First Look at the Dashboard

Now that you’ve gotten WordPress installed, let login to the dashboard and take a look at where things are.

When you first login, you’ll notice the menu that runs down the lefthand side of the screen. First lets find Settings and make some changes there.

Under Settings you can update a number of things that control the way your site works.

Settings > General

Under General you can change the Site Title and Tagline for your site.

You can also select a time zone and date format, most themes will use these settings for displaying the date and it also affects the date for posts and things in your dashboard.

Settings > Writing

Under Writing you can select to have emoticons turned into little graphics automatically and what the default Post category is. There are also settings for using email to post to your blog.

Settings > Reading

Under Reading are the settings that have to do with what your visitors will see when they visit your site. Things like what your home page displays (some themes handle this, other don’t or you can override them here, more on that later)

You can also set how many posts show on blog pages, how many show in feeds and whether or not the feed shows full content or just a little bit.

This page also has the Search Engine Visibility setting, make sure this box is not checked, or your site will tell the search engines to take a hike, which is probably not what you want.

Settings > Discussion

Under Discussion you’ll find settings having to do with having people comment on your posts. I’d recommend holding comments for moderation, you don’t want spammy comments littering your site.

Settings > Media

Under Media you’ll find settings related to images and sizing for thumbnails and such. These can be overridden or added to by your theme.

Settings > Permalinks

Under Permalinks you’ll find settings for how WordPress will show your URLs, postname is what I usually choose, but you can choose to have the date in there too. This can be customized to your liking, if you only want the year, you could do year/postname. This is something you want to choose and not change, because if you change your URLs, you can lose traffic via the search engines and you would also lose any social media like or tweet totals.

You can also change the Category and Tag base here. They default to www.yourdomain.com/tag/keyword and www.yourdomain.com/category/keyword – so if you’d like to change them, do it early on, it’s the same thing with permalinks, you don’t want to change these because it would change many of the URLs on your site.

That’s it for the basic settings. You may find that you have additional menu items under Settings, some plugins add the link for their settings here, so don’t worry if you see more things.

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