How to configure the essential WordPress settings

by | Nov 26, 2019 | Websites, Build & Maintain, WordPress | 0 comments

Each time the WordPress core software gets updated, there is always the chance that something has been added or removed from the WordPress settings. I will try to keep this post updated with each new release of WordPress so you have the most up to date information on how to set up the WordPress settings.

In this post I am only showing you the essentials of what you need to know to get started. I’m not teaching you how to be a WordPress expert. But, if you are building your own website then you need to know how to configure the essential settings, quickly! So don’t be surprised if you see settings in your dashboard that are not covered here. They are just not essential for getting started.

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How to find the WordPress settings

From your WordPress dashboard, look down the left hand side menu until you find the word ‘Settings’.

where to find the wordpress settings

General WordPress settings

1. Site title and tag line. This information applies to your whole website.  It may be visible to people when they see your site in search engines and when they hover over a tab in the browser bar.

Your WordPress theme may decide to display it throughout your website.

Just another WordPress site in browser tab

just another wordpress site as seen from google

It doesn’t look professional if it contains the default ‘Just another WordPress site’ text.

To remove the default ‘Just another WordPress site’ just update the text in this setting to contain your business name and a tag line that describes what your business does.

Update wordpress general settings to add title and tag line

2. Site language and time zone. Set these to your country and timezone.

WordPress reading settings

1. Set the homepage to the home page you have created. If you haven’t created it yet, come back to this step when you have created it.

2. If you are using the Divi theme, DON”T set the posts page to the posts page. It’s not necessary. If you are using another theme, you may have to set this to a page you have set up for your blog posts page.

3. Set ‘For each article in a feed, show’ to ‘Summary’. This endures only a snippet of text is shown on your main blog page. If you keep it as full text it causes problems with duplicate content issues. If you are using the Divi theme you don’t need to set this as these settings are controlled from within the Divi blog module.

4. While you are in development mode set ‘Search engine visibility’ to ‘Discourage’. This means you can create whatever pages you like and they shouldn’t appear in the search engines. When you are happy with your pages and you are ready for Google to find your site you must untick this box.

WordPress reading settings

WordPress permalinks settings

Your URLs need to be short so select the ‘Custom structure’ or ‘Post name’ option. I have opted for custom structure so I can add the word blog to my structure. I follow an SEO expert called Neil Patel and he uses ‘blog’ in his URL structure so I took the decision to follow suit.

wordpress settings URL structure

WordPress privacy settings

When you have created a privacy policy page you can link to it from these settings.

wordpress privacy policy settings

Advanced settings

SSL

Eventually you should make sure your site has an SSL security certificate. This can be a little tricky to set up. I will create a guide for this soon but it involves;

  • Installing an SSL certificate on your hosting account
  • Changing your site settings in the ‘General Settings’ tab to include HTTPS
  • Search and replace on all your links to change the http to https

Pingbacks and trackbacks

If you are getting a lot of spam comments on your blog you can disable this. It’s in the Discussion settings.

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About Karen Weider

I have been building strategic, marketing websites since 2011. I have supported many business as they get online and grow their business and I firmly believe that planning is crucial to online success.

I help women who are action takers and want to build their own website and I support established who are looking for a long term website strategic & technical partner.

I love working with change makers who are following their heart and have been called to share their message and make a huge impact in the world.

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