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How to Personalize Your WordPress Blog with General Settings

After you install the WordPress software and log in, you can use the General Settings to put a personal stamp on your blog by giving it a title and description, setting your contact e-mail address, and identifying yourself as the author of the blog. You take care of these and other settings on the General Settings page.

To begin personalizing your blog, start with your general settings by following these steps:

  1. Click the General link in the Settings menu.

    The General Settings page appears.

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  2. Enter the name of your blog in the Site Title text box.

    The title you enter here is the one that you’ve given your blog to identify it as your own.

    Give your blog an interesting and identifiable name. You can use Fried Green Tomatoes, for example, if you’re blogging about the topic, the book, or the movie, or even anything remotely related to the lovely Southern dish.

  3. In the Tagline text box, enter a five- to ten-word phrase that describes your blog.

    The general Internet-surfing public can view your blog title and tagline, which various search engines (such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN) grab for indexing, so choose your words with this fact in mind.

  4. In the WordPress Address (URL) text box, enter the location where you installed your WordPress blog software.

    Be sure to include the http:// portion of the URL and the entire path to your WordPress installation — for example, http://yourdomain.com. If you installed WordPress in a folder in your directory — in a folder called wordpress, for example — you need to include it here.

  5. In the Site Address (URL) text box, enter the web address where people can find your blog by using their web browsers.

    Typically, what you enter here is the same as your domain name (http://yourdomain.com). If you install WordPress in a subdirectory of your site, the WordPress installation URL is different from the blog URL. If you install WordPress at http://yourdomain.com/wordpress/ (WordPress URL), you need to tell WordPress that you want the blog to appear at http://yourdomain.com (the blog URL).

  6. Enter your e-mail address in the E-mail Address text box.

    WordPress sends messages about the details of your blog to this e-mail address. When a new user registers for your blog, for example, WordPress sends you an e-mail alert.

  7. Select a Membership option.

    Select the Anyone Can Register box if you want to keep registration on your blog open to anyone who wants to register. Keep the box unselected if you’d rather not have open registration on your blog.

  8. From the New User Default Role drop-down menu, choose the role that you want new users to have when they register for user accounts in your blog.

    You need to understand the differences among the user roles because each user role is assigned a different level of access to your blog, as follows:

    • Subscriber: Subscriber is the default role. Assigning this role to new users is a good idea, particularly if you don’t know who’s registering. Subscribers are given access to the Dashboard page, and they can view and change the options in their profiles on the Your Profile and Personal Options page. (They don’t have access to your account settings, however — only to their own.)

    • Contributor: In addition to the access Subscribers have, Contributors can upload files and write, edit, and manage their own posts. Contributors can write posts, but they can’t publish the posts; the administrator reviews all Contributor posts and decides whether to publish them. This setting is a nice way to moderate content written by new authors.

    • Author: In addition to the access Contributors have, Authors can publish and edit their own posts.

    • Editor: In addition to the access Authors have, Editors can moderate comments, manage categories, manage links, edit pages, and edit other Authors’ posts.

    • Administrator: Administrators can edit all the options and settings in the WordPress blog.

  9. In the Timezone section, choose your UTC time from the drop-down menu.

    This setting refers to the number of hours that your local time differs from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This setting ensures that all your blog posts and comments left on your blog are time-stamped with the correct time.

    WordPress also gives you the names of some of the major cities across the world to make it easier. Just select the name of the major city you live closest to, and chances are, you’re in the same time zone as that city.

  10. In the Date Format text box, enter the format in which you want the date to be displayed in your blog.

    This setting determines the style of the date display. The default format is already selected and displayed for you: F j, Y (F = the full month name; j = the two-digit day; Y = the four-digit year), which gives you the date output. This default date format displays the date like this: January 1, 2012.

    Select a different format by clicking the circle to the left of the option. You can also customize the date display by selecting the Custom option and entering your preferred format in the text box provided.

  11. In the Time Format text box, enter the format in which you want the time to be displayed in your blog.

    This setting is the style of the time display. The default format is already inserted for you: g:i a (g = the two-digit hour; i = the two-digit minute; a = lowercase as a.m. or p.m.), which gives you the output of 12:00 a.m.

    Select a different format by clicking the circle to the left of the option. You can also customize the date display by selecting the Custom option and entering your preferred format in the text box provided.

  12. From the drop-down menu, choose the day the week starts in your calendar.

    Displaying a calendar in the sidebar of your blog is optional. If you choose to display a calendar, you can select the day of the week you want your calendar to start with.

Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of any page where you set new options. If you don’t click Save Changes, your settings aren’t saved, and WordPress reverts to the preceding options. Each time you click the Save Changes button, WordPress reloads the current page, displaying the new options that you just set.

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