Starting with WordPress is a series I am doing on how to use wordpress in easy to understand terms. I found the Codex to be helpful but felt that it was very technical. These are my instructions in a more non-technical way. Visit the series page for a list of all the topics in this series.
From your WordPress Admin page you’ll notice there’s a “Settings” option. Here’s where you can set up several customisations for your site.
Here’s where you can add or change your site name and tagline or site description. Unless you know what you’re doing, don’t change the wordpress and site url. Like I mentioned in Installing WordPress, if you move your wordpress installation to another folder that’s when you’ll use those fields.
You can also set up your admin email address. This email is where you will get information about your site sent to you, if needed, or if you set any notifications to go to the administrator.
I normally set my sites to disallow anyone to register. This is because I don’t block comments only to members of my site and I don’t have any forum or other discussion areas where you would need to manage users. This is safer to me as I found that I’d get weird spam users added to my site.
You can also set the time zone you are in, and your date and time formats, which day your week starts on and the language of your WordPress. I have mine set to UK English because in Belize we speak [or at least we should] Queen’s English.
In the writing settings you can set your default post category, and format. Normally, you will want to set up a category for general things or most popular articles. In some cases case you might want to make sure new posts are left uncategorised.
You can also send posts via email. I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t tried this because I much prefer the satisfaction of typing up my post and seeing it online as I hit publish.
If this is a site you created to show off your portfolio, you can enable portfolios here, although, I haven’t had the need for it, so I haven’t personally used it. If you are a business you can also enable testimonials so your customers can see what others think of you.
Here is where you can add a static home page and then move your blog pages to another page. You’d want to do something like this is you want people to visit a landing page first and then navigate to other pages including the blog.
If you are a business you might wonder why do you need a blog. You don’t. However you can always name your blog post page something like News or Updates that way people don’t think it’s a blog and then you don’t have to post new items unless you have something you want to say to your audience.
To do this, create your “Home” page and add the information you want there. Then create a page you want for your posts. Do not add any words to the page; it will just be a blank page and can name it something like, blog, news, articles, etc. Then come to this page and choose static home page and set your home page and blog page. Be sure you update your menu after you’ve made this change to ensure that both pages are available.
I suppose you could just leave out the post page from your menu if you never want anyone to find it because you don’t plan on using it.
You can set the number of post you want to show on your blog page, and the number of post to show on your feeds. You can also set if you want your feeds to show only a summary of your post or the full post. If you plan to use something like Mail Chimp and want to send out a full new blog post be sure to leave this as full text. If you don’t want the full post to show on your blog page you can always add “read more” tags.
You can enable “related articles” under your posts and you can also customise the email that is sent when someone follows your blog or someone signs up to get new comments alert on an article they commented on.
Here you can edit whether your blog notifies other blogs when you link to them from a posts, set parameters for your comments, set notifications for when you get a new comment, set who can comment and automatically mark comments for moderation or deletion based on certain phrases. Be very careful, you might just want to moderate them rather than delete them entirely. You won’t be able to recover deleted comments.
You can also set an avatar for non-registered commenters, and set whether your site is for people of all ages or not.
Here you can set the default sizes for thumbnails, medium size images and large images. You can set your images to be organised by months, set background colour and set to show meta data.
Here you can set how your site generates the URL of new posts that are created. I personally choose the site name / name of post. That’s because you may want to reorganise your site at some point and changing categories or tags will change the URL of your article. Also, it’s hard for your visitors to manually share links when they have to remember slash this and slash that.
You can also group all your categories or tags under a sub group so that their URLs will be sitename.com/subgroup/name-of-category. I’ve never used this option though.
I recommend that you install the Jetpack Plugin because it’s like an all-in-one plugin solutions. If you do you’ll get a screen that allows you to connect to facebook, twitter and other social media sites that will then share your new posts automatically when you click publish.
That’s it for today. Check back again for more on customising and configuring your WordPress.