I3 problems on new install

I just installed i3.

The first problem was with the .config/i3/config file. I had to comment out the config line
strong texttiling_drag modifier titlebarstrong text. I previously tried strong texttiling_drag floating_modifier titlebarstrong text but that didn’t work either.

With that single change to the i3 config file, I get to a desktop with no wallpaper and no conky displays.

What steps should I take to get my i3 desktop back?