A Beginner’s Guide to the Settings Tab in WordPress

One of the many tabs found in your WordPress dashboard is called the “Settings” tab. This section contains many sub-sections and will often contain even more, as you install plugins. The main sub-sections found here include:

  • General
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Discussion
  • Media
  • Permalinks

You will use most of these sections at least once for your new WordPress website. In this WordPress tutorial, we are going to take a quick look at each of these sub-sections of the Settings tab.

The “General” Settings Area of WordPress

When you go to Settings >> General, you can make a few adjustments to the basic settings of your WordPress website. The section looks like this:

General Settings

Here, you can change the site title, tagline, URL, email of the admin, default user info, time zone, date format, time format and the day the week starts on. These are the general settings of your site, but you won’t need to make many adjustments in this section.

The “Writing” Settings Area of WordPress

The Writing section provides a few things you may want to adjust for your WordPress website. You can find it by going to Settings >> Writing. From here, you will gain the ability to change the formatting for your emoticons and for XHTML. You can also change the default post category, default post format ad a few other options.

Writing Settings

You may only need to make adjustments to this section once.

The “Reading” Settings Area of WordPress

When you access the Reading section by going to Settings >> Reading, you will be able make some very important adjustments to your WordPress website. This is the settings area that will allow you to choose whether you use a static homepage or your most recent blog posts.

Reading Settings

You can also change the number of blog posts shown on your blog page, the syndicated feed shown and whether full text or a summary is displayed. If for any reason, you need to block your website from the search engines, this section is where you can make that happen. Just select the box next to the “Search Engine Visibility” option.

Search Engine Visibility

The “Discussion” Settings Area of WordPress

If you want to make changes to the comments and the discussion portion of your WordPress blog, you can access the right section by going to Settings >> Discussion. Here, you will be able to make many changes to the way your blog works with comments, trackbacks, pingbacks and other settings.

Discussion Settings

The most important settings you can adjust here include:

  • Allow Anyone to Post a Comment
  • Making Comments held for Moderation
  • Automatically Closing Comments after a Certain Number of Days
  • Making Comment Authors fill out name and email
  • Forcing Manual Approval for Comments
  • Allowing link Notifications

All of these settings can be controlled from this section under the Settings tab.

The “Media” Settings Area in WordPress

Within the Media section of the Settings tab, you can adjust the sizes of your images and how they are organized. The section looks like this:

Media Settings

This section is often used to change the size of the images or delete a specific size by setting it to “0” and “0” for the width and height. However, you can also force your uploads to be organized into month and year folders, too.

The “Permalinks” Settings Area in WordPress

One of the first things you might want to change is your Permalinks settings. This section will show a default, which has a ?p=### after your URL as your post URL. This isn’t search engine friendly at all and you will want to change it.

Most blogs use the “Post Name” format for their blog. You can change your permalinks by going to Settings >> Permalinks and selecting a new option.

Permalinks Settings

Most likely, you will only need to make adjustments to this section of your WordPress blog once. After that, you will be all set to start creating your content with search engine friendly URLs.

Now, you have a better understanding of the Settings tab and the sub-sections of it found within your WordPress dashboard. Make sure you bookmark this WordPress tutorial in case you have questions in the future about this section of WordPress.

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