The WordPress Admin area gives you the ability to change some of the settings for your website. There are several pages of settings you can configure, but this WordPress tutorial will walk you through the General Settings.
With any new WordPress website, the first thing we like to do (after installation) is configure the general settings.
- Navigate to your WordPress Admin area
- Enter your username & password
This was setup when you installed WordPress. Some web hosts have a one-click install process. If you don’t know your username & password, check your email to see if your web host emailed you the login information.
- Navigate to “Settings” > “General” in the left-hand navigation
* It is possible (although much less common) that you have WordPress installed in a different folder on your server. If so, you would navigate to [yourwebsite.com]/foldername/wp-admin/. Learn more about this option in the WordPress Codex.
Site Title & Tagline
Site Title & Tagline are mainly used by your theme to display information about your site. Each theme chooses to display this information in a different location. Some themes might not use it at all (less common), and some might only use the Site Title, but NOT the Tagline.
You want to keep the Site Title short. Typically, this will be:
- For business websites, your company name
- For personal websites, your name
- If your website doesn’t fit into either of those 2 categories, just give your site a name
Site Title & SEO
Many themes and plugins use your Site Title for the
<title> tag that is displayed on search engine result pages (SERPs). You might want to consider including the name of the products or services that you offer in your Site Title.
For example, if you’re a local coffee shop called Lamplighter, consider setting your title to “Lamplighter Coffee Shop” or “Lamplighter Coffee in Richmond, VA”. We won’t go any further with SEO in this article, but we recently published a comprehensive guide to WordPress SEO.
WordPress Address & Site Address
Most WordPress hosting companies will install WordPress in the root directory on your server, and both of these settings will default to [yourwebsite.com]. 99% of the time, just leave these untouched. Changing them without proper reason could render your site inaccessible.
IF you installed WordPress in its own directory or sub-folder, you can learn more about these settings in the WordPress Codex.
The email address is used for admin purposes. It is typically set during the installation process. You want this to be an address that you have easy access to.
This is used for notifications when certain changes are made to your site. Examples include:
- When new users are added to the site
- When a comment is posted, or awaiting your approval
- Some plugins also use this address for notification purposes. Many contact form plugins will send an email to this address when new information is submitted via a form on your site.
Unless your site is a membership site (which we’ll cover in another tutorial), just leave this option unchecked. It will not apply to most WordPress websites.
New User Default Role
This setting is used to setup the permissions that new users will have once added to the site. If you have multiple people within your organization who need access to make changes, WordPress uses this setting by default.
It can easily be changed for each user you add, but if you’re added a lot of users, it will save you time to set it to the most common role.
Timezone will be used throughout your site to alert visitors when information is published and/or updated. Not all themes display publication date & time, but many do.
We recommend choosing a city in the same timezone as yours, as well as one that either does or does not observe Daylight Saving Time (a city that does the same as you). This will ensure that WordPress automatically updates the time when Daylight Saving Time is taking place.
Choosing a manual offset UTC time will NOT automatically account for Daylight Saving Time. You could manually change it yourself, but we recommend the first method of set-it-and-forget-it.
Date Format & Time Format
Many themes display the date & time that a post was published. These settings will determine how that information looks on your website.
Use the documentation link provided on the Settings page to learn how to format the date & time how you want it. See below for an example of where the twentythirteen theme displays the date for each post.
Week Starts On
This setting is mainly used for calendar displays. If you are using the default WordPress Calendar widget, or a plugin that utilizes calendar-like functionality, it will likely start the week based on this setting.
If you’re not using any calendars on your website, you don’t have to worry about this.