For the past few weeks in my Online Writing class, most of my classmates had created their first WordPress site for the first time. Some of them had trouble setting up their sites, as it was the first time they had ever worked with WordPress. As I’ve had this WordPress site since September 2011 (although the number of my posts may not reflect that), I’ve had a lot of experience using WordPress, so I helped solve the problems that my classmates have had with WordPress. Since I’ve been successful in helping my fellow writers set up their websites, I figured I’d write this post to help other writers who may have trouble setting up their websites.

Two ground rules before I begin though. First, this is going to be an evolving post: if you have a specific question/problem about/with WordPress, post a comment in this post and I’ll both answer you and update the post with the answer to your question. This is going to be a short post at this time of this writing (October 23 2014) but over the years it will (hopefully) expand.

Second, there is no substitute for spending an hour playing with your WordPress site. That’s how I learned how to do everything when I first created this site; I spent an hour going through all the settings and options with my WordPress site, and from that I learned how everything worked. I recommend that you do the same, but if you have further questions, that’s what this post is for. Again, if you have any questions that this post doesn’t cover, let me know in the comments below.

Changing Blog Location

changing blog location

Some may want to have their blog posts appear in a location other than their front page, so that their WordPress site appears less like a blog and more like a website that has a blog. If that’s what you want to do, go to Dashboard -> Settings -> Reading -> Front page displays. From there, click A static page, and select the page you want to be your front page (which is what you want to appear when someone types in your URL), and select the page you want your blog posts to show up in. Scroll to the bottom and save your settings. If you don’t know how to create new pages, go to Dashboard -> Pages -> Add New (it’ll be the button at the top of the page.)

Turning off Comment Approval

turning off comment moderation

Turning off Comment Approval is important for several reasons. First, keeping Comment Approval on slows down discussion on your pages, which is something you don’t want. Second, when you become wildly successful and filthy rich (which I hope you all will), you don’t want to take up time that you could’ve been spending swimming in your solid gold pool filled with $100 bills on approving a million people’s comments. As for worries about Spam, WordPress’s spam filter is pretty good, so you shouldn’t have any problems with spam. If you do, you can either delete the comment or let your readers relentlessly mock the spammer. To turn off Comment Approval, go to Dashboard -> Settings -> Discussion -> Before a comment appears and uncheck Comment must be manually approved. Don’t forget to save your settings.

Adding Blog Picture/Icon

Adding Blog PictureIcon

Adding a Blog Picture/Icon is one of those little extra things that can make your blog look a little more professional. (Note: this is different from adding an avatar.) It replaces the wordpress logo on the tab of your website and the world logo on the top WordPress bar with a picture of your own choosing. In order to do this, go to Dashboard -> Settings -> General -> Blog Picture/Icon; It’ll be at the top of General settings. Choose the photo you want and upload the image.

  1. Thanks for the help. It would have taken me forever to figure out how to make it so I wouldn’t have to moderate comments. Deciding to make this post one you can continuously update is a smart move. I’m sure people like me will always have more questions. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. […] WordPress Help for Writers post has been a big hit among my fellow Professional Writing majors, and one of my teachers, Linda […]

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