Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Configuring general settings, part of WordPress 4 Essential Training.
- Now that you know how to create content and manage the appearance, functionality, and users of your site, it's time to take a closer look at the more advanced settings that control your site as a whole. The Settings button on the Admin menu gives you direct access to all the different types of settings you may need to work with; General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, Media, and Permalinks. Over the next two chapters, we'll look at each of these settings in turn starting with General. LIke the name suggests, the General settings gives you control of the overall behavior and appearance of your site, and you'll notice that some of these settings are also reflected in the Customizer.
Off the top we have the site title, tagline, and site icon all of which can be controlled from the Customizer. And to be honest, to me it makes more sense to manage these in the Customizer because you can see the effect of changing them immediately rather than doing it here in this apps drag out panel and then having to jump to the front end to see what that change appears as. Next we have the WordPress Address and the Site Address. Now these are settings you probably don't want to change. These are the addresses that define the location of WordPress on the web, and also WordPress the application.
Normally, you want these two addresses to be the same, but in some rare circumstances you may want to place WordPress, the application, in a different folder from the home page of WordPress itself, and in that case you will leave the first address as is and you would change the Site Address to a different location. However, this is an advanced option that can easily take your site offline. So I recommend never touching this unless you have very specific reasons to do so. Scrolling down we have the Admin E-mail Address.
By default, this is the e-mail address you used to set up your first user account when you set up WordPress, but you can now change it to another e-mail address as you want. This e-mail address is used any time WordPress needs to notify an administrator of something that's happening on the site. That could be an automatic update, it could be the registration of a new user, or it could be a new comment or comments held for moderation. If you're getting a lot of e-mails from your WordPress site, it's because your e-mail address is set up as the Admin E-mail Address.
Now before you change that, make sure that whatever e-mail address you enter here is an actual, accessible e-mail address you have access to. So my recommendation is to just leave it the way it is at least for now. As I said in the chapter where we talked about users, you can set WordPress up to automatically allow people to register to the site. That has to be done from the General Settings under Membership. Here is you check Anyone can register, anyone will be able to go into your site and register a new user account. If you do so, you can also set a default role for the user.
The default is Subscriber, but you can give them any type of access you want. Now this is a dangerous setting. If your website is live to the web and anyone can access it, and you set it up so that anyone can register, I guarantee you you'll get tons of bots trying to register to your site. Therefore, it's vitally important that you set the new default user role to either Subscriber, or at the very most Contributor. Don't ever set it to anything else or you'll have your site overrun with content. In fact, the only time that I would say it's justifiable to set a different user level than Subscriber would be if you have an intranet site so it's a site that's only available internally on a network either at work, or at school, or at a different institution where you have complete control over who can access the site.
In almost every circumstance, you want to toggle Anyone can register off. The only time you'll want to toggle it on is if you want to do something like moderate comments to limit them to only people who have an account with your site. The last set of settings have to do with where you are physically located when you setup your site. You can set a time zone for your WordPress site. By default, the time zone is set to UTC+0, but there's a good chance you're not located in England, and in that case you need to change this time zone to your local time zone.
This is important because WordPress uses its time zone to figure out when to publish content. So right now if I've set this to UTC+0 and I'm in Vancouver, Canada, my time is completely different from UTC+0. So if I then schedule a post to release at 9 am, it'll release at 9 am in England not in Vancouver, Canada. Using this dropdown, you can actually just type in most big cities like Vancouver and it'll show up and the time zone will automatically change to that location. You could also change the time format.
By default, it's set to American Standard, but you can also change it to something else. Now anecdotally I've heard if you change the site language, these settings will also change, but I'm not sure if that works for every single country. So I would always recommend going to General and making sure these settings are correct. So because I'm in North America right now, I'm going to set it to July 15th and 10:21 pm and then set Week starts on Monday because that's when the week starts and click Save Changes.
Note: This course covers an older version of WordPress, which features the Classic Editor. Watch this course only if you are using the Classic Editor plugin or using WordPress 4.9 or earlier. Otherwise, watch WordPress 5 Essential Training, which covers the new Block Editor experience.
- Creating posts and pages
- Formatting text
- Publishing and scheduling posts
- Adding images, audio, and video
- Bulk editing posts and pages
- Customizing themes and menus
- Using widgets
- Extending WordPress with plugins
- Editing users profiles
- Configuring settings
- Getting new readers
- Keeping WordPress up to date and secure