Set the WordPress Settings for the first time

WordPress offers a ton of settings for customizing how your site functions. In this session, we’ll be covering WordPress Settings in depth.

Exploring WordPress Settings

From the WordPress Dashboard, locate the Settings menu. If we hover over this menu, you’ll see a submenu appear with options for various WordPress settings including:

  • General SettingsGeneral
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Discussion
  • Media
  • Permalinks

WordPress General Settings

Changing Your Title and Tagline

To get started, expand the WordPress settings menu. Click General. The first thing you’ll notice in General Settings is your Site Title and Tagline. You’ll want to make sure these titles match your site because your site title will be visible in Google search results. By default, WordPress includes “just another WordPress site” as your site’s tagline. You’ll probably want to update this tagline to be descriptive of your site, because the site tagline will also show up in Google search results for your site.

Page Titles explain to searchers what your website is about, and they’re also a big part of how search engines determine your rankings, so you want to be sure they’ve got the keywords you want to target in them (but in a natural way, written for real people).

So the Site Title would be your Business name or a Name that tells people what you business is about

The Tagline is added at the end of titles across every page. My site’s tagline is “Start To Finish Websites”
In order to change the title and tagline on your website, go to “Settings -> General” and fill in the form below:

NOTE: This might change if a theme is used that also has these settings in it and will over ride these in the WordPress Settings area

The next section is the WordPress Address (URL). For the site address URL, you can enter the URL address if you want your site homepage to be different from the directory where you installed WordPress. In most cases, it’s best to leave these two URLs alone.

NOTE: These will be already set when you setup WordPress so at this stage you wont need to change them

Next you’ll see the Email Address that’s used for admin purposes, like new user notification.
This will have the email address you used to setup the WordPress Install.. If you want notifications and any default mail your site will send email to, to be different, then change this here.

Next are settings for Membership. With WordPress, you can allow anyone to register for your site. This is a great feature if you’re running a membership site. The New User Default Role is by default set to subscriber. You’ll probably want to leave this setting, since you don’t want to grant administration privileges to just anyone that registers for your site.

If you tick this, then anyone else can sign up to your site without you giving them permission, but with the default access set here.

  • Administrator – somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site.
  • Editor – somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
  • Author – somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
  • Contributor – somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
  • Subscriber – somebody who can only manage their profile.

Upon installing WordPress, an Administrator account is automatically created.

Next is Timezone. Scroll through the list to select the city in the same timezone as you then select you’re preferred date format. Keep in mind this date format will be visible on blog posts.

Last is Time Format and Week Starts On.

Once you’ve updated or change these settings, click Save changes.

WordPress Writing Settings

Next up are Writing Settings. From the menu on the left, click to open the Writing Settings page. All of the setting on this page apply to writing and publishing content for your site.

The top section controls the editor within the WordPress Dashboard, while the rest control external publishing methods.

In the first section, you’ll see options for formatting and default categories and format of posts.

The next section is the Press This bookmarklet. Press This is a bookmarklet that makes it easy to blog about things you find on the web. To use it, just drag the Press This link on this screen to your bookmarks bar in your browser. Once it’s in your toolbar, just click on it while you’re on another website to open a popup window for sharing content.

The Post via email settings allow you to send an email to your site with post content. To use this, you’ll need to set up a secret e-mail account with a POP3 access, and any mail received at this address will be posted. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep this address secret.

The last section is for update services. When you publish a new post, WordPress will augomatically notify the update services listed here. For more information, check out the Update Services link in this section.

Again, click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen for your new settings to take effect.

NOTE: Even thought I have explained this all above, most of the time you wont need to change anything in the Writing Settings

WordPress Reading Settings

Now it’s time for Reading Settings. This screen contains the settings that affect the display of your content.

Here you can choose what’s displayed on the front page of your site — either your latest posts or a fixed/static page.  Once we’ve created a few pages, these pages will be listed here as options for what’s shown on your front page and for where to display your posts.

So generally if you have a Home Page, this will be the page you choose here.. and each time someone comes to your site, this will be the first page that is displayed.

The next section is where you can control the display of your content in RSS feeds, including the maximum numbers of posts to display and whether to show full text or a summary.

The last section is for search engine visibility. If you’d like search engines to ignore your site, ( for instance, While your setting your site up) click the checkbox next to Discourage search engines from indexing this site. This might be a helpful setting if you’re currently developing your site and you’re not ready for it to be indexed by search engines.

Setting Up a Static Front Page

Some people saying that their home page looks like a blog post. You can fix that by making your home page “static”.

A static page is a page that doesn’t change. Unlike a blog, where the first new article will show up at the top every time, a “static” page will show the same content every time someone comes to the site – like a home page you’ve designed.

To set up a static front page:

1. Go to “Settings -> Reading”
2. Choose a static page that you have created. “Front Page” denotes your home page, “Posts page” is the front page of your blog (if your entire site isn’t a blog).
If you don’t choose a static page on your own, WordPress will take your latest posts and start showing them on your homepage.

Click the Save Changes at the bottom of the screen to update these changes.

WordPress Discussion Settings

WordPress Discussion Settings provide lots of options for the management of comments and controlling links to your posts/pages.

The first section is for default article settings. The first setting deals with links you make to other blogs. The second deals with ping backs and trackbacks, or links back to your blog. The third setting in the default article settings that allow people to post comments on new articles. If you’d rather not allow people to comment on your posts, uncheck this box.

In Other comment settings, you can chose the guidelines for how people post comments and how their comments are handled.

Next, in the email me whenever section, you can choose to be emailed when someone posts a comment or when a comment is helped in moderation.

The Before a comment appears sections deals with how comments are published. Here you can chose if an administrator must always approve comments or if to publish automatically if the comment author had previously posted a comment. This is really handy to stop spammers posting rubbish content to your site. Remember Comments, when approved, will be seen by everyone visiting your site.

In the Comment Moderation area, you can customize how a comment is held based on the number of links. In this box, you can also add words, names, URLS, emails or even IPs to filter comments into the moderation queue.

Both this section and the comment blacklist section are great for helping to defend your blog against spam comments.

Next, take a look at the avatar section. An avatar is a profile image you can have assigned to your email address when you comment on avatar-enabled sites. Here you can enable the display of avatars for people who comment on your site, filter by their rating or chose a default avatar for people that don’t already have a custom one of their own.

If you don’t already have an avatar, visit gravatar.com to upload your own.

Disabling Comments for Posts & Pages
Some websites (business/organisation sites mostly) don’t want their visitors to be able to comment on their pages.
these can be turned off site wide as per below, or on individual pages / Posts as you require.

Here’s how to shut comments off on WordPress pages and posts:

1. While you are writing a new page, click “Screen Options” in the top right corner.
2. Click the “Discussion” box. The “Allow Comments” box will appear at the bottom.
3. Untick “Allow Comments”.

Want to disable comments on every new page by default? i.e.site wide?

1. Go to “Settings -> Discussion” and untick “Allow people to post comments on new articles”

These days because of the spam we all get on our sites, you would generally want to set it so every comment is moderated before it is shown to the world. Imagine if a comment was made and have bad words or links to unwanted site it ie, Like Porn, Viagra etc etc.
If you didn’t have them set to moderated, then these would be shown straight away and you might never know it is sitting on your site for the word to see.

Click the save changes button at the bottom of this page.

WordPress Media Settings

The Media Settings page allows you you to set maximum sizes for images inserted into the body of a post. These settings are great for saving time if you always want images to be the same size or if you want to apply default settings for medium and large image sizes.

Generally you wont need to change these, so leave the defaults as they are.

The Uploading files option allows you to select whether or not your uploads are organized into month and year-based folder.
So when you upload an image or file to your site, they can be put into a folder for the year and month. This can be a real pain if you want to view your files later on using a File Manger ( through cPanel or an FTP program) So I generally remove the tick so all images are in the same folder.

Click Save changes.

WordPress Permalink Settings

Permalinks are the permanent URLs to individual pages and blog posts, as well as category and tag archives. Basically, a permalink is the web address used to link to your content that is permanent, and never changes — that’s why they’re called permalinks.

The WordPress Permalink Settings screen allows you to choose your default permalink structure. You can choose from common settings or create custom URL structures. By default, WordPress uses web URLs which have question marks and lots of numbers in them. You’ll probably want to change your permalinks here to another structure to improve the aesthetics, usability, and forward-compatibility of your links.

If you’d like more information on setting up your permalinks, click the Help tab at the top of the screen. Here’ you’ll get an overview of common settings and structures to help select your permalink structure.
So if you want your site to be read easily by humans, then choose the Post name option.
This will give a link to your sites pages like so https://quicklinkdesigns.com/sample-post/
if you choose Month and Name for instance, your pages etc will be shown as https://quicklinkdesigns.com/2016/08/sample-post/ in the address bar of your browser window.

That about does the Setting Area.

7 Things You Should Know About Using WordPress Plugins

1. Update Your Plugins

 

This is a bit of a no-brainer but it bears mentioning in the interests of completeness: keeping your plugins updated is absolutely vital to the security and functionality of your blog. Out of date plugins are prime targets for those in search of security weaknesses and can also break when newer versions of WordPress and other plugins are released.

Not only should you regularly update your plugins, you should also periodically check your plugins to make sure that they have been recently updated. You should strongly consider removing plugins that haven’t been updated for an extended period of time (as a rule of thumb say one year).

Check the date on the Plugin website.

Ideally you should never be caught in a situation where you are using an out of date plugin — it’ll always end in tears eventually.
This is how many sites will be hacked.

2. Keep Deactivated Plugins Updated or Get Rid

 

This follows on directly from my previous point: even if a plugin is not active on your site you must ensure that it is still updated. A deactivated plugin is still “live” on your site in the sense that it could be exploited as a security weakness. Incidentally, the same can be said for themes so my advice also applies there.

To be honest, if a plugin isn’t active on your site and you have no intention of using it in the future my advice would be to remove it. The last thing you want is for your site to lots of unused plugins — it pays to keep things clean and tidy.

3. Deactivate Backend Plugins When They’re Not in Use

 

Most plugins put a strain on your site’s resources, even if that strain is only minor. As such it is my recommendation that you only activate plugins when they are needed.

Take the Plugin Performance Profiler (P3) as an example. This great little plugin will scan the plugins installed on your site and give you an idea of how resource intensive each one is. This in turn can empower you to make informed decisions regarding whether or not a plugin is worth keeping. However, P3 only needs to be active when you are running the scan — it can be deactivated at all other times.

In a nutshell, every single active plugin on your site should be utilized by your site. If not, it shouldn’t be active.

4. The Number of Plugins Isn’t Important

 

To put it in simple terms, a plugin is simply extra code that is implemented on your site. To an extent you could add the same code within your functions.php file and achieve the same effect. But this would mean you have to learn some coding. So its easier to let someone else do that and use a plugin.

Therefore, the number of plugins you have installed and activated on your site isn’t necessary a major issue. The major issue is how well coded and resource intensive your plugins are.

Let me put it this way: it would be far better for you to have five lightweight and immaculately coded plugins installed on your site than one bloated, resource intensive and vulnerable plugin. In reality you should be more worried about what plugins you are installing rather than how many.

5. The Number of Plugins Is Important

 

Having said that, there is one reason why the number of plugins you have installed on your site can be an issue: conflicts.

Theoretically speaking, the more plugins you have on your site, the more likely you are to find one that conflicts with another. This is an issue that plugin developers constantly face as there are a near-infinite number of setup combinations across all WordPress installations. Most WordPress blogs are completely unique in terms of the combination of plugins installed.

So although you should be mindful of the quality of plugins you use, you should also keep an eye on the number with a view to keeping things as simple as possible. In this case, less is more.

6. Quality Always Beats Quantity

 

Along that same line of thinking, you should be very selective in deciding what plugins to install on your site. After all, every plugin you install may leave behind a footprint that is difficult to remove (especially if it is poorly coded). While it can be very tempting to test and install every plugin under the sun on your site, you should err on the side of caution and selectiveness.

When it comes to installing plugins you should look at a few key items such as:

Number of downloads
Average rating
Reviews
The developer (are they well-established?)
Evidence of active support

The fact is that you’re not just installing a plugin — you’re installing a piece of functionality that you would like to remain functional for the foreseeable future. If the plugin works now that’s a good start but you want to make sure it will work in the future too.

For me, the decision to install a new plugin on my site is a pretty important one. I am careful to ask myself whether or not I really need the functionality or if I am being drawn in by the proverbial shiny lights. It might be worth you asking yourself that same question.

7. Premium Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Best

 

It’s a well-known fact of psychology that people’s perception of value is affected by cost. If I offer you the same thing free of charge or at cost, your perception of value is likely to change under the separate circumstances.

This can sometimes be observed in people’s attitude towards premium plugins. The fact is this: there are plenty of unscrupulous premium plugin developers out there. Just because someone is charging you for a plugin does not make it good. There are an awful lot of extremely good quality free plugins out there developed by people who you can trust absolutely.

Having said that, the well-made premium plugins typically are the best. If you pick a reputable premium plugin developer you’re likely to enjoy the best functionality, top notch support and consistent updates. The key is to make sure that you’re supporting the “right” developer. Don’t just do a Google search and go with whatever shows up — find out who people are happy to personally recommend. Get involved in the WordPress community and make note of who is talked about in a positive light. Those are the people you should look to buy from.

It’s a well-known fact of psychology that people’s perception of value is affected by cost. If I offer you the same thing free of charge or at cost, your perception of value is likely to change under the separate circumstances.

This can sometimes be observed in people’s attitude towards premium plugins. The fact is this: there are plenty of unscrupulous premium plugin developers out there. Just because someone is charging you for a plugin does not make it good. There are an awful lot of extremely good quality free plugins out there developed by people who you can trust absolutely.

Having said that, the well-made premium plugins typically are the best. If you pick a reputable premium plugin developer you’re likely to enjoy the best functionality, top notch support and consistent updates. The key is to make sure that you’re supporting the “right” developer. Don’t just do a Google search and go with whatever shows up — find out who people are happy to personally recommend. Get involved in the WordPress community and make note of who is talked about in a positive light. Those are the people you should look to buy from.

Bottom line is, if you are not sure, ASK!!!!

To save you some time, I’ve put together a list of the most popular and useful plugins that webmasters find useful:

• #1 Contact form 7: My website has a contact form on it. It’s an awesome feature to have, as people (like you!) can fill in the form and send me an email without logging into their own email provider. If you want to do something similar, definitely get this plugin.

• #2 Yoast SEO for WordPress: If you want to make your WordPress site even more SEO-friendly, this plugin is a must-have. It’s free, and it’s awesome. You’ll be able to edit your title tags, meta descriptions and more, all from within the page itself – no more fussing with WordPress settings. There is a learning curve with this, but their site tells you all you need to know.
I would suggest you come back later and set this up.

• #3 Google Analytics: Interested in tracking your visitors/traffic and their behavior? Just install the plugin, connect it with your Google account ( that I am sure you already have, if not, you need one) and you’re ready to go. This will give you many statistics that will help you with your site and getting traffic.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Here’s list on the internet of which are the best plugins. These lists tell you a lot about the plugins and what they do.  That is basically it.

Congratulations – you’re ready to launch!

If you’ve followed the steps in this guide, you should now have a fully-functional WordPress website! That wasn’t so bad, was it?

I hope you found this guide really useful –but if you have any more questions or need help with one of the steps I highlighted, I’m happy to share some guidance. For this, use my contact/support page.