Since the humble beginnings of WordPress, the platform started out as a primary blogging system back in 2003. Fast forward 12 years later and the blogging platform has become a powerful content management system accounting for more than 60 million websites. I will let that sink in for a second. There are five important changes that a WordPress site owner should make once WordPress has been successfully installed.
#1 Change Permalink Structure
Unfortunately the minute you setup WordPress the URL structure for the website is defaulted to a not so search friendly structure. Head over to the Settings section on the admin side. From here, click on the Permalink option and the optimal choice is to use Post Name option. This provides the cleanest and most search optimized URL structure for the website.
#2 Modify Reading Settings
By default the reading settings are default the home page to the most recent blog entries. Like a lot of websites, a homepage is the initial page all visitors will land on when visiting a website. In addition, these settings provide the website owner the opportunity to display the business services on the home page and setup the blog page. Let’s take a journey over to the Reading option on the back end of the content management system and decide if you want your front page to show your latest posts or if you want to use a static page for the homepage. You can always modify later, so don’t feel pressure that this will be the only choice you have.
#3 Delete Unused Themes & Plugins
We have tweeted and posted about removing unused themes on numerous occasions on social media. Always delete unused themes and for that matter plugins as well. Leaving unused (i.e. not active) themes and plugins on a WordPress site can leave vulnerabilities for website owners. Many hackers have been known to attack WordPress sites who leave outdated or inactive themes and plugins. Once a hacker gets into your website, there is no telling what type of damage has been left behind or if a backdoor has been opened up for future attacks. Delete unused themes and plugins period.
#4 Install Anti Spam Plugin
Spam has run rampant on the internet on numerous comment fields and will continue to do so going forward. With spam bots and companies dedicated to filling out comment sections with non-targeted content, what is a website suppose to do? Simple, install a plugin that will prevent spammers from filling up a website’s comments section with junk. We strive to install plugins that are minimal in code and pack a lot of useful functionality. Anti Spam is a plugin recommended by numerous WordPress developers, us included, with a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars and 356,000+ downloads on WordPress.org. The developer keeps the plugin up to date and we personally have used this plugin for many of our own customers. Highly recommended.
#5 Install Backup / Security Plugin
Backups of any data is highly recommended. A website’s data is no different. There are numerous services that provide backups and security for a WordPress site. However, there is one highly recommended plugin named VaultPress that provides backup and security on a WordPress site and is extremely simple to setup. The software works effortlessly inside the WordPress ecosystem and integrates within the WordPress platform. The plugin was developed by the guys and gals from Automattic who are responsible for WordPress itself. Backups and security are very important and we highly suggest implementing VaultPress or any of the other plugins in the WordPress repository. Keep data safe and secure the website.