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FREELessons: 2Length: 12 minutes

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1.2 WordPress Basics: A Guide to Site Settings

In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to access site settings from the WordPress Customizer and from the admin screen. You’ll see how to use WordPress’s six settings screens to configure your site’s title and tagline, reading content, search engine visibility, comments and discussion, media file size, permalinks, and more.

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1.WordPress Basics: A Guide to Site Settings
2 lessons, 11:46


WordPress Basics: A Guide to Site Settings

1.2 WordPress Basics: A Guide to Site Settings

[MUSIC] Hello and welcome to this Tuts plus coffee break course on WordPress site settings. In this course I'm going to show you how to configure your site settings in your WordPress site. So here is a dummy WordPress site that I've set up running a theme that I downloaded for free from the theme directory. And here's the Dashboard for my site. Where I can get at settings via the settings item in the admin menu. Now, it's worth noting that there are two ways to get the settings. The first is via these admin screens as I've just shown you. And the second, if we get back to the site, is via the customizer. And you can access the customizer either by that customized link in the admin menu or here in the appearance menu and then customize. So you'll see if you go through the admin screens that there are one, two, three, four, five, six, setting screens. The general, writing, reading, discussion, media, and permanent screens. If you go through the customizer you don't have access to quite as many settings. But you can see what you're doing as you work through. So, let's start with a general setting screen. This lets you add in some general information like your site title and tag line, your URLs, email address of the administrator, and details membership as well as time zones and default roles. Now, the part of this that you can access by the customizer Is the Site Identity. So let's change that here in the customizer. So you can see that that's shown up over here on the right hand side. I'll click Save & Publish and then if I go back to my General Settings screen and refresh it, you'll see that that's been updated there. Now, the next couple of options you've got are around your URL. Now this is useful if you want your home page to be different from where you've installed WordPress and in most cases you won't need to do this. So we won't worry about that. The email address is the email of the site administrator which you provided when you installed WordPress. And if you ever need to change that, you can do so here. And you'll need to verify that when you do that. Now let's go down to Membership. And here it where you allow people to register as a member of your site, and you can select a new user default role. I would go with subscriber which is the default. Then you can configure some date and time options. So I got U.T.C. as my time zone because I'm based in the UK. But if I was developing a site for a client, I could change that to their time zone. And on this screen you could also change the format of your dates in the front end of your site. The date and the time. And you can change when your week starts. You could also change the language of your site. So let's change it to English UK. I'll click on save changes and that'll save all my changes. And because I've changed my language, up here it's a bit more formal, because I'm British of course. Instead of saying howdy, it says how are you. So, that's the general screen. The next screen is the writing screen. Here, there are some things related to creating content. So, firstly, you can add a default post category, which is quite useful, if you don't want to use Uncategorized as your default. I find that handy because I don't want anything to be uncategorized, so let's change that to personal. The default post format is useful if you're using posts formats and, for example, if you are adding a lot of galleries or a lot of videos. I'm going to keep mine on standard. The next set of settings are for adding posts via email. This is something that in over six years of using WordPress I've never had to make use of. So I'm not going to worry about this right now. And then below you can change the Update Services for ping box if you want to. Again, I keep that as the default, so I'll click on Save Changes and that's saved my default post category. Now let's move on to reading. Now this is the screen that I am most likely to make changes in. At the moment, my site has a list of the latest blog posts on its home page. But if you are developing a business site for example, you might want to have a static home page instead. And you can set that up here, in the reading settings. Now you can also do this via the Customizer. And you'll see here, customize is spelled differently, because I've changed the language. So down here, this is static front page option and I can select a static page and then I select the page I want to use as my front page. And I've already created a page called home. If you also want to pay to display all your posts, you need to create an empty page with no content in it at all, which will automatically be used to show your posts. And here I've created a page called Blog, which is completely empty. It's got no content at all, but that would be used by WordPress to run a loop and display my latest posts. So here, I'll click on Save and Publish and then if I go back to the reading settings in my app in screens and refresh, you can say that that's updated. Now you can change the number of posts in each page of your blog, so that can reduce pagination. I'm going to keep that as the default and then again for each article and feed you can show the full text or summary. But this will only make a difference if it's supported by your theme. The final option is to discourage search engines from indexing the site and that creates a robots.text file, that tells search engines they shouldn't crawl the site. This is quite useful if you're first setting your site up, and you don't want people to find it yet. So, let's check on that, and click save changes. So, that's the reading screen. Let's move on to discussion. And, this is where you set up comments. So firstly, you've got ping backs and track backs, where you can notify blogs that you've linked to from your article and that's part of WordPress's social settings. And then you can either turn on or off commenting. So if I was to turn that off, nobody will be able to comment on my new articles. And I'll keep it on. Now, bear in mind the individual posts, you can override that just for that post. So, here in other comment settings, the defaults are already filled out. But, I could also require my users to register and login to make comments and I could change other options such as, how long it takes to close comments. And that can be quite useful if you want to reduce the amount of space comments are taking up on your site. I can enable nested comments and if I want I can make them slightly deeper. Bear in mind, you'll need to check your theme and how that looks when you've done it. And I can also break comments into more than one page, if I want. And I'm not going to do that here. But it could be useful if I'm getting thousands of comments on a specific post. Then you can tell WordPress to email you when people post a comment. I'm not gonna have an email when anybody post a comment, but if a comment is held in moderation, I will. And then before a comment appears, the default is the comment author must have a previously approved comment. I'm gonna uncheck that because I'm expecting people to be registered and logged in to comment. But if you don't require people to log in to leave a comment I'd say that checking this is a good option because it's a little bit less tough than manually approving every comment. But it does mean that the first time somebody comments, you'll approve them as somebody who you're happy to comment on your site. But there are couple of fields that you can add content to that stops comments from being posted. So here there are words you can add that will stop a comment being made. So let's say I don't want people posting comments on pornography or I don't want people posting comments expecting them to buy something or even free if people are advertising a free trial. But bear in mind that that might be a bit limiting. So I'll just keep to those two. Now the next one is the blacklist. So let's actually move pornography to the blacklist instead. Somebody puts a web pornography in a comment, it will just be trashed without being moderated. Then moving down to avatars, you can select whether they're shown or not. I like to keep them on, and what the default is if somebody doesn't have their own avatar. That's provided using gravatar.com. Now, let's change that from mystery person to Gravatar logo. In fact, no, let's use MonsterID, cuz that's quite cute. And I'll click on Save Changes, and that's my discussion settings. Then let's move on to the Media Settings screen. Now this is where you can specify the size of images that are uploaded to your site. And when you upload an image file site Word Press will create four copies of it or a maximum of four copies of it. So if the image is bigger than this large size It will also create three images that are separate files of each of these sizes and that speeds up image load times. Now if an image is smaller than one of these sizes, it will only create extra images of the sizes below. So if you upload an image that's 500 pixels wide for example, it will create a medium and a thumbnail as well as storing the original image. And if you want to, you can turn off cropping thumbnail to the exact dimensions, which I don't tend to do because it can really mess up your thumbnails. But if the space in your theme for images is different from these dimensions, it's worth changing these image sizes. So for example, if only 800 pixels are available for images, there's no point in having large images that are wider than that. So, by changing that to 800, you can limit the file size and the time to display that image. So I'll click on Save Changes and that's my media settings. And then finally a really important settings screen is Permalinks. Now Permalinks are the URLs that you can see here. So this site is rachelmccollin.co.uk/workpressbasics and I'm in the WP Admin screens at the moment. This here shows you the different options that you've got. So you can have date based permalinks. So that would show when a post was created. And you can make those specific to the day or just the month or alternatively you can just use the post name, which is what I tend to do on most of my sites because they don't have content posted everyday. But if you want, you could use a custom structure. You can also use a custom structure field category base. So the default here would be rachelmccollin.co.uk/wordpressbasics category and then the name of the category and if I want to change that with category I could do that. Do something like subject for example. And here I'll click on Save Changes and that's my permanent settings changed. So if I get back into my site and I open the personal category page, you can see up here, instead of saying category personal, it says subject personal. So those are the WordPress settings pages. And it's important to use those to make sure your site is working in exactly the way you want it to, before you launch it. I hope you found this course useful. Thanks for watching.

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