After installing WordPress on your server, it is now time to setup WordPress. This involves customizing your settings to suit your needs. If you have seen my first tutorial on how to install WordPress, you would know that you need to take note of the WordPress Admin login details you entered in. This will allow you to access your WordPress admin area.
#1. Sign into your WordPress Dashboard
Now that you have installed WordPress onto your web hosting you can go and start working on your website.
Remember the domain name you have purchased and added to your hosting? You need to type that name into the address bar at the top of your Internet browser. See the screenshot below. I have typed in http://www.wordpress-websitebuilder.com and then added /wp-admin to the end. Now you can press enter.
The sign in page for WordPress will appear. See the screenshot below. Fill in the details with the username and password you created when you installed WordPress.
You can also watch this video to see more details.
#2. Find the settings menu
The settings menu is the key to setting up your WordPress Installation the way you would like it. You will find the settings menu in the left sidebar. Press on the settings to see the menu drop down.
More items will be added to the settings menu as you install plug-ins but the main ones will stay the same.
#3. Delete Hello World Examples
The initial WordPress installation starts with an example post along with an example comment. You will need to delete this post.
1. Go to the left menu and press on the word posts. See the screenshot below.
2. You will see a list of posts appear and there will be only one at this time, called hello world.
3. Press on the link that says trash to delete the hello world post. See the screenshot below.
This will delete the post and also the Sample comment along with it. Now you can setup WordPress without seeing this example post in your menus etc.
#4. Change Permalink Structure
Permalinks is the url of your webpage. By default most WordPress themes have Permalinks or url’s that look something like this http://www.yourwesite.com/?p=33 which means this is post 33. But this is not good. We want Search engine friendly urls so we are going to change the Permalinks.
1. Go to the settings menu
2. Choose Permalinks from the menu.
3. Now the Permalinks settings will appear
4. Put a check next to custom structure
5. Now type in /%postname%/ into the box
6. Then press Save changes. See the screenshot below.
7. Now your URL’s will look something like this: http://www.yourwesite.com/cool-name-of-post/
The search engines can under what your post is about now. How could they possibly know what post 33 means?
WordPress now offers an option to choose simply post name.
I do not recommend using dates or categories in the permalink structure because:
- Having just the domain name and the post title will make it easy to move your blog from one content management system to another.
- Having a domain name and post title will also allow you to reuse your posts and keep the same URL. This means that your posts will be dateless and can be revived from old archives and made to look new.
#5. Change the Privacy Settings
Please note: This option is no longer there in the new version of WordPress.
When you are signed into your website dashboard there will be an area that you can click on called
Settings. A menu will open up below this and there will be a list of settings you can change. The first setting you need to change is the privacy settings.
Now the Privacy Settings will be there for you to change. There are two choices as you can see in the screenshot below. Check the option that says “I would like my Blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers.
After you have done this, press on Save Changes. Imagine if you forget to do this? You will be wondering why nobody is finding your website.
#6. Enable Pinging
Enable pinging services to let everyone know when you make a new post.
This is another important setting and thankfully WordPress can do this for you automatically.
1. Simply go to the Settings section again.
2. Press on Writing in the menu.
3. Under the heading of Update Services at the bottom of the page, you will see the pinging options.
4. If you have not changed the Privacy settings you cannot use these pinging services.
5. You will notice that the pinging services have http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ listed in the box.
6. I usually use an optimized pinging list for this section. You can see the list here. This list has the exact sites you should ping.
See below I have pasted my new pinging list in the box. Then press Save Changes.
To stop WordPress from over pinging you need to install a plugin to control pinging. Visit this link to see a video on what plugin to install and where to download it from. http://letsbuildwebsites.com/get-your-blog-pinging-everytime-you-make-a-post/
You will also see the ping list there.
#7. Choose a Theme to Install
Now if WordPress had nothing to offer then I would not recommend it in any way. However not only are most features in WordPress free, it also has some unbelievable templates out there. There is a template or theme for every occasion. There is no need to know how to do web designing or any other fancy coding as installing a WordPress theme covers most of this.
I use these WordPress themes:
- Socrates – The theme I would tell a beginner to use.
- Elegant Themes – Best deal for WordPress themes. 70+ beautiful themes
- Thesis – A bare bones theme to build and customize. Not for beginners.
- Max Mag – This theme is from Themeforest and is very easy to use.
WordPress installs a default theme for you to start off with.
How to change a WordPress theme?
Go to Appearance>Themes>Install themes tab
You can browse for a new theme or you can upload one from your computer. Don’t waste time on this though. You can change it later.
Please visit another one of my videos to see how to install a WordPress theme into your WordPress website.
Also here are some great sites that offer free WordPress themes:
I do not use free themes as premium themes offer support which can save you hours of stress when customizing your theme.
Here are a few articles that are published on the website:
#8. Setup your WordPress Website Title
This can be done in WordPress under the general settings section as shown below. If you are using Thesis, this theme will use these details for your blog title and Tagline.
Please note that your WordPress theme may also have this option and override this setting.
#9. Set a Default WordPress Category
Just in case you forget to put your post into a category. The default category will be set to “uncategorized” which does not look good.
#10. Setup Discussion Settings
Here you can allow anyone to comment or only registered users will, allow trackbacks if another blog links to you, set moderation rules, and much more.
#11. Front Page Settings
Do you want to show your latest posts on the homepage of your blog or would you like to choose a static page to show.
Below you can see two screenshots. One is showing the setting you can choose for your latest posts.
The next screen shot is showing how to choose a static page to show on your homepage. In the example below I have chosen the WordPress website resources page to show on the front page of my blog.
#12. Add in Google Analytics Code
You will need this to track your website stats. Here are two articles I have publish on my website.
#13. Setup Authors
In the general settings you can tick the box that says “anyone can register” and also choose their default user role. I like to set the default user role to subscriber and I do not want people posting articles on my blog without permission.
To add new authors:
1. Go to the side menu and click on users.
2. Then add new.
When adding a new user it is better to use an e-mail address that is attached to their gravatar as this will show up in the comments section when they reply to visitors. This includes you!
More Ways to Setup WordPress
I cannot mention absolutely everything here, however I will be adding links two posts that I have already published on this website. This is an unfinished project and as you can see, it is quite huge.
- Create categories for your posts using your related keywords. Make sure you fill in the description of your categories.
- Create a custom 404 page. You can enter the editor to add your own customized code into your 404 page. This is not necessary but it does help you guide your lost visitors to wear you want them to go.
- Add Linkwithin. You can go to http://www.linkwithin.com/ to sign up your website and you will be given a plug-in to install. The end result is you will have related posts showing at the end of your articles, but showing images as well.