WordPress – Do It Right, Part 1: Basic WordPress Setup (+Video)

By 26th July 2012 WordPress Guides

Basic WordPress setup is the topic of this article – the first in the ‘WordPress – Do It Right‘ series .

We’ll cover several broad topics in this WordPress series and go into some detail for each one. Topics include:

  • Basic WordPress Setup and Configuration
  • Basic Security Principles
  • Essential WordPress Plugins
  • WordPress Themes
  • WordPress Site Optimization
  • WordPress Maintenance

In this article (and video below), I’ll run through how to setup and configure WordPress websites quickly and easily.

Let’s get started…

Basic WordPress Setup and Configuration Options

In this video, I’ve just installed a brand new WordPress website (version 3.4).

The following video will demostrate how I go about setting up my WordPress from scratch:

[WPT_YOUTUBE src=”8bv54ZlD-FE”]WordPress – Do It Right, Part 1. Basic WordPress Setup and Configuration[/WPT_YOUTUBE]

Topics included in the video are:

  • Cleaning up the WordPress Dashboard of useless widgets.
  • Removing the sample Posts and Pages provided by WordPress upon installation
  • Setting the website title, tagline, timezone and time, admin email.
  • Configuring user comments.
  • Configuring permalinks for posts and pages the right way.
  • Setting privacy settings so that your website is accessible by search engines.
  • Adding your first WordPress plugin (Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin) to prevent comment spam
  • Setting WordPress ‘Authentication Unique Keys and Salts’ for user cookie encryption

Points To Note

The following are some explanatory notes for some of the topics included in this video.

What are permalinks and why do you need them?

There are several reasons why we put our pages in this way:

  • it’s human readable and makes it easier for the reader to spot the page they’re on and/or use it as a link to copy if they want to link to your site
  • it has certain Search Engine Optimization properties since if you have keywords in your URL that your post is about, it adds to the SEO weight of the page
  • it looks nicer 🙂

There are a few important things to consider about Permalinks before you choose your structure.

  • it only applies to posts, not pages (though pages will display the ‘postname’)
  • for performance reasons, you should start the permalink with a number, such as year, month, day. It’s important that you do not start it with something like category name, or postname etc.
  • if you chose custom structure, you should chose values that will make each post unique, such as %postname%, or %post_id%

Why I don’t use Akismet and prefer the GASP plugin

A quick Google search will reveal that many people have in the past experienced quite annoying problems with Akismet as a SPAM filter.

I’ve had the same experience and I don’t want that for each of my sites.

Further, Akismet requires you to register and apply for an API key and I also don’t want to have to do that.

And… if all that wasn’t enough, I prefer the principle upon which GASP works – the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin prevents SPAM comments from even reaching your WordPress site. Giving you far less work deciphering which comments are legit.

What next?

The rest of the ‘WordPress – Do It Right’ series will focus on how you can optimize your WordPress sites for performance, SEO, how to choose your plugins and themes, security, and much more.

So stay tuned! 🙂

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Joao says:

    Your Custom Content By Country plugin is very good. (also because its free and very simple). The plugin links to this website, but no info here.
    Some more examples with all the 5 Shortcodes, would make it even more useful !
    Thank you for maintaining it.

    View Comment
    • Paul G. says:

      Thanks for the comment and the great feedback!

      You’re right about there being not enough documentation – sadly it seems that the docs always trail the development. I took a bit of time and did it for the Twitter Bootstrap plugin, but I know I need to do the same for Custom Content by Country.

      I will… soon! 🙂

      Thanks again for the feedback!

      View Comment

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