Part 12: Basic WordPress Set-Up
As Wordpess is going to be our content management system (CMS) of choice there are some basic settings that should be done. So although WordPress is actually very good “out of the box,” there are some basic settings that will make it even better, and help you to build a quality Amazon Affiliate website.
To begin making these changes you will need to login to your WordPress dashboard using your username and password.
All the various settings can be accessed from the column on the left hand side. That column is how you can access the many features of WordPress.
Making the Basic Changes
Basic Setting 1 – Search Engine
The first thing you will want to do is to stop the search engines finding an empty website. To do that simply click on Settings > Reading and look at the bottom of the page. There you will find a tick box that says “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” Tick that box and then click save changes.
When we come to launch the website, then we will come back here, and remove that tick. For now though we do not want the search engines crawling and trying to index an empty website with no content.
Basic Setting 2 – Changing the Permalinks
Click on Settings> Permalinks. The way that the URL appears is important on a website. You want it ideally to be short and simple to understand. The standard setting on WordPress uses a day and name followed by the name of your post. That is a bit long and not required.
For search engine purposes it is better to change this to Post name, so we should tick that box, scroll down to the bottom, and save changes.
Basic Setting 3 – Remove the sample page and post
When WordPress was installed it created a sample post and a sample page. They are not required so we should delete both of these. To do that go to the left hand column.
Click on Posts > All Posts – You should see a post with the Title “Hello World” If you hover over the Title then underneath, you will see a drop down menu and in there you will see one tab that says “trash.” Click on that to delete this post as it is not required.
Click on Pages > All Pages – You should see a page with the Title “Sample Page” If you hover over the Title then underneath, you will see a drop down and in there you will see one tab that says “trash.” Click on that to delete this page as it is not required.
This activity helps clean up the website and removes pages and posts that we will never use or need.
Basic Setting 4 – Removing Widgets
I will cover the main purpose of widgets later in this case study. For now though we simply need to get rid of some that we will not need. To do that go to the left hand column and then:
Click Appearance > Widgets
You will see a section called “Sidebar”
We are going to remove Recent Comments, Archives, and Meta
To remove those click on the drop down arrow beside recent comments and then the delete button. Repeat that for the Archives and the Meta widgets. That will remove those from the sidebar. You should now be left with three widgets Search, Recent Posts & Categories.
That is all of the basic WordPress settings completed. If you now go to the top left hand corner of your dashboard you will see your site name and an icon that looks like a house. Hover over that and you will see a “Visit Site” link. Click on that to see what your website looks like right now.
It should look like the one in the image below.
As you can see this still does not look like a website as there is no content, no theme installed etc. What you now have is a very clean version of WordPress installed. You will also notice that the “Recent Posts” widget has disappeared. Don’t worry that will come back when you add your first post.
WordPress is a very good CMS to use but by adding a few tweaks as I have shown you above can make it even better. By removing the sample page, the sample post and the three widgets on the sidebar you have created a very clean version of WordPress.
We also want to make it search engine friendly. That is achieved by changing the permalinks setting to “Post.”
We do not want the search engines looking at an empty website. That is why we hide it from the search engines until we add some content. Once that is done, we will come back and untick that box and make the website go live online.
Now we need to look at basic website structure which is covered in the next section.