April 6, 2017 zack

Next Steps After Installing WordPress, Pro Tips, and Installing Your First Theme

So you’ve gotten past one of the biggest hurdles: getting started.

(If not, check out how to get started by getting your own hosting account, domain name, and installing WordPress.)

Next Steps & Pro Tips

I always have a few things I like to do on a recently installed WordPress site. Of course, none of this is mandatory so take it for what it’s worth. I find it pretty valuable.

Everything I will be doing here is in your WordPress Dashboard. This can be found at www.YourSiteHere.com/admin, so just put /admin at the end of your domain, login, and you’re there!

Change Your Password

I mean, go ahead and keep the password that WordPress gave you, it’s pretty darn secure. But, if you’re like me, you like to go with the ones you know. Navigate over to Users -> Your Profile. You’ll have the option to change your password there. It’s actually a little tricky, you have to click “Generate Password” and then edit what they generated for you. It goes without saying, go with one that is very secure and unique.

Uninstall Plugins

Plugins in general are phenomenal. They are arguably one of the main reasons why someone may chose WordPress as the platform they build their website on. There are so many great ones that can help with anything from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to setting up a payment processor to building a forum where people can interact with each other on your site.

All that said, there can be some unnecessary ones. With the simple “1-click” WordPress installers, you end up getting packaged with some plugins. Some, if not most, can be a little spammy in one way or another. I like to deactivate and uninstall them ALL. I like to start with a clean slate.

Just click on Plugins in the sidebar, check all the boxes, then use the drop down above and select “Deactivate”. This will go through and deactivate any that are currently active. Now you can uninstall them all. Simply hit the dropdown box again and select “Uninstall”.

Now we’re all clean!

Change Permalinks

Permalinks? What are Permalinks? Yeah I had no clue what this meant at first either. It’s basically the structure of how all your links will look. For example you can choose to have:

www.YourWebSiteHere.com/2017/04/06/sample-post/

or

www.YourWebSiteHere.com/sample-post/

There are other options but you can see what I’m talking about. The first example breaks your link structure down by year, month, and day. Whereas the later example is cleaner and just provides the post name. I prefer the later example as I find it cleaner looking and most people go this route.

To change this, simply go to Settings -> Permalinks. Once there, select the “Post Name” option and click Save.

Install Your First Theme

So this is an encouraged tip, but it’s also optional. WordPress comes with a few themes of there own. They’re typically named by the year in which they were developed. For instance, “Twenty Seventeen”. Their themes are fine, but they’re very basic and if you’ve seen a lot of websites like I have, they’re extremely distinguishable. This is my opinion, but they come off as though the site owner lacked care and it’s a bit of bad first impression.

If you’d like to go ahead and install a theme, awesome! Let’s do it.

Picking a theme is easily the hardest part of all this. There’s SO MANY themes out there. Thousands of free versions, paid versions, overly complex versions, lacking versions, etc. You’ll spend a lot of time looking for them. I recommend checking out the demos and reading reviews.

One thing you’ll run into after installing a few themes (trust me, you’ll end up going through a bunch in a couple years from now), is that it can be a bit frustrating to try to get your website looking like the demo. A lot the themes these days are very complex and it takes a lot of time to make your website look like the demo.

Not to worry, I’m going to save you a ton of time. There’s a theme that I use called Brooklyn, on almost all my sites that you can pretty much make look like whatever you want. But the best part is, they have over 20 demos and A DEMO INSTALLER! This means you chose the demo you like, and you can easily make your website duplicate the demo with a couple clicks.

Alright, so installing a theme. Whether you got the theme I recommended or another one. They all provide you with a .zip file for the theme. Head on over to Appearance -> Themes. At the top there’s a small button that says Add New. Then there’s another button at the top titled Upload Theme. This is where you can upload that .zip file.

WordPress will then install the theme and you can then click Activate.

You’re all set! Whatever theme you downloaded should have included docs in order to help you out from this point!

Good luck!

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