Best WordPress Settings

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Your first site is up and running, and that’s great. But did you know if you have the best WordPress settings? This is a complete guide to the best WordPress settings. Most of these options are standard that all WordPress sites should follow, but depending on your application your settings may differ.

Start by logging into your WordPress site, from Dashboard go to the ‘Settings’ section on the left column. We are going to start with the ‘General’ page.

Best WordPress Settings Guide

For this tutorial, we are going to go over all the options under the ‘Settings’ section for a new WordPress site.

General Settings WordPress

Site Title: Use the name of your title here. It’s also a great place for your main keywords.

Tagline: Optional, but another great place for SEO keywords.

WordPress Address (URL): DO NOT CHANGE THIS! You will be locked out of your site and not able to log in…

Site Address (URL): DO NOT CHANGE THIS EITHER!

Administration Email: This should be an email that you ACTIVELY use. You will get notifications on new comments, contact forms, and ETC.

Membership: Un-checked. At this time we don’t want anyone to sign up to our site. We will get to this in a later tutorial.

New User Default Role: Leave this as ‘Subscriber’ as we are not allowing people to sign up anyway.

Best WordPress Settings - General

Site Language: Your desired language. I would say English is you are trying to attract English speaking readers.

Timezone: Make sure this matches your local timezone, this will come in handy when you run an online store or if you plan on scheduling a post.

Date Format: I always select F j, Y as it is the standard US format. If you live outside of the states then select your preference.

Time Format: Again, select your preference.

Best WordPress Settings - General Part 2

Lastly, you want to select the ‘Week Starts On’ setting.

Week Starts On: I select Sunday, this option is useful if you plan on setting up some kind of event calendar.

Writing Settings

No need to custom these settings just yet. We will get to these settings when we need them. In the meantime, you should be focusing on writing WordPress content.

Reading Settings

This section of your site is very important as it contains settings on how to set up your homepage and blog.

Your homepage displays: Select ‘A static page (select below)’

  • Homepage: The page you created to be your homepage. If you haven’t done so yet, create a homepage.
  • Posts page: This is the page where all of your blog pages can be accessed. Typically this page is called ‘Blog’ or ‘News” depending on the niche of your blog. Again, create this page if you haven’t already.

Blog pages show at most: This is the number of blog posts that show up on your blog page. So if you have 20 posts, the blog page will be split up into 2 pages. You can show as many posts on one page as you want, but since we don’t have any content yet, we will leave as the default 10 posts. Once you get over 10 posts I do recommend increasing the number of posts per page I would say up to 50. That way people have a large selection of items to choose from.

Syndication feeds show the most recent: Leave this option as it is.

For each post in a feed, include: By default, the option is ‘Full text’ but we want people to go to your posts and actually read them. This will give you more profit from your ads. Select, ‘Summary’.

Search Engine Visibility: DO NO TOUCH THIS OPTION! Unless you are designing a mock website, do not block search engines from indexing your site. You are literally telling Google to not list your site which is bad!

Reading Settings WordPress

Discussion Settings

On this setting page, you will control how people can comment on your page. NOTE: When you first start your site and you have little to no traffic, you will get spam comments with harmful links to sites such as pharmaceuticals to scams. We don’t want anyone posting that kind of stuff on your new blog, so follow the directions below.

Default post settings

Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the post: Checked. This will automatically notify other sites when you link to their page. This could be beneficial if you plan on establishing a relationship with the other site such as becoming a guest blogger.

 Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new posts: Checked. You will get a notification if someone links to any of your posts which can improve search engine ranking.

 Allow people to submit comments on new posts: Checked. Unless you don’t want people to comment on your posts. I always recommend that you allow people to comment on typical blog posts that way you can engage with your audience. You can also choose whether or not people can comment on a specific post in the Discussion tab of a post. SEE IMAGE BELOW.

Allow Comments on WordPress Post

Comment author must fill out name and email: Checked. Typically you can tell if the comment is spam or not by looking to see what email they are using, so requiring them to submit their email is a must.

Users must be registered and logged in to comment: Unchecked. We want people to free to participate in the conversation of a post within having to register to your site. Required registration for sites sometimes results in less engagement as people don’t like to sign up for things unless you give them a good reason to, for example, you are offering a course or support for a product or service.

Automatically close comments on posts older than: Unchecked. We want people to be able to comment after 14 days. If your WordPress site is new then it’s likely you will have little to no traffic so by the time they reach your page you will prevent them from participating in the conversation if you check this option.

Show comments cookies opt-in checkbox, allowing comment author cookies to be set: Checked. Under CCPA and GDPR law you need to notify people what information you collect about them (such as name and email, by submitting a comment) and give them the ability to opt-out. So by checking this option, you’re off to a good start when it comes to website compliance.

Enable threaded (nested) comment (5) levels deep: Checked. When people reply to other people’s comment it appears as a sub-comment which is called “nesting” or “nested”. It makes the appearance of the comments look better and organized.

Break comments into pages with (50) top level comments per page and the (last) page displayed by default 

Comments should be displayed with the (older) comments at the top of each page: Check. When your blog starts getting a lot of comments you don’t want to sacrifice your loading speed. This option will break comments into multiple pages once there are more than 50 comments, with the newest comments on the first page. Breaking comments into multiple pages is called, “Paginate Comments”.

Email me whenever
Anyone posts a comment: Checked.

A comment is held for moderation: Checked.

Discussion WordPress Settings - Part 1

Before a comment appears
Comment must be manually approved: Checked.

Comment author must have a previously approved comment: Checked. Although this option is kind of redundant because we already have the ‘hold comment for moderation’ option checked, we will still leave this option activated.

Comment Moderation
Hold a comment in the queue if it contains (2) or more links. (A common characteristic of comment spam is a large number of hyperlinks.): Checked. Spam is easy to identify because they usually a lot of links in the comment without any effort to conceal it.

When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, email, or IP address, it will be held in the moderation queue. One word or IP address per line. It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress”.: Sometimes there are comments that you don’t want to be approved because of the nature of the comment or the author or you could’ve blacklisted someone from commenting, this option is how you moderate your comments automatically.

Discussion WordPress Settings - Part 2

Comment Blacklist
When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, email, or IP address, it will be put in the trash. One word or IP address per line. It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress”.: You can use this option if you want to prevent curse words from appearing in your comment section or you want to ban someone from commenting altogether.

Avatars
An avatar is an image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on avatar enabled sites. Here you can enable the display of avatars for people who comment on your site.

Avatar Display: Unchecked. Adding images to your just tacks on unnecessary stress to your server for the sake of looking pretty.

Media Settings WordPress

Below are the media settings for images within WordPress. These options control the size of images on posts and pages. We will not tweak these settings, this will come later when we are working on the style of the site.

Uploading Files
Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders: Checked. Your media files will be organized on your web server according to month and year.

Media WordPress Settings

Permalinks Settings WordPress

Another vital WordPress setting that deals with the URL structure of your website.

Common Settings
Post Name: Checked. This makes the URL the same as the title as the post or page. Your title that contains keywords will display in your URL which is great for SEO.

Permalink Settings WordPress

Optional
The below options are also based on preference, if you want to change the URL of your categories and tags to fit your purpose than feel free to, otherwise we will leave it how it is.

Permalink Settings WordPress - Part 2

That concludes this tutorial on the best WordPress settings.

Now that you’ve completed the basic WordPress setup course, it’s time to design your website or blog using advanced tutorials! Be sure to check out the Documentation section for more help.

Previous Lessons:
Step 1 – How to Select Domain for Blog & Website
Step 2 – Best Web Hosting for Blog & Website
– Step 2.1 – How to Get Hosting and Domain & Install WordPress FAST
Step 3 – How to Install WordPress Theme

Previous How to Install WordPress Theme
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