If you’re reading this guide then I’m going to assume that you’ve successfully setup your WordPress site and can now login and start blogging/posting content.
First though, I recommend tweaking some of the default settings, as well as installing a few plugins and maybe changing the theme.
Right now, your site probably looks something like you see above. The “Hello world!” default placeholder article is included as part of your initial WordPress installation and can be deleted. It’s just meant to signify that you site is all set up (for the most part) and ready to have some content added.
Login To The Admin Area
The administration area for your site will be located at www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ (for now – we’ll change that URL for security reasons I’ll explain). You can login using the details that were provided earlier in the installation process, and that you hopefully recorded down! Here’s how the admin area looks once you’re in.
Delete Default Post & Pages
Now is also probably a great time to mention the differences between posts and pages in WordPress. It’s best to think of “posts” as blog posts, regular articles, news, guides, products, etc – whatever content you will be adding regularly to your site.
Now, let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. You should see a screen similar to that below, all with default values.
Change your “Site Title” to what you are going to call your site, eg “Hostt” or “Smart Reviews” or “Taylor’s Travel Blog” or whatever.
While you may not have a tagline as such, it’s also good to fill something in there too – if you don’t have a catchy phrase then just describe whatever you site is about, eg “My experience travelling through Europe” or “Reviewing the latest drones”, etc.
Otherwise you can just check the “Administration Email Address”, site language and other timezone/location settings are correct and hit “Save Changes”. If something needs tweaking then feel free to alter it to suit.
Writing and Reading
These settings can be left as-is for now. Feel free to take a look and familiarise yourself though.
In the Discussion settings menu there is too many changes to make to list them all here in words, so please just make sure your Discussion settings page look like that below and then hit save.
While we are keeping commenting on (for now), we are requiring that users have at least one comment approved by you before their additional comments become public. This is because of spammers, but even then, some will be sneaky and make one or two seemingly legitimate comments before dropping in their spam, so you need to watch out for that too.
If you don’t want commenting on your posts enabled at all, then just untick “Allow people to submit comments on new posts”.
In the “Comment Blacklist” box you can write or paste in a list of words that will automatically mean a comment that contains at least one of those words goes straight to the trash. For example, lists of swear or other rude words.
When you upload images into WordPress (ie to insert and show them within your posts), WordPress will automatically create several different sized versions of the image that can be used in different situations.
I like to tweak the default sizes though, as below.
Permalinks means how your post URLs will look. Your domain might be hostt.com, for example, and your site might be found at www.hostt.com (as is mine). Then if you select “Post name” for your permalink setting, whatever the title of your article or post is will automatically become its URL too.
So if you have an article titled “My Favorite Moments of 2020” then the permalink that is automatically created for you for that particular post would be /my-favorite-moments-of-2020/ and to access the post the full URL would be www.yourdomain.com/my-favorite-moments-of-2020/.
So just make sure that “Post name” is selected and then hit “Save Changes” to confirm.
You don’t need to change any settings under here.
Next head to “Users” –> “All Users” and click the “Edit” link next to your name.
Here you can choose to display your full name next to your posts, a nickname, or whatever you want. Just complete the relevant fields and then choose the setting you want in the “Display name publicly as” dropdown. You can also include a biopgraphy and link a profile picture from the Gravatar service, if you wish.
To get the profile picture working, head over to https://en.gravatar.com/ (which is a site run by WordPress) and create an account using the same email as your administration account on your WordPress site (but with a different password). Then upload whatever image you want to use as your profile picture as your “avatar” on that site.
Once you’ve done that, within a few minutes that same image should appear as your “Profile Picture” within your WordPress site.
Which plugins I use deserves a guide of of its own and I have done that separately.
The themes section of your administrative backend is another area that deserves a guide of its own.
The final area we are interested in at this stage is Categories. You can find this section under the “Posts” menu towards to the top of your administration panel. Head there and you should see something like the below.
All you need to do at this stage is click the “Edit” link that will pop-up when you hover over the name “Uncategorized” and then change the name of your default category to whatever you want.
You should make this category based on the type of posts that you will be making the most number of. It might be “News”, “Guides”, “World News”, Car Reviews”, “Recipes” or “Opinion”, etc. We can also change this setting later on without doing any damage so don’t stress too much about it – the main thing is to change it from the default “Uncategorized”.
Make sure you also change the “slug” to the lowercase version of whatever your category name is, and if your name has spaces, then just put a dash instead within the slug. So “World News” might be the category name and it would have the slug “world-news”. We won’t actually be using slugs, so this setting is somewhat irrelevant, but I still recommend changing it just in case.
That’s more or less it for now. We’ve covered the absolute basic settings that you should have for your WordPress site. The real fun begins when we start adding and playing around with plugins though, and of course choosing what theme we are going to use, and tweaking how our site looks.