If you just installed a new fresh WordPress website, there are a few basic WordPress settings that you need to take care off.
First login to your WordPress Dashboard and then go to Settings.
Basic WordPress Settings
You will see that your have some options in that sub-menu which you can follow to do your basic WordPress settings:
In this screen you can set the main Site Title of your WordPress website as well as the Tagline.
Here you can change if you want your website to be linked to with or without the /subfolder name. If you want to do that you need to configure some other options as well like the index.php and recreate your .htaccess file after the change. I will explain that in a later article.
In the General Settings screen, you can set who may register an account at your blog, and how dates and times are calculated and displayed. You can set your time zone and you can change your site language if you want to.
In the writing settings screen you set the defaults for you Posts writing options like your default post category and post format.
I don't like showing emoticons like graphics, it distracts me from reading, that is why I unchecked that option. By default, it is set to on.
If you want to post via email, you can configure that option here. Make sure you understand those options and create a completely different mail address for this! You don't want your private emails to show up like posts on your blog…
The last option in this screen can be left as it is for now; it is the ping service that will let sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing know that you create a new article.
Here you have the options to change your homepage to show either your latest posts or a static page you have created.
If you want to do that, create that home page first and an empty page with just a title like Blog Articles or Site News, or something along those lines.
Once you created those two pages, then set the options here accordingly.
Be aware that if your theme has its own homepage options, like the Genesis Child Theme I use here on wpmanuals.com, it will not reflect the change to a static homepage. WordPress will use the home.php template of your WordPress theme first before it will look at this setting.
You can set how many posts will be shown on the blog page or your front page.
The number of articles in a feed and if you want to show Full text or just a Summary you can set that here. Full-text post in your feed will make it easier for feed scrapers to copy your site's content.
The last option should not be checked on a live WordPress website unless you really don't want to be featured in Search Engines…
Blocking search engine indexation is fine if you are creating a demo site or if you still are creating your first site content before you want to go live.
Discussions are great for a blog site or articles that you write on your blog page, but if you want to build a static WordPress website you might want to uncheck some of the boxes here.
If you want to interact with your readers, don't make it too hard for them to do that.
We will look at some plugins to block spammers from flooding your site with comments in the plugins section.
In this discussion settings page you can select whether or not you want Avatars (Peoples photo or image thumbnails for Gravator.com) to be shown or not.
In the media settings you can change the default size values for your images.
You can leave this as they are or change it to fit you WordPress theme needs.
WordPress will create these files automatically based on these options if you upload an image.
I don't like to have a lot of subfolders for images, which is why I uncheck the last option in this screen.
Getting the correct settings on this screen is really important for your visitors and search engines.
Leaving it to the standard ?p=123 it the worst thing you can do… people will hardly refer to that and search engines also want good clean URLs.
The best option for 99% of the WordPress websites it the Post name option. That will give you great URLs bases on the title of your article / page.
Warning! Don't change this option after your site has gone live. You might break links to your site and lose your rankings. If you do want to change it from Default to something else that it fine as WordPress will do the redirect for you. Any other changes should be followed with extensive 301 redirection options in your .htaccess file or with the assistance of a redirection plugin.
The other options in the lower part of the screen can be left empty unless you want to do something different like I have done here.
Now that you have set the basic WordPress settings done for your new WP website and / or Blog, it's time to do some cleanup and set some options for your posts.
You can check out this short video for more info and an overview of these settings on: http://wordpress.tv/2015/05/03/wordpress-general-settings/