30 Tweaks for Setting Up WordPress For the First Time

By | November 25, 2008

This is a short checklist of items that I created when I was setting up a friend’s new blog. It’s pretty much all the tweaks, I make to a standard install of WordPress that I use.

Once you have created your admin user:

  • 1). Login and set the password to something you can remember!
  • 2). Update any pre-installed plugins that you need, remove any that you don’t.
  • 3). Set the title and Tagline in General Settings
  • 4). Check your WordPress address is correct
  • 5). Update your email address.
  • 6). Check the membership of the blog including the New User Role
  • 7). Don’t forget to check your timezone!
  • 8). Go to the writing tab, and check the size of the post box! I usually set mine to 15 lines.
  • 9). For remote publishing, I always check the XML-RPC box.
  • 10). Add any Update Services that you want to ping.

On the reading tab in Settings:

  • 11). Set your frontpage, to either blog style or have a static page.
  • 12). How many posts do you want per page? Five is a reasonable number
  • 13). Set your feed to show the ‘x’ most recent posts. I usually set that to 10 if I’m doing full feed or 25 if not.
  • 14). Set your feed to show the full text or summary. Most people recommend the full text for feeds.

On Discussion Settings:

  • 15). I always set “An administrator must always approve the comment” which is ideal for a new blog, and prevents unnecessary spam.

On the Privacy tab:

  • 16). I always set to “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers” but if you’re for a small or private audience, then check the other option.

On the Permalinks tab:

  • 17). Set the options for your permalinks. I usually use the /%postname% tag with something else, for example ../%postname%/

Plugins – There are two plugins that are pretty useful to get at the beginning:

  • 18.) Akismet for spam. You’ll need a WordPress.com API key for this.
  • 19.) WP-Cache Manager. You’ll need to activate it, enable the manager and set the time (in seconds).

Users Tab – On the Users tab, click to find your admin profile:

  • 20.) Set the Nickname to something you like. Hit ’save’.
  • 21.) Set your “Display name publicly as” to the Nickname in 20.)
  • 22.) Check your basic details, Website, and any Bio. Info.
  • 23.) Go to the Design Tab.

If you have a good host, you’ll have a variety of themes pre-installed.

  • 23.) Find a good one, activate it.
  • 24.) Go to the Widgets and select the ones you need.
  • 25.) Go to the Theme Editor…
  • 25.) Add your Google Analytics code in the footer!
  • 26.) Add any other code that you might need to the footer.

General Tidying Up: Let’s set the links categories

  • 27.) You will need to decide what links categories you need.
  • 28.) Remove or add any particular links you need in the blogroll.
  • 29.) Set your initial categories for posts, too.
  • 30.) Remove the Hello World post and default links in the blogroll!

This has been honed over numerous installs of WordPress, but is by no means the only possible set. If there are any errors, please read the comments and submit one!