WordPress is a very powerful program, and it allows us to customise just about every single aspect of it. Customising your WordPress settings is not very difficult to do, all you need is a basic understanding of what these settings do, and what aspect of your website they control. All these customisations take place within the WordPress dashboard, under Settings.
As you add extra plugins to your WordPress installation, each one of these plugins usually gets its own menu entry under the Settings menu. So the more plugins that you have installed, the larger the overall size of your WordPress Settings menu.
Here we just be going through the main WordPress settings, the ones that are common to every new installation. So login to your WordPress dashboard to begin – and just to be absolutely clear here, you do this by navigating to the address www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin, and login using the user-name and password that you received when your blog was first installed.
Click the settings option which is normally down the left-hand side of the screen. You will see lots of different options below this, such as General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, and lots more.
For most of the WordPress settings, there is no need to change the default values. But it can be very useful to understand what they do, and what they mean, especially the ‘important’ ones. Also, realise that not every single setting is mentioned here, just the main ones. All of the other WordPress settings that you might see are fairly self-explanatory, and thus are not included here. You are free to change any of those also, as you see fit.
Remember to Save Changes. Within every page of WordPress settings, there is an option to “Save Changes”, usually located at the bottom of the screen. Make sure that you click this whenever you make a change that you want to store.
- Tagline: The main item to check here is the Tagline. In case you find that word Tagline confusing, it means your brief website description, in other words your slogan. Make sure to change this to something appropriate for your website, and do not be “Just another WordPress blog”.
- Size of the post box: this controls the size of the window for adding and editing posts. Usually it is easier to work on posts if you increase this to something larger, maybe 25 lines.
- Default Post Category: It is nearly always best to change this to something other than the default value of “Uncategorized”. Forgetting to set the correct post category is something that we all do from time to time. If you do not use categories, then consider changing to something like “Additional Articles” instead of Uncategorized. To make such a change, from the dashboard go to Posts, and then Categories. Edit the existing Uncategorized one, and call it something more suitable.
- Front page displays: You may have noticed while surfing that some blogs display a blog roll (summary of recent blog posts) on the home page, and some display a static web-page. Well that front page view setting is controlled right here. Any existing page within your website can be chosen here as the front page of your website. You can instantly switch from one to the other at any time.
- Site Visibility: This is an option to allow or prevent search engines from indexing your site. If you have just installed a brand new site and you want the site to get indexed, you should check this setting to make sure it is set to “Allow search engines to index this site”. Alternatively, if you have just installed a brand new website, and you do not want the website to get indexed until it is fully built, then set this option to “Ask search engines not to index this site”. Just remember to make a note of it, and be sure to come back and change this setting when your website is ready to be opened to the public.
- Common Settings: The preferred option here is to choose Custom Structure, and to type in the following entry exactly as shown, including slashes and percentage signs:
After you update, and depending on your version of WordPress, you may find that your setting reverts back from Custom Structure to Post name. This is quite OK.
And that concludes this look at WordPress Settings. Familiarise yourself with them, and don’t be afraid to make changes whenever necessary. After all, it’s your blog.
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Filed Under: WordPress Settings