In the third blog post in this series on how to build a Self-Hosted WordPress site, I explained how to to set up the optional list of plugins that I recommended. Now it’s time to configure WordPress itself. I will take you through this running down the left hand admin menu. The Dashboard is first. There is a ‘Welcome to WordPress!’ banner. At the top right you can dismiss this.
Now we go to Settings => General. Your tagline is really important for Search Engines, so make it count. Right now it says ‘Just another WordPress site’. Not ideal. In fact, when the Google bot sees this, it demotes you because it thinks the site is in development. For example, our site says ‘Photography Studio Equipment suppliers of stands, umbrellas, triggers and other associated equipment’. A lot of key search words in a concise sentence. Further down that same page (and the third screenshot above shows this bottom half of the settings page), it is also a good idea to make sure Membership is unchecked, so no-one can register. Your Timezone should be set to suit your location. Note that your server also has timezone settings, which I cover in a separate blog post. Similarly, you may wish to set Date and Time formats that suit where you are located. There is a link to a help page about this on the settings page. Settings for the week starts on and language again need to match your local needs. Nothing on the Writing Settings needs changing for now, and we covered the Reading Settings in Build a Self-Hosted WordPress Site – Part 2. (more…)