5th part of the blog launch series is about the most important settings that you should make immediately after installing WordPress.
After reinstalling WordPress, you could start blogging. However, WordPress offers several settings that you should adjust before the first post.
There are several reasons, such as increased security or better search engine optimization.
WordPress basic settings
Here I will go through step by step the settings that I consider essential and also explain what you can do there and why you should do it.
Most settings can be found under “Settings” on the left.
I will now go through the individual sub-items.
Here are 3 things you should stop.
First, it is the “slogan.” This should still contain a standard text after installation. Gives your blog a slogan that includes the 1-2 most important keywords. The slogan should not be too long.
The second setting on this page is “Membership.” Make sure there’s no catch here. Otherwise, your blog’s readers will be able to register and do things they do not want.
Thirdly, it is essential to check if the “time zone” is correct. This can be both directly select the time difference, as well as a city that is located nearby. For German bloggers, this would be Berlin. If the time zone is set incorrectly, then blog posts may appear at the wrong time.
There are also 3 things to look at here.
First, you can set the default category for your articles here. So put the most important categories in your blog (under the item “Articles”) and then select the category, in which most of the articles will fall (eg, News).
Furthermore, you can activate the XML-RPC interface here. If you use a desktop blog tool or want to blog from the iPhone, for example, then this interface must be activated.
At the bottom, and not to be seen on this screenshot, there is a field for ping services. There are by default two URLs in it. However, other ping services may be worth registering here — more about this in the newsletter archive of my traffic newsletter (issue of 06.04.2009).
Just subscribe to my traffic newsletter, and you will also get access to all previous issues.
In the field of reading, especially the settings for the RSS feed, are interesting.
But let’s start above. Here you can choose whether you want to display the last X articles chronologically or a static page on the start page. In general, it will stay with the first option.
You can then adjust how many articles should be displayed in the news feed. I like it when there are a few more articles and not just the last 10.
Also, you can set here whether he should appear complete articles in the feed or just an extra specified short text. Full feeds are very popular but also have one or the other disadvantage. (Note: Here, I will introduce a plugin in a follow-up article, which allows further settings.)
Discussions focus on users’ comments and spam.
Here are all the settings really important and you should think carefully about what to choose. This depends on how the daily work with your blog works. But SEO decisions are already made here.
The first section should remain active, as comments and especially trackbacks are important for the marketing of your blog.
In the second section, you can set the conditions under which readers can comment and how these comments are displayed. You should query the email address and name. Also, you can set here that old articles (x days) can not be commented on. Spambots only consider most old articles with comments. But it can also annoy readers.
The third area is important because WordPress informs you about new comments and not yet released comments. I use this service. Otherwise, I might miss spam comments or unlock new comments much too late.
The fourth area is then discretionary. I have set it so that the first comment of a reader must always be moderated.
Here, the first point must be selected. Otherwise, the Google Bot and other search engine crawlers are not left in your blog. And then, of course, you can not appear in the search engine results.
It is controversial whether Permalinks provide for a better search engine position. But it does not hurt.
Permalinks replace the article number in the URL with the title of the article.
For example, “www.url.com/?p=123” becomes “www.url.com/2009/07/28/sample-post/”.
Such a permalink URL is not only easier to read for the users, but also contains important keywords. That’s why you should enable permalinks. I usually use the “tag and name” option.
WordPress tries to automatically enter these permalink settings into the “.htaccess” file. If this is not present in the main directory of the blog or read-only, you must enter the code (which is below and is not visible on the screenshot) manually in a normal text file with the name “.htaccess.”
other important settings
There are different settings that you should make after the installation.
Remove admin user
By default, WordPress creates a user “admin.” This one has all rights. The problem is that attackers have to know that and “only” have to guess the password.
Therefore, you should first create a new user with administrator rights. You should give this as username something other than “admin” and please also forgive a complicated password.
Then you sign up as this new user and delete the user “admin.” This has already done a lot for the security of your blog.
That’s a matter of taste. Many like the WYSIWYG editor, I hate it.
You should test it out and write a new article. If you want to have more control over how your article is formatted, check the “Visual Editor” checkbox under “User -> Your Profile.”
This will disable the WYSIWYG editor by default.
Akismet – Registration
Akismet ships with every WordPress installation and I think plugin works great.
However, you still have to enter a code, and you can get it on the WordPress website. Log in there and select “Please only one username” at the bottom. Then you’ll see the “WordPress.com API Key” that you need to enter in the Akismet Settings (under “Plugins -> Akismet Configuration”) on your blog.
And your blog is already protected against spam.
Many new blogs make a mistake and just start blogging. With each new article, any new categories are invented, and eventually, you have a confusing number of categories.
Instead, you should first consider the most important categories and create them already under the item “Articles -> Categories.” This ensures more clarity and clarity in the blog.
Other settings in the blog are made by plugins, which I will introduce in one of the next articles in this series.