How to Setup a WordPress Website – Permalinks and Categories

This is a short step but very important to get right before you start releasing chapters.

Now that we have our WordPress site setup, we have to think about how we want to organize it. This is important because it will determine how your site appears to visitors and how others can link to you.

To view the options, open the Admin section of the site, click Settings – Permalinks. If you leave it as default, you will get something like, http://thepeninthestone.com/?p=123. Frankly, that sucks. The p (means post) is just referencing the post ID but viewers have no idea what to expect on the post or where they are on your website. There are several other options but you will notice, I structured my links in a very specific way. I use the custom structure with /%category%/%postname%/ so all my posts come out as http://thepeninthestone.com/the-enhanced-series/portal-the-enhanced-series-book-1/chapter-47/. The link tells you that you are in The Enhanced Series, reading Portal (book 1), and on Chapter 47. It is much more intuitive.

The only way this works is to setup your categories to reflect the organization. I could have Portal as a top-level category, but I think it works better to sub-categorize it under The Enhanced Series in case I write another series down the road. This will keep every thing properly segregated and easy to find. In addition, I also made blog as a top-level category for all my blog posts so that is referenced in the URL, for example:  http://thepeninthestone.com/blog/how-to-create-a-wordpress-website-the-beginning/. Categories are under Posts in the Admin panel. Just add them before you begin posting and make sure to setup the parent-child relationships first (i.e. The Enhanced Series is the parent category, Portal (The Enhanced Series – Book 1) is the child category).

I still debate if my child category should be Portal (The Enhanced Series – Book 1) or simply, Portal (Book 1). I choose the longer name because when I input the title on the Tuesday and Friday Collectors and other website listings, there is no place for the series name. This method allows me to add it and the title is consistent everywhere. I notice many people search Google (thanks to the Stats panel) using ‘The Enhanced Series Portal’.

That’s it for this part of the setup. The next step would be to add the plugins I referenced in a previous post. After that, you should be ready to start your masterpiece.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

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