One Click Installer
Most hosting companies now supply a on click installer for the most common website packages like WordPress. This means the installation of the actual WordPress software is done for you, all you need to do is claick on the one click install button. If your hosting company does not supply this service, I would suggest moving to a new one such as TSO Host. This is because if they have not optimised their hosting to make it easy for WordPress users their servers may well not be optimised to run WordPress.
WordPress comes pretty well configured right from the start, but there are a few things that you will want to set up and add in to make sure your WordPress website is fully optimised.
Firstly let’s look at Installing your WordPress Theme, which is very simple. Once you have chosen your WordPress theme simply download it to your computer and then go to the appearance tab on your WordPress dashboard. Click the “upload theme” button at the top of the page and select the download theme file on your computer with the “choose file” button and click “install now”. Once the theme has installed simply click “activate” and your new WordPress theme is ready to go.
Next we’ll look at the settings page, a common mistake we still see is, businesses not changing the Tag line for their website. You would be amazed how many WordPress websites there are out there that still have the default tag line of “Just another WordPress site” as part of their title. This obviously won’t help your website rank well in Google. So to change this go to the General tab in setting and add your own website title and tag line, this page is also where you will set your date and time format and where you can change your administrator email address.
Next comes the writings tab, on this page you can setup your posting defaults for things like posting by email. Another common mistake website owners make is to not configure the update services list. This list is used by WordPress to notify different sites and feeds that you have added a new post to your website. By adding the list below you can greatly increase the speed at which the search engines crawl and index your new posts. Below is the list I use at the moment, I do change this list periodically so make sure you join my newsletter and keep your list up to date.
The readings tag is next, this is where you can set your default home page and the default page for your blog if you are going to have one (See our page on adding a blog to your website). Also on this page you will need to make sure the Search engine visibility box is un-ticked, if this box is ticked then you are telling the search engine not to view or rank your pages.
The discussions tab is normally set correctly out of the box, but always check that your website rating is set correctly for the type of content and subject matter your website is about.
Permalinks setting are really down to personal choice but I prefer setting the custom structure and setting it to /%category%/%postname%/
The Best Plugins
Whenever I setup a WordPress website, I always install the following plug-ins as a matter of course, they will help optimise your website and maybe needed to complete some of the tasks in later guides. If you have not purchased your theme from Elegant themes or have not chosen to take their plug-ins package I will try to cover additional and alternative plug-ins later on as we complete particular tasks.
the best and most widely used SEO plug-in for WordPress, this will allow you to control all your page titles, while some of the features do not work with the drag and drop website builder it is still worth installing for the page title and meta data control it gives you.
Great for controlling spam comments and track backs. While they do charge for business sites, it’s free to use if you have a personal website.
A must have for all WordPress website owners, this plug-in is one of the best ways to produce and manage contact forms for your website.
This great plug-in allows you simply add page redirections. Great for when you remove products and pages from your website.
Included in the Elegant themes package this plug-in allows you to create a coming soon page for your website, great while you are building it and getting it ready for launch.
There are a couple of other plug-ins that you should install to manage your sitemaps but I will cover them in the “adding a sitemap” Guide.