or add live links. If you like to disable HTML in WordPress comments, add this to your functions.phpadd_filter( 'pre_comment_content', 'wp_specialchars' );
Tip 6: Change location of the Plugins & WordPress Themes folder
With WordPress 2.6, you can place the wp-content folder anywhere on your web server. This may come handy when you are upgrading the WordPress installation because none of your existing themes and plug-ins will get overwritten even if you replace all the WordPress files with a tar downloaded from wordpress.org.
If you decide to move the wp-content folder to another location, specify the path in the wp-config.php file:
Tip 7: XML Sitemaps – Change the Building Mode
If you using XML Sitemaps plugin in WordPress, try changing the building mode to “manual.”
When you publish (or delete) a blog post via the WordPress write panel, the entire XML sitemap is recreated from scratch and hence may increase the overall time it takes to publish a post as you’ll have to wait until the creation process is over.
Tip 8: Turn Off Image Thumbnails in WordPress (workaround)
When you upload an image to WordPress, it creates two additional thumbnail images in the uploads directory. I don’t know how to prevent WordPress from creating image thumbnails but there’s a workaround if you publish posts via Windows Live Writer.
Just use the FTP publishing option for images and this will automatically disable thumbnail creation because the upload happens through a different route.
Also see this tip on creating a mobile friendly WordPress blog using Google Reader. The upcoming article will be about XML-RPC support in WordPress 2.6. Stay tuned.
After these PHP tips, which maybe a little dated but still function, here are the more classical pieces of advice on what to do after you install WordPress. It was written by Michael Martin of ProBlogDesign.com.
1. Change the Admin Password and Manage Your Authors
WordPress gives you some random concoction of a password that you’re *never* going to remember so the first thing you need to do is change this to something memorable.
Manage your user settings via the Users panel, and you can add any additional blog authors here.
2. Edit Permalinks
By default your articles’ urls will look something like www.leemunroe.com/?p=396. This url structure is poor for SEO and poor for usability (makes no sense to your users).
By changing your url structure to something like www.leemunroe.com/25-hot-female-web-designers you can include the post’s keywords in the url and it makes more sense to your users.
- Go to Settings > Permalinks
- Under ‘Common settings’ choose ‘Custom Structure’
- Enter %postname%/ in the field
- Or if you prefer to have the category in the url as well, enter %category%/%postname%/
3. Upload Your Theme and Activate It
- Download a theme or design your own
- Unzip and upload it to wp-content > themes
- Activate it via Appearance > Themes (then just click on your theme)
4. Add Your Categories and Change the Default
When you install WordPress the default category is ‘Uncategorized’ and this just looks ugly. Assume at some point you’re going to post an article and forget to select a category – what would you want that post to come under by default? I tend to use News or something general like that.
- Go to Posts > Categories
- Click on ‘Uncategorized’ to edit it – change it to ‘News‘ or similar
- Add your other blog categories
5. Activate Akismet
Akismet is a plugin that blocks comment spam and if your blog allows comments then trust me, you’re going to get spammed.
Fortunately Akismet comes with WordPress, you just need to activate it.
- Go to the Plugins page in the admin area and activate Akismet
- To complete Akismet activation, WordPress requires an API key. You can get this by registering on WordPress.com then viewing your profile.
- Now go to Plugins > Akismet Configuration, and paste in your key.
6. Install Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemaps generates a compliant XML-Sitemap for your site, allowing the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN) to easily index your site. Every time you edit or add a post, the sitemap will modify itself.
Now go to Google Webmaster Central and log in with your Google Account. On the first page, there will be a link to “Verify” your site. Follow the instructions there.
Once that’s done, you can then click the “Add Sitemap” link from the first page and put in the URL to your sitemap, which will be http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml
7. Install WordPress Database Backup
Always good to have a backup in place. Things may go wrong with your server, or you could even make a mistake yourself.
WordPress Database Backup will backup your WordPress blog, and you can even set it so it will email you a backup on a weekly basis, so you don’t have to do anything yourself but activate it.
8. Test Your Blog With Dummy Content
You’ll not know what your blog will truly look like until you have thoroughly tested it with multiple posts and all types of formatting applied.
Save yourself some time by using this sample post collection from WP Candy.
Import the sample post collection (Tools > Import > WordPress) and your blog will compile with sample posts including comments, parent/child categories and formatting, allowing you to thoroughly test it and make any theme alterations.
9. Add your RSS feed to Feedburner
First edit your RSS settings. Settings > Reading and you can edit how many posts you want to show in your RSS feed and whether they should show the full post or not.
Now you want to burn your feed with Feedburner. Feedburner will provide you with stats on your feeds and automatically ping services so your new content is updated immediately along with a whole host of other services.
Once you have signed up to Feedburner, change your feed subscription link in your theme. Place the following code between the head tags.
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Feed Title" href="YOUR FEEDBURNER URL" />
10. Activate your Analytics
Here’s a few optional to-dos. Not as major as the above but you still might need to check them.
Change your Media image sizes
Change your image sizes depending on the size of your content area.
Settings > Media
Change your blog tagline
Your tagline may or may not be included in your theme but it’s most likely included in your RSS feed.
Settings > General
Here is another set of rules you might want to follow to update your new WordPress installation. It was written by Ajay from the WebTechLife.com blog.
Top 10 things you must do with your new WordPress blogPosted In Blogging, Featured, Google, SEO, Wordpress – By Ajay On Saturday, February 5th, 2011 With 1 Comment
You have finally decided to start your own blog. So, you buy a domain and install wordpress. But, do you know what are the things you must do after setting up WordPress. Don’t worry if you don’t, we tell you what to do.
The user ‘admin’
Most of us are familiar with this but we’ll state it still for the information sake. When you setup wordpress for the first time you are the user ‘admin’ with ‘admin’ as the password. Change it. Create a new user with any name and password you wish and delete the user admin.
Change your permalink structure, that defines what your URL’s are going to be. URL’s containing the post names are more search-engine and reader friendly than with the one’s containing something like “?id=12?”. You can have whatever structure you like but most people set it to /%post name%/.
Configure you robots.txt file to tell the search engine bots to not crawl on the content you specify. Configuring your robots.txt is easy.
You can include these 3 variables in your robots.txt file:
User-agent: - This is the name that the bots use to identify itself when accessing pages on your server. The value * is used to specify the bots.
Disallow: – Folder and filenames in this variable are the one’s that user-agent will not be able to access.
Crawl-Delay: – This is the time for which the bot should wait before moving on to the next page.
Allow: – This tag is read only by Googlebot. If you want to block every crawler for your whole site except Googlebot, the command will be like this
Add # symbol before a line if you want that line to be ignored by the BOT.
Be SEO friendly
Optimize your blog for better search engine results. You can use a plugin called ‘All in One SEO’ for this purpose. Search it through WordPress or grab it from here http://wp.uberdose.com/2007/03/24/all-in-one-seo-pack/. It is a must do as most of the traffic you receive will be from search engine results.
Customize your 404 Error page
If any of your user accidentally lands on an error page try to give them something better and informative. You can include your recent posts or tag clouds. And if they are on the error page from through a search result, try giving them list of posts in your blog that are related to there search query.
You can use a plugin called ‘Askapache Google 404’ to do this. It converts all such 404 Error pages into rich AJAX forms. You can download it from here http://www.askapache.com/seo/404-google-wordpress-plugin.html .
Reduce your Site load time
Speed is one of the most crucial factors in determining your site’s daily Indexing Rate. Obviously, the faster the bot can visit your site the more number of pages will get indexed. So you want to reduce the load time as much as you can. There are many ways to do that but the 2 most important things to do are
- Install this plugin called ‘WP-Super Cache’. It decreases the load time of your site and gives it a performance boost. It will also decrease the server load so your site won’t crash when its getting high amount of traffic. You can grab it from here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-super-cache/ .
- Another thing to make sure is that you have a good web host. Never pay an unknown company for hosting your website just because it is cheap. Look for one’s who keep their servers updated so that you are not the one who has to suffer. Our personal recommendations are Hostgator and HostMonster. They have faster servers.
Use Google Webmaster Tools
If you want you site to be optimized for Google, Google Webmaster Tools are really a wonderful resource. These tools provide you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google. Visit this link to find out how to use it to your advantage http://www.dailyblogtips.com/the-bloggers-guide-to-google-webmaster-tools/ .
Add FeedBurner feed to your blog
It is really important that your daily visitors are able to subscribe to your blog and get updates directly to their inboxes, so make a feed for your blog. You can do that by downloading FeedBurner plugin for WordPress from here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/feedburner-plugin/ . And don’t forget to add the RSS icon on your blog page either in header somewhere or on the top of sidebar which is the best place for RSS.
Install Google Sitemap
For Google to start indexing your blog, you would have to submit your sitemap. The Google XML Sitemap plugin will do 90% of your job of generating and submitting your sitemaps to different search engines. The sitemap.xml file it creates is compatible with most of the search engines. Download it from this link http://www.arnebrachhold.de/projects/wordpress-plugins/google-xml-sitemaps-generator/ .
Setup Google Analytics
You can view and monitor your stats just by adding a script to your page. Signup for Google Analytics, they will give you a code which you will have to add to your website and verify. Now you are done setting up Google Analytics and are ready to monitor your stats.
Finally, here is what I do with my WordPress blogs, apart from applying most of the above ideas:
I also change the height of the writing screen to 20, so that I can actually see something when I write or edit the text of the posts.
I create a new theme with Artisteer. If you are serious about making money with your sites, you must have Artisteer!
There are some 20-odd plugins that I almost always install with a WordPress site. Some of the will require additional setup, so you might be at work for your new site for hours in the end.
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