How to Set up WordPress Settings, Menu’s, Pages, Post and More!
Congratulations! You have started a blog and your all set up with your domain, hosting and WordPress. But now what? I imagine your looking at your control panel dashboard thinking what on earth did I get myself into! Don’t fret you are not alone. We also wondered what did we get ourselves into and where very unsure of where to start or what to do next.
This is part 2 of a 3 part series on how to set up a new blog. We will walk you through step by step in getting your blog up an rolling in no time!
It’s super simple and easy to navigate your way around once you get familiar with the dashboard.
Get your blog set up in these 6 easy steps!
1. Set up pages
2. Homepage and blog page settings
3. Set up categories
4. Set up menu
5. Set up contact page (link to new post about important pages)
6. Write a post
Step 1) Set up your initial pages that you want
a. On your left side on your dashboard go to pages and then click on add new.
b. Name your page, the first page you will need is a home page. Once page is named just simply click on publish. Also add a contact page for step 5.
c. At this point you may not want to name all of your pages unless you have content to build on them or post to display. However is you already know which pages you are going to create now is a good time to add. After you hit publish just simply click on add new on the top left corner.
Note: Once you set up your SEO plugin which you will want to do, you will have to come back and fill out your meta data which I explain in part 4 of this series….
Step 2) Set your homepage and blog page settings
a. Go to appearance on the left side on your dashboard and scroll down to reading and click.
b. Once your in reading you will want to set you front page to static and then select home. You can select a blog page if your wish, otherwise you leave empty and your blog post will go to uncategorized. Click save in the left hand corner at the bottom.
Note: uncategorized is actually a category, which we will cover next.
Step 3) Set up categories
Categories are a way to organize your post that don’t require a full page design. Pages and categories can both be put into menus, which we will cover next. Categories and pages do not function the same. A page is really for when you have static content that you will rarely change, for example your contact page. A category describes what kind of content or post you will find under that tab in the menu. It basically will tell you where your post are when you create them.
a. On your left side dashboard go to post and click on categories. Name your category and click on save at the bottom. The slug which is part of the new url will generate itself.
b. Optional, if you want to edit your uncategorized category which is a default category you may do so now. We changed ours to blogging. Go to uncategorized on the right side and click on edit. When page pops up, simply change name to blog or blogging, you will also need to change the slug, which should be written in singular tense, for example, our category is blogging and our slug is blog. If you re-name category blog then slug would also be blog. When you are finished click on save.
Note: for future reference you will want to put in a complete description that will help with SEO (search engine optimization) Not fully necessary at this point but best to do it as you go along once you know what your category is going to be about.
Step 4) Setting up your menu
a. On your dashboard on the left side to go appearance then scroll down to menu and click.
b. Click on create a new menu. You will want to name your menu, something like main menu and then click on create menu on the far right.
c. Choose this menu at your primary menu and then click save menu.
d. On the left side under pages and categories check the boxes for all the items you want to be displayed on your main menu and click add to menu.
e. Optional some menu items don’t have to be pages or categories. If you have a subject such as we do with travel that has multiple categories you can create a non-clickable menu item. Simple go to custom links. Clear out the http:// and place a hashtag and then give your menu item a name below that and click on add to menu.
f. Now that all you menu items are moved over to the menu structure you can organize by drop and drag. For example my destination for US and England will go under travel. This will create a drop down effect when you save the menu. When you have your menu items where you want them click on save menu.
Step 5) Set up contact page
Your contact page is useful for giving you readers a place to reach out to you and the messages will be sent directly to your email box.
a. The first thing you will need to do is grab a plugin called contact form 7. Go to your left hand side to plugins and click on add new. In the search box put in contact form 7. From there click on install and then activate.
b. On your left side dashboard go to contact and click on add new.
c. Give you form a name and click save
d. Go back to contact and click on contact forms. You will see a short code in brackets, copy that code to add to your contact page.
e. Go to pages and click on edit under your contact page. Once on the back end of your contact page you can paste your short code. You can write above you code what ever you like and then click on update.
Step 6) Write your first post.
Writing you first post can look intimidating however it’s quite easy. I will walk through just some basics on writing your first post on the back end. If you find it to cumbersome you may want to look into a front end editor. There are so many to choose from. We actually used one on our very first theme and found the possibilities amazing.
a. Name your first blog post.
b. Enter your first heading, usually the name of your blog post, highlight the area and then click on heading 1 in the top left corner. For each heading you will number them consecutively throughout the post. Underneath each heading you will change back to paragraph.
c. Write your blog post.
Note: that some of the options will look similar to Microsoft word, you can bold, Italic, align left, center or right etc. You will have to play around with this menu to get the results in your post that you are looking for.
e. Click on set featured image on the right hand side and then click on upload files. Choose a photo you would like to have as your featured photo from your photo files.
f. Once the photo is done uploading make sure to add an alt text and description. This tells search engines what your photo is about and important for SEO. When finished click on set featured image.
g. Click on publish if you are finished writing your post.
Congratulations you have now published your first post!
Now that you have your blog all set up with your menus, pages, categories and post, it’s time to make sure your new blog is set up with google search console, google analytics and search engine optimized!
This is a 4 part series in getting your first blog up and running. We will walk you through step by step to help you get your blog up and rolling! Keep reading for more help!
Part 2: You are here!
Part 4: Setting up your Yoast SEO coming soon!