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How to Configure WordPress and Thesis as a Blog

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Part 1 WordPress Settings

This is part one of five in a series on how to configure WordPress and Thesis as a blog in the context of a small business website. In this session we discuss how to configure your blog to work both as a static website and as a blog using the default WordPress blog features.

Video Transcript

So the next thing I want to do though is I’m going to take on the question that Eldo asked me here this week which is how to configure a blog in the context of a small business website. If you went through my introductory videos you know, Start Building Your Website Here videos, you’ll see that we disabled or ignored a bunch of the blog functionality because what we’re working on primarily is a static site and then we brought back in to the equation using the blog for things like announcements.

But what we’re going to do here today is using the blog as a blog which is the way a lot of small business people are going to use their websites. You may have a website that has lots of pages in it that talks about your company and maybe, it’s got a store that sells your products but the chances are you may also have a blog where you just talk about your areas of expertise and use that as a way of drawing traffic to your site.

And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about how to configure your site so that it can work both as a static small business website and as a blog using the default WordPress blog features.

Okay and so we’re going to do that here on this I do have or I’m using this with a static front page and so this is that same kind of configuration as we’ve done in the Start Building Your Own Website Here series. We’ll just go into the dashboard and we’re going to go down to settings. Let’s see, Tools, User Settings and we’ll go to the General Settings because we have to start here. Now actually, there aren’t any changes to the general settings. We still don’t want anybody to register, we still have the default user role be subscriber. Our time and all the rest of this stuff is all going to stay the same as it was previously.

In under Writing Settings, the same thing is the case and we’re not going to change any of this stuff. We’ll leave this like it is for the moment especially in WordPress 3.2 where the post box deal is going to become less of an issue because you can just use full screen for editing your post which actually is quite a cool little feature. But we’ll just go ahead and leave the default post categories uncategorized, the default link category as blog roll and we’re not going to change any of that stuff under Writing either.

The first place we start making changes is under the Reading settings. Now you know that we set the front page as displaying a static page and selected a page for that static page but we also have to make sure that we have selected a page for our Posts page because whatever page it is, regardless of its…whether it’s called blog or gallery test or whatever, this is going to be the page that serves up the blog posts. So it will be important to set this.

The next thing to do is to set the blog… the number of posts to show on a blog page. And so, while this is set at 10 right now, however, if you look at mine, go to my dashboard on my site, I think I have it set at 20 or 30 because I want… I don’t really want people to have to paginate a lot. It may make the site a little slower to load because it has… oh 50, in fact. That’s what I do, I set it at 50 so that there’s not as much pagination required. But the traditional is 10. You can set it at whatever you want.

The article is in the feed, I generally show full text. You could decide to show it as a summary but I think you’re going to get more attention if you show it as full text. And you can leave the UTF 8 encoding alone. If you were doing this in Chinese or Arabic or you know, Hindi or something like that then you would be using a different encoding but to the extent that you’re using a Western European language or Romance language, you’re fine with this.

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