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Wordpress 3 settings


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This is a slideshow I wrote a while ago now about basic Wordpress settings. While Wordpress versions have moved on, there is still a lot of useful information here about the basic settings you need …

This is a slideshow I wrote a while ago now about basic Wordpress settings. While Wordpress versions have moved on, there is still a lot of useful information here about the basic settings you need to look at when you are creating your Wordpress site, and also where to look if you have problems or queries about your site as it is running.

For more Wordpress tips, hints and tutorials please head on over to which is all about helping people who are passionate about their business to use the web and social media effectively - without it burning you out in the process!

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  • 1. Wordpress SettingsThis tutorial is based on Wordpress 3.3.1. Later versions may change a little but should be very similar.Introduction
  • 2. Sign in and lets take a look•Go to www.yoursite…/wp-admin and sign in.•In the Dashboard look down the left hand side and find theblock headed Settings.•If your site is already up and running these may have been setup by your website designer so just be a little careful what youfiddle with - perhaps make a note of the original setting beforeyou change anything, then you can always change it back.•If you see extra headings to what is shown here on the right, itprobably just relates to plugins that are running on your site. Weare just covering the basics
  • 3. General Settings•Site Title - filled in when you set up WP but youcan change it here. Depending on yourtheme, the site title will usually appear at thetop of your site.•Make sure you enter a good tagline - againmay show up or not depending on your themebut search engines will still see it.•Wordpress address and Site address: DO NOTCHANGE these without very seriousconsideration. This shows Wordpress where itsdatabase is and changing it can lose youaccess to your site.•Email address: make sure this address is onethat you access regularly as it is the addressWordpress will use to send you messages aboutyour siteDon’t edit these withoutprofessional advice!
  • 4. General Settings pt 2•Membership: I would say generally DONT tick the anyone can register box for thetime being. People will not need to be a member of your site to read your pages andposts or sign up for your email list.•Timezone: just check it is correct - it usually is.•Date and Time formats: this shows up on blog posts and sometimes on pages, as thedate they were published. The look of it is entirely cosmetic and is entirely up to you.•Week starts on: if this is relevant to you, heres where you change it!•Finally dont forget to press "Save Changes".•So thats general. Lets move on to the next one…
  • 5. WritingIn the writing settings you can change the sizeof the post box. Thats the box that you typeyour text into to create new content on yourblog. You may find it useful to increase thesize of this but you can also take the box youtype in to up to full screen so personally Iwouldnt worry about changing it here.Default post and link categories: useful to setup. When we discuss categories we will talkabout whether to use the default"uncategorized" category or not (Hint: not!)but for now just remember where you canchange it.Press This: a useful little tool that you mightwant to play with at some point. The othersettings on this page you can always comeback to but we need not worry about for thetime being.Press Save
  • 6. ReadingAha, quite an important one here, it mightlook like a short page but it has a majorimpact.This is where you can turn Wordpress from ablog into a more standard looking website, ifyou wish.First item: front page displays. Here you canchoose to display a static page instead ofyour blog posts, which is the default. Now thekey is, you have to have created your staticpage first! Yes, it may sound obvious, but youcant choose this option until you have somestatic pages to choose from. (Full notes onhow to create a static home page comingup!)If you choose to have a static front page thenyou might want to choose your posts page aswell at this point, although you dont have to.Take a look at your workbook and see howthat is going to fit in to where you want thingsto
  • 7. Reading cont’dSimilar important settings here are the number of posts you show on a page. Some blogpages can go on forever. On the other hand where are those items going to go whenthey "drop off the end" of the page as it were? Your theme will probably provide pagelinks to previous pages of posts but it is worth checking.Check your notes to make sure you are linking to all your blog categories somewhere onthe live blog, or at least be that you are aware you may have a little archive of greatposts that are not actively being seen on your site. This can be useful for dredging up andrenewing articles every now and again.The next couple of entries relate to feed readers. These are tools that people use (andyou may use of course) to view data from lots of websites. Note here that you canchoose how many items you show in these feeds and whether you should just an extractor the full text. Personally I think it is quite nice to have an extract as I am probably morelikely to click on something that catches my eye rather than scroll down a long waybefore finding something I like.Do not worry about encoding for pages and feeds for now.Press Save
  • 8. Setting up a Static home pageTo start with create- two standard text based pages,- one page that just has a title and nothing else which will hold your posts- and two posts.If you dont have your site fully planned out yet, these can be sample pages. But youwill need to publish them so make sure you go to Settings / Privacy and block the searchengines while you are practicing.Keep a note of the page names.Note:nothing inthe body ofthis
  • 9. Static home page cont’dNow go to Settings / Reading and next to Frontpage displays select: A static page.Next to Front page: on the next line, click the dropdown and you should see your pages available.Click on the page that you want to use for yourhome page.Next click the drop down arrow next to Postspage: and select which page you would like tosee your posts listed on.I chose “Test page 1” for the home page, and“Page for Posts” for the post page.See the next slide to see how my home page andposts page look now. (NB: I did need to add myposts page to my menu bar as the theme I amusing doesn’t add them automatically - seetutorial on menus for how to do this.)
  • 10. Static home page finalHome Page Posts
  • 11. Static home page - problems?Not working?If things are not as you expect, check your settings again.If it is still not working it may be the way your theme is set up.Go to Appearance / Themes and activate one of the standard Wordpress themes (as of October2011, this might be something like "Twenty Eleven" or "Twenty Ten").Check how your site looks with this standard theme.If it is now showing the correct home page then the discrepancy lies with the current theme youare using.You will need to contact the theme developer to take this further or request some consultancytime with OnlineIllumination.Right, back to settings
  • 12. DiscussionA long settings page here and one you needto read fairly carefully depending on how youhave decided to set up your blog. Make sureyou have your workbook to hand.Now although this page is headed "Discussion"it actually relates to the Comments on yoursite. If you have looked at other blogs andwebsites (and we recommend you do) you willhave noticed that on some pages there a listsof comments on the bottom. There are somany options available with comments thatwe have actually done a separate module justfor this. But the critical things you need to lookat in your initial set up are:Default article settings: allow people to postcomments on new articles.Do you want them to comment or not? This isyour yes/no option.The other point to look at isBefore a comment appears: An administrator must always approve the comment.Unless you are going to be VERY free and easy with your blog, then you need to check this question. If you do allow comments, youdont want people to be able to post just anything they feel like.The rest we can leave for now. If you want to go into comments more deeply at this point, see the Comments module.Press Save Changes and lets move
  • 13. Media settings. As a ruleyou can leave these as theyare. When we look atinserting an image into apost you will see that youcan choose whether youwant to place the image asa thumbnail, medium orlarge image and in thisMedia Settings page iswhere you stipulate themaximum size for theseimages.You can also change youruploads folder here, sowhere Wordpress will storethe items that you upload.However to start with it isprobably best to leavethese settings at theirdefaults until you startworking with your site a
  • 14. PrivacyPrivacy, a very short little screen - just ONE option! Yeah! But quite an important one. Do you want yoursite to be visible to the outside world? Well of course, surely a silly question. But no, not if you are stilldeveloping the site then you dont want everyone to find it and particularly not the search engines. If youare still setting up the structure of the site and moving things around, you dont want them to be indexingpages which may become incorrect.On the other hand, if you have launched your site and are not appearing on the Google results after aweek or two, heres the place to check to make sure you are not still
  • 15. PermalinksWordpress runs from a database. So all the content, your text, images, etc are all held in thatdatabase and referenced by ID numbers.Computers like id numbers. They are much easier to make unique.So you might have an image called black dog and the computer will save that as “1”.Then you have an image called white cat and the computer will call that “2”.Then when it wants to call up the dog image it just has to call "1" and black dog appears.So a wordpress page about dogs might be called but the computer knows itas because thats the reference it is taking from the database.For your readers referencing a page though it is much easier to refer to This isthe permalink or pretty links they are sometimes
  • 16. Permalinks cont’dHow do you change to prettier linksthen?Well Wordpress gives you someoptions (which I actually don’t findtoo inspiring, ssshh) or you can put inyour own custom structure.The custom structure is a bit scary buton the next slide are some options youcan
  • 17. Permalinks 3Custom Options:Never put your website name in the custom options box and always end with %post_id% or %postname%(yes, this will show your pages too.)So you could have%catgeory%/%postname%or %year%/%postname%Things with percent signs either side of them will change depending on your content. You could havesomething static e.g./archives/%postname%.See from for more information or if you runinto
  • 18. The endYeah! Thats it. Time for a cup of tea.That was a bit of a mega trawl through the settings on your Wordpress site, but atleast you have had a look through them now and hopefully set them to your liking.“But I’ve got more links under my Settings tab?” Sometimes when you load plugins,they have their own settings, so if you have extra links here then they will relate toplugins that you have active on your site. We will get to plugins on that