WordPress Settings

In this video, we’ll talk about how to configure your settings to optimize and get the most out of your WordPress site. We’re going to cover a lot of ground in this video, so if you’re ready, let’s dig in.


Configuring Your Settings

The General Settings panel controls the most basic configuration settings for your site. Like your sites title, tag line, and web address.

The admin email address is where WordPress will send automated email notifications for things like new user registration notices.

Choose whether or not you want your site open to registration and if you do choose to enable open registration, then specify the default role for these new members. Unless you have a good reason, you should set this to Subscriber, since subscribers can read but not publish or edit content on your blog. This can be a major source of spam on your site.

Next, select your time zone, the format in which dates and times will be displayed throughout your site and set your preference for the week starting day. Be sure to save your changes.

The Writing subpanel controls the edit interface you use to write new posts and pages. These formatting options will convert typed emoticons into graphics and correct simple HTML errors.

Choose a default category for new posts when no other category is selected and a default post format.

You can post directly from your email. Simply enter the email account details here and WordPress will periodically check for new messages sent to this address. The subject line of your email will become the post title and the body, your actual post content. It’s a good idea to make this a fairly secure email address, since any messages received at this address will become new posts on your site.

WordPress even generates a few random strings you can use for more secure email addresses if you like. You can also specify a different default category for any posts submitted via email.

And last, when you publish a new post, WordPress automatically sends out a notification to a site update service, which in turn alerts search engines to your new content. This helps ensure your new content gets indexed more quickly. You can add additional notifications services here, if you like.

There are only a few settings in the Reading subpanel, but they’re very important. You can decide whether you’d like your front page to display your latest blog posts or one of your static pages instead. We covered this in-depth in an earlier video, but if you select a static page, then you’re able to pick which of your pages you want to serve as your homepage and then which one you wish to serve as your blog page. This is particularly useful if you’re using WordPress to build a business site or another type of site where you’d like the homepage to show some static content to your site visitors rather than just a list of your blog posts. When you choose this method, you can use another page as your blog archive and all your blog posts will appear on that page.

You can also choose how many posts will appear on your blog pages at one time and how many posts will show in your RSS feed. You can choose to show the complete text of your articles in your RSS feed or just a summary requiring folks to visit your site to read the rest of the article. And last, choose whether or not you’d like your site to be visible to search engines like Google, Bing, and others.

The Discussion sub-panel gives you options on managing comments on your website.

So, for now, we’ll move on to the Media sub-panel, which allows you to set the maximum dimensions in pixels that WordPress will use when creating the various versions of uploaded images including the thumbnail, medium sized image, and large image. I typically choose to organize my uploads into month and year-based folders, which makes it easier to find images that I previously uploaded.

And finally, let’s talk about permalinks. Now, this can be a confusing topic, but basically permalinks settings simply determine the format of the URLs or web addresses for your pages and posts. By default, WordPress creates URLs that contain a question mark followed by lots of numbers. But, you can and should use more friendly URLs that are also better optimized for search engines. Most SEO experts agreed that the best format is simply the post name by itself. But, if you want more detailed information about permalinks, you might check out the dedicated video tutorial we created on just this topic.

The default values for category and tag base are usually fine in most cases. But, feel free to experiment with these, looking at how these values change the URLs for your categories and tag archive pages.

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