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10 Things You Should Do After You Install WordPress

After you have downloaded the WordPress software and installed it on your own domain and hosting account you need to do a few tweaks before you start madly blogging and installing your favorite WordPress theme and plugins.

Server Side: it's a good idea to go to your server and locate the WordPress instruction and installation file that is automatically uploaded with the WordPress software. You need to rename this file to something random and hard to guess. This is a preventative measure to deter hackers from easily finding that your site runs WordPress and trying to exploit any vulnerabilities in the software.

Plugins: While you are at your server now is the time to open up your wp-content/plugins folder and add a blank index.html file to it. This is as simple as opening notepad on your pc and saving the file as index.html. You then need to upload that file to your wp-content/plugins folder. This ensures that any plugins you may upload in the future are not on display to the world. Again, this is a preventative measure.

Pictures: by default any images that you upload to WordPress will be filed in a file called Uploads. Make it harder for people to find your images by changing the name of the file where you want your pretty pictures to be stored. Create a file on your server for your images and add the path to that file to the area indicated in Settings/Media. While you are there you will probably want to uncheck the box that calls for these to be organized in month and date order as that can be tiresome.

Time: When you are in the Settings/General now is the time to check the time and date shown. Although this seems a trivial thing it needs to be accurate because it may affect how some plugins that rely on cron jobs to work properly.

Profile: Once you log in to your WordPress dashboard you should update your profile. Include in the "About Me" box any relevant keywords relating to your site as well as useful information for a visitor. Often search engines discover these pages and it's a good idea if yours is search engine friendly. While you are there you may also want to change your password or at least test the password strength using the inbuilt features.

Links: By default WordPress displays links in the Blogroll to related WordPress sites. Surprisingly, a lot of people do not remove these. These links, usually, would have little relevance to most sites unless of course your site is about WordPress. To remove the links just go to Links - check the boxes and choose Delete from the drop down menu. Click Apply and all the links will be removed and ready for you to add your own links in due course.

Privacy: Some web hosts and autoinstallers automatically set your blog to private. To ensure that your blog is found by the search engines go to Settings/Privacy and check the radio box to show your blog to the search engines. Click to save changes when you have finished.

Permalinks: A good permalink structure is necessary for good search engine optimization. Permalinks simply means a permanent link to your article. Go to Settings/Permalinks and set your custom permalink. If you have a small site (less than 5 pages) you might only want to set a permalink that just shows the post name. To do this you would just type this /%postname%/ in the custom permalink field. If you have a larger blog you would probably want to choose to organize your information by way of categories and post articles to the appropriate category. If you are a fan of search engine optimization you most likely would want to have your keywords as category names. If you are choosing this custom permalink structure you would just type this /%category%/%postname%/ in the custom field. Remember, to save your changes when you have finished.

Pinging: When you write a post your post is automatically pinged to the search engines by WordPress using the ping services shown in Settings/Writing. You might want to add your own ping list here of services that should be notified when you make a post. Once you have pasted in the urls click to save the changes.

Domain Address: When you install WordPress you may not have noticed what your blog address is. Go to Settings/General now and have a look. You will see that your blog URL is noted here. Take careful note you can install a blog so that is known as {http://yourblog} and {http://www.yourblog}. Decide whether you want your address to include the "www" prefix or not and make the appropriate alteration here and save your changes. If you do not check this you could find that your links are being spread amongst two different url addresses which can cost you rankings in the search engines.
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