When you are setting up a WordPress website there are certain important steps that need to be taken after installation. These steps include actions such as securing the WordPress install, setting up regular backup, setting up SEO & analytics, among many other essential actions. If you miss any of these essential steps, your WordPress website may get compromised, fail to generate desirable traffic or any other negative impact that you wouldn’t want to have.
Wouldn’t it be better to have a handy checklist to follow while setting up a WordPress website so that you are sure that you have taken all the necessary steps while setting up the website with WordPress? This is why we are sharing our WordPress setup checklist below in an easy to follow infographic format. You can bookmark this page, download and save the image on your local drive or use the PDF version below to take a print out for referencing it while working with WordPress websites.
WordPress Setup Checklist Infographic
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WordPress Setup Checklist Summary
Allow us to briefly describe the 10 essential checklist steps mentioned in the infographic and give you links to related WordPress plugins (if any).
1. Backup Solutions
Given how important your website is, it is always a good idea to invest in a solid backup solution so that you are never caught off-guard and are able to restore the site from a backup in case the need arises. Most hosting providers offer a backup solution that you can explore. Our recommendation is to have a daily backup setup to a remote location such as Dropbox or Amazon S3 using a plugin such as Updraft Plus or BackUpWordPress.
2. Security Measures
WordPress websites face a lot of botnet attacks and are often susceptible to being compromised if security measures are not put in place. Apart from having a strong password for admin users, it is also recommended to utilize a security WordPress plugin such as Wordfence Security which can regularly monitor your website and prevent brute-force attacks along with adding additional firewall rules.
3. Enable Caching
By default, WordPress generates a dynamic page upon every request for the web page. This may slow down your website in case of heavy traffic. It is a good idea to enable post and page caching using a plugin like WP Super Cache as it will significantly decrease the time it takes to serve web pages to your users, which is also a good thing in terms of SEO.
4. SEO & Sitemap
An SEO plugin like Yoast SEO is a must have for any WordPress website to enable automatic sitemap generation and to tune up the SEO meta tags for performing better in search engines. Additionally, you may also want to submit your website sitemap to search engines using their webmaster consoles such as Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster.
5. Comment Spam Prevention
Comment spam is a day to day problem of any WordPress admin and dealing with it manually can be tiresome and a waste of time. Using an anti-spam plugin like Akismet can reduce the amount of comment spam your WordPress site receives.
Setting up analytics is a no-brainer as it allows you to analyze your visitor’s growth and engagement and allows you to take actionable measures to increase your page views. Jetpack analytics can be used in this regard, however, we recommend using Google analytics using a plugin such as Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
7. Contact Form
Having a contact form on your site builds trust between you and your users and allows them to contact you for sending feedback as well as reporting issues that they may encounter while browsing your website. Jetpack contact form or Contact Form 7 are good ways to add a contact form to your WordPress website.
8. Image Optimization
The biggest reason a site is slow is un-optimized images. You will be surprised to know that images can be compressed to a large extent without losing any visible quality. An image optimization plugin such as EWWW optimizer can ensure that every image on your website is trimmed down to its lowest possible size.
9. Social Integration
While it may not seem as essential as the other checklist items, social integration can play an essential part in potential users discovering and sharing your website. Ensure all your social media profile such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. are easily discoverable through your website. You may also want to add social share buttons using plugins such as Cresta Social Share Counter.
10. Uptime Monitor
Once you have your WordPress website setup and you have ticked all the checklist items above, you may want to setup an uptime monitoring solution such as Jetpack monitor or Uptime Robot. These services will be able to notify you in case the website is down for any reason.
There you go, this is how we take care of the top 10 action items needed for a WordPress website before launching. Following this WordPress setup checklist will ensure you have a sturdy, fast and optimized WordPress website before launch. What other important steps do you recommend taking before launching a WordPress website? Do take a look at these essential WordPress Plugins for finding more plugins that you may want to have on your WordPress site.