A quick start for new bloggers

Jan 02, 2010 · 2 mins read

When you first login to your new Wordpress site you may be a little overwhelmed by all the settings. Here is a quick overview of the important bits to get you started.


Some hosting provider may already have installed some plugins for you by default. However, you might not need all of them and more plugins means more options and that can actually make things more complicated. That is why I suggest to turn most of them off and later figure out what plugins you really want to use.

Go to Plugins > Installed plugins and at the very least Deactivate the JetPack plugin if it’s there, as it offers so many features that it can be overwhelming and usually is simply not needed.

The rule of thumb for plugins is: If you don’t know what you need it for, deactivate it!

Later on, when you are looking for additional functionality you can get back to the Plugins screen and add a new plugin when needed. Here is some help on how to choose the right plugin.


Next up is choosing a theme via Appearance > Themes. With the buttons on the top of this screen you can find a free theme from the Wordpress repository or upload a Premium theme that you bought or just start out with one of the default themes that are already installed for you.

Once you chose a theme you probably want to go trough the theme’s settings via Appearance > Customize to see what special settings your have for your theme. These settings are different for each theme and when you change to another theme you usually have to redo these settings.


Under Appearance > Widgets you can manage what you want to display in the sidebar and/or footer area. Some themes offer multiple Widget areas. Just like with the theme Customization and Menus you may lose the Widgets when you switch themes.

User account

Under Users > All users you can manage the user accounts that can login on yoursite.com/wp-admin. Your own user should have the higest user level role “Administrator”. Anyone else should probably have a lower tiered user role so they can edit and publish any pages and posts (user role: Editor), or just edit and publish their own posts (user role: Author), only edit and not publish their own posts (user role: Contributor) or really just post comments (user role: Subscriber).

General Settings

There is a few things you might want to check under the Wordpress Settings menu. First of all make sure to fill your site title and tagline under Settings > General. In the same screen you might want to Uncheck the box for “Anyone can register” and set your blog to the desired Timezone and Date format. Under Settings > Permalinks you can setup the default URL format for your website. Unless your posts are date sensitive you probably want to set this to “Post Name”. You will also find the “Discussion” settings here, for allowing visitors to comment on your posts.

Creating Posts and Pages

First of all it’s important to understand the difference between Posts, Pages and Categories. When you are ready to edit a post or a page you will use the Wordpress Editor.