As a first time blogger, there are certain WordPress settings you need to configure after installing WordPress for the first time. It is very much important you do these things before you think of doing anything else at all on your newly installed WordPress blog.
In case you are yet to create your own blog, waste no more time by reading this complete guide on how to setup a blog successfully from scratch
When you install WordPress for the first time, the installation is just a stock installation with dummy post and dummy pages as well as dummy comments. In order to make it ready for usage for you and for the public (your potential readers or clients), you will have to do some important WordPress settings yourself.
Important WordPress settings for beginners
Change you WordPress password:
When I install WordPress for the first time, the first thing I do and encourage every beginner to do is to change the password of your WordPress site.
After installing WordPress, a random password will be generated for you by WordPress and this password looks something like this “1bzEATagHYBSAgt3”, if you agree with me that kind of password can be hard to remember. That is why the first thing I do is to change the password to any strong password that I can easily remember. You can change the password by going to your WordPress dashboard via “yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin” and go to Users > then All Users and click on Edit under the Username, scroll down and you will find the section that allows you to change your password. After putting in your new password click on the “Update Profile” button.
Delete default posts and pages:
This is one of the most important WordPress settings you need to do after installing WordPress on your blog. The process of deleting both your default posts and default pages are similar. Still in your WordPress dashboard, go to Posts > All posts and delete the default “Hello world” post. While in the case of the default pages, go to Pages > All pages and delete the default “Sample page”.
Set up your WordPress Permalink structure:
Trust me, you don’t want to miss this particular WordPress settings. Changing your permalink structure is very important if you want your website to be friends with search engines. The default WordPress permalink structure looks something like this “http://yourwebsitename.com/?p=123” and this kind of permalink structure is not search engine friendly, this gets search engines all confused and we don’t want to do that. We want to make sure search engines understands every page on our blog because that is the only way they can direct traffic to our blog. In order to make it search engine friendly, you will have to change it into something search engines can easily relate to.
Go to Settings > Permalink and select post name and click on Save Changes. This will ensure that whenever your post is appearing on search engines, your individual post permalink will contain some of your keywords giving your posts a chance to rank better on search engines.
WordPress Media Settings:
By default, WordPress create multiple sizes of one image that you will upload and it’s not a good thing because most of WordPress themes have their own settings for featured image. Setting your WordPress Media settings exactly as the screen shot bellow will improve the way WordPress handles image upload. To configure this settings, go to Settings> Media and follow the screen shot bellow.
I will also advice you install a plugin which can compress all your images as you upload them.
WordPress Ping list:
WordPress ping list is one of the WordPress settings you really need to make sure you update from time to time.
WordPress ping lists helps in extending your blog reach to major search engines and also making it quicker for search engines to index your blog posts. By default, WordPress ping only one ping service, you can increase that number by extending your ping service. In order to do that, go to Settings>> writing. You can get more ping list from this article:
Set your time zone:
Setting your time zone (advisable to your local time) will make sure your scheduled post will go according to your time zone. Your time zone is not the only thing you can set in this section. If you can remember at the time of installing WordPress, you were asked to put in your site name and tagline. You can change your Site Title and tagline in this section at any time. You might consider changing your site title and tagline into something catchy and related to your site, because that is what shows up when people search for your site on Google.
The email address section is the admin email address where you will get emails notifications of anything related to your site.
Still in this same section, another thing I will recommend is to disable the user registration if you are the sole writer for your site. But if you are creating a site which allows guest posting, you might want to keep your registration open but I must warn you, spam registration would be something you will have to deal with.
In order to do all these settings, head over to Settings in your dashboard> General.
WordPress discussion/comment settings:
The discussion and comment section is another important section to look at. This section has to do with how people react and use your site, as well as the appearance of your site in terms of what to display and what not to display.
Follow the screenshot bellow for better understanding and make sure you tick exactly what was ticked in the screen shot.
Disable directory browsing:
You need to edit your WordPress .htaccess file for this settings. Add this line of code at the bottom of your WordPress .htaccess file
Options All -Indexes
This will disable directory browsing which is an important step for the security of your blog.
After setting up WordPress, the next thing to do is to start installing plugins.
But you must keep in mind that not all plugins out there you need and some are very crucial for your blog. Plugin for tracking your site traffic and stats (a very good example is Google Analytics plugin and it’s free), as well as Yoast SEO plugin are both examples of the crucial plugins you don’t want to miss.
You should also read:
And that is it, if you are installing WordPress for the first time you should refer to this post and make sure you don’t forget to configure the settings above. You can bookmark this post for future reference.
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