Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Configuring writing and reading settings, part of WordPress 4 Essential Training.
- Next on the Settings list we find the Writing Settings. Now, this is a bit of a misnomer, because it doesn't really have to do with writing, as much as the overall context in which content is written for your site. You don't have a lot of options here, and the options are fairly obscure. You start with Formatting, where you can choose to convert emoticons into graphics on display. And here it's important to mention that WordPress now supports all emoji, so if you want to use emoji in your post you can do so.
Personally, I find this emoticon setting to be quite annoying, so I tend to turn it off, but a lot of people like it, so it's up to you whether or not you want to add emoticons into your post or not. Then you can ask WordPress to correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically. Now, this is a legacy setting that harks back to many years ago when people would write XHTML in their content. There is very little chance you'll ever need this feature, and that's also why it's toggled off by default. If you ever get into a situation where you need to add XHTML into a post or page, you probably shouldn't be doing that anyway, so I don't see any reason why you should ever toggle this function off.
I'm going to talk about the Default Post Category in a later movie, so I'll leave that for now. And the Default Post Format explains itself. It's the second part of the Writing Settings that I find most interesting. You see, in addition to creating new posts by actually logging in to WordPress and posting content or using the WordPress app for iOS or Android or Windows Phone or Blackberry, you can also set up WordPress to automatically post content you email to your WordPress site. To get that to work, you need to set up a Mail Server, set up the Login Name and Password for your Mail Server, and also set a Default Mail Category.
Now, you may be wondering, why on earth would you ever need this feature? Well, I'll tell you. I know a couple of travel bloggers who use this feature extensively, because they're out traveling around the world and they need to be able to post content, but they don't really have the ability to log in to their site. So instead they just email their site content, and that content goes live on the site automatically. This is a fringe feature, but if you need it, you'll know you need it, and, in that case, you can set that up under the Writing Settings. At the bottom here we have Update Services, and right now it says, "WordPress is not notifying any Update Services "because of your site's visibility settings." And if you click on visibility settings, you are taken to the Reading Settings, so we'll go look at that right now as well.
In the Reading Settings, you again see something that you've also seen in the customizer. Here you can set up what the front page displays, and as you remember, we changed that previously, from your latest posts to a static page, and we set up those two pages. So if you don't want to manage that from the customizer, you can manage it from here, but again I recommend doing this on the customizer, so you can see what happens right away. Next we can set up how many posts are shown on index pages. By default, it's 10, but you can change this to any number you want, and that will restrict how many posts are displayed on all index pages.
That would be the front page, any archives, and also search results. You can also change how many posts are shared through a syndication feed, so that would be an RSS feed or an Atom feed. Now, this is becoming less and less relevant, but you can actually control that information right here. If someone signs up for a feed, they will get the full text of each of your posts by default, but you can also change that to a summary if you want to. Now, here we get to that final setting that was referenced in the Writing Settings. When you installed WordPress, I told you to disable search engines from spidering through your site.
That's because, as you're developing your site, you don't want Google or other search engines to index your test content. Now that you've started building out your site, it may be time to uncheck this box and save the changes. Once this box is unchecked, Google and other search engines will come into your site, follow all the links, and index all your content. To make that process happen faster, you can now go back to the Writing Settings, scroll to the bottom, and here you see that currently WordPress is just pinging the service called Ping-O-Matic.
That means any time something happens to your site, WordPress will shout out onto the web, and tell different services that something happened. If you want to extend your Update Services, you can click on this link to Update Services in the Codex, grab all the recommended services here. So I'll just copy all of them, and paste them into this form, and Save Changes. And then any time something happens on your site, all these different services will be notified. Now, this isn't magically going to drive thousands of people to your site, but it will ensure that all the sites on the web that index current activity of websites will actually be indexing your site as well.
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