Getting Started with WordPress

 

Ok, WordPress is installed and running…What’s next? If you’re new to WordPress, this article will give you some all important tips on setting up and securing your new WordPress site

1) Set the Title, Tagline, Time zone and add your Favicon

We rolled these into one step as their easily made from the setting area of your WordPress Admin panel.

In your WordPress admin panel find Settings and choose General. Add your site Change both your site title and complete the tagline with something descriptive of your site.

Still in the General section, find Timezone and add a city in your same time zone. You can also use the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). Sites like this will help you find the correct UTC setting.

As Always, Save Changes.

Adding your favicon.

Favicon is little icon in the browser tab next to your site title and helps identify your site. Many times it’s not changed and show the WordPress default icon.

Creating a Favicon

A favicon is a square image. 32×32 pixels or 16×16 pixel images are the right size. Using you image editor, create a square image large enough so that you can work on it. Keep in mind that greatly reducing an image also reduces detail, making it important to use a bold, simple image for your favicon. When the image is ready, use a tool like Favicon Generator to convert it to a 16×16 .ico file.

Adding a Favicon to your WordPress Site

To add your new favicon, simply upload it to your sites root directory and paste this code into your theme’s header.php file….making sure to change mysite.com to the name of your site. Save it and check your site. You should see your new favicon.

1 <link rel=”icon” href=”http://mysite.com/favicon.ico” type=”image/x-icon” />
2 <link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”http://mysite.com/favicon.ico” type=”image/x-icon” />

No header.php file? This plugin gives you a way around that and will also help with adding scripts like google analytics. Install the Insert Header and Footer plugin. After activating go to Settings » Insert Headers and Footers. Once there, past the above code, save and you’re good to go.

2) Setting Your Front Page Display

Also from the Settings area of your admin panel, go to Front Page Displays and set the page to show as desired.

Here you can set a custom home page that focus on a specific topic or product. You can also set additional pages to display your blog posts (we’ll cover that in future articles).

Decide what should be seen on the front page and go. Keep in mind that you can always change it later. You can also make some of these changes with the Customize option, from the front end of your site.

3) Setting Your Permalink Structure

WordPress’s default permalink structure (the link structure added to yours sites URL, mysite.com) can be made a bit more search friendly.

Still in your admin panels Settings area, select Permalink. You’ll find a few different choices for setting a new structure. I prefer either the Day and Name or Post Name options. Pick, Save and you’re done.

  1. Addressing WordPress Security

A little paranoia can be a good thing when dealing with your sites security.

First security step many take is to install a WordPress backup plugin. At URLJet, we’ve done that for you and automatically backup your site (You can remove backups on our VPS and dedicated options). The next is to secure your wp-admin area. This could be a topic in itself but two quick tips are to

  • Limit logins.  This plugin limits missed login from the same ip.
  • Use .htaccess to password protect your wp-admin folder. In cPanel find password protection and follow the instructions to add it to your wp-admin folder
  • Add a Web Application Firewall (waf) We like the Incapsula personal plan as it gives the additional bennifit of a cdn http://www.incapsula.com/pricing-and-plans.html
  1. Remove Unused Themes and Plugins

WordPress users tend to install and test a few themes or plugins before deciding on the final one. Don’t leave them behind; delete them as for security, they also need updating and maintenance.

It’s easy, find the menu item named Appearance and go to themes. To delete a theme, hover over it and select Theme Details. A window will open and give you the opportunity to delete the theme.

  1. Add an Anti-Spam Plugin

Spam is not a good thing and WordPress sites can be magnets for spam. Spam comments are irritating for users and bad for SEO. Adding an anti-spam plugin will help greatly in keeping your WordPress site from becoming a spam magnate. This is the best way we know of to knock down spam:

  1. Add Askimet
    If you use JetPack, you can active it through JetPack. If not, just follow the prompts to active it.
  2. Limit links in a post. Go to Settings>Discussion panel. Scroll to comment moderation and limit the number of links. It’s set to 2 by default, try 1 if spam becomes an issue
  3. Comment Blacklist. This is a list of word forbidden on your blog. Go to Setting> Discussion Panel, find comment blacklist and add problematic words.
  4. Add a WordPress SEO Plugin

Getting your site found is vital and good SEO is important for any website website. To ensure that your blog posts are getting maximum results, you need to optimize them for SEO and The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/makes this part easier. SEO isn’t automatic but this will make your life easier.

https://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/

A top choice for many is the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/It’s easy to use and  generates xml sitemaps at the click of the mouse.

  1. Add a Cache Plugin

User appreciate fast sites and so does Google. Caching helps take the load off your server and speed up your site.
Below are a couple of the more popular cache plugins for WordPress:

W3 Total Cache – Possibly the most powerful cache plugin available for WordPress. It’s loaded with options to help boost WordPress performance and is a popular plugin for CDN integration. This plugin has a lot of options and easily mess things up if not configured correctly. New users may have better luck starting a bit smaller. If you’re ready to jump on, make sure to follow the set instructions.
WP Super Cache – Much easier for a new user yet still good choice for caching plugins. Just Install, turn on caching and check your site speed. It does have some additional option and like with other cache plugins, make sure to read the set up info and test before hitting save and leaving.

  1. Optimize For Social Media Sharing via Sharing Plugins

Social Sharing can greatly accelerate the growth rate of your site and easiest way to optimize your site for social shares is to use a Social Sharing Plugin.

There’s a scad to choose from and as always some are better than others. These are 2 that we like…We’d like to hear from you, with your choices and experiences.

HootSuite
HootSuite is one of the original social management tool and we feel it’s still one of the best.

Bit.ly https://bitly.com/
A great link shortner. You can have your own branded short urls, easily organize your links, create custom keywords and it offers analytiucs for your shortened links.Last but certainly not the least, Bit.ly offers analytics for each shortened link.

Moving on

We’ve found the steps above to be a great help in running an maintain a WordPress site. We’d love to hear your comment, observations and favorite plugins.

 

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