Frankly speaking, it is pretty easy for you to start a WordPress site, even if you are simply a newcomer who only has the most basic computer knowledge and skill. After all, with the help of the 1-click installer that is available from all the web hosts, you can install and activate this script on your hosting account in minutes. In addition, WordPress has the every user-friendly dashboard that makes it easy to edit and publish the web contents.
However, the hard part is how to make your WordPress site a professional one, which can fully align with your business objectives and personal goals. Here, we highly recommend you to remove some generic things that come with the installation of WordPress by default and add some extras things.
If you do not know how to do this, you can check the below tips about things to add or to remove for the truly professional WordPress site.
What to Remove from the Default WordPress Site
We have to admit that all the components of WordPress have their own functions and can benefit for your website running to some extent. However, some of them may make your site less professional. We have listed the typical ones in the following.
Remove the Special Howdy Message
In fact, when you log into your WordPress dashboard, you can always find a special Howdy message in the upper-right corner of the screen. From it, you can find your profile image along with the text of “Howdy, your username”.
Actually, this is the greeting message that comes with WordPress by default. If your dashboard is open to you only, this bar can be friendly and means nothing. However, if you work your website with some other people who can access your WordPress admin, the Howdy message can be less professional. Especially, if your clients or the co-workers use WordPress for the first time and know nothing about this tool in advance, the Howdy text will rub and mislead them to some extent.
In this case, we highly recommend you to remove this special greeting. If you know the coding knowledge and are comfortable to edit the function.php file of your template, you can add the below lines of code into it.
Or, you can leverage the Remove Howdy plugin. Upon the activation of this plugin, the Howdy message can be removed automatically from the top right corner of your dashboard.
Get Rid of the Unnecessary Items on Your Website Sidebar
The website sidebar is a fixed location that will be showcased on all your available webpages. In this case, you may leverage it to display some of your critical information that you want your visitors to check. As the sidebar is composed by some widgets, you may find that different templates will offer you different sidebar widgets. It is true that they can be put into utilization in some situations, but not all of them are the one-fits-all options, such as the Tag Cloud widget and the Archives widget.
In this case, if you want to achieve a better look and organization of your sidebar, you’d better get rid of some unused sidebar widgets. It is very simple for you to do this. You only need to enter your website dashboard and click the Appearance > Widgets button.
Next, you can drag your target widgets that are listed in your sidebar area and drop them into the Available Widgets section.
Delete or Change the Default WordPress Tagline
This is a minor issue but generally has a huge impact on your website professionalism. Actually, we have found that there are a lot of decent websites that keep updating the fresh and meaningful contents regularly, but are locking into the default WordPress tagline of “Just Another WordPress Site”. Generally, this tag will be showcased under your website title automatically with the installation of the WordPress core.
Here, we highly recommend you to delete it or to change to another valuable tagline that acts as a further explanation of your title and can better summarize your website thesis statement. To do this, you should enter the Settings page of your WordPress admin, and then, hit the General button.
Here, you can find the tagline field. You just need to delete the default words or replace them with your target texts.
Clean Up Your WordPress Dashboard and Admin Items
Actually, the WordPress dashboard and admin are great for the experienced users. After all, you can get the latest updated information and find all the tools you need to handle everything of your site right after you log into the back-end. However, for newbies, these widgets and information might be confusing.
In this case, if your website back-end is also open to your clients, you’d better clean up your dashboard and admin menus to eliminate the confusion as much as possible. Frankly speaking, the admin panel that without the things they don’t need is more user-friendly and looks better.
The default WordPress dashboard contains 5 sections and you can hide some of them based on your needs by clicking the Screen Options button and unchecking the corresponding boxes.
If you want to hide some unnecessary admin items, we think the Adminimize plugin is powerful enough. You only need to click the Settings > Adminimize button, and then, can control what items need to hide for what user roles.
What to Add for Your WordPress Site
If you stick to the default WordPress features and functions all the times, it can be hard for you to optimize your site. Instead, you need to leverage some add-on tools to add the additional functions so as to make your site more professional and better cater to your readers.
Add Your Custom Logo for Your Site and the Dashboard
The website logo can be a strong identifier to notify people of who you are. In this case, we highly recommend you to design one and showcase it in the header section of your whole site. Note that this step can help common visitors identify you quickly. Here, you can use the theme customizer to add the logo by clicking the Appearance > Customize button. Note that different themes may have different settings.
In addition, you can also add your logo to your dashboard and replace the default WordPress icon. Actually, this can be viewed as the practice of white labeling, with which you can remove all the WordPress components and showcase your custom options only that can effectively reflect your business and personality.
Here, we think you can use the White Label CMS tool. With it, you can showcase your logo on the dashboard easily.
Add the Website Favicon
The favicon actually is a small image that will be showcased on the browser window. It is another effective identifier for people to find you quickly. Generally, if your website logo is not complicated, you can use your site logo as the favicon.
Create the 404 Error Page
It is unavoidable that your readers may encounter the 404 error. This might be due to the broken links or due to that people enter the incorrect URL of your site. No matter what the reason is, you’d better create a custom 404 error page to replace the default one that only showcases the error message with the white background.
Here, the custom page can showcase the link that redirects people to your homepage and can list the most popular posts of your site. Even, you can enter some other components you want.