June 5, 2011
More on WordPress Setup
Moving into the last phase of the dirty work in my opinion, we are going to finish setting up our blog, So You Wanna Start a Blog in the Dashboard before moving on to working through a theme. For me, I want to get to the writing as quickly as possible and often get through the basics and then go back and add the frills as I find I need them. With that in mind, you will need to be logged into the “Dashboard” and then scroll down to the “Settings”.
Select “Writing” and make the following changes. I leave the default settings down to the “Default Post Category”. I make changes to this section as a measure to help with SEO when the time comes. To make this change, go over to the “Post” section in the left hand sidebar, choose “Categories” and then work from there. By simply adding a “Category” that will be acceptable for any post that publishes such as “Featured” or in this case, “Blogging”, I am maximizing my blog from an SEO standpoint. By giving the post a specific category, I am simply giving Google one more opportunity to understand what the post is about before cataloging it into their system.
Adding a “Category” is as simple as typing the name in the space where it asks “The name is how it appears on your site.” and again where it asks “The “slug” is the URL-friendly version of the name. It is usually all lowercase and contains only letters, numbers, and hyphens.”, I know that my posts will automatically be categorized when I write them. I return back to the “Settings” tab under “Writing” and change the “Default Post Category” to the one I just created. I happen to like the “Default Link Category” called “Blogroll” so I leave that one. You can certainly change that in the same manner that we changed the “Post Category”.
The last step under the “Writing” tab involves both the ability to post remotely and what services you would like to grab the posts so that you can start to see your information in Google’s search engines. I personally like to post from remote areas such as my phone and other great services so I simply enable the two radio buttons under “Remote Publishing”. Finally, I change the “Update Services” to a list that you can find on So You Wanna Start a Blog Update Services. This is a variety of “Services” which will be notified when you post an article. This is just a small list and I currently use all of these. Later when we reach some more in depth SEO discussions, we can go over what these services actually do and what it means to have your post “ping a server”.
Finally, my personal preference under the “Reading” tab is to leave all of the “default” choices intact. The only changes I make in the “Discussions” setting is to change the radio buttons under “Email Me Whenever” so that I receive email when I have a comment on the blog and when I have a comment that needs moderating. And, then change the section regarding “Before a Comment Appears” so that once a person has commented and I have approved it, comments will post without waiting. This is a simple way to catch some naysayers. This section and the “Avatar” section are both a matter of personal preference.
I leave the default settings for “Media” and since our goal is to find readers, “Privacy” tab is set to allow the site to be visible, leave the radio button, “I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers” checked.
Finally, the last major change is in the “Permalinks” setting. If you look through the choices on the “Permalinks” page, you will see that the generic nature of the choices there simply don’t leave you open to being seen by search engines very well. The common search for page numbers, dates and archives prevent those from being good choices. I am going to give you a proper SEO maximized solution and will explain later why this is a good choice. You will simply want to copy and paste the following information and put it in the spot marked “Custom Structure”: “/%category%/%postname%”. I know that is an incredibly confusing string of characters but that’s what we are going to go with for now.
This has been yet another lengthy post but I wanted to get through this dirty work and move on. Yes, there’s plenty of technical stuff left to do and certainly a lot to do before the blog is SEO friendly, however, we’ve conquered the mass of changes and can now work on details as we go. Once we have a really good theme chosen, the blog itself will start to look much cleaner.
This guest post was written by Jerri Ann of Mom~E~Centric. Jerri Ann is an Internet-junkie who has been writing online since 1999. She has 2 boys, ages 6 and 8, and is married to a man she affectionately calls Boy Genius. Mom~E~Centric is about learning life, learning how to take the punches and put them in their place. “Landing a punch is not near as important as feeling like you are in the fight.”