What are the best settings for your WordPress website? WordPress powers over 30% of the web and allows users to build amazing websites. The problem is there are a lot of settings that need to be configured in the beginning and I’ve met with so many of you who end up feeling overwhelmed and confused. The good news is in today’s blog I’m going to share with you WordPress tips and tricks for beginners specifically 7 settings that every new WordPress user should know.
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In today’s blog, I’m going to share with you seven settings every new WordPress user should know. And they are your site title and tagline, your admin email, membership, new user default role, your home page displays, search engine visibility, and lastly permalinks.
To get started let’s log into your WordPress website dashboard and we’re going to scroll down to settings and we’ll start with general. First up the site title and tagline. The first thing you’ll want to configure is your site title and tagline. Let me take you back out to the front of the website to show you what I’m talking about. Here when you hover over the tab in the browser you’ll notice that when I hover over the tab it says “personal blog – just another WordPress website.” Can you see that there? So personal blog – just another WordPress site.” Now, let’s head back over to the general settings page and I’m going to want to give the site title – I want to change that to my business name. So for my site title in this example, I’m just going to use BUSINESS NAME. For tagline you can explain what your WordPress website is about, you can use keywords, or you can just choose to leave it off. The last thing you want to do is leave it “just another WordPress site.” So to make your website more professional you’ll want to use your motto, your tagline, or a few keywords telling users what your WordPress website is about.
In this example, I’m just going to choose to set my tagline as “mindset and success coach.” The admin email address is the email where you will receive information about your WordPress website. This was set up when you first created your WordPress website. We’re still here on the general settings page and when you scroll down to administration email address you will have the email address you used when you first created your WordPress website. This email address is for admin purposes and this is just where you will receive information from WordPress about your WordPress website. You want to make sure that this is an email address that you are able to receive an email at. If you need to change this email address you would simply enter the new email address into the box and click on Save Changes at the bottom. You will then receive an email confirmation that you need to click through in order to confirm the changes. The next setting is membership. Are you going to allow users to register on your site? If so you will need to head over to the general settings on your WordPress website and check the box allows users to register and here’s how. Back over on the general settings tab of your WordPress dashboard, you can scroll down to membership. For most WordPress users you can safely leave this unchecked. However, if you’re going to be adding a membership site or sometimes to allow users to comment you will need to check the box “anyone can register.” This will allow users to register through a registration form on your WordPress website.
The next setting is the new user default role. The new user default role allows you to determine what level of access your new users will have on your WordPress website. Now back over on the general settings tab of your WordPress dashboard right below the membership setting is the new user default role. The default role for a new user is subscribers. This allows users to edit their profiles and comment on your website. The next level is a contributor. Contributors can write and save posts but not publish them whereas the next level authors can write posts, save posts, and publish them. The fourth level is the editor. Editors can write and publish posts as well as those created by other users. So an editor would be nice for a person to oversee all the blog posts on your WordPress website and finally, administrators have all access to your WordPress website. The default setting of subscribers is typically the best setting for most WordPress users and again it is very important to limit administrator access to your WordPress website only those you know and trust. To recap the general settings allows you to set your site title and tagline, your administration email address, you can allow users to register, and choose the new user default role. Once you have made those changes you’re going to want to make sure to scroll down and click on Save Changes.
How are you guys doing so far? I hope this blog is helping to ease your confusion and frustration around WordPress settings. The next setting that is really important and where I see a lot of new WordPress users get stuck is how to set your homepage and your blog posts page. How do I get my homepage to display on the home page and how do I set my blog post to appear on the blog post page? This is a question I get from a lot of you. Or maybe you’re trying to put your blog posts on your home page? Well, you can do this all in your settings and I will show that to you right now. Over on the left-hand side when you scroll down to settings reading you will be able to set your home page and blog posts page. At the very top, it says your home page displays. Now there are a couple of options here. The first option is your latest posts. So if we set our home page to display your latest posts I’ll save changes and I’ll let you see what that looks like. Our home page now shows our blog posts. So it will just show your blog posts all just like a blog post page that’s set to your home page. For most WordPress, websites you will want to have a separate home page from your blog post page. To do this we head back over to our dashboard and scroll down to settings and reading. In order to set a separate home page and blog post page, you will go ahead and click on a static page and then under the home page, you can choose from your list of pages which page you want to display on the home page. So we can choose our page named home for our home page and next I’m going to choose the page that you want your blog posts to appear on.
Now while scrolling through my list of pages I don’t see a blog post created yet. So in order to designate our post page, I’m going to want to create a page for those blog posts to appear on. I’m going to do that really quick. I’m going to click on the new and page. I’m going to go ahead and name my page blog and click on publish and publish again. Now when I view this page you can see that there are no blog articles here yet, so I’m going to head back to the reading settings page and we’ll start again and we’ll click the astatic page and we’ll select our home page.we’ll choose home and for our post page, we’re going to choose blog. Now let’s go ahead and click Save Changes. Now for our home page, you’ll see that it’s now your home page displaying on the home page not our blog page and when we head over to our new blog page if I refresh this we should now see our blog posts appear on our created blog page like so. The next setting is crucial to your WordPress website being found in search and that is the search engine visibility setting. One way to ensure that your WordPress website is found in search is to make sure that your WordPress setting is configured properly for search engine visibility. We’re still here on the reading settings tab and we’ve configured our home page displays as we set our home page as our home page and our post page as our blog page.
Now as we scroll down there is the search engine visibility checkbox. In order to allow search engines to crawl and index your site, you will want to make sure that you leave this box unchecked. So where it says discourage search engines from indexing the site do not check that box. Now if you are a website that is still being created and developed then yeah it’s okay to have that box checked but once your website goes live you want to come back and make sure that you’ve unchecked that box so that your website can be discovered in search. Once you’ve made those changes go ahead and click onSave Changes. The last setting that we are going to cover today is permalinks. This is another really important setting that I think we should talk about. Permalinks is another really important setting that you need to get set up in the beginning because once your website is live and you’ve been creating pages and posts for a while you’re not going to be able to easily change this setting. To demonstrate this I’m going to create a new post and we’ll give it the name of NEW BLOG POST and click on publish and publish. Once our new blog post is live I can click on view posts and in this address bar, you’ll see that our website address forward slash is a question mark P equals two five-six.
Now in the past this actually served a purpose to serve website pages faster; however, today it’s not necessarily valuable. But what is valuable is having a URL that is easy to remember and that tells search engines what our website is about so I like to use either the title of my page or post here or a keyword. Soto changes our permalinks we will go to our dashboard and scroll down to settings and permalinks. Now you’ll see here that our default setting is PLAINand that just means it includes like a question mark P equals and then some numbers. Now in order to change that to pretty or in order to change that to something where your title will be used as the URL you’re going to want to check post name. Then this gives you an example that just the title will follow your domain name and we’ll click on Save Changes. Now here’s what happens when I create that same blog post again. So I’ll click on a new post. Let me call it NEW BLOG POST and click on publish and publish. Let’s view the post. Now you’ll notice in the address bar it’s my domain name /new-blog-post. This is what will happen when you set your permalinks to post name. It is a much nicer, cleaner, prettier URL to use. You can change each individual page or posts slug by going to EDIT POST and then over on the right-hand side you can click on the permalink and where it says URLslug “new – blog – post” is the default post name. I can change that if I wanted to just say “new post” for example and then hit update. Now when I view my post you’ll see that the slug which is the part that follows your domain name is now changed to “new – post.” Just a little trick for you when you’re creating posts and pages that if you have a really long title and you want to shorten that or you want to create a different slug to follow your domain name for that particular page you can easily do that under the EDIT POST or EDIT PAGE.
A word of caution here: you want to make sure you set your permalinks up at the beginning of building your WordPress website. If you decide to change your permalinks once you have an established WordPress website you will end up breaking all of your links and when someone clicks on the link to your website they will end up getting a 404 error and you do not want that. So it’s very important that you get your permalinks set up in the beginning before you get started building your WordPress website.
Thank you so much for reading I hope you found this blog useful or I shared with you WordPress Tips and Tricks for new users. If you’re new here I’d love it if you considered subscribing and ring the bell to get notified of upcoming blogs and I’ll see YOU in the next blog. 🙂