The internet is incredibly vast, but did you know that WordPress powers about 26% of all websites?
Due to its scalability, flexibility, and smooth learning curve, WordPress is the preferred CMS (Content Management System) of site owners. It also features a well-organized, visual dashboard so you can manage every aspect of your site without having to deal with code. All you need is a goal and a head full of ideas to start building.
Before you can use WordPress, you must first install it to your web hosting account. Fortunately, most web hosting companies already offer one-click installation features for WordPress to accommodate its growing user base. Alternatively, you can follow a manual installation procedure which will take a bit longer.
You can refer to this infographic from WPShrug.com to learn more about how to set up your WordPress site:
Installing WordPress is easy, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to get your website up and running. Below are the top seven most important things you need to do after installing WordPress:
1. Use a Secure Username
First and foremost, the username “admin” is too generic to be reliable. The bad news is that you might be assigned this username if you used a one-click WordPress installer without checking the available settings. You can check your username by going to Users > Your Profile/All Users from the dashboard.
If so, then you have no choice but to create a new user account with administrator privileges. Just go to Users > Add New and fill in the necessary information. Don’t forget to assign an administrator role before clicking “Add New User.” Lastly, login to your new administrator account and delete the old “admin” user account.
2. Fill up Your User Profile
After creating your WordPress admin account, don’t forget to fill in the necessary details in your user profile. In Users > Your Profile, make sure you set your name, nickname, display name, and contact information correctly. Also, fill out your biographical information, which can be shown publicly through an author box.
You can also change your profile picture by linking your Gravatar account. Simply sign up for a new account, upload your photo, and assign which one to use in your new WordPress site.
3. Modify the General Settings
Even after installing WordPress and setting up your administrator account, your website still lacks identity. To fix this, you need to go to Settings > General and modify the basic settings. Here, you can easily modify your website’s title, tagline, and URLs.
Take note that you should only change the “Site Address” field if you want to use a separate home page. You can also modify other configurations such as your site’s time zone, memberships, and language.
4. Install a Theme
One of the best things about WordPress is the easy installation of themes that will give your site design process a head start. Since you already have a working layout and navigation features, you can get started with creating content straight away. To pick a theme from your website, go to Appearance > Themes and then click “Add New Theme.”
Aside from the WordPress theme library, you can also look for themes from third-party sources if you want something more unique. However, most third-party themes are paid, but they do offer premium features that can’t be found in generic themes.
5. Configure your Permalink Structure
Whenever creating new posts, WordPress automatically assigns their permalinks based on the current settings. To change the permalink structure, go to Settings > Permalinks.
By default, posts are assigned “Plain” permalinks, which are not exactly readable nor SEO-friendly. You can easily fix this by selecting the “Day and name” or “Post name” option and clicking “Save Changes” below.
6. Create your Main Pages
The next step is to give your WordPress site its main pages. Although these pages vary depending on your site, you almost always need the “Contact Us” and “About” pages. With WordPress, you can get this done within a few minutes. Simply go to Pages > Add New from the dashboard.
Take note that the page editor looks very similar to the post editor. Here, you can fill in your page title, main content, and page attributes.
7. Create Menus
After creating your main pages, make sure to update your website’s navigation menus. To create a new menu, go to Appearance > Menus and select “create a new menu.” You should also be able to find the pages you created under the “Pages” section. Here, you can select which pages to include in the current menu.
Remember that the appearance and function of your menu depend on the theme you choose. Some themes have additional menu customization options that can be changed by going to
Appearance > Customize. Otherwise, the only way to change the menu’s appearance and behavior is to modify its code in Appearance > Editor.
After spending a few minutes with WordPress, you should be able to establish a workable degree of familiarity. Just follow the steps above, and you should have a strong foundation for your future site.