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WordPress Initial Set Up Hints and Tips

Posted on 8th January, 2019

Full transcript of the video

Hi my name's Mark, and I work for Sell Your Products Online. Welcome along to this YouTube video on initial set up hints and tips in WordPress.

If you have the latest version of WordPress installed - 5.0.2 - when you first log in to the admin side of your site, it'll probably look a bit like this.

Feel free to dismiss this Welcome to WordPress message.

These other things in the main dashboard, these windows here, you can move them about, just like this: one over to there; one over to there. Or, you can minimise them, just like that. Or Screen Options, if you go up to Screen Options you can cancel and remove them altogether just by clicking these tick boxes. As you start to install other plugins, this admin homepage can get pretty cluttered. So it's worth just keeping what's important to you. For now, I'm just going to return everything to how it was.

It's worth having a look around by clicking on any of these links in the left-hand sidebar. Posts will - predictably - show you all your posts and is where you can go to add new ones. That Hello World! post is just added in by WordPress and you can safely get rid of it, by clicking on the bin, or, if you want to, you can edit it.

Media is the place to upload your photos, videos, or audio files. I've not added anything yet, but if I wanted to, I can just click on Add New and drag and drop into this area up here.

Pages displays my pages and lets me add new ones, by clicking on that. The Sample Page can be deleted, but it's worth having a look at the Privacy Policy page and editing it to your specification. It's pretty comprehensive already. There are a few gaps that are worth paying attention to. This page is fairly new to WordPress and is aimed to help websites comply with GDPR.

It'd be worth your while having a poke around in your own time, but the main thing I want to focus on for this video are the settings.

Click on Settings, and you're taken right away to the General Settings. Change things like the site title and the tagline, and save the changes, and you'll see an immediate a change on the public side of your site. I'm going to do that now. Just going to change this to say, 'WordPress Tutorials,' and change the tagline to, 'SYPO's,' (that's us), 'demo WordPress site.' I scroll down and click on, 'Save Changes.' Have a look here. That's how it was. Refresh the page and, immediately the title and the tagline have been altered on the front end.

The WordPress Address references where you've uploaded the WordPress files. If, like me, you've just put them in the root folder, then this'll be the same as your web address. If you want the WordPress Homepage to be different from where you installed WordPress, change the Site Address accordingly. I just usually leave them as they are.

Scrolling down, you've got where you'd alter the site's admin email address, a tick box to allow or stop people being able to register on your site. Leaving this unticked doesn't stop you from adding users yourself in the dashboard. Ticking it, though, like this, adds links to let people register and login. Scroll down and save the change and refresh the front end like this. On this basic website this standard site, you just scroll down, and here we have, 'Register,' links that weren't there before. Just to show you, I'll turn this off, save the changes, back to the front end, refresh again, and the, 'Register,' link is gone.

Here you can change the site language. I usually have it set to English (UK), but there's a whole raft of other languages you can use. This changes everything that's not a post or in a page so anything that's already put there by WordPress. I'll change it to German (Deutsche) and save that change. You can already see in the back end how it's changed things here. All the links and titles have been changed over to German. Go across to the front end, refresh again, here we have titles here altered to German. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at reading German, so I'm going to change it back to what I am familiar with, which is English (UK). There we go, it's gone back to English and refresh the front end and it's gone back to English there as well.

Underneath where you set the site language you've got things like time zone, date format and time format. The way they're displayed at the moment, I'm usually pretty happy with. One thing I will sometimes change is changing it from AM, to twenty-four hour clock by clicking that, and saving the changes. That will affect how the time is displayed should you choose to keep it on show.

Under Writing, from the left-hand side here, you can set a default post category and format, but you'll probably want to change these on each post if you end up with a lot of them. So, I just tend to not change them at all. And, if you want, you can set up WordPress up so that you can submit posts by email. I've not changed anything there so it's straight on to Reading.

Once you've set up a few pages, you can come over to Reading to set one of them as the homepage, choosing from the dropdown there. To get hold of that, you have to change, 'Your homepage displays,' from, 'Latest posts,' to, 'Static page,' and then these dropdowns become active. You can also choose which page is going to display your latest posts by selecting from the dropdown.

A bit further down, there's the number of posts that are shown at once on the page. If you ever write any more than ten blog posts, or the number, whatever number you put in here, WordPress automatically sets up pagination so that users can scroll from one page to the next to see your full list of posts. To give them an incentive to click to read the whole lot, instead of displaying, 'Full text,' on the blog page, which makes it all a bit cluttered, I will tend to change this to, 'Summary.' And, once you're site's ready to go live, or even shortly before, if it's already at the right address, don't forget to come back here and untick this box. Because you do not want to discourage search engines from indexing this site if it's live.

Discussion is where you control how people interact with your site, allowing them to comment, or not. And set certain minimum requirements, such as they must be registered and logged in. But, as this is a test site, I'm going to disallow anyone from commenting, by, unticking that check box that says, 'Allow people to post comments on new articles,' scroll down and save the changes. Before I do that, there's things like, 'Show Avatar,' Gravatar logos is quite a nice one to have if anyone's set up a Gravatar profile. There's random things that are generated here that can be quite fun. And here you'd set the maximum rating for your posts. I haven't changed anything except for disallowing people to comment, so I'm going to just save changes and move on.

Something that WordPress is great at, out of the box, is creating smaller versions of any image files you upload. Media is where you go to set the sizes of these. Untick this box to keep your photos the same shape they were when you uploaded them and change the numbers to whatever you want them to be. What's good about these settings is, that if you use a medium sized image in a post or a page, it'll generally load faster. This will help with your SEO. There are plugins out there for handling this stuff, but, usually, setting this up as you want is good enough. Save changes.

Under Permalinks, you can help set up the addresses of your posts in an SEO friendly manner, by clicking on Custom Structure, deleting everything that's in there, and then clicking the category button, followed by postname. That way, if you've written a post under, say, the category of, 'News,' then the address will be, site address, followed by, news, followed by the name of the article. Just click save changes

The last thing that is worth paying attention to in the settings is Privacy. Once you've edited your Privacy Page to your liking, come back here and make sure it is selected on this screen.

Not much of what I've done in this video has altered the look of the site very much. It still looks very much the same as it was when I started, except for changing, this, and at some point the language was changed down here and there was a register button there. In the next video, we will be making some changes, by adding a couple of pages and setting up a menu.

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