WordPress Configuration

WordPress configuration starts just as soon as you’ve completed your WordPress Installation

But, don’t even think about it if you do not have your site blueprint. Rushing in at this point without a clear site content plan will seriously damage your future prospects.

There are a bunch of settings that control your WordPress website. Most are common across free WordPress.com and hosted WordPress.org sites, so unless I state otherwise, assume my explanations apply to both (or I’ve made a mistake :smile:). Most can be tweaked as your website grows, but some must be set from the start.

Enhancing wp-config.php

Hosted WordPress.org only. This can actually be done at any time – usually when you get sick of the huge list of revisions, or hit an out of memory error.
Edit wp-config.php to add:
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);

See for more.

WordPress Settings

In the Admin area, there are several pages in the Settings section. Go through these in turn:

General Settings

Site Title & Tagline
From your site blueprint.
Membership
Tick for a community site, otherwise leave blank.
Timezone
Your main market, if known, otherwise your local time.

Discussion Settings

Allow link notifications & Allow people to post comments
Tick for community websites otherwise make blank, and ignore rest of discussion settings.
Users must be registered
Not vital, but forcing registration reduces spam.
Comment Moderation
Again, not vital, but I usually change the default from 2 to 1.

Privacy Settings

Site Visibility
Should have been set during installation, but double-check to make sure you are visible to search engines.

Permalink Settings

Custom Structure
Make sure custom is selected and change it to /%post_id%/%postname%/
Category base
From your site blueprint. Ensure this will never be the same as any planned Page Title
Tag base
From your site blueprint. Ensure this will never be the same as any planned Page Title

WordPress Categories & Tags

Setup the WordPress Categories (Admin – Posts – Categories) according to your website blueprint. Don’t forget to change uncategorized to your key market target, then add the other sections of your site. Though you can add the sections as you write the first article in that section, you will miss out on the description. I cover category descriptions in more depth in the Format section.

You should also setup the WordPress Post Tags (Admin – Posts – Post Tags) before you start publishing articles. Except for small sites, I find this a little tedious, so I tend to do it a section at a time as I work through the site blueprint. Eventually, I’ll add import features to the website development tools to do this automatically (with categories, and vital settings), but that is for the future.

WordPress Configuration: Next Steps

Your website is now just about operational, and you can edit or delete the example pages and posts that WordPress installs automatically.

Getting the first 50-60 pages published is the key task now, though if you are part of a team, you can hand this over to the Content Managers. If you are working alone, you will now constantly switch hats between Website Technical Manager (or webmaster) and Web Business Manager. See my website production introduction for the overview of managing the launch stage. For your next technical tasks, see the Function & Format sections.