If you just installed WordPress and chosen the perfect theme for your small business website you may be asking, “What do I do next?” In this post we will walk through the first things I do after a fresh install of WordPress.
The first thing I do is to change the permalinks. If you’re new to WordPress you may be wondering what a permalink is and why it’s important. A permalink is a permanent hyperlink to a web page or blog post. The reason you want to change your permalinks on your website is so the title of your post or page is in the URL of that post or page. When people search for your keywords in Google you don’t want them to see a url like “yourwebsite.com/a;lksdjfjoaiwers;asowa;asna.” You would much rather them see “yourwebsite.com/your-post-title.”Go to “Settings > Permalinks” and change your permalinks to “Post name.”
Change Your Nickname
The next thing I do is change my Nickname. You can arrive at the screen to do this in one of two ways:
- Click on your name in the top menu of your Dashboard or
- Click on Users then click on your username.
Once you have arrived at your Profile screen, scroll down to where it says “Nickname” and change it to whatever you want. Then change “Display name publicly as” to anything other than your username. The reason for doing this is for security. When you look at most blog posts you can see the author of that post. By default WordPress displays your name publicly as your username. Therefore, anyone looking to hack into your website now has one half of the puzzle, your username. So all they have to do is figure out your password.
Install Limit Login Attempts
I have been using the Limit Login Attempts plugin for ages. It has proven to protect my site from hackers by only allowing a few attempts to login before denying access to try again.
To add this handy plugin to your WordPress site, go to “Plugins > Add New” and search for “Limit Login Attempts,” it should be the first plugin option you see. Install it, activate it, then go to “Settings > Limit Login Attempts” to change the settings. The settings I use are in the screenshot below.
Install Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) by BestWebSoft
Adding the Google reCAPTCHA to my contact form has significantly cut down on the spam I receive from my website. I also added it to my login page to help cut down on the automated programs that are trying their best to hack into WordPress sites. It may not stop them, but it slows them down a bit.
To add this plugin you will once again go to “Plugins > Add New” and search for “Google Captcha,” it should be the first plugin option you see. Install it, activate it, then to go “BWS Plugins” in the side menu and click on “Google Captcha” to change the settings. At the top it says that “Before you are able to do something, you must register here.” Follow that link and it will take you to the Google reCAPTCHA page to register your website. Go to the section where it says “Register a new site,” enter the “Label” which can your business name or anything you like. Under “Domains” fill in the url for your website, then click “Register.” On the next page you will be given the “Site Key” and “Secret Key” that you will copy and paste into your Google Captcha plugin Settings.
By default “Enable reCAPTCHA for” has everything checked and everything is unchecked under “Hide reCAPTCHA in Comments form for.” I leave the defaults as they are. Lastly you get to choose whether you want to use “version 1” or “version 2.” You can hover over the “?” next to each option to see what they look like. Once you’ve made your choice click “Save Changes” and you are finished.
One thing to note about the Google Captcha plugin and Contact Form 7 plugin…
If you are using the Contact Form 7 plugin for the contact forms on your website the Google Captcha plugin will not add a reCAPTCHA to your contact forms. But Contact Form 7 has added integration for Google reCAPTCHA within its plugin. If you already have Contact Form 7 installed and activated you need to go to “Contact > Integration,” click “Configure Keys” and add your “Site Key” and “Secret Key” just as you did in the Google Captcha plugin. Then within your contact form you can add a reCAPTCHA right before the Submit button.
Now over to you…
Have you added any of the plugins mentioned in this post? Have you changed your Nickname? Do you have any questions or comments about anything in this post? Let me know in the comments below.