In the previous chapter, we completed the WordPress Installation. In this chapter, we go through some of the important WordPress Settings that affect the site and some of them may become difficult to change in the future.

WordPress Settings

As objective of this tutorial is to guide beginners quickly to build a high performance WordPress site, we avoid discussion on each and every setting. WordPress Settings are well documented in WordPress official Codex - WordPress Administration Screen.

We leave majority of the WordPress Settings to their default value and change only a few. For the time being, it is enough if we go through the items discussed in this chapter, and when need arises, refer the settings document.

General Settings

Click on Settings to expand the menu and select General from the list.

WordPress Tutorial - WordPress Settings - General Settings

In General Settings, enter suitable Site Title, Tagline. These are displayed in the header of the site. Leave both URL and E-Mail fields to the default value populated by WordPress. If you wish to allow users to register, then check Membership field.

General Settings screen is bit lengthy, so next four fields - Time Zone, Date Format, Time Format, Week starts on - are not shown in the screenshot. Select the time zone of your country and also, choose proper Date and Time formats and save the changes.


Reading Settings

We leave settings in Writing to defaults. In Reading, we are interested in one item.

WordPress Tutorial - WordPress Settings - Reading Settings

When the site is ready to go live, and then we have to uncheck the Search Engine Visibility so that search engines can start indexing the site.

Discussion Settings

These settings are related to user comments.

WordPress Tutorial - WordPress Settings - Discussion Settings

To disable comments by the user, uncheck Allow people to post comments on new articles. To disable comments from anonymous users, check Users must be registered and logged in to comment.

Media Settings

WordPress stores media files like image files, video, audio and also other uploads in its Media Library. Media settings are settings related to Media Library.

WordPress Tutorial - WordPress Settings - Media Settings

When we upload images to Media Library, WordPress saves the file in wp-content/uploads directory. It also generates three additional images - thumbnail, medium, large - from the uploaded one and saves them in uploads directory. Images Size defines the size of these images, and we leave them to their defaults.

WordPress by default saves uploaded files in month and year based folders. For example, if we upload a media file on 10 June 2014, then it lands in a sub folder 2014/june/ within WordPress Media Library. For image or video oriented sites, this hierarchical scheme is useful.

However, for Post oriented sites, media link management becomes cumbersome when they land into year-month based folders. If we uncheck Organize my uploads into month and year based folder, then uploads land in Media Library folder. This flat organization of media files is easy to manage, and for we have unchecked this field. Choose between the two based on your requirements.

Permalinks Settings

Permalink structure of the site is one of the important aspects that should be set before we add contents to the site.

WordPress Tutorial - WordPress Settings - Permalinks Settings

By default, WordPress uses URL with page ID in them; something like URL like these has less appeal and also difficult handle them in case of any major reorganization of the site. Moreover, search engines prefer keywords rather than numbers in the URL. WordPress allows us to create a custom URL structure for the permalinks and archives, which not only improves the aesthetics and usability, but also forward-compatibility of the links.

In, we use a Custom Structure /%category%/%postname%/ which takes care of Page Ranking and other things. This permalink structure uses category name and post title to build links and some examples from are:

With these changes, we have completed the essential settings, and ready to add contents to the site. In the next chapter, we cover WordPress contents - Posts, Pages and Media Library.