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’.
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.
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.
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 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 privacy settings
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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