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Configure Wordpress on Your Domain

Now that you've installed Wordpress, you need to take some steps to get everything configured so that your site will work the way you'd like it to.

Wordpress Dashboard

First, log in to your Wordpress dashboard. Either click the link to your dashboard from the Wordpress web application page in your cPanel 
or type the url in your web browser

Dashboard Parts

Along the top of your dashboard, you can see the Toolbar. Along the left-hand side is the sidebar. In the central area of the dashboard are a set of widgets (widgets are just applications, or components of an interface, that enable a user to perform functions or access services). The sidebar includes access to all the different functions you need to manage your Wordpress site. The toolbar repeats a few of those same key functions–the difference between them is that the sidebar remains on the page when you are logged into your account even when you're on the site itself instead of just inside the dashboard.

In the toolbar: from the Wordpress icon you can go directly to the Wordpress help pages ( and get to other information about software. The home button will take you out of the dashboard and to your domain. The dialog bubble will bring you to the comment management area. The “+ new” button will allow you to quickly add a new post, page, media item, link, or user.

We're going to begin by configuring settings in three areas. First, we'll edit your user profile. Then we'll change a number of settings. Then we'll take a look at themes.

Edit Your Profile

To edit the information in your profile

  • Click on Users
  • Select Your Profile

You can customize any of the settings in your profile except your username, which cannot be changed. The only time you need the username is when you log in but if you decide you hate the username, the only way to change it is to add a new user with administrative privileges and switch to using that user.

By default, the display name for your profile is “admin,” no matter what username you have. If you want something else to display as your name whenever you publish a post, page, or comment, just enter a first name, last name, and/or nickname in the name fields–anything you enter into any of those fields becomes selectable from the pull-down menu for display names.

(Here's the Wordpress documentation on the profile page, in case you want more information on any of the other settings available here.)

If you scroll down you'll see the Contact Info sectoin. There's no real reason to enter contact information or bio information here. However, the one other important thing you can do in the profile page is to change your password. If you ever need to change your password, just do so here.

Once you've finished making any changes to your profile,

  • Scroll to the bottom of the page
  • Click on the blue “Update Profile” button

Once your settings are saved, a confirmation message will appear at the top of the page saying “Profile Updated.”

Settings--General Settings

  • Click Settings in the sidebar

The sidebar menu will expand to show you a series of subpages underneath settings and will start you out on the General Settings page. If you did not change the title or tagline for your site when you installed Wordpress, the default 1) “My blog” and 2) “Just another WordPress site” will appear here. You should change your Site Title and Tagline to something more appropriate.

By default, Wordpress sets the timezone for all new sites at Greenwich Mean Time. You should change the 3) Timezone to UTC -5 (or, if you scroll further and get to a list of cities, you can choose one of the cities in the Eastern Zone, like New York). You can change how the date and time will display, if you'd like.

  • Scroll to the bottom of the page
  • Click on Save Changes to save, and watch for the confirmation message at the top of the page.

The Wordpress help page on Settings administrationincludes links to the documentation for each subpage of the settings configurations subpages.

Adding Pages

Before we can change the next setting we need to add some pages to our site.

  • Select Pages in the sidebar

A list of the current pages on your site will be displayed. <INSERT PAGES IMAGE>

When Wordpress is first installed, by default it creates a single page called “About.” We are going to create a new home page and a blog page. You create a new page one of three ways:

  1. click on Add New under Pages in the sidebar,
  2. click on the Add New button in the top left corner of the Pages widget, or
  3. click on the + New button in the Toolbar and Select Page.

They all take you the same place, so use whichever is most intuitive for you.

Create a New Home Page

On the page you just created,

  1. Type the word Home in the “Enter Title here” text box title.
  2. If you have a sense of what you'd like to say on the home page, you can go ahead and enter that text in text area below the Add Media button and editing toolbar. Or you can just leave it blank for right now.
  3. Click the blue Publish button on the right to publish the page.

A “Page Published” confirmation message will show up at the top of the page, including a link to go view the page as it appears on your site. Underneath the title box, the permalink for the page will show up (a permalink is the permanent link or URL for that specific page).

  • Add another new page
  • Make the title Blog
  • Publish the page

(Here's the Wordpress documentation on adding new pages, if you want more information on options available.)


Once you've created a home page and a blog page,

  • Click Settings on the Sidebar
  • Select Reading

By default, Wordpress sets the main page of your site as your blog. We want a static page to show up as your home page, so we need to assign that page here and then tell Wordpress which page to use to publish blog posts.

  • Click on the radio button to the left of the A static page (select below)
  • Click the down arrow next to Front page:
  • Select Home
  • Select Blog for Posts page:
  • Click the Save Changes button

You can watch a2-minute tutorial video created by David Morgan, the Emory Domains admin, explaining a bit more about static front page and a blog page.

There are lots of other settings you can customize, but these are the most important ones. Check out the Wordpress help pages for more information about adjusting these settings.

Manage Themes

Any Wordpress site created at will have “<INSERT NAME OF OUR DEFAULT THEME” as the default theme. There are numerous Wordpress themes available for you free and there are themes that you can purchase. The following links contain content about choosing a Wordpress theme:

You can access themes from the Theme Directory -

If you'd like to change your theme to another available one, hover over the theme badge you want and choose Activate at the bottom of the badge.

To install a new theme, you can

  • Click Add New
  • Scroll through the available themes and select the one you want to install
  • Click the Install button

There is more information in the following documentation pages on Wordpress themes and Wordpress help page on using themes.

Everyone has a preference or opinion about what themes they like. You can just trying out a theme for a little while, playing with it some, and then switch to something else when you realize there's something that you want in your site that the current theme isn't doing well.

Next steps

Now that you've got some of the basic settings configured, the next step is to try out a few plugins.

getting_started/configure_wordpress_on_your_domain.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/03 18:56 by laneta