Last time I told you how to add a new user in WordPress and we talked about the importance of not using the default "Admin" user.
Today I'm going to talk about several more optimal settings you should use in WordPress before you start blogging. (The most important one is at the end so don't miss it!)
Can't see the video above? Watch it here.
We will be working in the "Settings" area of our Dashboard. To get there, log in to your Dashboard (yourdomain.com/wp-login.php) and then click "Settings" in the left column. Once you click "Settings" you'll see an expanded menu.
These are the settings I am always sure to change and I recommend you do as well:
Change "Blog Title"
This is very likely already changed to reflect your blog's title (which you specified during the WordPress installation process). If however, it's not, this is a good time to do it.
The default tagline here is "Just another WordPress blog…" and you definitely want to change it. Shoot for a good, succinct description of your blog, packed with some great keywords; it'll be good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which we talked briefly about in Understanding Keywords.
By the way, this can be changed at any time, so don't stress too much.
Change "E-mail address"
The default here is firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you change it to an email address where you can get emails about the administration of your site.
Save your changes!
Change "Update Services"
Copy the list of pinging services at DailyBlogTips (yes, the whole list), then paste it into the field under "Update Services."
Pinging services act like a notification system when you add new content to your blog. Basically, they help spread the word that there's new stuff to read on your blog.
Save your changes!
Change "Common Settings"
This is the most important optimization setting of all because your permalink structure will directly impact your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), HOWEVER, I do have a warning: If you have already started publishing posts on your blog, do not change the permalink structure now. It may result in broken links. You might try the Change Permalink Helper plugin. I have not used it myself and have never found a plugin that does this seamlessly, but this is the most recent and highest rated plugin I can find currently. Please oh please be sure to backup your blog before making any changes such as this. Another option might be a service like Tweaky. I have not used their service personally, but they charge $25 per tweak to your blog and have a money-back guarantee. Might be worth a shot if you're not comfortable dealing with it yourself. (P.S. If anyone has used them, I'd love to hear your feedback!)
Alright, for those of you who have a brand new blog, let's proceed…
Do not use the "Default" structure: http://yourdomain.com/?p=123
Opt for one of the structures below instead:
- Day and name – good for multi-author blog or single-author blogs with many posts per day or may have duplicate-titled posts
- Month and name – good for single-author blogs who post daily or less and may have duplicate-titled posts
- Post name - this is probably the best for SEO and a good choice if you aren't too worried about inadvertently naming your posts the same thing (this is what I use)
- (Custom Structure – /%postname%/ – another way of writing Post name)
Save your changes!
Other posts in this series
- How to Start a Blog or Website: Intro & FAQ
- How to Start a Blog or Website: Cheat Sheet
- How to Find (or Refind) Your Passion
- How to Decide What to Blog About: What Works for Readers?
- How to Decide What to Blog About: What Works for You?
- Understand Branding: 4 Tips
- Understand Keywords: Increase the Odds of Getting Found
- Writing Great Content: 3 Tips
- How to Write a Killer About Page
- 12 Blog Organization Tips
- How to Choose a Domain Name: 12 Tips
- How to Register a Domain Name
- How to Set Up Hosting and WordPress
- How to Change Your Nameservers
- How to Add a New User in WordPress
- How to Optimize Your WordPress Settings
- How to Install a Plugin
- My Favorite Plugins
- How to Get & Optimize a Feedburner Feed
- How to Choose a WordPress Theme
- How to Install a WordPress Theme
- Elegant Themes for WordPress
- How to Install Google Analytics
- How to Use WordPress: Tips & Tricks
- How to Start a Blog or Website: 10 Tips for New Bloggers
- How to Start a Blog or Website (In 15 Minutes or Less)