WordPress has some very thorough installation instructions on their site so I am not going to rehash those instructions in this article. Here is the link to those very directions – WordPress Install.
Once you have the most current version of WordPress installed per the linked to instructions above, then follow these tips to help your WordPress install run smoother.
Change Permalink Structure
Go to Settings > Permalinks, in the admin panel and you will see that the WordPress default permalink structure is http://yoursite.com/?p=123. The default structure should be changed as it is not good for the site SEO and it doesn’t describe anything about the link your visitors are about to visit.
There seems to be some debate over whether or not to use a custom permalink structure such as (http://yoursite.com/title-of-article) from a SEO standpoint that is a good choice. Where there might be a problem is such a structure might be an issue because using the postname as the only element in your permalinks to create a structure such as http://yoursite.com/title-of-article, the rewrite rules may make it impossible to access pages such as your stylesheet (which has a similar format) or the /wp-admin/ folder.
When testing this structure I have had no issues and it may only be relevant to older installs but if you want to play it safe use either the day and name or month and name settings in the Common settings.
Both the day and name or month and name will place keywords in your permalink structure.
Correct Security Issues
A new WordPress install has a few minor security flaws inherent in the setup and while they are not major risks it is good to mitigate any security issues.
Disable Remote Publishing: I recommend disabling both Atom and SML-PRC publishing unless you are going to use a remote blog editor or have a plugin that requires you enable these settings.
Go to Settings > Writing and make sure these options are both unchecked.
Set Up New Account: We want to remove the default admin account for security reasons, so we need to set up a replacement first. To do this go to Users > Add New and fill out the form. Be sure to set this new account as an administrator. You can set up any other accounts at this time as well if you are going to have multiple blog authors, assigning them the roles and permissions that are fitting.
Remove the Admin Account: You will now want to delete the default admin account. Hackers know that this account is added by default and is automatically assigned ID#1 making it a security liability. Go to Users, mouse over the admin account and click Delete.
Post Via Email: Leave these settings alone if you do not plan on posting via email. Placing any real information in the boxes creates a security issue. For reference these settings can be found under Settings > Writing.
Create a Blank index.html Files: Place blank index.html files in every directory you do not want to be browsed that way if someone loads a directory, they will just be shown a blank white page instead of the directory contents. You can also use htaccess to prevent people browsing your directories.
Navigate to Settings > Writing and scroll down to Update Services.
By default Pingomatic (http://rpc.pingomatic.com/) should be listed in your Update Services box. There is debate as to whether or not to include other ping services. My thinking is it is not necessary, Pingomatic pings the top 20 services that is typically enough.
If you wish expand your list I recommend that you do not duplicate any of the ping sites that Pingomatic already submits to. If you ping a search engine too much they might consider you a ping spammer and could ban your blog.
Also of note most lists on the Internet are outdated, for example a have seen a number of lists that still include Technorati, even though they stopped excepting pings.
Set Discussion Settings
Navigate to Settings > Discussion
Below are recommendations for setting up the Discussion Settings. These are a decent starting point feel free to tweak these settings to your preferences.
- Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article – This will notify blogs that you have linked to an article with a pingback. Leave this checked as pingbacks can send some decent traffic back to your blog.
- Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks.) – This notifies you if any other blogs link to you and adds a pingback/trackback to the comments of the post that they linked to. I recommend you have this checked.
- Allow people to post comments on the article – This s personal preference, if you want to allow comments on your blog check it, if not leave it unchecked. My opinion is that comments help build community on your blog which strengthens the connection your readers have with your blog and therefore create greater reader loyalty and interaction.
- Comment author must fill out name and e-mail – I simply recommend this to reduce comment spam.
- Users must be registered and logged in to comment – If your site uses registration then you probably want to check this option to further reduce spam. If like most blogs, you do not offer registration or do not want to require readers to register to comment, leave it unchecked.
- Automatically close comments on articles older than __days – Some blogs close comments on older posts to reduce the constant comment checking and amount of replies. If you wish to use this type of strategy then check this option and set the number of days you prefer to leave the commenting open for.
- Enable threaded (nested) comments — levels deep – If you want to use nested comments, make sure your theme supports them, then check this box and set the maximum comments to be shown. Any more than the maximum will be hidden with an option to view them.
- Break comments into pages with__comments per page and the__ page displayed by default. Comments should be displayed with the__comments at the top of each page – If you receive a high volume of comments you will probably want to check this option. Tweak these setting to your preferences..
- Anyone posts a comment – Pretty straight forward, if you receive a large volume of comments you might want to uncheck this option.
- A comment is held for moderation – I recommend checking this if you wish to moderate comments in a timely fashion.
- An administrator must always approve the comment – Check this option if you want to check for spam or inappropriate comments before they end up on the blog.
- Comment author must have a previously approved comment – If the comment author has never commented on my blog before, then the comment needs to be approved first. After the initial approval they can comment without further approval being needed.
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