Part 1 – Initial WordPress Set up After Install
So, you’ve read every book about blogging, you want to set up your own website. You’ve bought your domain, used the one-click install, and you’re absolutely RARING TO GO…
…but there’s a problem.
Many bloggers and online business people give you great advice on what to do, how to write articles, create content, sales funnels, marketing channels, social media.
But, once you’ve got a domain with an initial WordPress install, what do you do NEXT??!!
I Have WordPress Installed, What’s Next?
The truth is, many pro bloggers don’t themselves even know every step of setting up WordPress (in fact many of them pay other people, or employ teams of people to work for them).
There are also so many ways of setting up WordPress. When you start digging around online, you may find a thousand DIFFERENT ANSWERS to the same question. I know I did!
You want to get from installation bog standard WordPress installation, to actually having a working, functional and secure blogging platform or web site.
I’m glad you’ve found me. That is SO simple for me to help you with.
I’ll even charge you an easy, simple, one-time fee of ABSOLUTELY ZERO DOLLARS to teach you my online course. Sound good?
I thought it might, so keep reading…
You’re Not Alone
Firstly, be rest assured, you’re absolutely NOT alone. Far from it. When I first ever used WordPress, even after many years of designing websites, I was also a little overwhelmed (as well as a little underwhelmed, to be honest).
I was excited, but at the same time was not really convinced that this ‘overly simple’ platform was really for me. I was used to things being more complicated (sounds stupid, but it’s TRUE!).
As with anything new, WordPress can be a little daunting, and it feels weird, but I can assure you that once you get used to everything, you’ll wonder what you were ever worried about.
When I first encountered WordPress, I’d been working on websites for myself and my businesses for around 15 years, and I was as CONFUSED AS HELL when I first saw WordPress up-close-and-personal.
In fact, I really didn’t like WordPress AT ALL!
WordPress seemed overly simplified, as if it didn’t have enough options for customizations. I found it challenging to make WordPress do what I wanted. After my first confusing experience with WordPress, I left the platform well alone for a while, and stuck with what I knew (Joomla!).
I realized that as WordPress grew more and more, it was high-time to get onboard with this awesome little CMS (content management system) and get stuck in.
Within a short while, a LOT of googling, and a ton of YouTube videos, I was doing pretty well with WordPress, and have never looked back.
Since then, I’ve successfully designed and launched many websites, blogs and stores.
Whether you want to set up WordPress for business, or just for fun, I can get you where you need to be.
Where to Start First
WordPress IS really easy-to-use, and very simple to set up. But after THAT, it’s hard to know exactly where to start, and what to do first. I’ve put together a few quick blog posts, which can help you get through the first stages of setting up a WordPress blog.
I’ve made this a simple, easy-to-follow, step-by-step walk-through kinda deal.
The most important thing to remember whenever you’re learning something new, is simply to remember that you’re LEARNING. As with absolutely ANY journey in your life… ….you start where you are, with what you have, and do what you can.
I’ll be with you every step of the way.
Start Where You Are, and Use What You Have
Don’t get frustrated, take one-step-at-a-time, and work your way through.
You WILL make mistakes (that’s guaranteed!), but that’s just part of the learning process. You’re setting up your own business, once it’s all set up, it will be SO worth it. Don’t get frustrated, just work through the issue.
Once you get through the initial WordPress set up, you can then move on towards the creative and fun part, producing blog pages, posts, and designing your own site.
The first thing we need to do is secure the site.
Don’t Be So Insecure
The first, and one of the most important things to take care of is the security of your future website.
BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY START BLOGGING, it’s important to set up a few features to help protect your blog from malicious online attacks.
There are many types of malicious attacks that happen. Some can come through spam comments and posts, but also in the form of malware.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you won’t get attacked because you’re unknown, or have a small website, or anything like that.
These malicious attacks just go for everything and everyone, all the time, and WordPress is something they know how to target pretty easily.
Some great Malware experiences I’ve had has been one which can automatically redirect your site to some weird Taiwanese site offering people a free iphone. Or even telling them their iPhone has been attacked while browsing your site.
At one point I had a back-door put into my WordPress blog files, so the moment I fixed the issue, it would re-infect the site within a few hours again.
Don’t worry though, there are a few plugins and features you can set up for free, that will help protect you from these attacks.
Having your site secure before you do anything else is SO important, especially BEFORE you start getting any traffic at all.
Step 1: Install WordPress
If you haven’t already, it’s time to install wordpress.
Whether you use a one-click installer that your web-host has set up, or you installed WordPress manually (the way I prefer to do it), step 1 is to have a fully installed WordPress environment on your domain.
Once you have WordPress installed, go ahead and log into the backend of your site, in the Admin panel.
It’s usually here:
Once you’ve logged into the site, and you have the backend of your site open, it will display the WordPress admin dashboard, which looks like this;
I’m going to teach you how to use this WordPress Admin backend and Dashboard like a Pro Web Designer.
You’re going to be using this dashboard and admin backend very regularly, so it’s important you get to know it well, and used to using it.
It’s an amazingly useful thing for any blogger, and a great set of tools. The admin back-end is intuitive, and easy-to-use, you’ll learn all about it here with me.
Set Up WordPress Part 1 Video Tutorial
Here’s a YouTube Video that walks through the process.
I’ve also put this in long form text below, for those of you that prefer a walk-through picture tutorial. You can use whichever guide you prefer.
How To set up WordPress Like a Professional Blogger or Web Designer – Part 1 Video
Right now the first thing we need to do, is secure this site.
The very first part of that, is installing one of the best WordPress plugins available.
It’s 100% free, produced by WordPress.com themselves, and it’s called ‘Jetpack’.
Installing the Jetpack Plugin
So it’s time to install your very first ever WordPress plugin.
In the menu on the left side of the screen, hover your mouse over the menu item ‘Plugins’, and in the drop-down menu, click on ‘Add New’.
You should now see a bunch of different plug-ins pop up in the middle of the screen. Usually, in the middle of the top row, the JetPack plugin should be there.
Go ahead and click on the button that says ‘Install Now’.
After a few moments, that button should change to say ‘Activate’.
On the next screen that covers most of the window, you should see the jetpack logo, and in the center of the scree, a green button that says ‘Set up Jetpack’. Click on this button.
Click on this button, and you’ll be taken to WordPress.com.
Set up a WordPress.com Account
You’ll then have a login screen, for you to either login with your WordPress.com account (if you have one), or set up a WordPress.com account.
You will need a WordPress.com account. It’s completely FREE, so go ahead and do that. I usually use my same gmail.com email account for this, as my web site.
Now you can link your website with WordPRess.com, which will act as a server to collect stats on how many visitors you’ve had, how many page views you’ve had, and a lot of useful information.
There’s also a Smart Phone app, that allows you to do a lot with the website from your smart phone. MORE ABOUT THAT HERE, but for now, lets just get Jetpack set up.
So once you have your WordPress.com account set up, go ahead and log in through the Jetpack setup screen.
Once logged in, you should see a screen that says something like ‘Now Connecting as Tricklowe’. There’s a big green button that says ‘Approve’, so click on that one.
Right after that, you will be presented with the options and pricing for the Jetpack plans. I don’t personally use any of these paid options. I just stick with the Personal account at this stage, but if you do decide to set up the paid plans, they’re there for you.
Some of these features are extremely useful, and if you would prefer to use the Jetpack paid plan, I do have a link for you to go and sign up for them RIGHT HERE.
Just a quick disclaimer: If you DO go through me, there’s no extra charge to you at all, but I get paid an affiliate commission for the referral, as I do with many of the links on this site, so I would really genuinely appreciate that if you do.
If not, just hit the ‘START WITH FREE’ link, at the bottom of the page. You can always sign up for the paid packages if you feel it necessary in the future.
You should now almost have the Jetpack plugin almost completely set-up.
Activate Recommended Features
On the next screen you should see a message that says ‘Your Jetpack site is ready to go!’.
Once you’re here, click on the blue button in the middle of the screen that says ‘Activate recommended features’.
Now Jetpack should be completely set up. You should see the options available to you, the features that have been automatically turned on for you, and a dashboard with some site stats.
Perfect! Now lets head over to the Plugins menu, by clicking on the word ‘Plugins’ in the left side menu.
You can also drag your mouse over ‘Plugins’, and click on ‘Installed Plugins’ in the drop-down menu.
Say ‘Goodbye Dolly’
WordPress have an unusual plugin, that puts lyrics front he song ‘Hello Dolly’ on your admin dashboard screen every time you login.
It’s cute, but totally unnecessary. If you want to use this plugin, you can activate it, but I usually delete it immediately.
You can click on the link that says ‘Delete’, right under the title for the plugin, to delete it.
Activate Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin
On your plugins page, you should now have 2 plugins. The Jetpack plugin you already have installed, and a plugin called ‘Akismet Anti-Spam’.
Aksmet is another WordPress plugin. This is designed to block SPAM comments on a blog.
If Akismet needs to be updated, go ahead and update the plugin, then click on ‘Activate’.
You should now see a big banner at the top of the screen, and on the left side, there’s a button that says ‘Set up your Akismet account’.
After clicking on the button to set up the Akismet account, you’ll see a screen with a blue button. It says ‘Connect with Jetpack’.
This is why we set up Jetpack first, so it all ties in nicely.
After clicking on this, there’s a screen telling you Akismet is set up. Perfect!
Now we need to protect your site from Malware.
Install Sucuri Plugin
Head over to the Plugins > Add New menu, as we did earlier when we installed the Jetpack plugin.
In the search box at the top right, type in ‘Sucuri’. You should then see the Sucuri Security plugin appear in the top left corner, below.
Click on ‘Install Now’.
Once the plugin has installed, go ahead and activate the plugin by clicking on the ‘Activate’ button.
You’ll see after activating the plugin, there’s now a new menu on the left hand side-bar, called ‘Sucuri Security’.
Put your cursor above the ‘Sucuri Security’ menu. You’ll see a drop down menu appear, go ahead and click on the ‘Dashboard’.
Once the Sucuri dashboard opens up, you’ll see the plugin is loading, and scanning your site. This will take a few minutes to do.
While this is happening, click on the gray link at the top of the screen that says ‘Generate API key’.
An API key is a code your server will use to identify itself with the Sucuri server when they communicate.
A pop-up window will come up asking for your website and email address. There are also a couple of boxes to click, to confirm.
The Sucuri site should then generate an API code for your site, and you’re away.
You may notice I had a few issues doing this in the video. This is just because I have already had this site set up before.
Delete ‘Hello World’ Blog Post
WordPress installs a couple of sample pages, and a sample blog post, when installed. This is so you can take a look around and see how WordPress works.
I always go to the Posts > All Posts menu, and immediately delete the ‘Hello World’ post.
This gives me a clean site without any blog posts.
If you like, you should maybe play around with the post before you delete it. Rename it, change the content, type up a new post for yourself, even just as an experiment.
Play around with it for a while. When you’re done, you can then publish it, to see how it shows up in the blog, once published.
I already know the editor and WordPress pretty well, so I delete this post. You can do so by clicking on the red link that says ‘Trash’.
Don’t worry about deleting this post. When you’re ready to add new content , start with the how to publish your first ever WordPress blog post article.
So for now, we have our WordPress blog site secure.
Next, let’s get the WordPress settings set up right. Then things will work in the best way possible for blogging, SEO, etc.
HEAD OVER TO PART 2 OF THIS TUTORIAL to do that.