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Lesson 3 – Part 4 – Initial Configuration of WordPress

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General Settings

The next thing we’re going to do in this Install and Configure WordPress on Your Site lesson is to set up the general settings on the website. We’re going to start with General.

Site Title and Tagline

As I said before the Site Title should have been added when we set the site up with MOJO Marketplace but since that didn’t work we’ll add it now. It’s going to be “BYOB WordPress Boot Camp”.

The tagline is also actually important for Search Engine Optimization. Many themes use it as the description of the home page or as the description of the front page but whatever you do with your tagline don’t leave it as “just another WordPress website”.

Put something meaningful in there about your website. It can be a slogan or whatever but in my case here it is “Learn the basics of using WordPress”. Dana asked, “Can you change this later?”, Yes, you can change this as many times you want it doesn’t really matter. You can refine it but just don’t leave it in the state that it was in as we found it.

WordPress Address and Site Address

The WordPress address and the site address you’re going to leave alone, that’s not something you want to edit yourself.

Email Address

The email address shown here is the Admin email address. It should have said rick@byobwebsite because when WordPress needs to send you an email, you want it to send it to you but for whatever reason this email address didn’t get populated correctly.

This is the admin email address so when WordPress has a problem, an issue or has some reason why it’s going to notify you, this is the address at which you want to be notified.

Membership and User Role

Under membership there’s “anyone can register” as a choice but it’s almost never a good idea to click that, so don’t. The new default user role you would leave as a subscriber.

Time Zone

Then there’s is time zone. It probably makes sense for you to choose your time zone where you are. Iif you don’t understand this UTZ stuff, I think I’m UTZ-8, it can be a lot easier just to find it via a city close to you. I’ll find mine based on Los Angeles. I’m in America and yes, Los Angeles. UTZ and GMT are the same thing according to Nicole and so I would be a UTZ-8 for Pacific time. So you can do it that way if you want but it’s nice and easy just to pick the city.

Date Format

Now, in terms of date format those of you in Europe can choose the day, month, year instead of month, day, year format. If you know something about custom formatting then you can click on this link and you can use the custom format here but May 1st, 2014 is good enough for me. The same thing is true with time, you can set up a custom time using the same type of formatting.

Frankly, I’ve absolutely no idea why the week starts on Monday, I don’t know what benefit that is for anything. I supposed it must have to do with their calendar widget but you could say week starts on Sunday or week starts on Monday.

Let’s save changes here and now your general changes are set up now.

Writing Settings

If we come over to Writing here, you’ve got formatting that will automatically convert these little emoticons into graphics which is fine.

Unless you really know what you’re doing you don’t want WordPress to correct invalid nested XHTML, you don’t even know what that is so just leave that kind of stuff alone.

You can pick a default post category and you can pick a default post format if you want and once you have a bunch of posts this can be useful. We’ll talk about what that means here in a little bit later.

If you’ve got email you want to set up or if you want to setup post via email you can do that here but really, almost nobody does that so pretty much just ignore this stuff.

Discussion Settings

We’re going to talk about the Reading Settings in a bit of length here later so we’re just going to skip by it now. Discussion settings we’re going to talk about at length also in a later segment but discussion essentially has to do with comments.

If there’s a reason why you have comments activated on your website then you would set the settings for that here. For example, if you have a blog or if you provide support to people and you want to provide them support via the comments or something like that you do that here.

If you don’t ever want anybody to comment at all then just uncheck these boxes. You uncheck those boxes and nobody can comment. You may also want to check “Comment must be manually approved” just in case something slips by your spam filter.

You could also require users to be registered and logged in order to comment. It’s another way to prevent comments but there’s a bunch of comment settings here and we’ll talk about them more when we start talking about how to use WordPress like a blog.

If you’re not using WordPress like a blog, this whole comment thing is useless and at the moment, I’ve deactivated comments on the site because most small business owners are going to do that. Let’s save the changes.

Media Settings

There are media settings here as well and we’re going to come back and talk about Media settings when we get to that point.

Then there are permalinks which we’re also going to talk about later when we start talking about how to optimize WordPress for Search Engine Optimization. We’ll come back to that soon.

Spam Comments and Akismet

And those are your settings. The General Settings you definitely want to get setup first and discussion can be something that you want to deactivate fairly quickly. Now that I’ve deactivated it I’m not going to get any more of these spam comments. Look at that, holy smokes I got 3 spam comments in no time whatsoever, it’s hilarious.

Instead of marking them as spam I’ll just leave those for when we talk about comment moderation. Nicole says that’s because Akismet is not activated. And, yes, that’s correct. Akismet does block that, however, Akismet activation requires a number of things before it actually works properly.

I use Akismet on BYOBWebsite because I literally get thousands of spam comments a day. It’s essentially the scourge of the industry. On my site it says, “Since you joined us, Akismet has saved me a 188 days of time to dispose of this”.

I actually have a free Akismet account but they don’t have anymore. It’s suggesting that I make a contribution which I think I will because Akismet is invaluable. It has 248,632 spam comments blocked in the last 6 months. It’s gotten 99.78% of all of them. It’s an invaluable tool and it’s very inexpensive to sit on just one site. It can be expensive if you have a whole bunch of them but it’s well worth it. And that takes care of the initial settings.

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