Create a Membership Website with WordPress – WordPress Settings
For the most part, the default settings in WordPress are sufficient to get started. There are a few settings, however, that should be changed before you start customizing the site.
One of the first settings you’ll want to change is the Permalinks. PERMALINKS are permanent URLs to your post, pages, categories, and tags used for finding information on the site and is also used to link to the site. This makes user friendly and readable links and it helps in SEO.
You’ll also want to set the date and time for the site to your local time. The default time is set to London England time but can easily be changed.
To set the Permalinks, Navigate to the Settings Admin Panel and click Permalinks. To avoid 404 errors and broken links the permalink settings on this page should be set and not changed.
By default WordPress creates these URLs or PERMALINKS with question marks and unique ID numbers. But WordPress also gives you the ability to create readable, user friendly and search engine friendly URLs sometimes referrer to as PRETTY PERMALINKS.
WordPress is set at the default with a questions mark and a unique ID number but select one of the radio buttons and the custom field changes to that selection using structure tags. A STRUCTURE TAG is the name for the PERMALINK that has a PERCENT SIGN at each end and a SLASH at the beginning and one at the end.
You can choose from one of the COMMON STRUCTURES or you can enter a custom structure using one of or a combination of the STRUCTURE TAGS. There STRUCTURE TAGS can be found by clicking the “Number Of Tags Are Available” link on the permalinks page.
One of the more popular permalink structures is postname which uses the slug — a slug is the word or words you used to describe a post, page. This is usually taken from the Title and appears in all lower case with dashes between words. The postname structure is nice since it’s simple and easy to read.
Select one of the settings and Click the Save Changes button. The changes have been made when you see the yellow success banner at the top of the screen.
And one final note. The bottom of the PERMALINK SETTINGS screen is a place for information about the .htaccess file. This is a file in the root directory that allows these changes in the permalink structure to be processed by the SERVER. If you don’t have such a file in the ROOT DIRECTORY or if it’s not writable then WordPress will warn you that you’ll need to manually add or correct this file. This information will appear in a TEXT BOX at the bottom of the PERMALINKS SETTINGS screen. If you don’t see this box and you see the Updated banner then WordPress was able to make the necessary changes. If you do see this text box then you may need to contact your web host provider for help making these changes.
Now navigate to the Settings Admin Panel and click the General tab. The GENERAL SETTINGS screen has information that’s used throughout the website, such as, the title and tag-line, the email address and date formatting that you’ll usually enter once and then not change again.
The default TIMEZONE is set to London England time or UTC+0. UTC stands for COORDINATED UNIVERSAL TIME STANDARD which is roughly equivalent to GMT or Greenwich Mean Time. These times are expressed in positive and negative offsets of UTC. On the right is the current UTC time in a 24 hour clock. Simply convert your local time to a 24 hours time and add or subtract from the current UTC. Or you can choose a city in your correct local time zone. When you save these changes your local time will appear next to the UTC time. Also the time does NOT update automatically for Daylight Saving time, this will need to be done manually if you live in an area that uses Daylight Savings Time.
The other settings on these screens can be left at the default. But I do want to point out the Site Tile and the Tag-line.
The SITE TITLE is used to identify the site and is also used as the identifying name in syndication feeds like RSS feeds. And the Tagline is the sites byline which is a short phrase describing the site. These two lines are important since in most themes these two lines appear at the top of the website as part of the header and can even be used by search engines. They can be changed at any time without affecting the operation of the site. Make changes to the TITLE or TAG-LINE and when saved they’re changed on the site.
You can watch the individual videos on any of the admin Panel screens to get more detailed information about what they contain. But to get you started, these settings will be all you need to change now.
REMEMBER to click the SAVE CHANGES button and watch for the banner to activate any changes.