On our journey to start a money making blog, we’ve: determined what to blog about, picked a blog name, set-up blog hosting, and installed WordPress. Now it’s time to do some set-up on WordPress and get it ready so we can start creating pages and writing articles.
When you initially installed WordPress, you specified an initial blog title and tagline, but let’s verify that what you keyed in is exactly what you want. We’ll also tweak a few other WordPress general settings while we’re there:
- Login to to the administration interface. This is done by going to: http://<<your blog’s url>>/wp-admin.
- Login using the administrator ID and password you created when you installed WordPress. Once successfully logged in, you’ll be presented with the Dashboard.
- Along the left side is a menu. Find the one that says Settings and click on the little arrow pointing down next to Settings. This will show the sub-menu items for Settings.
- Click on the first one: General. You’ll see a screen the looks like this:
- Take a look at your site title and tagline. Make sure they are set to what you want.
Tip: Your tagline should contain the primary search keywords you are targeting. For example, if you site is targeting vegetable gardening than your tagline should be something like: Vegetable gardening tips, techniques and more.
- Next, verify that your email is correct. Remember this is the email that will receive all comment notifications, so it’s important that it’s correct.
- Scroll down to timezone and set your timezone correctly. This will set your post times to your time zone (or whatever time zone you select here).
- Select your preferred date and time format and press Save Changes. That’s it, our General Settings are complete.
Next we’re going to jump to Permalinks. We’ll leave all of the other General Settings and just use the defaults for now. I’ll be addressing these other settings in more targeted articles later on.
Before we set our permalink format, let’s talk about what a permalink is. A permalink is what WordPress calls the URL for your page or article. The Permalink setting will allow you to change the default format for this permalink. Click on the Permalink sub-menu under settings, and you’ll see the following screen:
WordPress gives us a few options, but I’m going to strongly recommend just one of them: Post Name. Let’s look at each one of the available options and then I’ll explain why using Post Name is preferred:
- Default – The default setting uses a unique number that WordPress assigns to each page and post. While short, the default is not user friendly nor is it search engine friendly. Remember, search engines like keywords, not numbers.
- Day and Name – This used to be a good option and one that many bloggers used. Google recently changed their page format for search results so that the published date of your article will now show along side your article name and “excerpt”. Google pulls that date either from your article itself or the permalink. You don’t want your articles date published on the Google search page which is why this option isn’t a good one. Why don’t you want the date? Web searches want the latest and greatest content and if you article from 2 years ago appears along side 2 other similar articles with no date or a more recent date, your article won’t get clicked.
- Month and Name – Not a good option for the same reason as Day and Name
- Numeric – Not a good option for the same reason as the Default.
The best option is to use Custom and the value of: /%postname%/. This will make your permalink use words from your article title in the URL. For example, if you write an article on How to weed your garden, the permalink would look something like: http://<<your blog’s URL>>/how-to-weed-your-garden. This is a much more user friendly option and even better it contains keywords. Google looks at your articles permalink to help determine how to rank your article.
Select Custom and type /%postname%/ in the value field. Press the Save Changes button and your permalinks are now set-up to be user and search engine friendly!