In the last step, we set up our hosting and domain name, and actually went live with our content…

Now, it’s time to set up your site with some plugins, themes and content!

First things first – log in to the WordPress Admin Dashboard by going to (fill in your domain name).

You should also have this in an email that was sent after you set up your site…

Fill in your Username and Password.  Then click ‘Log in’

Your Dashboard

Here’s your Admin Dashboard – the center of your universe (well, at least for this site :0) )

In the remaining pages of this guide, you will be learning to do pretty much everything in here that matters.

First things first…  Your password was pretty ugly so let’s get that changed.

Change Your Password

To change your password…

Go to Users >> Your Profile.


Scroll to the bottom of the page and change your password.

Install Plugins

Now, let’s install some plugins.  Here are the ones we usually install right off the bat.

5.55: Add Plugin

Toward the top of the screen, click ‘Add New’ again.

Search Plugins

Now, in that search field, we can search for plugins to add functionality to our site.  You can get by without any plugins at all, but what’s the fun in that!

The first few that I set up are always:

  • All In One SEO (it has impressive SEO functionality!)
  • All In One Webmaster (for tying in lots of Webmaster type functionality, and making installing Google Analytics easier!)
  • Contact Form 7 (for your contact page…)
  • Redirection (for cloaking and shortening affiliate links)

Search each one and install it…

Plus, add any other ones that look interesting to you as you’re setting things up!

Settings Configuration

Most of the settings for your plugins are going to be either in the extreme left hand menu OR underneath the Settings tab.

It used to be pretty common to find everything under settings, but the bigger plugins that have lots of functionality tend to add themselves right to your big, left hand menu.

Adding Google Analytics

Google Analytics can be a bit tricky to install, so I’m going to walk you through it here…

Go to:

Hit the ‘Sign Up’ button on the right.

Site Info

Fill our the information for your site.

Accept TOS

Accept the Terms Of Service Agreement that pops up.

Grab Your Code

Copy the UA code so you can use it in your site.

Paste Code

Then, go to “Settings >> All In One Webmaster” in the sidebar.

Paste the code into the All In One Webmaster plugin beside ‘Google Analytics’, and hit ‘Update Options.’

Permalink Settings

Google likes pretty links URL’s… URL’s without question marks and such in them.

You have to ‘Update Permalinks’ to make that happen.

Go to Settings >> Permalinks

Update Permalinks

Change the radio box to ‘Post Name’ and then hit ‘Save Changes’

Discussion Settings

The one thing I usually change here…  I check the box that says, “Automatically close comments on articles older then 14 days.”

Since these sites won’t be logged in to often, we don’t want comment spam showing up.

General Settings

The only thing you should have to change here is the site’s tagline.

This tagline should has to have your primary keyword phrase in it!


Now, let’s go to Appearance >> Themes to look at the theme options.


For themes, the skies the limit…  Really.

You can use free themes, default themes, or premium themes (that you pay for.

For sake of argument, let’s set up one of the default themes first.  We can always change this out depending on your style and what you’d like to do with your branding.

NOTE: I LOVE OptimizePress for pretty much any site.  It’s customizable.  You can build marketing pages pretty easily.  It’s just a great all around choice.


Next up, let’s go to Widgets.

Widget Settings

Widgets are 100% Drag and Drop.  If you want a new widget, pick it out of the box in the middle of the page, and drab it into the sidebar you want it to appear in on the right.

There are widgets that are automatically enabled in the theme that we’re going to remove.  Simply click on the Widget and drag it OUT OF THE SIDEBAR column to remove it..


  • The search widget
  • The recent comments widget
  • The meta widget


  • The archives widget to the bottom

Widget Final

What’s left is:

  • Recent Posts
  • Categories
  • Archives

In that order :0)


Now, we’re going to work with the pages.

Click Pages >> All Pages.

9.1: Delete the Sample Page

Go ahead and trash the ‘Sample Page’

New Page

Then, in the left sidebar, click new page.

Add An About Page

Now, you should be looking at the ‘Add New Page’ screen.

  1. Type ‘About’ for the title.  We’re going to set up a simple about page.
  2. The content of the about page should cater to your site, and still manage to stuff some keywords in it.  You can see our example below.  Basically, it only purpose is the say, “This site is about awesome grades…”  Write whatever you want here though.  It’s no important for search rankigns, but you might get some visitors who read it.
  3. Then, click the Publish button.

Add A Contact Page

Next up, add a contact page.

On this page, we’ll integrate our contact form from the plugin!  Or, you can just post your email address or phone number.

Next Steps…

Now that our website is set up, all the plugins are installed, and we’re working inside the Default WordPress theme…  It’s time to start adding some blog content!

Click here to learn how to start writing blog posts >>