Firstly, if you are reading this blog, you are sure to know what WordPress is. Still, just a quick update. WordPress is an amazing platform that helps create websites and blogs quickly. It is relatively easy to master and comes with tons of useful features. Most importantly, it’s is extremely customization-friendly.
And, customization-friendly is what we are going to assess in this blog today. Overall, you can change anything and everything about your WordPress site. WordPress allows it all. This post is meant to be used as a guide to get you through the your first every successful WordPress customization from start to finish.
You can create a brand new website with WordPress. I am assuming that you’ve already installed WordPress on your domain via WordPress web hosting. So, let’s get started now, taking it slow and brief in step-wise succession. The steps are not necessary to be followed in the given order. This is just my preference for order to ensure that I have not missed out on anything. I have added screenshots wherever possible to help you comprehend the steps better. They are anyway relatively easy to follow.
Step 1: You are the Admin. Take Control!
By default, WordPress creates an admin level user called as admin. The problem with the default admin setting is that every hacker knows about this, and therefore admin is usually the first username they use when trying to bust into your site. Therefore, it is highly recommended to create a new admin user that’s not called admin as soon as you login.
Just after WordPress is installed, you’d be logging in with the admin account, and since you are the only user so far, you won’t be able to delete yourself. Therefore, you’ll need to create a new admin level user, log in as that new user, and then delete the default one. It is best to do this before you create any posts or pages to save the hassles later.
- Go to Users –» Add New.
- Fill in the details.
- Don’t use any username that is too generic or easily guessable.
- Make sure that next to Role, you select Administrator from the drop-down menu.
- Also, make a note of the password because you’ll need this to log in with the new account the next time.
- Now, log out of WordPress and login as the new administrator.
- Then go to Users –» All Users.
- Hover over the old admin and click Delete.
Step 2: Set the Site Tagline, Title, Date, Time Format, and Time Zone
After installing your new WordPress website, you would see the default tagline “Just Another WordPress Site”. That doesn’t sound very professional, does it?
This tagline shows up on Google search results as well. Therefore, make sure that you change or remove it. For this, go to Settings –» General.
Date and time format are also under Settings –» General. This setting will affect the date/time display for your blog posts. This step is important, especially if you wish to schedule blog posts and other events, such as automatic backups.
Step 3: Activate/Delete Pre-Installed Plugins
There are no practical purposes for the Hello Dolly plugin, and it can be safely deleted without any issues. In fact, for security purposes, any plugin that isn’t active on your site should be removed because hackers like to hide their malicious code in old default themes and plugins.
Spam comments can be quite problematic too, as they may contain links that lead to malicious websites that are known for distributing malware. Experts say that such spam comments negatively influence your search engine rankings and hence the website’s reputation.
You can enable comment moderation in WordPress to prevent any comment from appearing without approval. However, as the quantity of spam grows, you will be spending considerable time moderating these comments.
To fix this issue, you would need to activate the Akismet plugin—a WordPress anti-spam plugin. There is just one other plugin that come pre-installed on every WordPress website.
Step 4: Setup your WordPress SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is used by website owners to obtain more traffic from Google and other popular search engines. Undoubtedly, WordPress is extremely SEO friendly. There is a lot you can do to optimize your SEO and achieve more traffic to your website.
Immediately after you have set up your website, set the SEO.
Yoast SEO plugin is highly recommended for this purpose, being one of the best WordPress SEO plugin that includes all of important SEO settings.
Step 5: Change the permalink structure
A permalink is the URL used to link your content. It should be permanent, and never change. Hence the name permalink.
The default permalink structure in WordPress is http://www.yoursite.com/?p=123
Where 123 indicates the WordPress ID assigned to your page. This structure is definitely not ideal, visually or otherwise. It is also not great for SEO as it doesn’t contain readable words.
So, let’s go ahead and change that.
- Go to Settings –» Permalinks.
- You would see Common Settings.
- Select the Post name and then click save changes.
Now onward, this URL will reflect the title of the post. For instance, if you post is “Decoding Digital Marketing in a Nutshell”, once you save the post, the URL will automatically be formatted as: https://www.incitech.com/decoding-digital-marketing-in-a-nutshell/
Step 6: Add a favicon
Favicon or Site Icon is a tiny image that appears next to your website title in the browser. It helps users identify your website and increases brand recognition among your most frequent visitors.
- First, create a square image of exactly 512×512 pixels in dimensions and save it in png, jpeg, or gif format.
- Next, go to Appearance » Customize.
- Click on the ‘Site Identity’ tab.
- Under the ‘Site Icon’ section, click on the ‘Select File’ button to upload your favicon.
- Finally, hit publish.
Step 7: Delete Default Content
WordPress places default content for use as placeholder items, for example, the blog post title “Hello World”, followed by dummy comment, and a sample page. When you have your content ready. You would need to delete the default content and place your content there.
- Go to Posts » All Posts
- Move the cursor to the “Hello World” post
- Click on the “Trash” link.
- Visit Pages » All Pages
- Delete the Sample Page.
- Finally, visit the Comments page and delete the default comment.
Step 8: Delete Unused Themes
Normally we install multiple themes to check the requirement in hand. Once we find the perfect match, we usually leave the unused themes installed. However, since even inactive themes will need to be updated, be sure to delete them.
- Visit Appearance » Themes page
- Click on an unused theme that you want to delete
- This will bring up a popup showing theme details.
- In the bottom-right corner of the popup you will see the link to delete the theme.
- Repeat the process to delete all unused themes.
Step 9: Install Google Analytics to your WordPress Website
Knowing how your audience interact with your website is crucial for your site’s success, With Google Analytics, you can see stats like who is visiting your site, which posts are the most popular ones, and how users interact with your website.
- To get Google Analytics on your site, you first need to have google analytics account. For this, visit google.com.
- If you don’t have an account yet, you can sign up with your Gmail account. Once your account is setup, you will get a Tracking ID.
- Now, login to the WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins.
- Add a new plugin, and search for Insert Headers and Footers Plugin.
- This is a great way to install tracking information’s to the header or footer section without having to mess with the WordPress theme. Install and activate it.
- Go to settings, copy the website tracking script from the google analytics account, and paste it in the header section, and save the changes.
If this simple guide still seems confusing or insufficient, call the INCI web experts at 7700000115 for a quick consultation.