A few years ago, when I started using WordPress, I published some post on my new blog. It was going well until I deleted my own database mistakenly.
But you know the worst part…
I had no backup. I never took that.
Though I had a relief because it was a hobby blog and had a few posts only. But that incident taught me a lesson.
Now imagine if something similar happens to you when your blog is popular and is generating leads and sales to you.
Scary. Isn’t it?
Actually, WordPress is awesome, but if you tweak it a little bit and add some plugins into it, you can make it more awesome. And you’ll be able to take maximum out of it.
Here, I’ll tell you 5 things you must do right after installing WordPress. These 5 steps are important because they’ll save you from any bitter surprises.
Let’s get them.
1. Creating a child theme
If you’re like most business and professional bloggers, you’ll make some changes into your website theme so that it fits into your style properly. Often, these changes happen within source files.
But there’s a problem.
If you make changes in the source file of your theme, then:
- You mess the original code.
- Your changes will be overwritten when the theme gets updated on the same template.
Child themes are the perfect solution for these two problems. A child theme basically inherits the functionality and looks of another theme – the parent theme – without modifying the main theme directly.
The parent theme and its code remain intact.
How to create a child theme
Though creating a child theme is easy, but it also depends on the complexity of your parent theme. The process is little longer and I can’t cover the whole things here. You can read more about this on here and here.
2. Bullet Proof Your WordPress
According to a report, on an average, 30,000 websites gets hacked on a daily basis. Because WordPress is the most widely used CMS, it’s on the top of hacker’s target list.
If you think you’re a small fish in the sea and hackers wouldn’t attack your website, you’re making a big mistake. Hackers attack small business more because they’re easy to crack.
How to secure your website against hacking
Actually, there are many, many aspects. There isn’t a single way that can solve all the problems, but, of course, there are some quick and effective steps you can take which will save your butt from kiddies at least.
- Always keep your WordPress updated.
- If your main account’s username is admin, then change it.
- Create a strong password (combination of alphanumeric and special characters)
- Enable 2-way authentication factor. You can use the plugin Two Factor Auth.
- Limit login attempts. For example, if someone tries to login 3 times in 5 minutes and fails, the system will block that IP address temporarily. You can use the plugin Login LockDown.
3. Automate Backups
You can hear this advice all around on the Internet – and you must follow this.
“Always take regular backups of your website and database.”
It’s because people know how bad it could be when you lose all your data and you’ve got nothing in hands. Years of work and your entire investment may disappear in a few minutes.
I bet you’ll never like it.
Of course, you can blame someone but blaming can’t solve your problem. So, it’s always better to take precaution than saying sorry to you.
How to automate regular backups
• The first and a simple way is contacting your hosting provider. Most of the hosting providers give some ways to automate your backups. You just need to ask them how to setup one.
• If the above option doesn’t work for you, then install Updraft Plus plugin. With its help, you can have manual or automatic backups with a single click.
4. SEO Ready
This point doesn’t need to be stretched because you know its importance. Though most of the SEO part is dependent upon content quality, back-links, updated content etc, yet there are some simple changes you can make into the WordPress which will help to boost your ranking.
How to make website SEO friendly
• Setup your website URL: Go to the Settings >> General and setup “WordPress Address” and “Site Address” same (either www or non-www).
• Setup permalink: Default permalink structure isn’t SEO friendly. Go to the Settings >> Permalinks and change permalink structure from “Plain” to “Post name”.
• Create a sitemap: Sitemap helps search engines to crawl and index your website quickly and efficiently. You can use the plugin Google XML Sitemaps.
5. Installing Essential Plugins
No, I wouldn’t list down a long line of plugins and suggest you to install all of them. Because less the plugins, the easier the life.
Here are 3 highly useful plugins to give a try:
1. W3 Total Cache
You know people can’t wait these days. If your website doesn’t load in first 3-4 seconds, your readers will go away.
W3 Total Cache will boost your website loading speed using cache, minify and other techniques. It also provides transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
2. Jet Pack
Jet Pack is a true example of accomplishing multiple functions. By installing this single plugin, you get site stats, sharing tools, related posts, custom CSS and much more.
3. Form Maker
With its simple drag and drop interface, you can create any kind of form including survey forms, questionnaires, or application forms in a few minutes. Pro members can get some more advantages like unlimited fields, file upload, and PayPal integration.
Over To You
Now you know what steps you needs to take after installing WordPress. These steps are critical and can help your business get secure and evolve.
Now tell me what steps you take after installing WordPress. And yes, don’t forget to share this post with your friends who use WordPress.