The ultimate WordPress checklist for beginners

The first hurdle is over. You just installed WordPress. Congratulations!

Your fingers are definitely tingling and you would like to get started right away.

But how exactly is it going now? What should you do right at the start?

The following overview will help you to take the right steps to turn “another WordPress page” into your very own personal WordPress page.

Certainly Not “Another WordPress Site”

Google “another WordPress site”. You’d be surprised how many websites still use the default WordPress subtitle.

A typical beginner’s mistake, which fortunately is easy to fix.

While you set your site’s title during installation, you must actively take care of the subtitle and change it in the Settings > General menu.

Adjust these settings there as well:

  • your time zone
  • Date and time format
  • language of your website

Permalinks – nice and readable urls

With meaningful addresses you create an important basis for the search engine optimization of your website.

Your readers will thank you too.

Under “Settings > Permalinks” you can choose from several suggestions or define an individual structure. Personally, I prefer the Post Name setting.

Away with the standard content

To ensure that your website is not completely empty immediately after installation, WordPress comes with standard content, namely one page, one post and one comment.

It is best to remove this content now before you forget about it later.

Choose your theme

There is a huge selection of free themes for WordPress, i.e. themes, which you can access directly under “Design > Themes”.

It might be tempting to save a little money here, but you’re better off with a premium theme in the long run.

3 reasons to invest in a premium theme:

  • Detailed theme documentation
  • Ongoing development
  • competent support

For tips on choosing your theme, see my article How to Find a WordPress Theme That’s Perfect for You.

Many themes offer the possibility to import demo content. This can make it easier for you to get started because your theme will be configured as in the preview and populated with sample content. But please remember to delete content you don’t need later.

Please only install useful plugins

WordPress also comes with standard content in this area. You should uninstall the two plugins “Akismet” and “Hello Dolly” immediately.

Plugins that I like to use myself and can really recommend are summarized for you in the article “The best WordPress plugins, my personal choice”.

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Create your navigation

After the first basic work, I like to create all the planned pages of a new website in one go and generate two navigation menus from them.

It’s not even about entering the content, it’s just about the structure of your website.

Create a main navigation with, for example, home, offer, blog, about me and contact. Also think of pages such as data protection and imprint, which are best placed in the navigation in the footer of your theme.

Your website icon – small but nice

Often the little things make a big difference. In this case your personal website icon, which is displayed in the browser tab and the favorites bar. This is how you give your website the finishing touch and stand out from the crowd.

Upload your website icon with a size of 512×512 pixels under “Design > Customizer > Website Information”.

Set backup routine

You invest a lot of time and love in your website. Regularly backing up your data is therefore a must. Should something really go wrong, you can easily restore your website with a backup.

Unfortunately, I see again and again that backups are not used. Often with the arguments: “That’s too complicated / too technical for me or I don’t know my way around.”

Regularly backing up your website saves you a lot of nerves should the worst happen. With my detailed instructions “Create and restore WordPress backups” this is done very quickly.

If you heed these points, you are on the right path to your very own WordPress website. Now go ahead, bring your website to life and write your first content.

Do you have specific questions about starting your WordPress website? Then please write me a comment.

Read on:

How to Find the Right WordPress Theme | The Best WordPress Plugins of 2020 |

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