9 Essential Settings After Installing WordPress

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Wondering what changes you should make to your fresh installed WordPress?

The WordPress installation process takes only 5 minutes or less on the best web host with their popular 1-Click Installation. However, the work doesn’t stop there, it’s just the beginning.

In this guide, I  will show you the different essential settings you need to do after installing WordPress.

The 9 Essential Settings After Installing WordPress

1. Removed WordPress Dummy Content

WordPress creates dummy content after installation, by default. You should delete it before you forget to do so. Here are the 3 default content that you need to get rid of in WordPress.

  • Sample Page – To remove the sample page, go to Pages » All Pages. Hover over the page titled Sample Page and click Trash.
  • Sample Post – To remove the sample post, go to Posts » All Posts. On the next screen, you’ll find a post called Hello World. Hover over the post title and click “Trash”.
  • Sample Comment – To remove the sample comment, go to the Comments section, on the left sidebar. Hover over the comment body and click Trash.

WordPress also installs dummy plugins in addition to the plugins packed by your web hosting. However, you can keep it there or delete it, it’s optional.

To do this, go to the Plugins section on the left sidebar in your dashboard.

Here are the 2 default WordPress plugin:

  • Hello Dolly – To remove this plugin, first, deactivate it from the list of installed plugins, you can do this by clicking on the Deactivate link. Second, click on the Delete link to actually remove it.
  • Akismet Anti-Spam – Just follow along with the same procedure as what you did with the Hello Dolly plugin.

2. Configure General Settings

This is where you will configure the title, tagline, timezone, etc. A very important factor, hence, is what displays on the Google search engine results page (SERP).

You can change all these settings on the same page.

To do this, go to Settings » General.

  • Site Title – Change this to something short and unique.
  • Site Tagline – Change this to something that describes you or your business.
  • Email Address – Change this to a more specific and valid email, this could be helpful if you forgot your password.
  • Membership – I suggest living this unchecked, but if you’re building a membership site this might be handy.
  • New User Default Role – This section applies when you enable the Membership option. It gives the user how he could use WordPress. This can be an administrator, an editor, an author, a contributor, or a subscriber.
  • Timezone, Date, and Time Format – Change this according to your location and/or requirement. This might become in handy and make sure your scheduled post will go according to your time zone.

After making all the changes, click the Save Changes button to save it.

3. Configure the Reading Settings

By default, WordPress will automatically display the blog posts on the home page. This is not what you intended or expected to do so. To fix this you need to make changes to the Reading Settings.

To do this, go to Settings » Reading. But before that, these guides assume you already have a Home and a Blog page ready. If you don’t have, then, please create those first and get back here when you’re done to proceed.

  • Frontpage displays – Choose A static page. Then, for the front page, select Home or any page you want to become your home page. And for the posts page, select Blog.
  • Blog pages show at most – Change this to any number, I suggest between 1-10 posts per page.
  • Syndication feeds show the most recent – This will show up as a syndicated feed so a number of 1-10 posts per page might be ok.

4. Configure Discussion/Comment Settings

To do this, go to Settings » Discussion.

This is where you set up discussion/comments for your WordPress website.

  • Default article settings – You need to uncheck the Allow people to post comments on new articles if you wish to disable comments on your site. Check, otherwise.
  • Other comment settings – If you want Users must be registered and logged in to commentCheck this box.

5. Configure Media Settings

This setting will improve the way WordPress handles the image to upload. By default, WordPress creates multiple sizes of one image that you will upload. It’s not good advice as most of the WordPress themes have their own settings for the featured image.

To fix this, go to Settings » Media to configure the settings. Just make all values set to 0.

You might also want to add a plugin that compresses the images as you upload. A good example is the WP Smush plugin developed by WPMU DEV Team.

6. Change WordPress Permalink Structure

Permalinks are the addresses for your WordPress posts and pages. And by default, your permalink is like http://yourwebsite.com/p=123 which is not good for your user and search engine. To make this much easier to remember, you need to change it.

To do this, go to Settings » Permalinks.

On the next screen, you will find different permalink structures.

Select the Post name and click on the Save Changes button to save. This ensures that your permalink when appearing in the search engine, contains some keywords, and your blog posts will possibly rank better in the search engine.

7. Add New Categories

By default, WordPress assigns Uncategorized when you created a post. This makes it unprofessional for your readers to see this uncategorized category. That’s why you need to create a new category and tags to categorize and manage your posts.

Adding in categories helps improve user experience and allows for easier navigation.

To create a new category, go to Posts » Categories.

On the next screen, you’ll have to add a Name for the category. Slug and Parent are optional.

Slug is automatically created once you click on the Add New Category.

On the other hand, to add a category to an existing post. All you have to do is, go to the post editor and find out the meta box titled Categories. Then, click the + Add New Category. Provide a category name and click the Add New Category button.

This will category will be added to the post. You can create as many categories as you want. Hit the Update button to save the changes.

8. Install WordPress Theme

By default, WordPress comes with three themes on a freshly installed application.

These are:

  • Twenty Twenty-Two
  • Twenty Twenty-One
  • Twenty Twenty

The themes can be found in the Appearance » Themes.

I can’t say that these default WordPress themes are bad by any means, they don’t come with advanced features and the necessary customization options. That is why you need to install third-party WordPress themes from a provider like ThemeForest.

Click to find out the best and most popular premium WordPress themes in the market today.

Once you have purchased the theme, you can easily download it to your computer and install it.

To do this, go to Appearance » Themes and click Add New.

On the next screen, simply click on the Upload Theme. Wait for a few minutes, WordPress will automatically install it for you. A success message will appear.

To activate the theme, click on the Activate link.

9. Install Necessary WordPress Plugins

Plugins are tools that extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress application.

There are thousands of plugins available from the WordPress repository.

While the necessary plugins will vary depending on your website type, there are some common plugins that are required for all WordPress-based websites.

Here’re the most common types of plugins you need to install.

  • SEO Plugins – With the use of SEO plugins, you can make sure that you are following best SEO practices. Though Google and other leading search engines are emphasizing more on better content and user experience; on-site SEO is still important. These plugins will help you optimize blog post title, meta description, social sharing, etc. Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, are the most famous and recommended SEO plugins in WordPress.
  • Caching Plugins – Caching helps improve your website’s speed. It’s because it saves the static content of your site to the users’ computer. W3 Total Cache could be an excellent choice for beginners.
  • Backup Plugins – As a website owner, you should back up your website regularly. Installing and configuring a backup plugin will not take more than 20 minutes, but it will surely save you countless hours if something unexpected happens to your site. Backup plugins like UpdraftPlus or WordPress Backup to Dropbox are a good choice.
  • Security Plugins – WordPress is a secure platform, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. After all, when it comes to website security, there is nothing called ‘Complete Security’, right? Choose security plugins like WordfenceSecurity or iThemes Security.
  • Anti-Spam Plugins – As you could remember above, by default, WordPress comes with Akismet, an anti-spam plugin that helps protect your blog from spam comments and suspicious trackbacks.
  • Social Sharing Plugins – Social Sharing is now an official factor in getting better search engine rankings. It also shows the popularity, authority, and reliability of your content. Some popular social sharing plugins include Easy Social Share Buttons by appscreo, Share Buttons by AddToAny, and AddThis Sharing Buttons.


A good website comes with a solid foundation. For now, and by following these tips, you can make sure that your website will gain more traffic and the best user experience.

You can replicate these essential settings on all your WordPress websites after installation.

Is there anything I miss?

Please let me know in the comment section below.

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4 Responses

  1. Extremely useful tips Rodney. Your post is really helpful for newbies because we are often confused and don’t know which setting edit.
    Thanks a lot for this post.

  2. Hi, Rodney !! I am a newbie to wordpress, so that it is a very good article for me…..thanks for sharing , keep up good work…

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