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Setup Your WP Engine WordPress to Send Email

Did you transfer or install WordPress on WP Engine and need to figure out how to configure your site to restore the email functionality? We touched on this in our WP Engine review, however, we thought we’d create a separate guide for those that have already made the switch and in panic mode because they aren’t getting their contact form or comment alert messages.

We faced this exact scenario, hit up Google Search, spent hours in research and testing, and then we figured out this solution which worked the best for our needs.

Step 1: Install Easy WP SMTP

We recommend Easy WP SMTP because it works 100% of the time for us and our clients. We’ve tried 5 plugins to accomplish this task and this plugin did the job perfectly, every time.

Easy WP SMTP with WP Engine

Click Here to Download or Review Easy WP SMTP

Step 2: Find an Email Provider for Your Domain

We only work with the best and in this case, the best is Google Apps for Work. You can register your account and try their service free for 30 days to make sure it is a good fit for your needs.

The best part about Google Apps is it uses the familiar and popular Google Gmail service to deliver your emails. This means, you can configure your domain email just like you can with Gmail, including forwarding, signatures, filtering and, of course, take advantage of their powerful spam filtering features.

The cost is $5 per month or $50 per year for one user.

Have multiple emails? Don’t panic. You can setup email aliases with your Google Apps account so that all of the emails are delivered to a single account. If you need more than one account / user, you can setup additional accounts for the same $5/$50 charge.

Used to using POP3? So are we. Here’s how to enable POP3:

Gmail POP3 Configuration

  1. Click the cog in the upper right.
  2. Click settings.
  3. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab
  4. Click Enable POP3.

Now, go into your email client and setup a new account. Popular email clients like Thunderbird will auto-configure your account for Gmail, but if you need the manual settings to use, here they are:

Gmail POP3 Settings

Step 3: Configure Easy WP SMTP

Once you have the plugin installed and you have your Google Apps configured, you now need to configure Easy WP SMTP to work so that it can send emails to you.

In your WP dashboard, go to Settings > Easy WP SMTP and you will find the screen we show here.

If you decide to use Gmail, take advantage of the settings that work best for us in the screenshot we provided to the left.

Once saved, use the “Testing and Debugging Settings” section on this same page to send yourself an email to make sure everything is working correctly.

That’s it! Now you’ll receive any messages generated from your WordPress website including any contact form submissions, WP upgrade alerts, new comment alerts and more.

If this guide helped you, please leave us a comment and let us know. Of course, consider sharing this on social media and your website to help support us.


WordPress Category and Postname Permalink 404 Fix

Are you having a problem with using /%category%/%postname%/ as your permalink structure when attempting to remove the /category/ base? As of the time of this guide writeup, it is still a problem in WordPress 4.2.1 that has dated back to WordPress over 8 years ago according to our research.

If you take advantage of a little hack in your permalinks by adding a . under category base, you may notice that your page 2 and beyond will show up as a 404 error. That’s not going to work, so you have a few options.

  1. Change your permalinks to not use /%category%/.
  2. Live with URLs like:
  3. Read on and use our fix to correct the issue.

How to Fix Page 2 404s Without /category/ in URLs

There’s an older free plugin available to correct this called WP No Category Base.

Simply install that plugin then go to Settings > Permalinks and remove the “.” from the Optional “Category base” area and you are golden. There’s no additional configuration page or settings that you’ll have to mess with.

WP No Category Base ReviewNote: This plugin hasn’t been updated since July 29th, 2012 at the time of this guide, yet, if you read the plugin reviews, you’ll notice that people are still using and recommending this plugin for those having this 404 issue with using a category permalink structure but removing the /category/ out of their URLs.

What’s really nice about this plugin is the fact that it will also redirect 301 the old /category/ links to the URL structure you want to use.

Plugin Compatibility

  • Works with multiple sub-categories
  • Works with WordPress Network setup (WordPress Multisite)
  • Works with sitemap plugins.
  • Does not work with certain foreign languages according to their support forum (encoding issue).

Does this fix your problem? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Easiest Way to Download wp-content for WP Engine Migration

In our WP Engine review, we explained there is an easier way to migrate your files from your current web hosting provider to WP Engine besides the methods they explain in their migration checklist.

Above, you will find the video recorded by reviewer Scott Buehler that shows you exactly how to do this in cPanel. Thankfully, if you happen to be on a host that uses Plesk or any other control panel, they are highly likely to have a file manager that you can use to accomplish this same task.

The reason you want to compress your wp-content folder into a zip file is it guarantees there will be zero file corruption or missing files during your migration. If you have to download all the images and files one by one using FileZilla, you will have to carefully watch the status screen for red errors about file transfers not completing. If you see them, those will be files that will likely be missing or corrupt, not good.

cPanel Compress OptionFor those of you that have a cPanel web host, usually you’ll just need to add a /cpanel to the end of your domain name. If that doesn’t work, then head over to your web host’s control panel and find the cPanel access link from there to get where I started this video.

Once you gain access to the file manager, you simply right-click on wp-content and click the compress option as shown. Additionally, there is a “Compress” icon on the file manager toolbar should you need it.

Depending on the size of your website and your sites’ server speed, it will take a few seconds up to a minute to complete the process. After that, download the file from your server. upload it to WP Engine and you are good to go.

WP Engine wp-content Migration Instructions

WP Engine Migration Instructions

I briefly showed you how to download the file in FileZilla. It’s the same process to upload, simply login to WP Engine via your SFTP instructions and click and drag the file from the left panel (your computer) to the right panel. Once that file transfer is completed, click on the green Notify Support button in the migration checklist, as shown above, to alert WP Engine customer service that you file is ready to be extracted.

Hope this helps!

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Major Updates – Pardon the Mess

Site reconfiguration has been completed. All links to internal content has been updated, site structure updated and our personal spider crawler indicates no 404s and all links working. If you have any problems, please leave us a comment below and let us know!

Viewers of Top Five Advisor,

We’re updating the site structure entirely today and tomorrow. We’ve changed the theme, now we’re changing the structure to better suit future plans for this website.

If you find a 404, it’s because of all these changes, simply use the search feature on the right (or bottom on mobile) to find the content you were looking for.

Once everything is complete, I will go through the site with my own spider to look for 404s to make sure it is all cleaned up.

Sorry for the troubles. This is absolutely necessary and will allow us to grow the content on this site for the long term.

Thanks for understanding.

– Scott Buehler


The Best in WordPress Plugins for Genesis and Thesis

Genesis and Thesis are two of the most popular WordPress Framework systems. Genesis was developed by StudioPress and Thesis was developed by DIYThemes. These two developers are highly respected and they also developed several plugins available to their customers. Here are just a few of their best membership plugins.

Best Plugins for Genesis

We found the following plugins available for StudioPress Genesis framework customers.

  • Genesis Simple Hooks – With this membership plugin installed you can easily create your new settings page for Genesis that will allow you to easily insert codes whether it’s HTML codes, PHP or shortcodes then attach it to action hooks that you can find in many parts of the Genesis Framework. This makes creating, editing or adding functions to your WordPress theme a breeze.
  • SEO Data Transporter – This membership plugin for Genesis is a real gem. You no longer have to worry about transporting your SEO data from one theme to a new theme. This used to be a very tedious task but with this plugin you no longer have to worry about the different formats of data.
  • Genesis Simple Edits – Editing post info, footer and post-meta areas of your sites are now quick and easy. You don’t need to be an expert programmer to edit and improve the look of your site. The name of this membership plugin says it all. It’s simple editing even for those without any web designing experience.
  • Social Profiles Widget – This Genesis membership plugin is quite useful especially for those who want to connect their site with their own social networking pages. You can quickly share links to your Facebook account, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, and any other social profiles so users can easily get in touch with you. All you need to do is install this plugin, drag it to the sidebar then insert all the icon links of your choice.

Best Membership Plugins for Thesis

We found the following plugins available for Thesis:

  • Thesis Import and Export – This Thesis membership plugin is a very useful one because it lets you import your Thesis settings so you can export it later on after installing a new theme. This used to be a complicated task but with this plugin you just need to download all settings to the Thesis-design file, Thesis-settings file and the Open-hook file. After customizing your layout or changing your site’s skin design you can then export all your data and settings without any problem. Just make sure you don’t click the restore link before saving your backup files to avoid any lost of data.
  • Google Sitemaps XML – With this membership plugin installed, your site will automatically send out sitemaps to search engines such as Google, Ask, Yahoo and others. It’s a great way to make your site rank up. This membership plugin is free to download so it’s a must-have.
  • Math Comment Spam Protection – Many WordPress blogs are now plagued with spam comments. It’s great to have a lot of comments on your blog entry but what you don’t want are those auto generated comments. With this Thesis plugin, you won’t have to worry about that. This is more reliable than captchas.
  • Thesis OpenHook – With this Thesis membership plugin you can easily customize your site even without having the knowledge of how to handle WordPress hooks.


There are a lot of membership plugins to choose from either for Genesis or for Thesis. Genesis has an advantage of having several plugins available that are also developed by StudioPress which means that when StudioPress creates an updated version of Genesis, all these plugins will become compatible to the new version. As for Thesis, there are countless third party developers offering great membership plugins that you can download and easily install.

Choose the plugins you think would make it easier for you to manage your WordPress sites. It’s a must to get these plugins if you want to save time and energy in creating the codes yourself when you can do it in just a few clicks.

Best Windows Hosting Companies 2015

The 3 best Windows hosting companies on our list are DiscountASP, HostGator and MyHosting. Based on the ranking for their services and features, DiscountASP got the best rating from the 3 as a whole. DiscountASP and HostGator are tied in getting the highest rating for their Windows Features and in their Overall Rating.

Here’s a comprehensive review on the similarities, differences and the benefits of getting a service from these 3 top Windows hosting companies.

What are the similarities of DiscountASP, HostGator and MyHosting

If there’s one thing similar about these 3 it’s that they are all great hosting companies and you can never go wrong. You can choose either and you’d never regret your decision. They’ve been judged as 3 of the best hosting companies for good reasons and you’re satisfaction is absolutely guaranteed.

Some of the similarities between these three best Windows hosting companies include Windows 2008, IIS7, ASP.NET 4.0, AJAX, PHP, Perl, Python, SSI, and easy-install Shopping Carts.

When it comes to their services, all three are offering the best in their hosting packages, in hosting value and also in customer support. Like most Windows Hosting companies, their web services offered are also easy to use with DiscountASP ranked a little higher while HostGator and MyHosting are tied at second.

Features of DiscountASP

Be sure to check out the Top Five Advisor DiscountASP review. Discounts are available exclusively through the TopFiveAdvisor website.

  • DiscountASP is the best web hosting company especially for web designers who only want to handle a single website.
  • Simplicity at its best. Clients of this web hosting company love it because it’s very easy to operate especially with their package they call as “one package fits all.”
  • Excellent Uptime Rating- Discount ASP Windows Hosting has a rating of 99.98% which is very important for any site designers. It’s poor to go for a web hosting company that suffers from downtime as you can lose a lot of hits from visitors. Once the site is down, you can lose possible clients/hits for your site.
  • Dependable customer assistance and support. With their technical support team available at any hour, at any day, at any occasion means you can easily get the assistance you need in case there is a problem with your subscription. They also have a knowledgebase with hundreds of questions answered so you can easily find your way around. Their forum is open to all their clients where you can post questions or exchange answers and other ideas with fellow clients.

Features of HostGator

Be sure to check out the Top Five Advisor HostGator review. Discounts are available exclusively through this website.

  • 1 decade of providing quality web hosting services for their clients.
  • Offering 2 hosting plans to fit your needs. They have the personal plan for those who want to run just one website and they also have the enterprise plan for the more serious site designers.
  • $4.76/month Personal Plan- 1 domain name with everything unlimited from disk storate space to email accounts.
  • $14.36/month for Enterprise Plan- You can register from 1 to 5 domains and you can also purchase IP addresses and others.
  • 99.99% Uptime. It’s very rare for HostGator to suffer from a downtime. When it does, it only takes seconds or a few minutes and it will take a long time before it happens again. They know how important it is for site owners to keep their sites up and running at all times.
  • Plesk Control Panel- With Plesk, it is even easier for HostGator clients to control their sites.
  • 24/7 Chat Customer Support- Have a problem? Send their tech support team a chat message and you’ll get a representative answering your queries almost immediately. It’s a quick and personal assistance they advocate.

Features of MyHosting

Be sure to check out the Top Five Advisor MyHosting review. Discounts are available exclusively through this website.

  • 15 years experience in offering web hosting packages.
  • Award-winning web hosting company
  • Offering two packages for shared web hosting
  • $9.95/month Business Hosting
  • $9.95/month eCommerce Hosting

They also offer other hosting packages such as VPS Hosting

  • 99.99% uptime. A great advantage for MyHosting clients is their offering of 100% uptime agreement wherein clients get a credit offer when they experience a downtime on their websites. The credit offer can be a service for a full day or longer depending on the outage experienced. Though this is quite rare that they suffer from a downtime.
  • Assistance and customer support comes in different ways. You can contact their customer service via chat or you can call them 24/7. They also offer a knowledgebase where FAQ’s are answered. They also have a forum where fellow clients are able to answer and help each other with their questions.

The Difference Between DiscountASP, HostGator and MyHosting

HostGator and MyHosting only offer the latest Windows 2008 while DiscountASP also has Windows 2003. This is a big advantage for DiscountASP clients as that means even old Microsoft software can run with their operating system.

MyHosting only has ASP.NET 4.0 while the first two also have ASP.NET 2.0 and ASP.NET 3.5. MyHosting also lacks CGI and FastCGI that the two other Microsoft Hosting Companies offer.

Website file backups are done nightly for DiscountASP, weekly for HostGator while it is optional for MyHosting. The sooner you get backups the safer it is for clients to avoid any loss of data.

As for customer support, HostGator is incomparable. They offer all sorts of options for clients. They have a toll-free number, a self-help section, social networking updates and interactions, forum, blog, tutorials, online billing, live chat and an email ticket system. MyHosting also has all these options except for a video tutorial. DiscountASP only has an email ticket system, a blog, forum, social networking updates and also their self-help section.

In Summary

As a conclusion, all three of these Windows hosting companies are superb. They have been reviewed and tested and surpassed all the other Microsoft Hosting companies around. You can choose either one of these names and get the best web hosting experience possible.

These services are also priced low. For as little as $4.76 a month for HostGator, $5.00 a month for DiscountASP and $6.95 for MyHosting, you can already enjoy their hosting service. At TopFiveAdvisor you can even use our discount coupons for an even lower price.


25 Awesome Social Media Icon Sets for 2015

Social media is everywhere and I love it! I’m always on the look-out for awesome and trendy social media icon collections that can be freely downloaded and used on your website(s). These are my favorite collections that I’ve bookmarked and discovered in my search for free premium trendy social media icons.

Below, you will find my collection of 25 awesome social media icon sets.

This post was last updated on April 22nd, 2015 which includes updated URLs, fixed 404s and added new sets to the mix from our 2014 edition.

Simple Flat Social Media Icons

This collection provided by GraphicsFuel offers a total of 20 clean and flat social media icons. These were created with shape layers in PSD format making them easily editable. These are in 114×114 size, primarily for iPhone 5 display, although you can easily resize them down to what you need for your website or other use.

Social Media Icon Set by GraphicsFuel

Long Styled Social Media Icons

These are awesome! They mimic the look at feel of social share icons of 2014 and look fantastic. The website provides you with a PSD formatted file with the size as shown below. Unfortunately, you’ll only be able to go with the size shown or resize to fit. If you need larger icons, this set isn’t for you.

Designer: Hugo from Dribble.

Long Styled Social Media Icons by Hugo from Dribble

Polygon Social Media Icons

These social media icons are Polygon shape and I know some of you math / geometry whizzes out there will get a kick out of these social media icons! These are AI vector file format so you’ll be able to resize to your heart’s content.

There are 15 icons total in this collection.

Author: LunarPixel from DeviantArt.

Polygon Vector Social Media Icons

PSD Flat Social Icons with Long Shadows

One of the latest trends I’m seeing is long shadows. Here’s an excellent set that offers 16 social icons in PSD format that includes the long shadow look and feel. This set includes various shapes depending on the icon and each design element can be removed, say, if you don’t like the long shadow.

The only thing I wish this set had was uniformity by using the same shape on all icons, but that is a personal preference.

A free resource provided by Pixeden.

Flat Social Media Icons with Long Shadows

A Flat Social Media Icon Set

This set includes 32 different social media icons and are in EPS file format for resizing.

Author: Allan McAvoy and shared on Dribble.

Free Flat Social Media Icon Set in EPS Format

Flat Leaf Design Social Media Icon Set

A set of colorful, flat-designed icons for 30 major social media networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, MySpace, Vimeo, YouTube, Tumblr, and more. The set works great with both bright- and dark-color background.

This package includes PNG, ICO, and PSD formats. There are 30 icons in this collection all at the size of 256 x 256px.

Designed by: Probal Kumar D. Released by WHSR.

30 Leaf Design Social Media Icons

40 Social Media Flat Icons with Long Shadows

This set includes 40 social media icons inspired by Google’s new visual style of long shadows.

Each icon comes in 4 sizes:

  • 32×32 px
  • 64×64 px
  • 128×128 px
  • 256×256 px

Shared by: GraphicBurger

40 Social Media Flat Icons with Long Shadows

Ultra Flat Social Icon Set by Speckboy

This icon set is as flat as you’ll ever find for social media. If you are devoted to the ultra-flat designs that were made popular in 2013, this icon set might be right up your alley. There are 24 icons in this set and it includes four varied styles to choose from:

  • Square
  • Circular
  • Light Corners
  • Dark Corners

This set also includes 5 sizes to choose from from 512×512 px to 16×16 px. The file types included are AI, EPS, and PNG. The file includes well-organized groups to change colors and sizes.

Designer: Mohammed Alyousfi
Shared by: Speckboy

24 Free Flat Social Media Icons

Social Media Icons by Harkable

These social media icons include shadowing at the bottom with a general square share that includes rounded corners. This set includes PNG and a PSD for editing.

Provided by Will Francis of Harkable.

Social Media Icons by Harkable

24 Circle Social Media Icons by BestPSDFreebies

This social media icon set is elegant and comes in both dark and colored versions to use on your website. If you know how to code CSS sprites, you could really do a nice mouse-over effect with these that will make your social media POP.

Includes 24 icons and is provided by BestPSDFreebies.

24 Circle Social Media Icons by BestPSDFreebies

Rounded Corners Social Media Icons

This set includes 42 icons at 64×64 px size in PNG and PSD formats.

Designer: Nick Roach
Made Available on Elegant Themes.

42 Social Media Icons by ElegantThemes

Somacro Big and Simple Social Media Icons

One thing that caught my eye about this set is it is constantly being updated. It has gone through 5 edits since initial launch, which is quite amazing!

All 40 icons are in PNG format at the size of 500×500 px in 300 DPI for maximum flexibility. At 300 DPI, you can use these for both print and web, which is a nice bonus for those looking for social media icons for presentations and resumes.

Somacro Big and Simple Social Media Icons

Social Media Badges Icons

This is a nice collection of 20 badge-based social media icons. Each badge is crafted by Photoshop shapes so you can edit, alter, and resize them to your needs.

Designer: Denis Shepovalov
Provided by: Best PSD Freebies

20 Social Media Badges Icons

Circular Flat Social Media Drops Icons Set

This set includes 24 circular icons made available in PNG format. The sizes available are:

  • 32×32 px
  • 64×64 px
  • 128×128 px

Designer: Pauline Cabrera
Provided by: OneXtraPixel
Editor’s Note: Download requires email opt-in.

Circular Flat Social Media Drops Icopns Set

18 Ultra-Clean Circular Social Media Icons

These caught my attention because they are extremely clean and mean for those minimalistic designed website themes. All images are in PNG format and are 80×80 px in size.

Designer: Dawid Dapszus
Company: Well Designed
Provided on: Dribble

18 Ultra-Clean Circular Social Media Icons

Furry Cushions Social Media Icons Set

Well aren’t these unique?!? There’s only six styles provided here since it is an older social media icon set but thought I’d provided it here for some pizzazz. All images are transparent in PNG format. The sizes available are:

  • 48×48 px
  • 64×64 px
  • 128×128 px
  • 256×256 px

Designer: Andrea Austoni
Provided by: Noupe

Furry Cushions Social Media Icons Set

25 Awesome Vector Social Media Icons

Here is another set of social media icons that caught my eye for their uniqueness. These 25 social media icons were created Adobe Illustrator CS5 and are completely scalable to any size you need. The shadows are semi-transparent so you can use them on various background types.

Includes an AI and EPS version.

Designer: Jasmina Stanojevic
Provided on: Noupe

25 Flag Social Media Icons

Social Media Hearts Icons

Since this post was made a week before the US Valentine’s Day holiday, I thought I’d include a hearts social media icon set. This set includes 22 icons in PNG format it sizes:

  • 16×16 px
  • 32×32 px
  • 64×64 px

Designed by: Aravind Ajith
Provided on: Smashing Magazine

Social Media Hearts Icons

Transparent Social Media Icons

This set is interested because they are completely transparent and bleed through to your website’s background. Therefore, if your website has a dark background, this icon set might be perfect for you. You can’t use these on a light background because they won’t be visible.

This set includes 7 sizes from 48×48 px to 512 x 512 px. If you need a vector AI file for this set, there is one available for a $3.00.

Free Transparent Social Media Icons

Beveled Social Media Icons

These are really interesting and provided by yaruno on DeviantArt. The only issue I see with this set is they aren’t provided for download. However, you can download a higher resolution image of this set and attempt to crop out these if you’d like?

Beveled Social Media Icons

Letter Pressed Social Media Icons

A very unique social media icon set offers a “letter-pressed” look. I haven’t seen a set like this before, so I knew it belonged here. This set includes 12 icons with the size of 75×75 px.

Letter Pressed Social Media Icons

24 Bottle Cap Design Social Media Icons

These remind me of bottle caps so that’s what I’m calling them. They look absolutely fantastic and come with 2 variants, with shadow or without. This is actually a set of 86 PNG icons that contains social media icons, web browser icons, payment services icons, mixed services icons, and even Czech local services icons.

This set includes the following sizes:

  • 64×64 px
  • 48×48 px
  • 32×32 px

Provided by: Plugo Labs.

24 Bottle Cap Social Media Icons

Ribbon Social Media Icons

This is a set of 24 social media icons in PNG format with the size of 100×50 px.

Provided by: Apricum

Ribbon Social Media Icons

Grid Style Social Media Icons

This set includes 12 icons in total with the size of 64×64 px. I liked this set for the grid pattern that is included in the icons which provides an interesting feel.

Designed by: Timothy Blake
Provided by: Creative Nerds

Grid Style Social Media Icons

Metal Social Media Icons

This metal set of social media icons includes 12 icons in total with the size of 64×64 px.

Designed by: Timothy Blake
Provided by: Creative Nerds

Metal Social Media Icons

How to Configure Your WordPress Settings

Now that you have your WordPress installed either using our tutorial on manually installing WordPress or our fully automated WordPress install method, the next step is to setup your WordPress settings so that your website will perform as you expect.

The WordPress SettingsIn this guide, we walk you through all of the default settings of WordPress and also cover the WordPress dashboard main screen. In the video below, we cover the general, writing, reading, discussion, media and permalinks settings and also go over why we make the recommendations that we do.

Keep in mind that these recommendations are what Scott Buehler recommends. If you believe your site will benefit from different settings, then do it! Setting up these settings now, although tedious and boring, will help you down the line because you’ll be able to focus on what actually matters, your content!

WordPress Settings Configuration Training Video

Running time: 20 minutes 53 seconds

Since we are covering each setting section in detail, this video is much longer than the majority of our training videos, sorry about that.

General Settings in WordPress

  • Site Title – This is your website title that is typically used on your website’s header (theme dependent) and also can appear in your site’s title tag. You can freely change this at any time.
  • Tagline – Some themes use this in the header area of your website and in your site’s meta description. It’s always a good idea to make this a few words on the exact topic(s) of your new website.
  • WordPress Address – Do not change this unless you are moving your site to a new domain.
  • Site Address – An advanced setting that allows you to move your website to a subfolder. You’ll need to copy and move your website files via FTP or your control panel and then update this field to reflect the changes.
  • Email address – You can change your admin email address at any time.
  • New User Default Role – Do not change this. If you setup to force registration on your website and people start registering their accounts on your site, all users will be setup at whatever role you set here. Meaning, if you set this to “Administrator” and allow registration, you will be giving people full admin rights to your site which will result in posts being altered, deleted, added and lots of nasty things.
  • Timezone – I recommend setting this to the nearest popular city on your timezone. By doing so, your posts will reflect your time when publishing.
  • Date Format – Keep this default unless you decide another format is easier. If you want to setup your own custom date format, you can learn how to do so here.
  • Time Format – I change it to x:xx PM with capitals. A personal preference.

Other options including configuring what day the week starts on and your preferred site language.

Writing Settings in WordPress

  • Formatting Emoticons – I recommend enabling formatting emoticons so that your ASCII smilies will be converted to smiley faces like this 🙂
  • Formatting Nested XHTML – WordPress can attempt to correct bad XHTML in your posts when using the “Text” tab, but in my experience, it is better to leave this disabled.
  • Default Post Category – Once you setup post categories which will be covered in another training, you can set your default category here if desired.
  • Default Post Formats – Keep this as “Standard” unless you have a reason to change it later.

Post via e-mail is an interesting feature if you prefer to write your blog posts via email instead of using the WordPress editor. You’ll want to keep the email address you configure as secret so that other people can’t send it email and have their post appear on your website. For security reasons, I do not use this feature.

Reading Settings in WordPress

  • Front Page Displays – Unless you want to have a specific blog post or page appear as default on your main domain, you’ll want to leave this set to “Your latest posts.” Additionally, certain themes come with custom front page setups that do not use this feature, so for most users, keeping it set to “Your latest posts” is recommended.
  • Blog Pages Limit – When you start writing a lot of content on your website, you’ll start to notice that WordPress automatically sets up pagination when you reach 10 posts. This is to improve page speed times and helps to not overwhelm your visitors with too much content. We recommend keeping this set to 10 posts per page, but that preference is up to you.
  • Syndication Feeds Limit – Otherwise known as your RSS feed that certain people use to watch for content on your website, you can limit the total amount of posts that appear in that feed. It is set to 10 but you can customize this if you wish.
  • Article Feed Article Limit – This relates to your RSS feed as well. As you gain in popularity, people may start setting up spam blogs that reproduce your content on their website using your RSS feed. If / when that happens, you can set this to “Summary” which will only generate a small summary of your blog posts in your RSS feed.
  • Search Engine Visibility – Do not check this box unless you purposefully do not want your website to appear in search engines. Even if your site is brand new and you are “embarrassed” by the current content of your site, we still do not recommend enabling this option because it will take much longer for your site to appear in the engines after unchecking that box.

Discussion Settings in WordPress

In this section, I go over my recommendations in the video which effects how people interact with your content (the commenting system).

  • Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article – You’ll want to keep this checked because it will send a “ping” to whoever your link to. Sometimes, this will create linkbacks to your website depending on that webmaster.
  • Allow link notifications – I turn this off because there are spammers out there that post fake trackback notifications to your website in an attempt to gain links. This will also clutter up your comments system once your site gets more and more popular.
  • Allow people to post comments – Unless you do not want user engagement on your website, we recommend keeping this enabled so that your users can comment on your content.
  • Comment author name/email – Keep this enabled so that you know who you are talking to when you reply. Also, by asking for an email, you can get back to them in email and your WordPress will be able to use the Gravatar system to pull in their photo on their comments.
  • Users must be registered – Unless you have a specific reason to do so, we do not recommend enabling this because it requires your visitors to jump through hoops just to comment on your content. If you want as much user engagement as possible, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them.
  • Automatically close comments – I don’t recommend this unless you only want feedback for an X amount of days which can be useful on certain niche blogs and websites.
  • Enable threaded comments – Definitely enable this because it allows people to reply to other commenters and it stimulates discussion on your website. You can see an example of this on my InMotion Hosting VPS review page where we replied to a question received.
  • Break comments into pages – This will create multiple pages based on the amount of comments received on a post. If you set this to 50 and get 150 comments on that post, WordPress will break your comments into 3 pages. We do not recommend enabling this because your WordPress will reuse the same post content on each page causing duplicated content issues (can impact your search engine rankings).

Those are the main things you should consider updating. You definitely want to keep the emails enabled when you receive comments, that way you’ll be alerted when someone makes a comment so you can get into your dashboard and approve / reply to them ASAP.

Enable moderation so that you have full control over the comments that appear on your website. If you don’t manually approve comments and simply leave must have a previously approved comment on, a spammer can make several helpful posts to your website and then later return with a ton of spam that will automatically approve on your site. Just something to be aware of.

Another technique I use to prevent spam is to set the hold comment for moderation option to 1 link so that when someone makes a comment on your site, if they include even one link, they will wind up in the moderation queue. You only need to worry about this option if you decide to leave “” unchecked.

The blacklist is a neat feature because you can setup comment words, names, emails and IP addresses to automatically be marked as spam when received.


This feature is awesome. If someone has setup a Gravatar with their email address, when they place a comment on your website, their icon will display along with their comment right on your website. For most users, set the maximum rating to G, set the “Mystery Person” Avatar and call it a day.

The default avatar icon will only display for users who have not setup a Gravatar for their email address.

Media Settings in WordPress

For most users, you can leave this page as is. Only if you need to change the thumbnail and other media sizes will you need to go in here and setup custom image sizes to fit your needs. When you install premium or custom themes, the authors will typically make use of their own image size settings anyway.

WordPress Thumbnail Size

Space considerations: Every time you upload an image, WordPress will automatically generate the various sizes listed here. If you know you’ll never use these custom sizes (such as medium size and large size), you can go in and set the sizes you don’t need to “0” so that image won’t be generated that you’ll never use.

Organize my uploads – This option should be left unchecked, that way your post images will be organized by when you upload them to your website. Otherwise, you are going to end up with a massive single subdirectory on your site with thousands, even millions, of images in the same folder. This can and will cause problems for your server down the road.

Permalink Settings in WordPress

This is arguably the most important section you’ll need to update. WordPress allows you to customize the web URLs on your website so that they are more eye-catching and friendly to your users. Again, we will use our blog here to show how important this is.

Which one looks better to you?

When sharing your URL around the web including social media, the first URL actually tells your users what your content is about whereas if they saw the default opton (the second option above), they would have no idea what your content was about or, more importantly, if they want to click that link and see what you wrote.

Our recommendation is to set this to “post name” so that your post name is used as your URL.

You Made It – WordPress Settings is Configured

If you made it this far and have configured your website, congratulations!

Now that you’ve conquered the most boring part of setting up your website, now we get to move on to learning how to create content, how to change your theme and much more. It’ll be way more fun from here on out so congrats for getting this done.

Easiest Methods to Quickly Install WordPress

One of the biggest hurdles people face when wanting to start their website is actually getting it started. There are thousands of people online willing to do it for you that cost more money than many people’s budgets and they end up frustrated, never to launch their dream project.

The first thing they will do is look for guides that teach people how to install WordPress manually which can confuse and frustrate them. They simply do not want to go through that entire process and look for an easier way.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the easiest methods to install WordPress that we’ve found that have left people saying “Whoa, it’s that easy!?!” Yes, it is that easy. Let’s begin, shall we?

Easiest WordPress Install Method – No Hosting Setup Yet

If you have no hosting yet and truly just starting out, you are in luck! What if we told you that there is a host out there that will automatically setup your WordPress with no effort on your end? All you’d need to do is order your hosting and click on a radio button that says “Install WordPress” and boom! Your brand new web hosting account will have WordPress automatically setup for you!

InMotion Hosting Auto WordPress Installer

It can’t be that simple Scott Buehler, can it? Absolutely. Let me show you right now:

Around the 3 minute mark in this video, I begin to show you the entire ordering process with InMotion Hosting web hosting. On the very last page of the ordering process, you’ll find the “Install WordPress” option. As long as you don’t miss that, you are golden.

Scott Buehler Meets InMotion HostingSounds expensive Scott. How much? This is the best part. If you use our site and link below to order, you’ll get over 50% off their normal pricing. This is an exclusive offer that we have because I spent years getting to know their staff and company. Take advantage of it now!

Your total price you will pay with no add-ons is just: $47.94 for a full year of web hosting. It’s absolutely crucial to understand that InMotion Hosting is not a discount cheap host out to cram as many customers on a server as possible making your site load slowly. Not at all, in fact, the price you’d pay without our link is more than double. Additionally, I use and trust their web hosting on several of my own projects.

Easier Method to Install WordPress – I Already Have Hosting

Install Popular SoftwareIf you already have a web hosting plan, you may still be in luck to get WordPress setup and running with little hassle. Head over to your web host’s sales pages and look for mentions of anything that references an installer for the most popular Internet software. If you see that, you are in luck!

If your web host mentions this, they probably have a 3rd party solution in their control panel called Softaculous or Fantastico. Both of these solutions will install WordPress on any domain setup on your web hosting plan in a matter of a couple clicks. The best part? You can take advantage of these services for free.

Once you find the Fantastico or Softaculous icon on your control panel (after logging in), you simply click that and you’ll see something similar to the image I shared with you in this section. Simply click the Install WordPress option, fill out your new blog’s information and let the installer do everything for you.

Examples of popular hosts that offer this type of free service include Web Hosting Hub review, A Small Orange Review, SiteGround review, HostGator Review and Bluehost Review. These are just a small sampling of hosts that offer an auto-installer for WordPress that you can take advantage of.

We Will Do It For You!

Lastly, if you have your heart set on a host that does not offer any of the solutions we’ve talked about on this page, we will do it for you! As long as you order your web hosting from our site, we will gladly setup your WordPress for you for no additional cost. All you need to do is copy and paste your hosting order receipt to us in our contact form and request WordPress setup and we will take care of everything for you.

People that will typically fall into this category have chosen a much higher quality web hosting solution such as a VPS Hosting or even a dedicated server and they didn’t opt to pay monthly for Softaculous (which can be extremely expensive over the years of your plan).

Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions or comments about the process of getting WordPress setup for you, please leave it below. Scott is monitoring this post for any questions and will respond personally to anything you need.