Before you get started with publishing your content and making your great website, there are some simple settings to change so that WordPress behaves a little better.

So, here are a few essentials changes you need to make before you do anything else :

Change the title, tagline and timezone

Head to settings > general and change your websites title and tagline.  Make use of these options as it can help with Search Engine Optimisation.  Also change your timezone to match your location, that will help with things like backup routines and post scheduling.  Also change the date format if you want.

wp-settings-general

Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen when you are done.

 

Change to a static home page

Go to settings > reading and choose your home page and your posts page.  You will have to create these pages first by going to Pages > Add New if you haven’t already.

Of course, if you want your website to show your posts on your front page, so it’s more of a blog than a website, you don’t need to change this!

wp-settings-reading

Click Save Changes when you are done.

 

Change your permalinks

What are permalinks I hear you ask?  Well, that’s a good question.  Permalinks are basically the URL structure of your posts and pages.  By default WordPress will call your page something crazy like : /?p=123 which makes no sense to anyone.

Changing your permalinks is important for your ‘readers’ so they can easily see what pages or posts are called and also for search engines, as they read the name to help with search results.

So choose ‘Post Name’ in Settings > Permalinks to make things right!

wp-settings-permalinks

As always, click Save Chnages at the bottom of the screen.

OK, so far so good, you are making some good changes and are getting to know WordPress a little better.

Remove sample content

When WordPress installs, it comes with several elements of sample content, including a page, a post, a comment and a plugin.  Let’s get rid of it all!

To remove the following items, visit the indicated section, hover your mouse over the item to be deleted and you will see the option to ‘Trash’ that content.  So, here we go :

Go to Pages > All Pages and ‘trash’ the sample page, called Sample Page. (Wow, how original!)

Go to Posts > All Posts and ‘trash’ the sample post, called Hello World.

Go to Comments and ‘trash’ the sample comment.

Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins and ‘delete’ the plugin.

wp-settings-sample

 

Add Default Category

After installation of WordPress, there are no categories apart from ‘uncategorized’, which is of no use to anyone, unless you like things messy and unorganised?  No?  Me neither.

Go to Posts > Categories and below where it says ‘Add new category’, enter a title that you want to use.  I just use a general one called ‘News’ when I first get up and running, but add what you want.  You can add more later anyway.

Enter your new category name and then click the ‘Add New Category’ button, no need to fill out the slug or description unless you’re feeling pedantic.

wp-new-category

Once you’ve created at least one new category, you can make that the default option when you create new posts.

Go to Settings > Writing and change the default post category to the one you just created using the drop down menu.

wp-settings-category

Click Save Changes when you are done.

OK, you are all set to launch yourself into a brave new world of WordPress websites.  OK, so it’s not new and it’s not really brave.

If you need any help you know where I am.  (Well, actually, I hope not! But feel free to reach out!)