What You Should Do First With A Fresh Install of WordPress

Every time I jump into a new WordPress site there are a few things I make sure to do before I start installing a theme, activating plugins or writing content.

Dashboard > Posts > All Posts

From here we need to get rid of the Hello World post that comes standard with a new site.

I usually Trash it and then go to the Trash and hit the Empty Trash button.

Sometimes I wish there was a way to delete items without them going to the trash, but then I remember all the times I’ve deleted code or database records permanently and later wishing I had an undo button.

Now I hardly delete anything (except for this Hello World post).

Dashboard > Pages > All Pages

Next we need to change the Title and Slug of the Sample Page.

If you hover on the item in the list there should be a Quick Edit link that pops up.

Click that and change the Title to “Home” and the Slug to “home”.

Dashboard > Users > All Users

Before we go any further, please check and make sure you don’t have a user with Administrator access and the username “admin”.

This is the first thing hackers will try and use to login to your site.

It’s stupid to have and simple to fix.

Dashboard > Settings > General

On this page I make sure the Site Title and Tagline look good.

Most of the time I don’t even use the Tagline.

For the Administration Email Address make sure you have an email address here for someone that will be responsible for taking care of the site if anything goes wrong.

Timezone should be set to the right city or UTC.

If you live in an area with Daylight Savings Time, then I would use the city so you don’t have to switch back and forth between the UTC hour thingy.

For me, I live in the Central Time Zone and choose Chicago by clicking on the dropdown and then I start typing “Chi”.

That will usually find it for me quickly and then I press enter to choose it.

The last thing I change on this page is the Week Starts On to Sunday, although I don’t really know why.

I can’t recall ever needing that to be on Sunday.

It’s just something I do.

Dashboard > Settings > Reading

On this page we need to choose Your homepage displays → A static page and then choose from the Homepage dropdown that “Home” page we renamed earlier.

Also, scroll down and make sure Search Engine Visibility is checked if you’re working on a site that doesn’t need to be on Google yet.

Otherwise you can leave it unchecked.

Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks

The last thing we need to do is go to Permalinks and choose how we want our links to look.

I normally choose the Post name bubble because I think it looks simpler, but if you need to include the date in your blog post links then go ahead and choose that option.

And that’s it!