So, in Part 1 of this series, I showed you how to sign up for hosting, grab yourself a domain, and install WordPress. Now what?
Get ready to get techy. Now it’s time to do the down-and-dirty work to get everything running smoothly from the get-go. Don’t be scared though, I promise it’s a lot easier than you think – but it will take a little bit of time!
First, we’re going to go through and set up some basics.
Today we’re just going to focus on working with your WordPress Dashboard. You’re going to choose whether to run your site primarily as a blog, or as a ‘traditional’ website.
Let’s start with our Dashboard. Go to your WordPress login (http://yoursite.com/wp-login.php) and login!
Now we’re logged in, and it should look something like this:
You might notice a ‘test’ blog post and comment on there, you can go ahead and delete them (there will also already be an ‘About’ page under your pages tab – make sure to go and update the info there soon).
Now, we’re going to set up the name and tagline of your site. Have a look at your sidebar, and find the part that says ‘Settings’ (it’ll be down the bottom).
You won’t have all of these links on yours yet, don’t worry! First, I want you to click on ‘General’.
Now, your ‘Site Title’ should be filled in, but you’ll want to replace the ‘Tagline’. If you can’t come up with something now, at least delete the ‘just another WordPress weblog’ that’s already there. You can come back and change this any time.
Also, see where it says ‘WordPress address’ and ‘Site address’? Don’t change these. If you do, it can interfere with your ability to log into your Dashboard!
Now, let’s click on the ‘Reading’ tab in your sidebar. This is where you decide where your blog is going to live. If you want the landing page of your site to be your blog, easy! Just leave ‘Front page displays’ set to ‘Your latest posts’.
However, if you want your landing page to be a static webpage – more like a traditional site – and your blog elsewhere, this is where you set that up. To change it, you’ll need to hop over to ‘Pages’ in your Sidebar, and create the page you want as your Front Page, and the page you want for your Post Page. You can always come back and do this later.
Also – see how you can choose how many blog posts are shown on the one page? A little tip – if your blog is going to be really image-heavy, reduce this to something like 5 posts – otherwise your blog will take far too long to load, which will put people off visiting!
Now, let’s make a cool little change to your permalinks. A permalink is the URL that points to a specific blog entry. We want those to be Google-friendly, so we’re going to make sure they are. Click on ‘Permalinks’ in the sidebar, and this is what you’ll get. However, the ‘Custom Structure’ will be empty. Into that space, I want you to put this – %postname% – like it shows below.
This will ensure that each post’s permalink is the title of the post! So make sure your post titles are chock-full of keywords to help your posts get found.