What I do first after installing wordpress:
- Finding a suitable theme
- Change the permalink structure
- Comments? Yes/No
Finding a suitable theme
You can spend loads of time searching for a suitable theme. There are free and paid themes around. I’d recommend to go for a paid one as they tend to provide support and get updated regularly to work with the current wordpress version.
- Free themes: Just search on google for something like „current year + best + free + wordpress + themes“. You’ll see plenty of lists that you can browse.
- Paid themes: My go-to-place for themes is themeforest. I just browse the most popular themes there and pick one that suits my needs. For example I picked Avada already twice and wasn’t disappointed.
Installing a theme is very easy. Download the files (usually a zip-archive) so that you end up with a folder for the theme. Usually the folder is named after the theme. Navigate to your wordpress files (through ftp) and drop the whole folder in
wp-content > themes. After that you can login to the backend of your wordpress site and head over to
Appearance > Themes and activate the new theme (It should be showing up there). As always if you run into trouble just search on Youtube for a short tutorial.
A few things to consider
1) These paid professional themes can get bloated really quick. They are very flexible but that also means that you’ll have a lot offered that you might never need. This can be a little overwhelming in the themes settings and could also slow down the site a bit.
2) Always keep your wordpress version up to date. As already mentioned, 26% percent of the web is running on wordpress, that makes the system highly attractive for hackers – so hit that update button whenever possible. (Even better: Activate Auto-Updates)
3) Never install a theme that isn’t responsive (optimized for small and big screens). You won’t see many out there but if you accidentally install one that doesn’t adapt to a small screen stay away and pick another theme.
The permalink defines how your links are structured. Every time you create a new page or (blog-)post a link is created automatically. The default setting is not very friendly for search engines so choose your permalink-structure „wisely“. You find the settings here
Setting -> Permalinks I set mine to
/%category%/%postname%/ . If you want to get a feel for the topic do a quick google search
First of all you’ll have to decide if you do need or don’t need comments on your site. If you have a blog you probably want them available. If you have a portfolio, web shop or any other site you might want to deactivate comments alltogether.
1) You want/need comments: Be aware that the default comment system of wordpress is not secured against spam comments so if you don’t do anything your comment feed will fill up with spam comments in no time. So you’ll need some kind of protection – a free option is the plugin Antispam Bee. The professional one is Akismet, it’s paid but also a little better than the free alternatives.
Another option that I’d recommend is to look at disqus, this is an alternative commenting system that you can use instead of the default wordpress comments. (I use it on my sites). The advantage is that it takes care of spam out of the box and also looks quite nice.
2) You don’t need comments: Just deactivate them altogether so that you don’t have the problem of spam comments.