“WordPress for Beginners: Optimizing Your Use Of the WordPress Platform” written by Mike Marko.
Are you new to WordPress? Or maybe blogging in general?
There are several things you can do to your WordPress blog that makes it easier, and more optimized.
WordPress is considered one of the best and popular website creation platforms in the world. However WordPress for beginners can seem very confusing. Therefore this “WordPress for Beginners” guide will try to help walk you to getting the most out of your WordPress website.
NOTE: This guide is for users using WordPress 2.8 so if you are using an older version of WordPress, go update!
WordPress for Beginners – Let’s Start Optimizing
WordPress is very extensive, and there are lots of options. Therefore today we’ll concentrate only on the different WordPress settings you can edit after you’ve installed the platform.
WordPress for Beginners on how Administrator Password can be changed
In every installation of WordPress, the platform provides an initial (random) administrator password to give you access to your WordPress dashboard (or website controls). Make sure you change this password to something you can easily remember, but difficult for others to guess.
Create a Second Administrator Account
Although you are not required to do so, it is a great idea to have a second admin account to ensure that you have a backup if something goes wrong with the main account. Better safe than sorry… because you can be accidentally locked out of your own account!
In my case, I keep a second admin account for writing my blog posts.
Change Your Blog Title & Tag Line
Your WordPress blog should stand out from all the others. One way to do this is by changing its title and tagline (this shows up in the header of the site itself). To change the title and tag line, go to Settings -> General and update your information.
Disable Option For User Registration
Often the default is to only allows registered WordPress users to comment on your blog. This may reduce spam (but you can easily moderate), but it will also reduce how many comments that you may get.
You can edit this option by going to Settings -> General and then either checking or unchecking the checkbox beside “Anyone can register” then click Save.
Adjust your Time zone, Date & Time Format
In the General settings, you can set up the corresponding time zone of your country and the date & time format that you like to use.
WordPress for Beginners: Adjust Writing Settings
WordPress allows you to adjust how you can write your blog entries.
Just go to Settings -> Writing and then configure your writing display, and additional content (for example: how to convert content, correct HTML codes and XHTML compatibility).
If you want to write your blog using a desktop or external editor (like Microsoft Word), you can activate remote publishing. Otherwise you will not be able to use the other editing system.
If you want to use your e-mail to make a blog post, you can also set it up in the Writing Settings.
Adding ping servers allow you to automatically ping multiple services once a new blog entry is posted on the blog. This means that you awaken different networks to the fact that you have new content to consider.
In the Writing Settings page, you can enter a list of Update Services. WordPress will then contact these services and start the pinging once a new post is published. Here is a list of services you can add for this option.
Setup Reading Options
By default, WordPress will display the latest posts on your main page. You can change this to a static page instead. To do this go to Settings -> Reading and then change the default page for your main blog page.
In Reading Options you can also change the settings for the number of blog posts displayed on the main site, and the number of blog posts that would appear in your RSS feeds.
You can also change how much of your blog content would appear in your feeds: either full or partial. When talking about WordPress for beginners, I suggest you activate the full content setting to maximize the post content shown.
Comment, Trackbacks, Pings & More
It is a good practice to link your blog posts to other websites. WordPress provides you an option to notify the other site of this link through a trackback or pingback. When other blogs even link to you, WordPress can allow you to automatically send back trackbacks and pings.
There is no real value to these unless you want to track who is linking to your website, or notifying the target of your links. Personally I find pingbacks annoying… but to each their own.
Of course, you have the option to prevent these options by going to Settings -> Discussion and disable the function.
If you don’t want to disable it completely, you can use the Discussions Setting to modify the criteria as to how you want other users to comment on your blog or how their details can look like such as their Avatars and other-related details.
Modify Image Options
When you post an image or video in your blog, WordPress will re-size it to fit the resolution of your browser. You can change how WordPress creates the thumbnails and shows images through Settings -> Media.
Privacy Options and Restricting Search Engines from Indexing Your Blog
WordPress allows you to prevent your blog posts from being displayed to the public, and prevent it from being indexed by search engines. You just have to edit your privacy options through Settings -> Privacy.
A big advantage of WordPress is its flexibility when it comes to customizing your URL, or webpage address.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) prefers Optimized URLs that both catch the attention of your readers while highlighting the key points (keywords) in your link. To bolster SEO and your site views, you can change your permalinks through Settings -> Permalinks.
In addition to setting up your permalinks, you can also customize your pages using tags. As a guide, you can reference then WordPress Codex document for custom tags you can use for your site.
Image Upload Location and URL Setup
Settings -> Miscellaneous is usually ignored because you can control most of your customization in other categories. However, this setting page is where you can change the default location of your uploaded images, and the URL you want to check them into.
Final Takeaway About WordPress for Beginners
In this tutorial we talked about optimizing the experience of WordPress for beginners. Although not overly complicated, there are a lot of steps to follow before your website is up and running.
And you options are very limited unless you start paying for upgrades.
Typical of anything, right?
And we haven’t even covered things like website hosting, later upgrades, etc.
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P.S. – If you like this post, feel free comment down below and/or share on Facebook.
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