The WordPress Dashboard has a number of buttons to click down the left hand side. The one all the way at the bottom is Settings. This is a good place to start.
The first subcategory under Settings is the General tab. I changed four things in this category. I changed the site title, the tagline, the timezone and the day that the week starts on. I think I read that the first two are important to being found on search engines, but I can’t remember. I also clicked the box saying that anyone can register. I figure if this is a problem I can alter it later.
The two subcategories are Writing and Reading. Writing I don’t want to mess with, but there is one thing I changed in Reading. I want a static first page to greet people, so I checked the box. Since I don’t have any pages uploaded, it looks like there’s a default to hold the place. Update: I have reversed myself on this. With a static page I can’t figure out how to have the latest post appear, which makes the site look dead. So I unchecked the box.
The Discussion submenu does have some things I want to change. I want to let people comment on postings for a month. The default seems to be to never close a post to comments, but I think I’ll learn enough in a month to make my early posts no longer relevant. I just check the box and change the 14 days to 28 days. I’m also changing the Maximum Rating to PG. I don’t know how this works but I’ll assume that it does. I also checked the box about breaking comments into pages of 50 with the most recent posts displayed by default. I can’t imagine fifty comments, but just in case let’s keep things manageable. Update: I’ve changed the Maximum Rating to R. I’m afraid that the filter will be too tight otherwise.
Media I’m leaving alone. Again I’m not smart enough to change anything here.
Privacy has the option to ask search engines not to index my site. Of course I want them to. And as it’s the default setting I’m moving on.
Permalinks are interesting, and I had to read up on them. From what I gather, they are the URL to your individual post. So if I do this correctly, the title of this post “Beginning WordPress Settings” will be in the URL to this post. This apparently helps the search engines figure out what’s on the page. I think the structure of slash-percent-word-percent-slash is nomenclature from the programming language php. (Note to self: become less obsolete).
Then head over to my step by step instructions on how to do WordPress!