So what do you do after installing Joomla? Over the years that I’ve been developing websites with Joomla, I have learnt that certain things need to be done right away. These include the site configurations and adding a couple of extensions. Once you’re done with it, you can actually start working on your Joomla! site.
No matter what type of website that we build using Joomla, it all comes down to how we manage to make the site interact with its users such as its ease of use, readability and functionality. It is equally important to make the site load faster and be visible on the internet. These Joomla post-installation steps will help you get closer to it.
10 essential steps to follow after installing Joomla.
Edit your Sitename and site Meta Description.
Login to the Joomla backend or the Administrator area and navigate to Global Configuration under the System menu. Under Site Settings, enter your Sitename and the site Meta Description, which is a short description about your website. Search Engines will eventually index your website according to what you wrote here.
Configure your SEO settings.
Within Global Configuration and under SEO Settings, make sure the Search Engine Friendly URLs and URL Rewriting are both set to Yes. Below that, you also have the option to include your sitename to page titles either before or after. Joomguide have this set to ‘After’.
Please note that once you activate URL Rewriting, you have to rename the file htaccess.txt in your Joomla root folder to .htaccess.
Activate the ‘Install from Web’ feature for Joomla Extensions.
Activating this feature after installing Joomla with help you to seamlessly install most of the popular and free Joomla! extensions without having to download and upload the same manually.
Install a beautiful, fast and responsive Joomla template.
Make your site look more inviting by installing a good template. Before choosing to install template, make sure it is properly maintained and supported by its developers.
Follow these guides to find and install a Joomla template.
Other important criteria include its responsiveness and loading time. The loading time does depend on other factors of as well but it helps if the template is properly coded by its authors. Responsiveness is the ability of your template to adjust its appearance according to the resolution and screen size of the device on which it is loaded.
Turn on the Cache and Gzip Compression.
Once you’re done configuring and adjusting the appearance and layout of your website, you can turn on the Cache and Gzip Compression so that your Joomla website loads faster. To turn on the Cache and Gzip compression, navigate to Global Configuration and click on the System and Server tabs and configure the settings for each.
Install Akeeba Backup.
Akeeba Backup is a component that will allow you to backup your website conveniently. It is very important to create backups before making any major changes to the website. With Akeeba Backup Professional you can schedule automatic backups. It also allows you to back up your website to a remote server which comes handy during the unfortunate event of data loss due to hardware failure or an online criminal breaking in to your website.
Secure your Joomla Website.
It goes without saying that the security of a website is crucial to its existence. There are various ways by which hackers may try to gain access to your website. Therefore, every Joomla beginner should go through this Security Checklist. It is also a good practice to hide the Administrator URL after installing Joomla to add another layer of protection. We have a tutorial on how to hide the Joomla Administrator URL here.
Configure or manage user settings.
Depending on your needs, configure whether to allow or disallow user registrations. You can find these settings by navigating to the Users menu and then click on Options.
Extend the default WYSIWYG editor.
WYSIWYG stands for ‘what you see is what you get’ which also means what you see on the backend is exactly what you get on the frontend whenever you publish an article or a custom module.
With an extended WYSIWYG editor, you will find almost every tool to edit an article before publishing. Also as a Joomla beginner, an extended editor may seem more user-friendly. There are some free WYSIWYG components on the Joomla Extensions Store such as JCE.
Learn how to extend the default Joomla editor or install a new one.
Install an SEO extension.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. As it was mentioned before, your website’s visibility on the internet is crucial to your business. Search Engines will rank your site according to how well your website performs in SEO. There are professionals that handles this part of the job very well but it wouldn’t hurt to do your bit, especially if you’re just starting out and chose to minimize your expenditure.
There are free as well as paid components on the extensions store to accomplish this. Sh404SEF is a paid extension but does a very good job at this whereas EFSEO and SEO Boss are free to use.
These are a few steps that I usually follow right after installing Joomla! Do share your thoughts in the comments below.