This is part of our “Learn WordPress” series. In this post, you will learn how to properly set up WordPress after a fresh installation.
So far you have learned:
- The Difference Between WordPress.com & (Self-Hosted) WordPress.org
- How To Buy Web Hosting & Domain For WordPress Blog
- How To Install WordPress Blog on Bluehost Hosting
Now you just need to set up your WordPress blog correctly.
You can download the WordPress Guide eBook for an A-Z manual of setting up WordPress.
8 Essential WordPress Settings:
When you install WordPress, you get a stock installation with a few things like a dummy post, a dummy page, and a dummy comment.
So the first thing to do…
1. Delete Default Post, Page, and Comment
Log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Posts > All Posts and delete the default “Hello world” post.
Similarly, go to Pages > All Pages and delete the default “Sample Page”.
And finally, click on “Comments” and delete the default comment.
2. Set Up WordPress Permalinks
The default WordPress permalink is – http://yourdomain.com/p=123.
This permalink is short, but not friendly for search engines.
Go to Settings > Permalink and select “Post name”.
Now, when your URLs appear in search engines, some of the keywords will be visible. This will help you rank higher and get more traffic.
Here is an example from SML:
3. Set Your Timezone
The next two settings are found in Settings > General.
Make sure to set your timezone to your local time so that when you schedule posts, they will go live according to your time.
When you installed WordPress, you added a “Site Title” & “Tagline”. You can change those anytime from this settings page. These two things are very important because this is what shows up in Google Search.
You can also set your admin email address (where you’ll receive all admin correspondence) from this settings page.
4. Enable/Disable User Registration
You need to decide if you are going to have a multi-author blog (like ShoutMeLoud), or if you are going to be the sole author.
If you are going to allow guest posting (like SML does), then be prepared to get a lot of spam registrations. However, you can fix that with the help of a plugin.
To allow this, tick off the “Anyone can register” box, and set the “New User Default Role” as “Contributor”.
If you don’t want people to register, don’t tick the “Anyone can register” box.
5. Set WordPress Discussion/Comments Settings
Now, go to Settings > Discussion.
This can get confusing if you don’t know what to do here. But just follow the above screenshot and you’ll be good.
6. Populate WordPress Ping List
By default, WordPress only pings one service. But you can notify many more services by extending the ping list.
Go to Settings > Writing and add in more services to the ping list.
You can get a big ping list over here: WordPress ping list.
7. WordPress Media Settings
This setting will greatly improve the way WordPress handles images.
By default, WordPress create multiple sizes for every uploaded image. This is not a good practice. This will load up your blog with unnecessary files and your blog will quickly become bloated.
Go to Settings > Media, and use the below screenshot to configure the proper settings:
I would also highly recommend that you add a plugin which compresses images as they’re uploaded.
You can read all about WordPress image compression plugins here.
8. Disable Directory Browsing
For this setting, you will need to edit your WordPress .htaccess file. Don’t panic; it’s actually pretty easy.
- You can follow this guide to learn about editing your WordPress .htaccess file.
Add this line of code to your .htaccess file (at the bottom):
Options All -Indexes
This will disable directory browsing which is a very important step for maintaining the security of your blog.
- Delete defaults.
- Set up WordPress permalink structure.
- Set time zone.
- Set user registration.
- Thread comments.
- Populate WordPress ping list.
- Set WordPress media settings.
- Disable directory browsing.
If you just installed WordPress, make sure that these 8 essential settings are properly configured. Anytime you install WordPress, you should make sure to do these 8 things before doing anything else. I’d recommend you bookmark this post so you can refer back every time you make a WordPress installation.
Important Things To Do After Installing WordPress
Once you are done setting up WordPress, it’s time to install plugins.
Here are a couple of essential plugins (click here for a big list of essential plugins):
And also check out:
How many of these essential WordPress settings did you know about? What other settings would you recommend to all WordPress users? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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