How to Start a Blog – Part 3: 7 Essential WordPress Settings

by Taswir Haider in Wordpress

Previous Tutorial: How to Start a Blog – Part 2 : A Brief Introduction to WordPress Dashboard

Every time you install WordPress on your blog, before doing any other stuff it is better to adjust the general WordPress settings as per your requirement. If you start to write post and change the settings lately, then you may face problem. Such an example is your permalink setting. Here we’ll closely look at the most essential WordPress settings only, which is required for every blog.

Essential Settings After Installing WordPress

WordPress Permalink

wordpress permalink

The most important WordPress settings is changing your WordPress permalink. Permalink determines the URL structure of your posts and pages. By default the WordPress permalink is like- http://www.thetopblogger.com/?p=123 which is not SEO friendly. To make it SEO friendly you need to change your permalink to something like this-

http://www.thetopblogger.com/sample-post/ or, http://www.thetopblogger.com/2012/10/sample-post/

There are also other permalink options and you can choose anyone which you see good.

Discussion Settings

Wordpress discussion

It is important to carefully analyse the discussion settings and check/uncheck the required settings only. General WordPress Settings are:

  • If you do not want pingbacks and trackbacks notification, then you can uncheck the option.
  • Posting comments by users on posts are enabled by default and comment is important for a blog to make it lively. But if you are building a static site you can disable comments.
  • Threaded comments help to keep the discussion going on. So it is important to enable it.
  • We can uncheck ‘Break comments into pages’ to avoid post duplication issue.
  • If you like email notification for any new comment, then you can enable it. But if you get lots of comments daily that means lots of email notifications which might be disturbing, so you can uncheck it.
  • It is important that administrator always approve the comment. If you uncheck it, spam comments may auto approve which will create problem for you later on.

Ping List

wordpress pinglist

When you publish any post, WordPress sends a ping to each of the ping services listed. Be default WordPress has only 1 ping service included in its list. So it is recommended to add additional ping service to your list.

Check out my guide for best WordPress Ping list. Ping list can be accessed from Settings> Writing menu.

Gravatar

wordpress gravatar

Gravatar is the little logo or image which appears when a person makes a comment on your post and you approve it. If the commentator have signed up for a Gravatar previously, his assigned Gravatar image will be displayed when he make comments with the associated email. But those who haven’t signed up for Gravatar, a default image should be assigned for them as per your choice.

WordPress Address

wordpress address

By default WordPress list site address as mydomain.com, but most of the people like to see their site as www.mydomain.com. So if you prefer the 2nd option, it is very important that you add www to your WordPress & Site address after you install WordPress/before you write any post, so that your posts will appear as http://www.mydomain.com/your-post.

WordPress Settings for Postbox

wordpress settings

Changing postbox size is not a mandatory one, but I seriously prefer it as I simply do not like the default postbox size. Because the default postbox size doesn’t seem so user-friendly. If you using any 3rd party tool for writing, this may not be an issue but when you write/type articles directly from your WordPress dashboard, that time the smaller postbox doesn’t give much room for a writer. So better to increase the size to a suitable one.

WordPress Time

wordpress time

If you schedule any of your blog post to be published on a future date, then changing the time zone to your local time is necessary. If you do not change your time zone, it may be difficult to keep time track for your schedule post.

I always consider above WordPress general settings whenever I start a new blog or static site. If you have more suggestions, please add on below comments.

Next Tutorial: How to Start a Blog – Part 4: Installing WordPress Theme

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