Setting Up Wordpress

by Michey

The settings of Wordpress are important as they carry over many nuances, not all of them are really explored. In this post I respond to a reader question, so I presume it is useful

Why Setting Up Counts

Wordpress settingsThis post was created as a response of a reader question - how we can get rid of the date of a post, and what is a "calendar".

So I do my best to respond, and I intend to explain the best practice of the general settings of a blog with emphases on permalinks.

Note: It is clear that my response is based on be personal experience and my way is not the single way...  so I bet that talking with a lot of bloggers you will get a lot of other ideas and techniques as well.

I already stated in other posts that  Wordpress platform is blessed with a huge amount of functionality which is coming from a variety of sources:

  • The plug-ins
  • The theme itself
  • The widgets
  • The design as a whole, details beyond the theme functionality
  • The general settings, and the settings of plug-ins

There are so many possibilities, but the cold hard truth is that some parameters can contradict each other, so sometime we don't have a glove fits all, and we must take one case at a time.

I have had a big surprise loading the last version of Wordpress... which is not compatible with "Tweet this" plug-in. I spent a lot of time with this simple bug until I was able to determine the source of errors... and so on.

Note: People are talking a lot about monetizing Blogs. In a nut shell, monetizing is part of the above classification. In addition of having good content which will attract viewers, the design must have the readers/customers in mind: their needs, their habits; must be user friendly, SEO friendly... so any itty bitty piece of knowledge, and any twist counts.

Wordpress Admin Settings

When you go in "wp-admin" you have in the left a long list of menus, each of them can expend in sub-menus:

  • Home
  • Posts
  • ...
  • Appearance
  • Plug-ins
  • ...
  • Settings

We are interested in "Settings" which expends in the following sub-menu (generic bullets):

  1. General
  2. Writing
  3. Reading
  4. Discussion
  5. Media
  6. Privacy
  7. Permalinks

In the right you see an example from an old Blog which has all the above until the red line, and a long list of settings which are coming from different plug-ins or widgets.
Keep reading, I describe in short the first 6 generic bullets and in details Permalinks

Setting Example

Settings Part 1
Settings Part 1
Settings Part 2
Settings Part 2

General to Privacy

General:

it is a place to fill in: Blog's name, Tagline of the Blog, URL address of the Blog, Time and Date format and so on.
Date on the blogIt is trivial but the date format will appear under line of Title, in this case "July 9, 20011"

What you can do is

  • unmark the first bullet which is the default
  • mark Custom line where you can delete the year  symbol, exactly like you see in the next picture. I am not doing this but I notice some Blogs with this modification

custom dateNote:
I don't think hiding this date is a great idea, the system itself don't let us un-mark all the possibilities... for a reason. So to completely get read of that date, you must go in one .php and alter this. Again I don't recommend, and if you want to do it I strongly suggest that you have to know some  .php, have an .php editor, always copy the original and keep it, then make the changes and replace the original.
All those precautions are necessary because it is extremely easy to mess up a .php file, you need to at least know to read and interpret this language... to be on the safe side.

Writing:

In this section I modify:

  • Size of the post box (in the editor) - I use 20 or 25 lines
  • Update Services - When you publish a new post, WP automatically notifies the sites from update services, the default is very small, I have a long list up there which is almost like the list from ping-o-matic and
  • I live the rest with the default

Reading, Discussion, Media, and Privacy:

It is up to you, it is self explanatory, the default is good to have it.

 

Permalink Settings

What are permalinks?

Permalinks are the URLs for your blog posts and we have called them permalinks as the URL to a blog post didn't change and remained unchanged forever, so permalink is a great choice.

With other words, a permalink is what another website will use to link to your post or page.  

In WordPress, the default permalink looks like:

http://your-domain.com/?p=nnn

I hope you agree with me that this is ugly, not user friendly, not Search Engine friendly as well.

Some point Bloggers started to think about having more keywords in the URL, so other forms to present permalinks surfaced:

your-domain.com/Year/month/Day/postname  

or

your-domain.com/category/postname

the last one is consider the best URL as the "category" is definitely a great keyword, and you can compose "post name" to have other 1-3 keywords in it.

But the variety of URL from permalinks is bigger then the above 3 examples, you can create any combination of the following  paramertes:

  • %year% The year of the post, four digits
  • %monthnum%  Month of the year
  • %day%  Day of the month
  • %hour%  Hour of the day
  • %minute%  Minute of the hour
  • %second%  Second of the minute
  • %postname%  The name post
  • %post_id%  The unique ID # of the post, for example 123
  • %category%   The category name. Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URL
  • %author% The author name

NOTE: You can use any parameters or a combination of parameters in permalinks, each parameter is written between "%", and parameters will be separated with a "/".

Example:

http://your-domain.com/%category%/%postname%/%author%/

In the next picture you have an example.

An open question remains - "if I change my permalinks today, I know that future posts will use it, but what happen with my old posts"?

The answer is - we have a plug-in which will take care of this "WP No Category Base"

As the name suggests this plugin will completely remove the mandatory 'Category Base' from your category permalinks so old post will look with category, but will be called with the old permalinks as you probably don't iven know from where old posts are called, and you still like to have those links.

This is a priceless plugin and all you have to do is to install and make active the plug-in:

  • it will not require setup or modifying wordpress files
  • it will not break any links

The decision is yours, all I did was to provide information for you, and tell my honest opinion.  Working with a diferent structure of permalink will profide more keywords, about the date in "general" be careful not to look like you have something to hide.

To your success

Michey


Example of Permalinks

Example of Permalink Structure
Example of Permalink Structure
A screen shot of my blog

What is the Calendar

CalendarThe Calendar is a widget which we use to put in the right or left sidebar, it will visualize when you write your posts in which month. In the example, in Aprill 2011 on 9, 18, 20, and 29 I write my posts.
You also can scroll to see other months.

Note:
Based of the theme you use, you have it already as a widget, and all you have to do is to drag the Calendar into sidebar, or you have to load a plug-in to have the calendar if the theme don't offer this widget for you.

More Knowledge About WorldPress

WordPress Bible

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Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (Smashing Magazine Book Series)

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Michey's Posts on WordPress

WP is the best platform for Blogging - period.

WP Content Management System
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WP Email for a Specific Domain
I have had a question about setting up an e-mail for a domain in Wordpress. So I try to respond in a post, a comment is to restricted for the answer.

Wordpress Plug-in Part 01
Being and open source, WP is enhanced daily with new plugins and themes. So when we think that our Blogs are stable, new ideas and functionality via new plugins is added... as we speak.

Wordpress Plug-in Part 02
This post is dedicated to give you a solution if a server crush or other calamities destroy your Blog. I add some miscellaneous plugin topics as well.

Wordpress Help
Wordpress platform is well established now, but some professorial help to get better is still a need, so I present sources of knowledge written by successful bloggers and Web Site designers.

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Join WizzleyIf you don't use this platform,

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click on image.

Updated: 08/22/2011, Michey
 
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Do you Make the Best of Your Blog Settings?


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Holistic_Health on 08/21/2011

The custom setting in your permalink example is the one I normally use. Sometimes I leave the date setting blank. Makes it look less like a blog and more like a website.

happynutritionist on 08/18/2011

I have been using wordpress for my blogs for a few years, would like to learn how to make a website I have had for years a wordpress site, but it may be more effort than it's worth. Don't want to upset the income I'm receiving from google clicks each month. Do love Wordpress, and when I have time to devote to it, may just figure out how to do that changeover.

Michey on 08/18/2011

@Dustytoes Hi! glad we share the love of Wordpress.... plug-ins are an open-source feature which add a tremendous amount of functionality, flexibility and more... so it is intimidating from the beginning but you must make peace with them... LOL... it will work on your advantage.
Regards
PS By the way I have 2 posts about plug-ins in Wizzley.

dustytoes on 08/18/2011

I love using Wordpress and always enjoy reading more about it as I will never know it all. Plugin's confuse me generally.

Michey on 08/15/2011

@sheilamarie Hi! this is a great news, new blog is always a new beginning, today I was thinking to add a link module here with all my WP posts, just to have all in one place. I'll do it after dinner.
About the woods, in some days when is crazy around me, I am dreaming to be in the forest and concentrate properly on my work... LOL

sheilamarie on 08/15/2011

Ha! Michey, I live in the forest and have a satellite dish, so it's doable if you wander into the woods and want to set up your laptop.
I have a new Wordpress blog and so am trying to absorb as much information as is possible. Thanks for sharing.

Michey on 08/13/2011

You are welcome.
Thanks for stopping by...
Forestbear... do you have Internet connection on the forest... someday I feel like going in the forest...

ForestBear on 08/13/2011

Thank you so much for the information. Was just thinking about wordpress and then I found this great page. Have bookmarked it so I can study it more in detail later.

barbarab on 08/13/2011

uh huh! and its an easier place to save things without a bundle of papers everywhere
though I admit the place I still have bundles of paper and cannot do without is my recipe book!

Michey on 08/13/2011

Hi! I like the idea of a folder "learn something new", I have a similar folder "posts to come back"... as I also learn a lot from Wizzley posts, Squidoo lenses, and my favorite Bloggers posts.
Learning never stops... especially on Internet which is such a dynamic environment.


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