Improving Your Website by Managing Your WordPress Dashboard Settings

Hello and welcome to this article about WordPress dashboard settings. If you have stumbled upon this post from Gawd knows where, you may be interested to know that this is from a series of articles from a Kindle eBook called, “How to Set Up a WordPress Website from Scratch.” If you would prefer to buy the book to make life easier, feel free to download it by clicking the image below.

There is not a great deal to do here but it’s worth spending a bit of time on your settings to help you get acquainted with your WordPress dashboard. As usual, I have done a video to help you although, to be honest, this is pretty straightforward.

Your WordPress Dashboard Settings

Look on the left of your computer screen and you’ll see a black sidebar with ‘Dashboard’ at the top and a list of options below. Towards the bottom, you will see ‘Settings’. Click on it now and we’ll look at the different sections in your WordPress dashboard settings.

Section 1. General Settings

After you click on settings, you’ll find yourself on a page entitled ‘General Settings’. If you remember, when we installed WordPress, we had the opportunity to type in your website name and tagline. Now is a good time to have a think about what you are going to put here. 

The name of your website should be exactly the same or certainly similar to your domain name. However, your tagline will probably require a bit more thought. You want something short, easy to understand, and catchy. Here are some famous examples to give you an idea of what I mean:

– Nike – “Just Do it”
– Apple – “Think Different”
– L’Oreal – “Because you’re worth it”
– KFC – “It’s finger-lickin’ good”
– McDonald’s – “I’m lovin’ it”

On my website, Technology for Technophobes, my tagline is “Teaching Technology for the Technologically Challenged”. I know it’s not great but it’s short, easy to remember, and it explains what the website is all about. Just don’t spend too much time thinking about a tagline. You can always change it later if you come up with something better.

Make sure that your website address is in the next two boxes. Now that you have email addresses linked to your domain, you may want to change the ‘Administration Email Address’. It isn’t obligatory but I always change mine. If you decide to change your email address, WordPress will send you an email with a link that you will need to click to confirm it. Don’t forget to do that.

Scroll down a bit and you will see that you can change the site language and the timezone of your site. The default now seems to be UTC but if you click on the arrow and scroll up, you’ll see regions where you can pick a city that’s in the same timezone as you.

Section 2. Writing Settings

Look on the left and you will see a number of options available to you under ‘Settings’. Choose ‘Writing’. The only option that you really want to change is the Default Post Category. However, since we don’t have any other categories at the moment, there isn’t a great deal you can do about that. You’ll have to come back later if you want to change it.

WordPress dashboard settings

You will also notice a section at the bottom called ‘Update Services’. Here’s what WordPress says about this. “When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services. For more about this, see Update Services on the Codex. Separate multiple service URLs with line breaks.”

In that line above the box ‘Update Services’ is linked to a page on Codex. Press ‘Ctrl’ and click on the link so a new tab opens up. Scroll down a little and you will see something called ‘XML-RPC Ping Services’. Copy all of the links you can see there and paste them into the box under ‘Update Services’ in your dashboard. This will help spread the word about your new website.

Section 3. Reading Settings

Click on ‘Reading’ on the left-hand side and you will get taken to a new page. Like the ‘Writing’ settings, there is not much to do on this page at the moment. You might decide later that you want your website to have a homepage that doesn’t change. If that’s the case, you’d want to change ‘Your latest posts’ to ‘A static home page’. 

WordPress dashboard settings

Additionally, you may want to change these settings after you have chosen a theme. The reading settings are generally about cosmetics and what looks good on your site, which is why it’s better to wait till after you have chosen your theme.

Section 4. Discussion Settings

Click on ‘Discussion’ link on the left. There is nothing worth changing on this page now. However, you might want to change things in the future if your blog becomes super-successful and you get lots of comments. But for the time being, leave everything as it is.

Section 5. Media Settings

This is yet another one that requires no effort. In the past, this was an important part of the setting-up process but now the default settings in WordPress help us with image sizes. So, yet again, leave everything as it is and move on to the next section.

However, I think I should add that if you notice that your images look horrible in some way, playing with the media settings will help. For example, uploading a small image which is resized upwards will make the image blurry. By setting image sizes in ‘Media’ settings, you can stop this happening. Mind you, uploading small images to WordPress is never a good idea anyway.

Section 6. Permalinks

Next, we come to a section that is fairly important. When you click on ‘Permalinks’ on the left, you’ll see a page with lots of different examples of links. Look below and you’ll see what I mean.

WordPress dashboard settings

When you are writing posts, you need to think about keywords and the keywords should be in the permalink. By choosing the ‘Post name’ option, your keywords will appear in the link itself, which is good from an SEO point of view. 

After you have selected ‘Post name’, don’t forget to click the blue button at the bottom to save your changes.

Section 7. Privacy

Finally, click on ‘Privacy’. This is a new feature in WordPress so that blog owners don’t fall foul of the European GDPR law. We will look at your privacy page later but for the time being, leave this exactly as it is as well.

Wrapping WordPress Dashboard Settings All Up

And there you have it. You have managed to sort out your WordPress dashboard settings. Not very tricky I think you’ll agree. Now, let’s move onto looking at the next section, which you’ll be happy to know is all about your user settings.

Michael Williams

Blogger, writer, teacher and an all-round good egg.

View all posts by Michael Williams →

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