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5 Website Builders for Small Businesses

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5 Website Builders for Small Businesses

 

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Customize Your Web Site: Basic WordPress Blog Settings
MiniGuide 2: Basic WordPress Customizations
Home » WordPress MiniGuides » 2. How to Configure Your Site’s Basic WordPress Blog Settings

Basic WordPress blog settings
Basic WordPress Settings

There are thousands of different ways you can set up, configure and fine tune your web site. And many additional options become available once you decide upon a WordPress theme for your site. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There are really only just a few things you need to do to get started. You can tweak everything later after you’ve gotten your site off the ground.

For now, here are the basics for setting up your new WordPress site:

Login to WordPress Admin
1 Login to WordPress

Go the URL (website address) given to you by your web host. Depending on who you’re using to host your blog, and
how it was set up, your admin login will look something like this:

http://www.YourSite.com/wp-admin

Enter the WordPress admin user name and password you selected or were provided. If you’re on a trusted computer (e.g., NOT a computer in the public library), check the box next to “Remember Me” and bookmark this page for faster logins in the future.
2 Explore the WordPress “Back-End”

Once logged-in, you will automatically be redirected to the WordPress “Dashboard.” This is sometimes referred to as the WordPress “back-end.” Your web site visitors will only see the “front-end” — your actual blog or web site. The back-end is where you control what appears on the front-end.
3 Set Your Blog’s “General” Settings

Most of your site’s settings can be found under “Settings” in the left admin panel. Click on the “General” link under “Settings” and adjust the following:
WordPress General Settings
Click Image to View WordPress Settings

A. Give your site a title
Try to incorporate a popular search term or two that people would use when looking for sites such as yours. I target the keywords “create a blog,” so my site title is simply this web site’s name in brackets: [Create A Blog Now.com]

B. Assign a tagline
This is a slogan or motto for your site. Again, be sure to incorporate a few words your visitors are likely to use when searching. Mine is: “A simple step-by-step guide to help you create a blog or website today!”

C. WordPress Address (URL)
Don’t change this unless you know what you’re doing. Depending on how your blog was installed, this could be:

http://YourSite.com/blog

… or simply:

http://YourSite.com

D. Site Address (URL)
Enter your site’s URL home page here, such as:

http://YourSite.com

E. Email Address
The email address where you’d like notifications sent regarding the administration and maintenance of your blog.

F. Membership
Do you want to allow anyone to be able to register for an account on your site? If so, check this box. But unless you have a specific reason for wanting people to be able to register, leave this box unchecked.

G. New User Default Role
Select from this drop-down box the default role you’d like to assign to new users. Simply leave at on the default “Subscriber” setting for now.

H. Timezone
Select your timezone from the choices in this drop-down box. I’m in Eastern Standard Time (EST), so I selected “New York.”
WordPress General Settings
Click Image to View WordPress Settings

I. Date Format
Choose how you’d like to display the date on your site.

J. Time Format
Choose how you’d like to display the time on your site.

K. Week Starts On
What day starts your week? If your blog will use a monthly calendar, the day selected here will display in the first column. Monday is the default setting.

L. Save Changes
Click on the “Save Changes” button to save any of the settings you changed on this page.
4 Set Your Blog’s “Permalinks”

Permalinks are the permanent URLs (or “permanent links”) to each of your individual blog posts, pages and categories. This is the URL other web site owners will use to link to your content.

There are different types of permalink available in WordPress. The default setting is for your permalink to be structured as such:

http://YourSite.com/?p=N (where N = some number)

Yuck. You don’t want this, for various reasons. Instead, you want your pages to appear as such:

http://YourSite.com/page-title-important-keyword-here

Other than simply looking better, this is preferred for reasons relating to SEO (search engine optimization). This isn’t the time or place to get too heavily into a discussion on SEO. Suffice it to say that including a keyword or two related to your page’s content in your permalink can have a profound impact on the number of visitors who will discover your site.

To change your permalink settings:
How to change your blog’s permalink setting
Change your blog’s permalink setting

Go to “Settings” in your WordPress left admin panel
Click on “Permalinks”
Select the “Custom Structure” option, and place the following in the field:
/%postname%
Press “Save Changes”

NOTE: Once you create a permalink and publish your post, you shouldn’t change it. If you do, visitors who follow this link to your site will be rewarded with the dreaded 404 error (“page not found”) instead of the one they were hoping to see.
5 Allow People to Comment on Your Posts?

If you want to encourage a sense of community on your site, you may want to enable post comments. There are pros and cons to this, with the main “con” to allowing comments is dealing with spammers, haters and marketers (fortunately, there are WordPress plugins to help blog owners deal with these issues).

While it is possible to turn commenting on or off on a per-post basis, you first need to activate commenting site-wide if you plan to allow discussions on some or all of your posts:

Go to “Settings” in your WordPress left admin panel
Click on “Discussion”
Check the box: “Allow people to post comments on new articles”
Specify what other comment-related settings you would like to turn on or off (e.g., receive an email whenever anyone posts a comment)
Press “Save Changes”

Enable WordPress Blog Comments
Enable WordPress Blog Comments
6 Add Features to Your Site with “Widgets”

A “widget” is a utility which enables you to add add and arrange content, features and tools on your site — most commonly on your blog’s sidebar. For example, if you see a display of “Most Recent Posts” or a calendar on a blog’s sidebar, this content is displayed via a widget.

To add a widget to your site, go to “Appearance” and then “Widgets” in left admin panel of your WordPress dashboard:

Add widgets to your WordPress blog

And then on the widgets page, drag and drop an available widget from on the left to a widget area on the right:
Click image: How to Activate a Widget
Click image: How to Activate a Widget

After adding a widget, customize its settings by clicking on the widget, and then press the “Save” button. The widgets and widget areas available to you will depend on the WordPress plugins you’ve installed, as well as your WordPress theme. You can rearrange your widgets to have them appear where you’d like. To delete a widget, drag and drop it back to the “Available Widgets” area.

Phew… While there are seemingly endless ways to set up and configure a new WordPress site, the above settings are enough to at least help you get your site off the ground!
Next, see how easy it is to transform your site with a Premium WordPress Theme

1 Comment
  • Cool List
    September 14, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Great list…I’m not that familiar with Squarespace though I have heard of it. Great information though…thanks.

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