This overview is for a basic, vanilla installation of WordPress (WP). Think of this post as a new WordPress website settings checklist that you can build upon.

Depending on what type of website you want to make and the tools you have available, your mileage may vary.

WP Admin Settings Review

General

  • Add website title, very important.
  • Add website tagline, very important.
  • Email and URL should automatically be filled in from setup.
  • Make sure anyone can register is unchecked, at least in the beginning.
  • Make sure site language and timezone are appropriately configured.
  • Set desired date, time, and week start format.

Reading

  • Make sure homepage settings are appropriate for what you need, for me it's setting home to home and blog to blog pages.
  • Set the number of blog posts available for page and feed. I'd say no less than 10.
  • Make sure discourage search engines from indexing this website is unchecked. This is a bad idea, even if your website isn't ready.

Discussion

  • Set article, comment, and moderation settings are to your liking. I tend to make it a little more strict than defaults.
  • Make sure Avatars are enabled. Gravatars are a good thing. Set the setting according to the website.

Media

  • I tend to uncheck Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders so I don't have to hunt through folders when I'm connected SFTP.

Permalink

  • Make sure permalinks are set to post name, for example
    https://websitejolt.com/sample-post/.

Akismet

  • This plugin is probably the best comment spam filtering I've come across besides a setup with Wang guard (which you can't get anymore since it shut down).
  • After inputing my API key I choose Silently discard the worst and most pervasive spam so I never see it. I'm not interested in curating spam at all.

Add Your Pages

  1. Home, set as home as mentioned before
  2. Articles, News, Blog, set as blog as mentioned before
  3. Course, Portfolio, Project, some type of specialty page, this will be a custom post type (CPT) based on the theme you pick
  4. About
  5. Privacy Policy, set in Settings > Privacy
  6. Terms of Use, Cookie Policy

Update: Since this is a website settings post, I went more in depth on the pages you need to have on your website on 4/24/18.

Website Extendability

  1. If you haven't setup SSL (TLS) certificate, activate it and force SSL for your website. Make sure your URL has HTTPS if your URL doesn't pull automatically in Settings > General.
  2. Add desired premium theme, remove all others, custom CSS can come later
  3. Add plugins, make sure plugins not in use are deleted.

Google Extendability

  • Connect website to Google Search Engine Console (formally named Google Webmaster Tools).
  • Create new property in Google Analytics and add code to website.
  • Create new recaptcha property and add to website.

Website Monetization

If you have this already, if not don't put to much effort into getting approved on a new website. It won't happen.

  • Insert ad code, in theme or use a plugin.
  • Insert Amazon Associate website tag or ad codes, or use a plugin.
  • Insert affiliate links in content, don't force it

Conclusion

What else do you usually set or use that should be a standard part of this
new WordPress website settings checklist ?

What settings optimization do you perform?

Is it a contact form plugin, SEO plugin, security plugin, link shortener plugin, or database optimization plugin?

Let me know in the comments below.

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