Top Tips for Setting Up a New WordPress Website
The perfect where to start guide when setting up your new WordPress website.
Getting Started with Your WordPress Website
Your WordPress website is installed and ready to go. Now what?
Many new website owners feel overwhelmed at this stage. All the settings, the layout, the dashboard… where should you begin?
It’s important to remember that version one is always better than version none, so here are a few good tasks to check off your list as you make progress setting up your WordPress site.
Set a Secure Password!
Ensure Your Site is Discoverable
Set Your Site Tagline
Customize Your Navigation
Pages -> Add New -> Name your page and click “Publish”
Once your pages are created, go to Appearance -> Menus -> Create new menu (or select an already created one to modify). From the left side you can check the boxes of the pages you’d like to add and click the “Add to Menu” button. Once the pages are added, you can simply drag and drop them in the order you’d like.
You must actually specify where you would like this menu to show up by checking the box at the very bottom of the page.
PRO TIP: The title of your page does not have to be the title used in your menu. To modify the menu label, open the item and update the “Navigation Label”.
Copy and paste this line directly above the “That’s all, stop editing!” line near the bottom.
define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3 );
Set the number to whatever you feel comfortable with.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you edit your wp-config.php file, be sure to make a copy of it. Adding code incorrectly to this file can break your site. Be sure you have a backup!
Understand How WordPress Deals with Uploaded Images
A few image tips:
- Re-size images to the actual dimensions they are going to be used at
- Reduce image resolution to 72 ppi
- Use the “save for web” option in photo-editing platforms
- Install an image optimization plugin
Set Your Permalinks
This changes your link structure from yoursitename.com/?p=123 to yoursitename.com/awesome-page-name
Customize Your Theme Settings
Appearance -> Customize
Additionally, look for any theme-specific customization menus your theme might have added into either the main menu on the left, or under the Appearance menu.
Implement a Backup Solution
We highly recommend deciding on and implementing a backup solution immediately.
Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
While it’s ok to store a few (like 2-3) backups on your server for convenience sake, storing any more than that is potential for disaster. If your server crashes, not only have you lost your website, you’ve also lost your backups (yes, this happens!) Additionally, most web hosting companies do not appreciate customers using their resources as cloud storage.
I Feel Overwhelmed Setting Up My WordPress Website
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when working on your website, but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Create a method that works for you. Whether you want to work page by page, or setting by setting, it’s important to remember that version one is better than version none. Waiting until everything is “perfect” and “finished” before launching will only ensure you never get off the ground.
If you are really struggling and need some helpful advice (or someone to talk you off the ledge) just hit us up in the webform below. We’re always happy to help.
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About the Author
Jessica is the Director of Digital Marketing and Owner of Dohmain Designs. She is a small business sales and marketing expert specializing in business growth through intelligent website design and sales & marketing automation.
Jessica is a Certified Infusionsoft Partner, marketing automation and CRM expert with 20 years of professional sales and marketing experience. In 2011, she combined that experience with innovative website design and created Dohmain Designs. She has worked with biotech giants, overseen the digital marketing for a popular Discovery Channel hit TV series, worked with internationally known influencers, and helped hundreds of clients grow their business. Prior to creating Dohmain Designs, Jessica worked in the fast-paced biotech sector focusing primarily on technical sales and marketing, as well as providing complicated sales-focused CRM training across various disciplines.
Jessica is a member of her local Rotary Club where she has previously served as the Membership and Public Relations chairs and currently serves as the 2020-2021 President-elect. Jessica truly believes in the "Service Above Self" Rotarian philosophy and strives to dedicate her time and talents to helping others, both in her personal and professional relationships.
She is located in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area and works with clients all across North America. If you'd like to get in touch with Jessica, simply complete the contact form below.