When you start a blog or create a website, WordPress is the best tool to speed up the development process. You just need to register a domain name and sign up for web hosting and WordPress will do the rest. But when your website is ready, do you know how to setup WordPress after installation?
There are a few critical points you should walk through right after installing WordPress. They will make your WordPress website more user-friendly – both for you and your visitors.
In this post, I’ll walk you through 10 essential steps on how to setup WordPress after installation. So, whether you’re launching your portfolio website for freelancing or starting a blog, you’re in the right place.
With these helpful tips you can clean up your WordPress website, make it more SEO-friendly and easier to use. This will save you tons of time in the long run – yet you only need a few minutes for it.
Here are a few helpful articles you might want to read:
- 9 Great Reasons to Use WordPress for Web Development
- How to Install WordPress Manually on Your Webspace
- The Best Book for Learning HTML and CSS From Scratch
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend. If you choose to purchase using these links, I may receive a small commission for referring you. But please, only buy products you believe will help you achieve your goals faster. Thank you for your support!
How to Setup WordPress After Installation in 10 Steps
Ready to start! Great!
Here are the 10 steps we’ll go through in this post on how to setup WordPress after installation:
- Discourage search engines from indexing the website
- Change Site Title and Tagline
- Enable or disable user registration
- Adjust time and date settings
- Change WordPress permalink structure
- Review WordPress media settings
- Delete default Page, Post, and Comment
- Adjust settings for discussion and comments
- Complete your author profile
- Disable directory browsing
If you’re new to WordPress and you’re just getting started, here’s a helpful article explaining the difference between WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com.
In order to use WordPress.org for building a website, you need to register a domain name and sign up for web hosting. You’re free to choose the provider you like – there’s hundreds of good options to choose from.
But if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly and reliable provider, I can fully recommend mine. I’ve tried a bunch of different hosting providers in the past few years and Bluehost is the one I’ve had the best overall experience.
To make things easier for you, I’ve teamed up with them for a special deal, too: through my blog, you have access to an exclusive hosting deal at just $2.95 per month – including a free domain name.
Alright, let’s see how you should setup WordPress after installation!
Step #1: Discourage search engines from indexing the website
When you’ve just created a new WordPress blog or website, you might want to create pages and content before people start visiting it.
The easiest way to guarantee your “privacy” for now is to block search engines from indexing your website for now. This will prevent your WordPress website from appearing in their search results.
Here’s what you should do:
In your WordPress admin area, navigate to Settings > Reading. There, make sure the box for discouraging indexing is checked as shown in the screenshot below.
Remember to click Save Changes once you are done – and you’re all set!
Note: You can tick this box during the WordPress installation process, too. Thus, if you did so, the setting should already be active.
Step #2: Change Site Title and Tagline
You WordPress site title and tagline appear on the browser tab when people visit your website:
By default, your new WordPress website does not have a very descriptive site title and tagline. Therefore, you want to change them settings to whatever suits your website.
In your admin area, navigate to Settings > General.
There, you can change the Site Title to the name of your website. By default, it is something like “WordPress Site” – not exactly a best-seller.
Additionally, update the Tagline to be a slogan or some other short description of the nature of your website. It simply explains what your website is about. There is simply no excuse for leaving the default tagline “Just another WordPress site” in place.
Finally, don’t forget to click Save Changes on the bottom of the page.
Step #3: Enable or Disable user registration
If you wish to start a WordPress blog with multiple authors creating content, you may want to enable user registration.
That way, your fellow writers can create their own profiles and log in to create their own pieces of content in the future.
Head over to Settings > General Settings and check the box for Membership to Anyone can register:
Additionally, you need to define the New User Default Role.
The different user roles have different capabilities or levels of “authority” on your WordPress website.
Here’s an overview of what each role can do:
- Administrator has access to all the admin features within your WordPress site
- Editor can publish and manage posts, including the posts of other users
- Author can publish and manage their own posts
- Contributor can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them
- Subscriber can only manage their profile
For instance, if you are creating a blog with multiple authors, you could set the default role to Contributor. That way, they can create posts but these have to be published by someone with a higher level of authority – e.g. by yourself.
Step #4: Adjust Time and Date Settings
Under the General Settings, you can set your timezone as well as the date and time formats.
Here are the settings you should pay attention to and define them to best suit your needs:
- Date Format
- Time Format
- “Week Starts On”
Step #5: Change WordPress permalink structure
Permalinks are what the name implies: permanent links to your pages and posts. Thus, when it comes to how to setup WordPress after installation, this is the most important setting you should adjust.
Permalinks play a huge role in both SEO and user experience.
The default permalink setting for WordPress is far from optimal. Whenever you write a new post, it gets a URL that simply holds a number, e.g.
A permalink like this doesn’t give any idea about the content of this particular page or post. Not to you, not to your users, and not to search engines.
Therefore, you want to change your permalinks to contain a slug that actually stands for the content and purpose of the post or page.
Navigate to Settings > Permalinks and choose one option that works better than the default one.
My recommendation is to choose Post Name as a base for creating permalinks as in the screenshot above.
And as always, remember to Save Changes when you are done!
Step #6: Review WordPress media settings
Media settings define how WordPress handles image files you upload while creating your blog posts or other content.
By default, WordPress creates multiple different image files with different sizes and dimensions for each picture that you upload. This can quickly bloat up your media folders within your website, with unnecessarily many files created from each single image.
Here’s how you can adjust the media settings:
Navigate to Settings > Media. There, set the different size options to 0 for Thumbnail size, Medium size, and Large size.
This will prevent WordPress from generating separate image files for all different sizes.
Additionally, there’s a setting called Uploading Files at the bottom. You may want to consider whether your uploads should be organised into separate folders based on month and year.
Depending on your own preferences, consider what is more practical for yourself. If you will be uploading hundreds of media files to your blog, for instance, having them chronologically organised in separate folders could be a good idea. In that case, simply leave the box ticked.
Finally, remember to click Save Changes.
Step #7: Delete default Page, Post, and Comment
One important point about how to setup WordPress after installation is to delete any content you don’t need.
Cleaning up your WordPress website makes it easier to use and navigate for you. Also, your website will become faster without all the fluff bloating up your database.
During the installation process WordPress automatically creates some sample content. The point is to give you a few samples to see how pages, posts, and comments work.
Feel free to check out how the sample content works and looks. Once you’re done, go ahead and get rid of them.
To do this, navigate to Posts and delete the post called “Hello world!” by clicking Trash under the post title.
Similarly, do the same under Pages for Sample Page and Comments.
Step #8: Adjust Settings for Discussion and Comments
Whenever you write a blog post or create other content, your readers may want to leave their feedback for you to read.
But in order to manage any comments you don’t want appearing on your blog, here’s what you should do:
Head over to Settings > Discussion. In the screenshot below, I’ve highlighted the boxes you should check.
Default article settings tell WordPress to notify other bloggers whenever you link to their website from your article.
Use Other comments settings to break comments into several pages. You can set a certain threshold, e.g. 50 top-level comments in the screenshot above.
The section Before a comment appears lets you check a box for manual approval for all comments. Use this setting to filter out spam and inappropriate comments. With the checkbox active, you will be notified whenever someone posts a comment to your website. After that, you can review the comment and approve it under Comments as shown in the screenshot below.
Step #9: Complete your author profile
Whenever you publish a blog post, your readers will see a block of information about you – the author. This block is located either at the bottom of the post or in the sidebar, depending on your settings. Needless to say, it’s a powerful tool to introduce yourself briefly to your readers.
Navigate to Users > Your Profile. Under Contact Info, you can add links to your social media profiles.
Also, consider writing a short bio about yourself under About Yourself > Biographical Info. This is an excellent opportunity to give your readers a better idea about who you are and what your WordPress website or blog is about.
Additionally, go ahead and register on Gravatar to add a Profile Picture of yourself. By using Gravatar, your profile picture will also be displayed on other blogs, too, whenever you post a comment yourself.
Step #10: Disable directory browsing
Our final step to setup WordPress after installation will increase the security of your WordPress website.
If directory browsing is enabled on your WordPress website, anyone can browse through your file directories.
To see if this is the case for you, simply enter /wp-includes/ after the base URL of your WordPress website, e.g.
If you see a 403 Access Forbidden or a 404 Not Found page, you’re safe.
However, if you see a collection of folders and files that belong to your website, follow along:
To disable directory browsing, you will need to edit your .htaccess file. You can do it either by using an FTP client like Filezilla on your desktop or FireFTP directly in Firefox.
You will find the .htaccess file in the root directory of your WordPress installation.
However, since the file name starts with a dot, it is a hidden file. Therefore, make sure your FTP client is displaying hidden files so that you can find it.
Next, make sure you have a backup of your WordPress website before you do any editing to your .htaccess file.
Once you’re done, go ahead and open the .htaccess file using your FTP client or File Manager in your web host’s cPanel. All you need to add to the file is the following line of code below the existing contents of the file:
Options All -Indexes
Hence, the last lines of the .htaccess file should now look something like this:
Now, simply save the .htaccess file and upload it back to the root directory of your WordPress installation. That’s it!
Final Thoughts: How to Setup WordPress After Installation
Even if you’ve never created a blog or website before, you can launch one using WordPress in a matter of a few hours. After that, it’s all about learning how to use its features step-by-step. With the steps above to setup WordPress after installation you’re already on the right track.
I’ve used WordPress for dozens of different websites – both for myself and for my clients. In fact, I started using WordPress when I became a freelance Web Developer and I’ve never been short of work.
That being said, WordPress is a valuable skill to learn if you plan on becoming a Web Developer in the future. Learning how to create WordPress websites is a great addition to the fundamental skills for becoming a Front-End Developer.
To help you get started with your first WordPress website without wasting any money, here’s a link to a special web hosting deal starting at just $2.95 per month. They’ll even throw in a free domain name for an entire year. Yes, that’s a shameless affiliate link for Bluehost – because I know you’ll love them as much as I do.
If you’re starting a blog, you’ll find heaps of helpful content on my other blog at Blogging Explorer. You’ll find tons of my best tips on:
- Starting a blog from scratch
- Creating awesome content for your readers
- Growing your blog traffic
- Making money blogging
Good luck with WordPress!
Here are a couple of helpful posts you might want to read:
- 5 Great Web Development Courses For Absolute Beginners
- 4 Practical Steps to Get You Started With Learning Programming
If you liked this post on how to setup WordPress after installation, just drop me a line in the comments below! Are you using WordPress? How’s your experience been so far?
P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others! Thanks for your support!
I’ll see you in the next post! Happy coding!