Attending to You Blog’s Settings, Lesson #10

On the left hand side of the WordPress dashboard is a long list of links that you can use to accomplish various tasks on your blogs – new posts, links, comments, new tags, etc. If you mouse over some of them you’ll discover an arrow on the right-hand side of each link that expands the category. For instance, if you click on the arrow next to the word post, the menu expands to include five additional links that relate to making posts on your blog. The dashboard is filled with all sorts of activities to do, and as you become more experienced you can expand your skills and learn about more  of the dashboard opportunities.

The most important dashboard menu for you to explore is settings. Below I’ve explored a few of the most important settings, General, Reading, and Discussion. Read the tutorial at WordPress for more detailed information.

On your blog move your mouse all the way to the bottom on the left side of the dashboard. Click on the arrow next to settings, and the category expands to include a large number of additional tasks (image at left). Below are the most important areas for bloggers to use early in the blogging process.

General  Most likely you have already seen the general settings screen. When you set up your blog, you gave your blog a title and tagline, and WordPress stores this information in the general settings. Remember that your tagline is always editable. You can also control the calendar, time, and time zone from the General tab.

Reading  The reading screen controls what your readers see when they visit your blog, and many details need to be set. Learn more about reading settings at WordPress.

  • In general you want your first page to feature posts rather than anything static (more about static later).
  • The number of posts that your blog displays on the first page is up to you. On my home page I usually display between six and eight, depending on length and subjects.
  • Set syndication number at three or four — this is the number of posts that a person might see in his or her blog reader.
  • Click the box for syndication summaries instead of the whole post. The goal is to encourage them to come back and visit your blog.
  • Be sure to check the tags, categories, and comments boxes so they display at the end of your post.
  • Finally, take a minute to work on the invitation message that goes out when a person subscribes to your blog. You can personalize this message.
Discussion  The discussion settings specify how Word Press will treat comments sent to your blog as well as mentions that your blog receives from other bloggers.  Below are the settings on the blog for this course. Learn more about discussion settings.
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