How Do I Adjust WordPress Settings?

After you have installed WordPress on your selected WebHotell, the first step for you should be to take a look at the general settings of your WordPress Installation (your new website).

It is essential for SEO, security and performance to adjust WordPress settings for website Identity, language, time and date, permalinks, security and more. Doing this will set you off on the «good foot» with the search engines and make your website (your new blog) perform best. 

WordPress settings can be accessed and adjusted right after you log into your dashboard. To log onto your WP dashboard, either go to the WP Admin link in your hosting service providers dashboard or  go to the login page of your WordPress site, which can be reached on the following URLs:

  • https://example/wp-login.php

To learn more about how to install and publish a WordPress blog, read the article How To Start A Blog Using WordPress


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WordPress Dashboard – Your Control Centre

Wordpress Admin Dashboard

The WordPress dashboard is your control centre where you adjust, tweak and have complete control over what is going on with your website.

Accessing the dashboard depends on which type of WordPress installation you have chosen. You can log into the WordPress dashboard from within your web host account for a self-hosted installation.

You can also log into your dashboard directly from your WP installation’s login page. It can reach the login page through the following URLs:

  • https://example/wp-login.php

Remember to change «” to the domain you bought, and then you are directed to the login page, where you have to fill in the email you used when purchasing your domain plus the associated password.

General Settings

Choose Settings – General, as shown in the screenshot of the dashboard. On this page, you can change language, time and date, type of format, the title of the website address (URL) and more.

  • Site Title –The title or top text will show on your front page/home page.
  • Tagline – The tagline is a short description of your website/blog. A tagline is visible beneath the website’s title. In some of the WordPress themes, the tagline stays hidden.
  • Administrator Email address – Check that the administrator email address is the correct one, and also make sure to check the spelling. Remember that WordPress use this address to send important information.
  • Membership – Decide if you want your site visitors to register as site members. I have mine turned off.
  • New User Default Role– Default role of new users. If you allow registration leave the default to Subscriber. They will only be allowed to read.
  • Site Language – Choose the primary language used on the site.
  • Time Zone – Choose the timezone for where you live.
  • Date Format – Choose the date format according to where you live.
  • Time format – Choose your preferred format for time, 24-hour format or 12-hour format.
  • Week Starts On – In Norway, the Week starts on Monday. It may be different from where you live.

Don’t forget to save your changes before leaving the General Setting page, or you will have to do it all once more.

Read Settings

The next step is to select Settings – Read. 

Wordpress Read Settings

As the default settings, WordPress will show your latest articles and blog posts on your «from Page» If you have created a specific page for your blog posts, select the static page option.

Remember to create a particular front and separate page showing your blog posts. Using the standard front-page view (homepage), you can adjust how many posts you want to show on the homepage. For new bloggers, the recommended number of posts is 8-12 posts/articles.

«Summary» should be chosen for most websites. Read more on this article about Search Engine Optimisation for beginners ( SEO Optimisation) for more information.

Especially notice the alternative option for «visibility to search engines». With this option ticked off, you can block search engines while the website is still being developed or maintained.

It is essential not to tick off this box when you want your website to be visible again in search engines.

Write Settings

Wordpress Write Settings

There is not much to change in this section of the settings. The post by email is a feature I would leave off due to security reasons. Activating the option will leave your website more prone to hacking.

I have only adjusted the Default Post Category in the write settings on my WordPress sites. I have set it to the category “Blogging”. 

It looks better than letting your post be uncategorized. You can adjust it afterwards in the settings for each blog post you write.

Discussion Settings

Wordpress Discussion Setings

General settings applicable to discussions are primarily about how your readers are allowed (or not allowed) to write comments on the posts you publish.

Wordpress Discussion Settings 2

Most beginners won’t need to change anything here, but if you expect to get a lot of comments on your posts, you might want to enable “Split comments into pages…”.

Posts that show a lot of comments will slow down the speed and performance of your website.

Wordpress Settings 3

Spam or junk comments are a challenge most people face. Therefore, you may want to choose “Comments must be manually approved” or “Comment author must have previously approved a comment”.

After the GDPR was introduced in 2018, you should activate the “Show checkbox to accept cookies when commenting”.

Media Settings

Select Settings > Media from the left menu. 

General media settings manage which image sizes your WordPress site use. Standard settings are suitable for most people, so no changes are necessary.

Wordpress Media Settings

Some WordPress themes use dimensions other than those selected here, but they will be configured automatically without you having to do anything. 

For more information, read how to optimize images for web use on WPEgine´s website.

Permalinks include how your address structure looks in the browser’s address bar. The right choice of permalinks is an essential criterion for good search engine optimization (SEO Optimisation).

By default, WordPress will create an address that is neither understandable to the public nor good for search engines. An example of such an address is

Adjust Wordpress Permalink Settings

WordPress allows you to choose between several different address structures in the permalink settings. For the vast majority of people, the address structure “Post name” is the recommended one.

Posts and pages you publish then get a more user-friendly address for readers and search engines. An example of such an address is

Note that changing the address structure or permalinks may be unwise after the site is well established. It will impact your site rankings in the search engine results (SERPs). 

Therefore, choose the correct address structure now, and you will avoid problems later.

Privacy Settings

Select Settings > Privacy from the Control Panel.

Privacy configuration is also part of general settings in WordPress. As a website owner and web editor, you must follow national and international laws and regulations for privacy. 

Adjust Wordpress Privacy Settings

To avoid legal issues, creating a page with a Privacy Policy, a page with a disclosure/disclaimer statement and a page with Terms and Conditions for the use of the website is good practice.

Further, you have to have a cookie policy in place. You can install a cookie policy plugin for WordPress to comply with this additional requirement.

When you create a new privacy page, WordPress will include help and suggestions for how the privacy policy should look.

A straightforward privacy policy is sufficient for most people, preferably based on WordPress’ own template, or you can seek help online for more information.

To collect, store or share private data, you should study the GDPR more closely and create a privacy statement within the regulations.

For more information, read the WordPress Codex.

Final Thoughts

It might seem like a lot of work to get the settings correct and to comply with legal requirements. It is not complicated. Follow the recommendations in this blog post, and you will be fine.

Once you have edited the settings, it should not be necessary to change them again.

If you need more advice and guides on making your WordPress blog perform at its best, please leave a comment or email me, and I will assist you.

To get you started quickly with your new blog, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate, where I started and still have all my websites and blogs hosted. You can get a free trial to see what Wealthy Affiliate is about.

Yes, I Want To Start My Blog Now!

Please leave a comment with your thoughts about blogging and WordPress. And if you have any questions, just ask, and I will answer to the best of my abilities.

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