Configuration and Settings
Now that you have great content you will probably want to share it. Sure, you could, and should, manually post your content across all of your social media platforms. But why not allow your viewers to share the content? WordPress.com has sharing buttons baked right into your website. Go to Sharing -> Connections in your Site Admin and begin connecting your social media accounts. WordPress supports many popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, Tumblr, and Path. You can also connect your Google Account in order to load your Google Photos into your WordPress Media Library.
Once you have your accounts connected, click on Sharing Buttons at the top of the page.
From here you can modify your sharing buttons. By clicking Edit Sharing Buttons you can add or remove which social networks appear, you can also change the order they appear in.
The Button Style is how the buttons will appear such as an Icon with its associated text, official buttons, or just the icon or text only.
In the Options section you can decide which pages your sharing buttons appear on. You can also include your Twitter tag from here. Make sure to save your changes!
The People section is divided into three tabs, Team, Followers, and Email Followers.
In the Team section, you can view a list of all of the people who have access to your site in some compacity. You can also give and revoke permissions from this screen.
The Followers section lists all of the people who follow your site, these individuals receive notifications when you post content. You can remove these Followers and they will stop receiving notifications until they choose to follow your site again.
The Plugins section is available to view for all users, but only Business plans can take advantage of this powerful new feature. On the Plugins page, you can view and edit your Active and Inactive plugins as well as view available updates. You can also edit all of your plugins at once by clicking Edit All.
If you click on Add you can browse the WordPress plugin repository for new plugins. There are three quick pick sections called Featured, Popular, and New.
You can also use the search field look up plugins you already know about. The Calypso UI on WordPress.com has a few draw backs at this particular time. The UI works fantastically and provides a lightning fast user experience, but a lot of plugins are set up to integrate into the old WP-Admin dashboard. For most plugins, you will need to visit your WP-Admin to make adjustments to the settings.
The Domain section also hosts the settings for your Upgrade Plan. Under My Plan you can view the details and benefits of your current plan with links to certain settings. The Plans section is a great place to discover the differences between the upgrades and make any necessary changes.
The Domains tab allows you to Add Domains and manage settings for your domains such as whether your domain is mapped from a different registrar or which domain records you choose to use.
You can also manage your domain’s nameserver and DNS from this tab as well as begin the process to transfer your domain to another registrar.
When you add a custom domain you gain access to the G Suite email extension for $5.00 per user/month. If you add G Suite you can have a custom email address with your domain address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, gain 30gb of storage space on Google Drive, and access to all of the Google Apps.
The General section has three sub sections:
Site Profile – From this section, you can add an icon for your site, change the Site Title and Tagline.
Privacy – By default, your site is set to Public and is visible to everyone and search engines. If you wish for your site to not be indexed by search engines you can set it to Hidden. Note: Hidden sites are still visible to the public, they are just not indexed by search engines.
Site Tools – From here you can run a variety of importers, most specifically importing an XML file from another WordPress installation. You can also export different content from your site.
In the Writing section, you can manage many different content types associated with publishing on WordPress.com.
In a free installation, you can add and remove Categories and Tags, set your Default Post Format and Date and Time Format and choose how many posts show per page.
You can also activate the Testimonial and Portfolio Projects content types from this page and set how many instances of each appear on their respective pages.
When you upgrade to paid plans you will gain access to a number of other tools such as Infinite Scroll, Photon, and Video Hosting options.
Default Article Settings – You can notify other blogs that you link to as well as get notified when another site links to your blog. You can also enable comments on your blog posts.
Comments – Commenting is a great feature for your blog and allows your users to leave feedback and discuss your articles. You can require the comment author to leave their name and email and be logged in to WordPress. You can also close comments on posts after x amount of days, control how deeply nested comments can go, decided how many comments appear on the page and the order the comments appear in.
E-mail me whenever – Control when WordPress notifies you of comments posts, comments held for moderation, sharing activity on my posts.
Before a comment appears – You can choose whether comments must be approved before they are posted and also whether the author of the comment has had approved comments in the past, this provides an added layer of spam security.
Comment Moderation & Blacklist – You can also adjust your conditions for spam filtering. A lot of links in a comment is characteristic of a spam comment and can be screened before posting. Additionally, you can screen for certain words, URLs, e-mails, or IPs to moderate or blacklist.
In the Traffic section, you can enable the Related Posts module as showcased in my Jetpack review. Another feature is the Accelerated Mobile pages (AMP) module. AMP serves a slimmed down version of your site for mobile devices. If you dislike the slimmed down look you can disable AMP from this section.
If you upgrade to a Business Plan you can access the SEO Tools module and also add Google Analytics to your site for more in-depth SEO analysis.
If you wish to view your sites XMP sitemap you can do so from this section. An XML sitemap is automatically generated for your WordPress.com blog.
If you also wish to verify your site with Google, Bing, Pinterest, and Yandex, you can add in their verification code at the bottom of this page.
If you upgrade to the Business Plan you will gain access to the Security section. As noted in my Jetpack Security Review, the Jetpack Monitor, Brute Force Protection, Spam Filtering, and WordPress.com Sign In modules are essential website security upgrades. Jetpack Monitor will notify you if your website is inaccessible and for how long your site was down. Brute Force Protection prevents spammers from guessing your login, a common vector for site hacking. Spam Filtering is managed by Automattic’s Akismet service and is a great way to filter out comment and contact form spam. And WordPress.com Sign In allows you to set up two-factor authentication as a second line of defense against brute force hacking.
WordPress is a powerful blogging software that has an extensive list of features that any website owner could benefit from. Depending on your budget, there is a WordPress plan for you.