There’s a short list of things of things I do immediately to every WordPress install. I’m not talking about plugins or themes, just simple settings changes. Some of them I strongly recommend to everyone, some are optional, but I’d recommend you at least look through them.
1. Turn off Comments
Even if I know I’m going to want them later, if left on it’ll take about 20 minutes for spammers to find your site and start leaving garbage. (Settings -> Discussion)
2. Turn off Gravatars
This is optional, but I hate gravatars. It’s Automattic’s home built spyware and slows your page loads. (Settings -> Discussion)
3. Set Permalink structure
The default structure is not SEO friendly, nor humanly understandable. I like “day and name”, but anything beside post id’s is good. (Settings -> Permalinks)
4. Set the Time Zone
The default timezone is UTC, and it’s unlikely that your site is based in that timezone. (Settings -> General)
5. Set the day the week starts on
The default is Monday. Every client I’ve ever had wanted Sunday. (Settings -> General)
6. Set Tagline
The default tagline is “Just another WordPress site”. Occasionally this will remain in the html on the site, but get hidden by CSS or something. This looks bad to google and other nerds looking at your code. (Settings -> General)
7. Delete the default page and post
WordPress comes with one Page and one Post in there. It can be ok to re-use the page, but the post needs to go, or you’ll look a little silly when people go to the first post in your blog. If you don’t rename the first page, or delete it, it also looks bad.
What are some of your initial settings?