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WordPress 3.9 Crash Course – Part 7 – Initial Setup of WordPress

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General Settings

Now that you understand how the WordPress 3.9 Admin Interface works, let’s set up the General Settings on the website.

Site Title and Tagline

We added a site title when we installed WordPress 3.9 but remember it didn’t work? So the Site title should have shown up but since it didn’t this is where we can add it. This is going to be BYOB WordPress Boot Camp.

SEO Importance

The tagline is also important for Search Engine Optimization. Many themes use it as the description of the homepage or as the description of the front page so whatever you do with your tagline don’t leave it as “just another WordPress site”. Definitely 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 (URL) and Site Address

Then there is the WordPress address and the Site Address. You’re definitely going to leave these alone. You definitely do not want to change that or edit it yourself.

Email Address

The email address is the admin email address. It should have really said rick@byobwebsite because when WordPress needs to send you an email you want it to send it to you. For some reason, this email address didn’t get populated correctly. So, I’ll change that now. When WordPress has a problem or has some reason why it’s going to notify you, this is the address where you want to be notified.


Next is membership. For “Anyone can register” it’s almost never a good idea to click that, so don’t.

New Default User Role

The new default user role you would leave as subscriber.

Time Zone

It probably makes sense for you to choose your time zone where you are. Now if you don’t understand this UTC it can be a lot easier just to find the time zone via your city or a city close to you. I’m going to find mine based on Los Angeles. UTC and GMT are the same thing according to Nicole. So I would be a UTC-8 for Pacific time. You could do it that way if you want but it’s nice and easy just to pick the city.

Date Format

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

I have absolutely no idea why a week starts on Monday. I suppose it must have to do with their little calendar widget. So you could say the week starts on Sunday or Monday or whatever you want.

Let’s save changes here and now the General Settings are set up now.

Writing Settings

Let’s go 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 won’t even know what that is so it’s just safe to leave that kind of stuff alone.

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

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

Reading and 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.

The same is true with Discussion settings, we’re going to talk about that at length later but discussion essentially has to do with comments. The reason why you would have comments activated on your website is if you have a blog or if you provide support for people and you want to provide that via the comments or something like that. If there is a reason why you want to have comments on your site then you would set up settings for that here.

Of course, if you don’t ever want anybody to comment, all you have to do is uncheck these boxes. You uncheck those boxes and nobody can comment. You may also want to check “Comment must be manually approved”. You could also require users to be registered and logged in in order to comment. It’s another way to prevent comments. So there’s a bunch of comment settings here and we’ll talk about those when we start talking about how to use WordPress like a blog.

If you’re not using WordPress like a blog, this whole comment area is useless. 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. We’re going to come back and talk about media settings in WordPress.

Permalink Settings

Then there are permalinks. We’re also not going to talk about permalinks this very moment but we will when we start talking about how to optimize WordPress for Search Engine Optimization.

Comment Spam and Akismet

Those are your settings. General you definitely want to set up first. Discussion can be something that you want to deactivate fairly quickly. Now that I’ve deactivated it I’m not get any more of these spam comments. Look at that, holy smokes I got 2 spam comments, 3 spam comments in no time whatsoever, it’s hilarious. I’m going to leave those for when we talk about comment moderation.

Nicole says, that’s because Akismet is not activated. Yes, that’s correct. 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. Akismet, says “Since you joined us, Akismet has saved you 118 days!” of time to dispose of this.

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

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