In order to avoid common problems down the track and insure a consistent stream of new visitors to your site, it is essential to setup your new blog the right way the first time.
These configurations are easy to make and should be completed immediately after you have installed WordPress to your new domain (website address URL) and WordPress hosting account.
1. Setup Your Site’s Title & Tagline
- Login to your Dashboard (WordPress Admin).
If you cannot find your Login page, type your website address into the address bar at the top and add /wp-login.php on the end and click enter.
This should take you to your login page where you need to enter your username and password.
- Login and you will see your Dashboard which looks like this.
- Scroll down to Settings in the left sidebar and under Settings, click on General.
The first step is to enter your Site title and Tag line.
I recommend you complete some basic keyword research and use keywords that are relevant to your site content, topics and categories.
This will insure better search engine indexing and a consistent stream of new visitors.
The 3 most important settings after your site title are:
- Leave Membership – Anyone can register (Unchecked) This will help stop automated spammers leaving bad links on your site.
- Don’t change the WordPress Address (URL)
- Don’t change the Site Address (URL)
2. Change Permalink Settings
This step is one of the most important that you want to get right.
It is strongly recommended to change these settings to a Custom Structure. This will create pretty permalinks and URL’s which are easy to read and easy for the search engines to index your content for relevant search queries made by people looking for specific content on your site.
I use /%category%/%postname%/ but i think you’re better off using /%postname%/ with or without a date.
This way you can still use categories but they won’t be included in your permalinks so you can easily change and consolidate them if needed without breaking all the linked pages.
Any of the permalink structure’s in the screenshot above are fine to use as long as you don’t use the Default or Numeric.
3. Public Profile Display
Biographical Info will appear at the end of each post if your theme offers an author box and you enter your Bio in the Users field.
Go to Users > Your Profile and enter your Bio and user details including contact information. This gives your readers some info on the author whether that be yourself or a guest author.
Display name publicaly: Its also a good idea to change the display name so its different than your username for security purposes.
4. Change Password
If you haven’t already, choose a long password of more than 10 digits including lower & uppercase letters, numbers and symbols. This will help protect your site from being hacked.
- Example of strong password: !BR0)CI7HUDF$
- Example of weak password: fish89
The 2 most crucial settings are:
- Other comment settings – (Uncheck). If you check this box and allow anyone to register before they submit a comment you leave yourself open to automated spammers who will leave thousands of links in your blog.
- Before a comment appears – An administrator must always approve the comment (Check) If you leave this unchecked you’ll find thousands of automated spammers leaving links in the comment field.
6. Install & Configure Plugins
One of the most popular things about WordPress is the 20,000+ free plugins which you can install.
Plugins are little software addons which you simply install to create different functions for your site.
Here’s a list of 7+ free must have plugins every new blogger should install when they first setup their WordPress blog.
The features these plugins add to your site are:
- Anti spam
- Contact form
- Social media buttons
- Stats and Analytics
- Custom navigation menu’s
- Custom sidebars & widgets
- Related post links after each posts
- Faster page loading times
- All in one SEO features
- Complete security
- WordPress backup of files and databases
Don’t over do it with plugins because they can cause your site to break if you install too many.
No more than 20-30 max.
Optional: Find a Unique Theme
The default theme for WordPress has been downloaded and used millions of times.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, i suggest you find another theme before you start adding content, images and plugin functions to your site.
- 3 Best premium themes (offer unlimited lifetime support and updates)
- Huge list of free themes from the WordPress.org theme directory
- Free themes built on a premium framework
Changing themes: Once you find a theme you like simply follow these instructions on how to change themes.
Note: the default theme for wordPress is an excellent free theme, however it needs to be customized to look different which you can do using a free child theme.
Beginners Guide To Setting Up WordPress
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