WordPress has settings that affect how your blog posts look and how readers can comment. You can change many of these later and some are not needed right now, but you want to start blogging as soon as you can. So let’s get some of this set up, so you can start posting and building content on your website as soon as practical.
Allowing Readers to Subscribe
On the Settings/General tab, allow anyone to register to your site because you want a list of readers and their emails. Make sure the default role is “Subscriber” otherwise you may find people you don’t know posting on your site.
Set the time zone by finding a city in the list that matches your timezone. The other items, such as time and date format are self explanatory and set according to taste.
Setting Up Easy-to-Index and Read URLs
Next on your Settings/Permalinks tab, set the Common Settings to “Post Name.” What this does is when you title a post and publish it, the URL will show the title of the post (with dashes between words) instead of a number or weird characters. You have other options such as adding the month and the name or day and name, but the recommendation I have been given is to just use the title. This will help Google index your posts and it helps your readers know what the post is about.
Note that these are called “permalinks” for a reason. This is how the link to your blog posts and pages will be permanently set. You can change the title of the post, but the permalink will remain the same. You don’t want to change your permalinks unless you redirect your readers because if people store a link to the page or post, you want it always to work.
Keep Default Writing Settings
You don’t have to set anything on the Settings/Writing tab just yet. The “Default Post Category” can be left as “Uncategorized” for now and the Default Post Format can be left as “Standard.” There is a setting to “Post via Email” on this tab, but we aren’t going to use that yet, either.
Since we are still working on the site, we won’t set the “Update Services” yet. This lets the internet know when you post something, and you aren’t quite ready to post yet. We will configure that later.
Next: Getting Ready for Comments
Also: I realize that my screenshots are just awful. I am going to look into getting improving quality this weekend.