It’s stated over 80% of bloggers use WordPress and the success has to do with the ability to customize your site by installing plug-ins. I’ve been using WordPress for the last 7 years and find it to be the best blogging CMS available. However, there are some that rely on Joomla and Drupal because they offer a streamlined process to get online quickly. The most important factor when using any of these platforms is the ability to know how to install and initially setup before starting to design your website. If you’ve just started with WordPress, then here are some essential settings to apply to your website right after installation.
Let’s get started…
Delete Pages & Posts
Start by deleting the default pages and posts because if you don’t, these will be visible when visitors arrive on your website. The deletion process is NOT difficult because once you’re in the backend, simply select the “page” and “post” menu then delete the default pages.
This is a very important setting and you need to ensure you make the change right away. It’s very easy to forget this setting once you start customizing your blog. The permalinks are directly connected with on-page SEO because they change the URL of the blog posts. For example, after installation, the URL will look like the following: www.example.com/p=123 and this format is very unpredictable with on-page SEO. Changing the permalinks to post name will ensure when you publish content, they look like the following: www.example.com/postname. What are the benefits…
- Great for on-page SEO
- Great for indexing
- Great when displaying in the SERP’s
- Link building is proper format
Setting Time Zone
Many people don’t know how important it is to set the correct time zone after installation. When you first start, it might not be important, but after you’ve tweaked your plug-ins and started to schedule posts, time zone will be an important factor. Here are some examples…
First, if you install plug-ins that are automatically updating your website, then it’s important you have the right time zone set so they follow the correct posting schedule. Next, if you are scheduling posts to be published, then having the correct time zone configured will ensure they post on time. Setting up time zone is very simple and can be done following this process…
Head over to Settings, then General, and you’ll be able to configure time zone by scrolling down to “Timezone”
Some visitors don’t have the best intentions and will spam your site with comments just to get a link back to their website. If you’re NOT careful, the comments will be published automatically and it’s important to make sure you have the correct moderation settings. For example, all my websites have been set to manual approval so when someone leaves a comment, I have to go in and approve it before it’s live on my blog. This way I can…
- Ensure it’s not spam
- Relevant to my content
- Not spammed with links
- Adds well-thought out feedback
- Will provide insight to my content
WordPress has made it very easy to configure this setting, putting all comments into moderation queue. Let’s look at the process…
Head over to Settings, then Discussion. Scroll over to “Other Comment Settings” and “Before Comment Appears”, then check “Comment must be manually approved”.
This setting will obviously depend on the type of blog you’re setting up and the privileges you want to give your visitors. For example, user registration should be enabled if you’re setting up an article directory or a blog built on content submitted by other users. In this case, you’ll like to enable user registration and check “Anyone Can Register” then select “Contributor”. With this setting, anyone can register and submit content, but will not have access to any other settings throughout your blog. Next, the content will NOT be published until approved by the owner or moderator.
If you are the only one contributing content, then it’s important to leave the “Membership” unchecked and don’t allow people to register on your blog. Before making your decision, it’s important to figure out the objective of your blog and what role visitors will be playing. Ask yourself…
- Will they be allowed to post content?
- Will they be automatically approved once content is uploaded?
- Will everyone be allowed to register or will you set up the accounts?