WordPress is the platform for any beginner in the sphere of website creation and management. Still there is a problem of getting into the process of setting up your first WordPress website or blog, if you have no access to any kind of advice or guide. The problem is usually met while entering your first pure WordPress project and not knowing where to start.
Although the sequence of the first actions is not very important, there is an approximate list of operations you need to do before launching your project live. The disregard of this list can cause severe consequences in form of poor rating among search engines, spam and brute force attacks risk, high bounce rates and other painful occasions.
To prevent the damage to your website and its reputation, there is a strong need to take complex actions before launching your website. We have gathered the most important steps you should take right after installing your WordPress website or blog and before launching it live. Some of this actions can be known even to beginners but they are worth remembering even in this case. Take this checklist to your WordPress website and compare the done and undone items.
Main Contact Form Creation
Some web developers call a website without any contact from just a template. This is true because any website should represent the opportunity to leave a feedback for a user. If there is no way to leave a feedback, then user would not come back to such a project. The return just does not have sense to him in such a circumstances.
Most of modern free WordPress themes and nearly all of their premium competitors do have a form builder. It is usually made with an intuitive interface to provide even the newbies with the opportunity to create such an important element of their websites. In case your WordPress theme does not have a form builder, you can use the free version of WPForms plugin for this purpose. WPForms also has a paid upgrade version for those who want to dive deeper into the design opportunities of feedback forms.
General Settings Change
Be sure to visit Settings tab and General category. There you will find the essential options of your WordPress project. Pay attention to site title, tagline and time zone. These options need to be set right for your website to work correctly. Moreover, site title and tagline are the most important issues for the search engine optimization of your website.
There are also other important options in the General menu: new user default role, site language and the permission to register new users. Check these options for being set correctly to avoid any obscure bugs in the work of your WordPress project. Other options should not be changed in the most cases.
Essential SEO Setup
Search engine optimization is one of the most important goals of your WordPress website. Without SEO your website has no chance to be seen in search engine ratings and loses the main part of its potential audience though. That is why SEO is among the first things you should pay attention to after the installation of your WordPress website or blog.
The essential tool to keep your content search engine optimized is Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin is pretty use in use but very helpful while creating any page or post through your WordPress dashboard. The plugin fully integrates to out post and page editor and makes useful suggestion to any peace of content you create. Read our full guide dedicated to Yoast SEO to get acquainted with all important features and to be informed about the common process of plugin usage.
Google Analytics Install
Google Analytics is the vital tool for exploring and understanding your audience. Without the clear understanding of your audience you can do nothing to satisfy its demands. That is why Google Analytics should be installed on your WordPress website from the very first day of its live appearance in internet. There are no exceptions or excuses to this rule.
Google Analytics is created as a beginner-friendly service and should not make a big problem while registering and adding the tracking code to your WordPress website. Nevertheless, sometimes Google Analytics appears to be difficult for newbies. We have created the full guide for initial Google Analytics installation and fine-tuning. Use it for the sake of time and effort saving purposes whenever you need to work with Google Analytics.
Caching Plugin Install
Website`s speed is another essential feature that can assure your WordPress project`s popularity or bury it alive — depending on how you care about this important option. There are lots of ways to speed up your WordPress website or blog. The first steps towards this goal should be taken at the very beginning of the life of your project.
Caching technology allows you to show users saved copies of content pieces instead of downloading them each time a user views a page. There are free and premium WordPress plugins to cover this task. One of the most popular free caching plugin is WP Super Cache. One of the most prominent premium competitor for this plugin is W3 Total Cache. If you wish to dive deeper into the features of these plugins, we offer you the full comparative review.
Backups prevent your WordPress projects from losing all the precious data and content it has through hackers` attacks or some issues with hosting providers. Backups are essentially the saved versions of your WordPress website made within the set period of time. Some modern hostings provide this service automatically but not all of them.
If you do not completely trust your hosting provider or it does not provide you with the backup feature at all, then you need to use one of the backup plugins for WordPress. As usual, there are free and premium versions of these tools. Free plugins are mostly enough for the beginners who do not want to spend time for fine-tuning another comprehensive tool.
WordPress Security Setup
WordPress security is often determined as two main factors: brute force attack counteraction and anti-spam protection. Both of these factors are essentially important because you neither want your WordPress website to be broken by hackers nor being overflown by spam messages which appear faster than you can delete them.
The security issue of any website is a complex matter. That is why we advise you to learn more about the WordPress security through our dedicated blog category. There you will find tips and tricks on protecting your WordPress project from A to Z. Moreover, we try to keep our finger on the pulse of events and introduce you to the latest malware dangers and ways to resist them.
Site Icon Setup
Site icon (also known as Favicon) is used to underline the uniqueness of your WordPress website within the browser title. Every website can use an image to display before the text title on the browser tab. The image need to be exactly 512 width and 512 height in pixels. Acceptable file formats are png, jpeg and gif.
To set up your favicon, go to Appearance menu in your WordPress dashboard and select Customize tab. Inside it you should find the Site Identity submenu, where site title, tagline and site icon can be set. Here you can download the prepared image with format and dimensions mentioned above. Note, that site icon can appear with some delay in different browsers and user devices.
We have covered the most important action one can take to set up a WordPress website correctly. These are obviously not all actions you can take right after your WordPress installation. We advise you to check in with the listed above actions but do not limit your initial setup process with them. Create on your own and share your thoughts on the process!