WordPress Settings for Every Blog

When setting up a new WordPress blog, there's certain tasks you must do to get the blog started on the right foot.

After the installation has finished, do these 7 steps BEFORE you write or do anything else..

1. Create a New (Admin) User

The default user in WordPress is "admin" and you can't change that. You can change the nickname for the admin, but the user name "base" will always be admin. I don't want to be admin, even by base, so here goes..

Ho to create a new user for yourself to write the posts with:

  • Go to Users
  • Click on "Add New"
  • Create the user as you like (with your own name for example)
  • Remember to set the Role to Administrator!
  • After filling out the form, Click "Add User"
  • Log out and enter with your new user

If you keep the admin user and just change it's "nickname", the author archive will remain as "admin" and I'd want the archive url to have my username on it, especially important if you're branding your name somehow.

And to me, posts written and posted by "admin" doesn't look very professional, so write your posts with a user you've named like you wanted. Creating a new user (with administrator access) takes 15 seconds and it's done, so not too much trouble for this, and the actual "admin" user can then be used for maintenance if needed.

2. Delete the Default Post

Go to Posts >> Edit and delete the default post.

Even if you're not planning to write anything to your blog right now, delete the default post (don't edit it, delete it).

3. Delete or Edit the Default About Page

Go to Pages >> Edit and delete the default post (you can write a new one later).

Like with the default post, having the default About-page up there and automatically linked to, like many themes do, will make you and your blog look stupid, and we don't want that.

4. Delete the Default Blogroll

Go to Links and delete the default Blogroll and the links in it.

You might want to display links on your sidebar using the links widget, and you most likely don't want the default links in there.

5. Delete the Default Hello Dolly Plugin

Go to Plugins and delete the Hello Dolly plugin.

The Hello Dolly plugin is there to give an example of a plugin for both the user and plugin developers. Just like the default post, page and the blogroll links too. You don't need this either for your own blog.

6. Set the Permalink Structure

Go to Settings >> Permalinks

The default permalink structure of domain.xxx/?p=123 doesn't tell much to anyone and is far from any kind of search engine optimization, make sure you include the post name on the permalink (perfect for SEO), for example:

  • /%year%/%month%/%day%/%postname%/
  • /%post_id%/%postname%/
  • /%postname%/
  • /%category%/%postname%/

In short, the /%postname%/ will work nicely for most blogs and the /%category%/%postname%/ is great for more focused niche blogs.  Adding year, month and day to the permalink is perfect for blogs that post timely content and possibly several times a day. /%post_id%/%postname%/ adds unique element to just using post name, to avoid duplicate permalinks in the future.

Before you go and set the permalink and start blogging, take some time to decide on what kind of permalink you should use. Here's a post that will help you pick the best permalink structure for your blog.

7. Turn on / Turn off the Search Engine Visibility

Go to Settings >> Privacy

Do you want your blog to be visible to the search engines? Usually you do, so check that the option is set for "I would like my blog to be visible to everyone..."

If you for some reason don't want the blog to be indexed (right now, maybe "release" later or something), set the option for "".

Optional Steps:

Change your WordPress Theme

Optional (You can do this later and just start writing content for now)

There is endless supply of free themes for WordPress and a lot of "premium" themes that you can buy.

Choose the theme you like and install it. You can change your theme at any time and all your posts will remain the same, just the looks of your blog will change.

Install the Essential Plugins

Start from these: the most essential plugins for WordPress.


And now, you can start writing good content on your blog.

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Topic: WordPress Optimization
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