Great News! You have WordPress installed on your new hosted domain name: now what? See below our top 10 tips of what to check for on WordPress to get your website World Wide Web ready!
The first thing you should do is install a new plugin which will create a holding page, or coming soon page. This is to cover or mask your WordPress development: Two of our favourites are ‘Ultimate Coming Soon Page’ and ‘Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd’. Install these plugins as you would normally do, activate it and configure it with the message you want to display. It is also good practice to check the plugins are always tested for your version of wordpress and have plenty of users and good ratings.
Remove the standard WordPress installation post. Select posts from the dashboard menu and you should see only 1 entry, Hello World. Move it to trash, then permanently delete it. This one post tells spammers and hackers that you are operating on WordPress, and not removing it, shows your inexperience in dealing with WordPress.
Remove the standard WordPress installation page. Select pages from the dashboard menu and you should see only 1 entry, Sample Page. Move it to trash, then permanently delete it. Again, this one page shows spammers and hackers that you are operating on WordPress.
Remove the unnecessary bundled plugins and themes that WordPress gives you. Hello Dolly and WP Multibyte Patch are 2 plugins that, most likely, you will never need. The constant updating that is part of the course with WordPress is easier when you do not have too many unnecessary plugins and themes. You can also remove unwanted themes by clicking on appearance from the dashboard menu: click theme details, then look for the delete on the bottom right of your screen. At his point, WordPress is about as clean as it is ever going to get, so if you want to set backups or clones of your site, now is a good time to do it. Lastly, before we talk about configuring your new site, check to see if there are any updates needed before we move on.
If you are planning to blog a bit, or already have an idea for categories, it is a good time to change the default category name from ‘uncategorized’ to ‘Latest News’ or similar. In this case, renaming the existing category will also change the default post category, so it takes care of 2 items in one go. Select Posts, then Categories from the dashboard menu to edit category names and add new ones.
Rename your user admin display name, by creating a nickname. Hackers use any trace evidence available to attempt to take control, so if they see a username in the posts meta data, this gives them 2 of the 3 identity logins they need to access your site. Select Users – All Users from the dashboard and edit your profile to add a nickname. Choose something in the nickname box, and then you will be able to switch the display name away from your admin username. Click update profile at the bottom of the page to complete the process.
This one is very important not to get it wrong. While it is simple, it is critical not to mess it up, as your dashboard screen will turn white, your website will turn white, and you cannot undo this action like most things in WordPress.
O.k., so what we are doing here is adding 3 w’s in 2 places. Sounds easy, right? Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Now, select Settings – General. Look for 2 boxes WordPress Address (URL) Site Address (URL) (box 3 and 4 from the top, box 1 is Site Title and box 2 is Tagline). You should see in both boxes http://yourwebsite.com, and in both cases you are looking to add www. in between the http:// and your domain name. In the following example http://yourwebsite.com, it becomes http://www.yourwebsite.com when you update both urls, scroll to the bottom and select update.
As this is preforming critical WordPress changes, it will log you out, not remember your access details and it is required that you log in again. When you do, your site url structure has now been changed to be a part of the World Wide Web. Congratulations! This small and simple procedure will make marketing and backlinking more powerful in the future, and as it is risky in terms of doing it wrong and loosing your website in it’s entirety, but I definitely recommend doing this sooner rather than later.
Next Step: Change the permalink settings. It is crucial for good SEO, and simple to do. Select Settings – Permalinks from the dashboard menu. Change the common settings from ‘Plain’ to ‘Post name’ and hit save changes. Done!
Simply create 2 new pages. One called ‘Home’ and another called ‘Blog’. You do not need to add any details or content to the pages at this stage. That can all come later. When the new pages are added, go to Settings – Reading. Check from ‘Your Latest Posts’ to ‘A Static Page’ and use the drop down to change Front page to Home, and Posts page to Blog. This step tells WordPress that your route domain is to show the content on the home page, and to post your blog posts to a page called Blog.
Create a Menu bar by clicking Appearance – Menus from the dashboard menu. As there are no menus yet, options here are blanked out, so the only option is to select the ‘create a new menu link’. Call it Primary, add the homepage and blog page from the left side of the screen by checking the boxes and clicking ‘add to menu’. Click the box for the Primary Menu under Theme locations, and the blue ‘Save Menu’ button to make the changes. You have now completed 10 steps in making your new WordPress website ready for your content!