How to set up a WordPress theme

Each template has its own settings. Description of the default Twenty Nineteen theme settings will help you understand the patterns and customize the selected template.

In the WordPress console, select the “Appearance – Customize” menu. The theme settings or customizer page opens. The available settings can be seen in the menu on the left side of the screen.

Open the theme settings
The theme design is configured here

In the “Site Properties” section, upload a logo, specify the name and brief description of the site, add a favicon.

We specify the properties of the site
Enter the name and brief description of the site

In the “Colors” section, select the color scheme of the template, as well as the filter color of the pinned photo.

Change the color settings. Set the default primary color or a custom one
We have set the default theme color

In the “Menu” section, configure the site menu. Click the “Create Menu” button.

Customize the appearance of the main and top menu
If necessary, you can add a menu for links to social networks

You can create a new menu. To do this, click the button of the same name (see the screenshot above).

Specify the name of the menu and select the area where it will be placed
Creating a new menu in the Twenty Nineteen theme

Add the necessary pages to the menu and click the “Publish” button.

Adding pages to the menu
Customize the appearance of the menu and the pages in it

In the “Widgets” section, add widgets to the site. Please note that in 2022, a sidebar appeared again in the default WordPress theme. If you don’t need it, remove the side widgets.

What else is important to consider?
Choose a theme with an adaptive design. Adaptive design is equally well displayed on all devices – desktops, tablets, smartphones – and dynamically adjusts to the specified browser window sizes.
Don’t chase functionality. Choose a topic that suits your tasks. A theme overloaded with functionality will work slower, which will negatively affect the search ranking. Search engines “love” fast sites.
Pay attention to the number of downloads and the frequency of updates. If the topic is rarely updated or not updated at all, it is better to bypass it. Such a topic is unlikely to meet the requirements of the time for design, SEO, security.
Step #4: Setting up a website on a WordPress CMS
At this stage, it is necessary to pay attention to the basic settings of the content management system, which are available without installing additional plugins. You should also customize the theme. Please note that the template settings are different.

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Setting up a WordPress CMS
Log in to the WordPress admin panel and select the Settings menu. Specify the necessary data in each section of the settings.

In the “General” section, specify the name and a brief description of the site. This information will be displayed to users. In the “WordPress Address” and “Website Address” fields, specify the URL of the resource. Select the time zone, date format, site language. Leave the “Membership” field empty, because at the first stage of the site development, only bots and intruders will want to register on it.

Specify the general settings
These are the global site settings

In the “Writing” section, select the necessary parameters. At the beginning of the work, default formatting settings, the main heading and the format of records will be suitable. If you want to publish notes via email, enter the necessary data: server address, port, login and password. However, it is better for beginners to publish posts in the WordPress admin panel.

Be sure to specify at least one reliable update tracking service in the “Update Services” section. In this case, the engine will automatically notify search engines about the publication of new materials. Save the changes.

Select the writing settings
We set up categories, record format, publication via e-mail

Each time you click on the “Update” button, the selected services are also notified. To prevent the domain from being included in the lists of ping spammers, there is a WordPress Ping Optimizer plugin. Install it and configure the frequency of data exchange about changes.

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In the “Reading” section, specify what should be displayed on the main page of the site. If you are creating a blog, the main page should have the latest entries. For a site with static pages, select one page as the main page and create a separate “Blog” page on which posts will be displayed. You can see how it looks on the TeachLine project website.

Specify how many records to display on one page and in RSS feeds. Select the display in the article announcements feed. If for some reason you don’t want search engines to start indexing the site right away, check the appropriate box. It can be removed later.

Specify the reading settings
Specify the main page molding method and related settings

In the Discussion Settings section, select the appropriate options. In most cases, default settings will do.

Pay attention to the “Comment moderation” and “Blacklist” fields. You can specify the signs by which comments will be queued for moderation before publication or will appear in the “Spam” list. These settings will work if you use default WordPress comments.

Setting up discussion settings
Set the default settings for the comments section of the site

In the Media Files section, leave the default settings.

In the “Permanent links” section, select the structure of links to your materials. For example, the link may include the title of the post and the date of publication, or only the title of the post. You can also add prefixes for category links.

Choosing the global link structure of the site
Setting up the type of permanent links on the site

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Step #5: Solving practical problems with WordPress plugins
Plugins are one of the diseases of novice WordPress site owners. Barely registering a resource, beginners install dozens of extensions. This can slow down the site. Even worse, instead of creating interesting and useful content for site visitors, the webmaster completely concentrates on finding and configuring new plugins. He forgets that this is just a tool, not a goal.

Use plugins with caution and install only the most necessary ones to:

to ensure the security of the site;
fight spam;
optimize the resource for the requirements of search engines;
increase functionality and improve usability.
How to use plugins to ensure the security of a WordPress site
The site is exposed to two global threats. The first is you yourself. Striving for excellence and innovation can force webmasters to take risky experiments with code and programs that can lead to loss of information. You can protect yourself from this by using plugins that create backups of the site.

The second threat is unauthorized access to the resource. Attackers may try to gain access to your site in order to install malicious code on it or simply steal it.

To regularly create backups of the site, use one of the listed plugins:

WP Database Backup – not translated yet;
BackUpWordPress – there is a Russian version, but it is updated less often;
Backup and Restore WordPress – not.
To install the selected plugin, go to the “Plugins – Add New” menu. Enter the name of the extension in the search box in the upper right corner and press Enter. You can also download the plugin from the developer’s website and install it using the “Download Plugin” function at the top of the admin panel screen.

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