WordPress 201 – Changing General Settings

Welcome back to WordPress 201! I’m glad you could make it.

This series of posts is written for WordPress users who are using the free version of WordPress for their blog. Most of the details will be the same as or similar to the paid version of WordPress, so you’re welcome to join us as well. Just be prepared for occasional differences.

The first post was all about links, why they’re important, how to create them, and how to get them to show up on your blog. If you missed it, you can read that article here.

The second post in the series described the discussion settings, what they are, what they do, and why you might want to change some of them. Click here to read that article.

Last week, we talked about reading settings, how to change them, and how those settings affect the way your readers interact with your blog. You can read that article here.

Today, I’m going to walk you through the general settings options.

General Settings

General settings is the first category in the menu of options under “Settings” in the left sidebar of the WordPress dashboard. This is where you go to see or change the most basic settings for your blog.

Let’s take a look at them.

How to Change General Settings

Step 1: Sign into your account.

Step 2: Click on “Settings” in the menu on the left side of the dashboard.
Wordpress General Settings, Screen Shot 1

Step 3: A drop down menu will appear. Click on “General”
Wordpress General Settings, Screen Shot 2

You will land on a page called “General Settings”.

The first item on the general settings page is Site Title. This is the name of your blog. It’s the name that appears when readers come to your blog. It should identify you and/or your blog quickly and immediately.

With my author blog, the site title is Carrie Lynn Lewis. This is how it appears on the General Settings page.
Wordpress General Settings, Screen Shot 3

The next line is the Tagline. You can also think of this as a subtitle or brief description of your blog. Your description should be short and to the point, so readers know who you are (site title) and what your blog is about (tagline).

The tagline for my free WordPress blog is “Author” because the blog is my author blog.

This is what my blog looks like. The site title (Carrie Lynn Lewis) identifies the blog. The tagline (Author) tells what the blog is about.
Wordpress General Settings, Screen Shot 3b

It’s recommended to have to the domain name and site title the same because that makes your site more relevant. Duplicated information between domain name and site title makes search engines happy. Happy search engines are more likely to point people to your blog.

It also makes it easier for your readers to find you if they forget to bookmark your site and haven’t signed up for subscriptions. It is much easier to find me by typing in my site title than it would be if my site title was different than the domain name.

Next is the Time Zone setting. Set your local time zone here.
Wordpress General Settings, Screen Shot 3c

This setting is important if you plan to schedule posts in advance and on a regular schedule. Personally, it’s helpful to me because I like to schedule posts to publish at midnight my time. I know exactly how much time I have to write, review, revise, and polish posts.

It’s also very helpful for avoiding having half-finished or rough draft posts accidentally going live!

If you plan to write and publish randomly, you don’t need to be as concerned with changing the time zone.

You can also choose how the time appears on your blog posts with the Time Format option. Three standard formats are provided. Simply click the button for the option you want to use.

You can also choose a custom setting if you wish by clicking the Custom option.

The default setting is shown.

Wordpress General Settings, Screen Shot 4

Following the time zone setting is the Week Starts On setting. You can have your blog week begin any day of the week you wish. In the illustration above, the blog week starts on Sunday.

Finally, you can select the language in which your blog publishes. All  the major languages are included, as are many dialects. The more global your target audience, the more likely it is that you’ll want to use the language of global commerce. If your target audience is national or regional, you will be more likely to choose the language of that nation or region.

When you’re finished, click the blue Save Now button.

Conclusion

I recommend having your blog open in a separate screen as you work through this set of changes or any other set of changes. After each change, refresh the view of your blog so you can see how it looks. That way, if you don’t like it, you can change it immediately.

Also, if you haven’t already subscribed to Indie Plot Twist, I invite you to do so now. Subscriptions are free and you can sign up for email newsletters (which are published once in a while), email notification of new content (every time a new post is published), or both. Just click here to get started. The entire process takes five minutes or less.

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