WordPress first settings
There’s a short list of things of things I do immediately to every WordPress install. I’m not talking about plugins or themes, just simple settings changes. Some of them I strongly recommend to everyone, some are optional, but I’d recommend you at least look through them.
1. Turn off Comments
Even if I know I’m going to want them later, if left on it’ll take about 20 minutes for spammers to find your site and start leaving garbage. (Settings -> Discussion)
2. Turn off Gravatars
This is optional, but I hate gravatars. It’s Automattic’s home built spyware and slows your page loads. (Settings -> Discussion)
3. Set Permalink structure
The default structure is not SEO friendly, nor humanly understandable. I like “day and name”, but anything beside post id’s is good. (Settings -> Permalinks)
4. Set the Time Zone
The default timezone is UTC, and it’s unlikely that your site is based in that timezone. (Settings -> General)
5. Set the day the week starts on
The default is Monday. Every client I’ve ever had wanted Sunday. (Settings -> General)
6. Set Tagline
The default tagline is “Just another WordPress site”. Occasionally this will remain in the html on the site, but get hidden by CSS or something. This looks bad to google and other nerds looking at your code. (Settings -> General)
7. Delete the default page and post
WordPress comes with one Page and one Post in there. It can be ok to re-use the page, but the post needs to go, or you’ll look a little silly when people go to the first post in your blog. If you don’t rename the first page, or delete it, it also looks bad.
What are some of your initial settings?
I like year/name for pernalinks, or even category/name, though I have heard pernalinks without a number slows performance.
I turn on Akismet, and actually loosen the moderation settings to encourage discussion.
I never understood the day of the week thing, so I leave it alone.
Can’t think of much else without starting into plugins…
Luke, WordPress 3.3 is supposed to fix the performance problem with permalinks that don’t begin with a number, making %postname% fine to use. See http://wpcandy.com/reports/postname-performance-issues-eliminated-in-3-3
I do a lot of the same: set the permalink structure, set the time zone, set week start to Sunday, set the tagline, and delete default page and post. Here are a few more I do:
Check WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically
Add Update Services from WordPress.org.
Set Front page displays, if the site isn’t a blog and has a front page.
Uncheck Crop thumbnail to exact dimensions, depending on how the theme displays thumbnails.
Select I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors until ready. I change this when the site is ready to be indexed.
I’ve usually chosen day & postname because WordPress performed better when permalinks started with numbers, but with WordPress 3.3, this isn’t supposed to matter. I’ll probably switch to simply postname.
Silly Q – It seems like there should a simple dialogue somewhere for the two major options:
Comments on Page: False
Comments on Posts: True
Am I missing the simple options here?
Bill, in the Discussion Settings, you can uncheck Allow people to post comments on new articles. In the admin area you can bulk edit posts and pages to disable comments.
I haven’t used it, but you could also check out the Disable Comments plugin at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/disable-comments/.
The trick for me was that by default, the “discussions” setting was hidded from “screen options”
-Remove “Powered By WordPress” from footer
-Make a static home page,
-make a blog page for posts