Configuring your WordPress Blog
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You’ve heard that blogging is all the rage now and you want to put one up to get your message out there. A blog page with quality content will help drive traffic to your website and increase your organic SEO. WordPress is one of the best platforms to do this. This tutorial will explain some of the things that have to be configured in the WordPress backend to ensure your blog has a fighting start.
In this lesson, we will be using the native WordPress theme that comes with every fresh installation of WordPress. This theme is called Twenty Nineteen. I will be going through the main settings, so the structure of your blog is configured correctly. I will be using a fresh install of WordPress. In this tutorial, I will not be giving any instruction on adding or customising Themes or creating pages.
Configuring your WordPress Blog – General Settings
Here you can see the default WordPress administration page. The main menu is on the left, and this is where we will be doing most of our work.
First, let’s go to “Settings > General”. Here you can change things like the Site Title and Tagline. My website is going to be a blog about surfing, so first let’s change the site title and tagline. This changes the text in the tabs on your browser as you can see in the other tab I have open.
I will change the site title to “Surfing” and the Tagline to “My Surfing Blog” and hit “Save Changes. If I open the other tab and refresh the browser, you’ll notice that the title of the page and text on the tab has changed to the values you entered.
A default WordPress installation will have a no-reply admin email address. It is best to change this to your email address so you can receive notifications from the website. You will notice that the change request is set to pending until you confirm your email address. Go to your email and click on the link to confirm the change.
Change the site language to your location. In my case, I will change to “English (Australia) and the time zone as “Melbourne”.
Then select your date and time format you plan to use and hit “save changes”.
Configuring your WordPress Blog – Discussion Settings
The next menu item to configure is the discussion settings. Here you can configure the settings for comments on your blog. Some people like to turn this off, and others prefer the feedback. The jury is out, having comments enabled mean extra workload but can help with SEO. This decision I will have to leave with you.
On my blog, I will turn comments off. You can do this by unchecking the “Allow people to post comments on articles” checkbox.
If you do want to allow comments, I advise that you ensure that people must register on your website. Registration blocks spammers and gives you a contact list to market to later. Also, ensure that comments are held for moderation before they go on your website. You don’t want inappropriate content on your blog. It is also a good idea to have a comments policy on your blog.
Permalinks, Categories and Tags
Next, are the permalink settings. By default, these are set to “Plain”. I like to set this to post name. When your post name is in the URL of the blog post, this helps with SEO.
The last things to setup are categories and tags. These make it easier to organise the content in your blog.
Categories are the way you group content in WordPress. A category groups together a list of similar blog posts.
As my blog is about surfing, I’m going to set up some initial categories. These can be added to later as your blog evolves. On my surfing blog, the initial categories will be the latest news, pro tour, tips, locations, movies.
Tags are a way of identifying content in your blog post by way of keywords. For example, if I wrote a blog post on the latest results on the pro tour, I may add tags with the winner’s name, the location of the event and the name of the event.
These are the basic settings for your blog. Blogging is a commitment; either do it or don’t’. You must ensure that you post content regularly on your website. There is nothing worse than seeing a blog that is never updated. Stale content takes credibility away from your business and website.
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