Quick Setup Of WordPress Settings
About This Lesson
When you first install WordPress you’ll want to change some of the default settings, to suit your personal needs.
If you’re a first time user of WordPress I’ve actually created six separate lessons, which will explain exactly what all the settings do on your site.
- General Settings
- Writing Settings
- Reading Settings
- Discussion Settings
- Media Settings
- Permalinks Settings
If you want you can go through all of the six lessons I’ve listed above and then setup WordPress exactly to your needs.
Or, if you want, in this lesson I’ve listed all of the settings that I normally change when I start a new WordPress site, as these are what I think are the most important.
I’ve done this to save you time, as I would say about 80% of the settings don’t need to be changed and rather then you learning about settings you wont use, you can just go through this lesson and setup WordPress how I normally set it up!
The choice is yours!!
Before doing this you’ll need to have installed WordPress.
You can do this one of two ways,
And you’ll need to have,
Read All About It
The general settings are normally the settings I change most, so bear with me on this one!
First of all, to get to any of the settings you need to login to the admin area of your WordPress site.
Then on the left hand side, hover over the menu item “Settings” and in this case click “General”.
Site Title And Tagline
The first two settings I change are normally the site title and tagline.
Some WordPress themes use these like a logo for your site. But not all themes do.
For instance, this is what the site title and tagline looks like in my general settings.
And here’s how the default WordPress Twenty Fourteen theme adds them into the design.
Obviously, if you want to change this, just delete out the old text and replace it with what you want your site title and tagline to say!
WordPress Address URL & Site Address (URL)
I never touch the WordPress address URL. Nor should you.
The site address URL lets you set what you want your homepage to be.
By default, WordPress assumes you want this to be the same place as where you’ve installed your WordPress core files. So in my example, it’s cmgtesting.com/wordpress
If you want to change this, for instance you want to make your homepage to be like www.cmgtesting.com, here’s what you need to do.
Step 1/3: – Put the address you want in Site Address (URL). So in my case, www.cmgtesting.com. Then save the changes.
Step 2/3: – You then need to copy out the WordPress “index.php” file from your site.
To do this you’ll need to use FileZilla. For those of you who don’t know what this is, or how to use it, see my FileZilla tutorial.
Once you’re connected to your website in FileZilla, you’ll need to locate where your WordPress files are being held.
In my case,
- I went to public_html, then the WordPress folder. (Or /public_html/wordpress/)
- In here is the file index.php.
- Copy this onto your computer as you’ll need to modify this. In a moment you’ll upload it back to your site but into a different location. (Note: we copy it out, not cut it or delete it.)
Step 3/3: – Once you’ve copied the file onto your computer, open it.
You need to change the line that says,
So that it now includes where you have WordPress installed. So in my case that means adding the folder name “wordpress” in the address.
(Notice I also add a / at the start, you’ll need to do this as well)
So it now should look like this.
Save this change.
Then upload it into the place on your site you want your homepage to be.
So in my case, this is my root domain, or /public_html/
And that’s it, all done. My homepage will now be www.cmgtesting.com.
The next settings I change in the general settings is the “Timezone”. As you probably imagine, this lets you set what timezone you’re in.
Date Format & Time Format
This lets you set how WordPress displays the date and time on your site.
This will be used in various parts of your website. One example is when you publish a post on a blog, it will show the date like in the image below. (Although this depends on the theme you’re using.)
And so this setting lets you set how you want your dates and times to look.
Final General Settings
Week Starts On: This is for if you ever have a calendar feature on your site, you can set when the week starts.
Site Language: Obviously make sure you set this in the language you want your WordPress site to be in!
But that’s it for the general settings.
I never actually change anything in the writing settings and think you can ignore this one as well!
There’s only two settings I worry about in the reading settings.
Front page displays
This setting lets you change your homepage from being a blog, to a static page. Which lets you create a more conventional homepage.
This setting also lets you move your blog from your homepage, to its own unique page.
What do I mean by a static page? A static page is a stand alone page. It’s a page that only changes when you choose to manually change that page. My homepage is a good example of this.
A blog page, displays your most recent posts and every time you create a new post, the blog page automatically changes, inserting the new post at the top and moving all the other posts down the blog page.
If you want your website like a blog, just keep this setting at it’s default, “Your latest posts”.
But if you want to create a static page for your homepage and move your blog to it’s own page, you’ll need to create two new pages. Call the first one homepage. And the second one blog, or latest news, or latest deals, whatever you want this to be.
Then when you’ve created two new pages, come back into the reading settings,
- Choose the static page option
- In the drop down box next to “Front page”, choose the “Homepage” you just created
- And next to “Posts page”, choose your blog/latest news/latest deals page
All Done – You now have a static homepage and a separate blog page.
Search Engine Visibility
And the final setting I change in the reading settings, is search engine visibility.
There may be occasions when you create a website and you don’t want it to be listed in search engines.
For instance, if you’ve just started creating your site, you might decide that while you’re working on it you don’t want anyone to visit it.
Or, like me, you might have a couple of test sites which you use to try things out on and you may not want these sites listed in search engines.
That’s what this setting is for.
(I recommend most people keep this unticked as I’m sure you’ll want to get people visiting your site from search engines!)
If you want to allow people to leave comments on your site, then I recommend going through my discussion settings lesson, as there’s too many settings to cover in this lesson.
If you don’t want to allow people to leave comments, see this part off the discussion settings lesson and then ignore the rest of it. (If you want to turn comments off, but allow them on some posts, see this part of the discussions settings lesson.)
I normally never change anything within the media settings as this is setup already, so again this is one you can ignore.
Although if you manually installed WordPress, to be able to upload media to your site you’ll need to create an “uploads” folder and make it “writable”.
If you don’t do this, you’ll get the following error message when you try and upload some media.
“image.JPG” has failed to upload due to an error Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2015/06. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
To see how to create an uploads folder, see this extra lesson I created for you. (This’ll take you less than five minutes to complete.)
Permalinks let you choose how the URLs of your pages or posts look.
So for instance, this page’s URL is, www.createmarketgrow.com/quick-wordpress-settings
WordPress give you a number of different ways to set how your URL’s look, but I just make sure this is set to “Post name”, simply because,
- It’s easier for website visitors to type in their browsers
- It’s more search engine friendly, as it makes it easier for search engines to identify what your post or page is about
- It looks nicer
Side Note: If when you try to save changes you get a message that says,
You should update your .htaccess now.
It means you’ll have to create a .htaccess file and upload it to your site. (Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple to do.)
To see how to add a .htaccess file to your site, see this extra lesson I created for you. (You’ll only need to do this if you get the message I mentioned above.)
And I normally ignore the “Optional” setting, in the permalinks settings.
And that’s it, you’re all done with the settings!
Now that you’ve setup WordPress, the next steps in creating your website and learning how to use WordPress, is to learn how WordPress posts and pages work, so you can then start creating the content that will make up your site!