How To Clean Up a New WordPress Installation

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How To Clean Up a New WordPress Installation

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Do you have a new WordPress blog that you just installed onto your blog hosting? Did you know that all new WordPress installations come with "sample" content and extra themes and plugins that you just don't need? In this post, I'm going to show you how to "clean it up" and get it ready to use!

This post is part of my How To Start a Blog series which includes step-by-step photo and video tutorials on all aspects of setting up a brand new self-hosted WordPress blog.

Blog to Biz Strategies | How To Clean Up A New WordPress Installation

Once you’ve installed WordPress onto your blog hosting, you have a blog.

Technically, you could start using it right away.

However, all new WordPress installs include content that you just don’t need, that’s cluttering up your blog.

And that’s what this post is all about.

Through both a step-by-step photo and video tutorial I’m going to show you how to clean up your new WordPress installation and get rid of all that stuff you don’t need.

For this tutorial, I am using a test blog I set up on SiteGround hosting (affiliate link). If you installed WordPress on another web host, some of the sample content on your blog may be different. However, the process will be the same.

Video Tutorial: How To Clean Up A New WordPress Installation

*please refresh the page if you don’t see the video*

Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial: How To Clean Up A New WordPress Installation

Step 1. Login To Your WordPress Admin Area

Click on your admin URL or copy and paste it into your browser bar. Remember, it will be in the following format: https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin.  You will be taken to a screen that looks like this:

Blog to Biz Strategies | How To Install WordPress Onto Your SiteGround Hosting Account - Step 16

Enter the admin username and password that you created when you installed WordPress onto your hosting.

Once you have logged in, you will be re-directed to the WordPress admin area which is referred to as your “Dashboard.”

Step 2: Close All Notifications

Your dashboard should look something like the picture below. Note that it may not be an exact match. It depends on when you install WordPress and even what blog hosting provider you are on.

You may notice that there are notifications on your dashboard. And there could be one or more. For example, the arrow below is pointing is one of the notifications. After you read the notification, simply click on “Dismiss” to close it.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 1

As I mentioned above there may be more than one notification. In this case, you can see a “Welcome to WordPress” banner across the top of your dashboard. This banner includes links to different WordPress related tutorials and resources.  I like to close this one as well by clicking on “Dismiss.”

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 2

Step 3. Close The Boxes You Don’t Want Displayed On The Dashboard

As you can see, even after closing out welcome banner, there will be a few other things still left on your Dashboard.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 3

The nice thing about the Dashboard is that you have total control over what you see. In order to change what displays on your dashboard click on “Screen Options” at the far right. You will see a drop-down box (see picture below).  As you can see there are five different options. The ones that are checked are the ones that you currently see displayed on the dashboard.

The box that is unchecked, the “Welcome” option, is the banner that we just closed. So if you want to go back and revisit some of the links, simply check that box and it will reappear.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 4

The only things that I like to leave checked are the “At a Glance” and the “Activity” options. Once you deselect the other options, you will only see your selected options on the dashboard.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 5

To close the  “Screen Options” box, simply click on it once more.

Now take a look at the Dashboard below. That’s where you can see the “dummy” content, or sample content added by WordPress. There is one post (see the red arrows below) and one comment (see the yellow arrows below). Sometimes there will even be a sample page.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 6

I recommend deleting all of this sample content.

Step 4. Delete The Sample Content

There are several areas of your WordPress site you are going to have to visit in order to delete the sample content.

First, hover over posts and select “all posts.”

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 7

As you can see the post title is “Hello world!” In order to delete it, hover your mouse cursor over it and you will see a menu appear below. Click on “trash.”

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 8

Now once you delete a post, it doesn’t get permanently deleted right away.

Instead, it gets put inside a trash folder.

As you can see from the picture below, our posts area is now empty. But there is a new link (see red arrow) called “trash” and there is a little “(1)” beside it. That “(1)” is telling us that there is one post in the trash folder.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 9

When you click on that “trash” link, it will take you to the trash folder within posts. The picture below is the trash folder and you can see the post there. If you hover over the post with your mouse cursor you will see two options appear.

The first is “Restore.”  This will give you the option of restoring your post in case you deleted it by accident.

The second option is to “Delete Permanently.” If you click on this link, it will delete the post forever.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 10

Once you have deleted the sample post, click over to “pages” (see below). If you see a sample page there, then delete that as well following the same process as for deleting the sample post.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 10

The next step is to directly click on the comments link in the dashboard. That will take you into the comments section of your admin area.

Now when you deleted the sample post, the comment will likely disappear. However, if for some reason it doesn’t, follow the steps below.

Hover over the comment until you see a menu appear. Click on “Trash.” That will delete the comment. As with the posts (earlier) – the comment will put into a trash folder. To delete it permanently you have to go to the trash folder and delete it from there.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 11Now at this point – you have now gotten rid of all the sample content on your blog. The next thing you want to do is to clean up the Themes area.

Step 5. Delete the Excess Themes

To get to the themes area, hover over “Appearance” in the sidebar and select “Themes.”

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 13

In the Themes area of your site, you will see several different themes installed. The first one in line is the theme that is currently active on your site.  As of the date of this tutorial, it’s the Twenty Nineteen theme that is active.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 14

Below you can see a picture of what the blog looked like when WordPress was first installed.

Blog to Biz Strategies | How To Install WordPress Onto Your SiteGround Hosting Account - Step 15

I know, pretty ugly. But don’t worry about it for now. Later on down the road, you are going to want to pick a different theme for your blog.

Just an FYI: a theme is like an “outfit” for your blog. It’s what determines what your blog is going to look like to the public eye.

I like to clean up the Themes area by deleting everything except for the active theme.  Once I install my new theme, however, I will leave this default theme on my blog. Why? Because it will come in super handy if you ever have to troubleshoot tech issues later on down the road.

Step 6. Delete The Pre-installed Plugins

To get to the plugins, hover over the plugins link in the sidebar, from the flyout menu select “Installed Plugins.”

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 15

In this example, there is only one plugin. The number of plugins on your WordPress blog will depend on your hosting (if you went with a host other than SiteGround).

Underneath the plugin name, you’ll see a “deactivate” link.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 16

Once your plugin is no longer active you can delete it.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Clean Up WordPress install step 17

And there you have it! You’ve cleaned up your WordPress blog!

In the next post, I’m going to show you how to hide your blog from the public while you work on it.

Have a question? Leave me a comment below and I’ll reply right there in the comments (so check back).

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