To make your new WordPress installation into an efficient marketing machine, we show you how to go about configuring WordPress to suit your needs.
If you’re not this far yet, be sure to look over Installing WordPress with Softaculous.
You’ll first see your dashboard with a lot of menu options on the left-hand side. You’ll want to click Settings and then General to take a look at the site title and tagline for your WordPress website. Make sure that this information is correct. Below it, you’ll see ‘Site Address (URL)’. Since we’re setting up WordPress as a website, you’ll want to change this from ‘http://example.com/wp’ to just ‘http://example.com’ so that WordPress knows to display the homepage for visitors. Take a look at some of the other options but the only additional thing you’ll need to change is your timezone. After that, save the changes.
Next, take a look at Permalinks under the same Settings tab. By default, webpages will have a numbered URL which can look bad and doesn’t work well for search engine optimization (SEO). Using the ‘Post name’ option or choosing ‘Custom Structure’ will look better and be easier for search engines to understand. Save these changes and be sure to check out the other options in the Settings tab before moving on. It’s important that you familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard in general.
In ‘Reading’ under the Settings tab, there is an option to change what the front page displays. By default, it’s your latest post. You’ll want to change that to a static page so that your site will load a consistant homepage for visitors. Don’t forget to save these changes. Then head over to the Plugins option in the sidebar.
WordPress comes with a couple plugins when you install it. One is just for fun and the other, Akismet, is a paid service. We’re not going to use that just yet so you can go ahead and delete both of the plugins to start fresh. They can always be reinstalled later. On the plugins page you’ll notice that each has an ‘Install Now’ button. That’s just how easy WordPress makes it. You’ll want to get a maintenence-mode plugin first. This allows you to do site maintenence without visitors seeing the changes as you make them. Go to the search bar and search ‘maintenence’. There’s plenty of results but we recommend a plugin simply called Maintenence by fruitfulcode. Click ‘Install Now’ and in a few moments you’ll be prompted to activate it. You can then look in your sidebar settings for all of the new options you have. Maintence will allow you to make changes to your site that won’t be indexed by search engines like Google.
Now that you’ve finished configuring WordPress, it’s time to move on to Changing your WordPress Media Folder.