Setup The WordPress Writing Settings

WordPress Writing Settings

About This Lesson

In this lesson I’ll walk you through how to setup the WordPress writing settings and explain what these settings will do on your site.

Before we begin though let me say this, whenever I set up a new site I never change anything in the writing settings. There’s just never any need to, as none of these setting are that important or useful.

If you’re looking to save time this is one you can probably miss!

But for those of you still interested, by the end of this lesson you’ll know how to,

  • Set a default category to post new blog posts to
  • Publish posts to your website, by sending an e-mail

Before doing this you’ll need to have installed WordPress. You can do this one of two ways,

1) Install WordPress with SiteGround (The Quick & Easy Way)

2) Install WordPress manually

And you’ll need to have,

3) Understood what WordPress is & how it works

4) Learnt how to login to your WordPress site

5) Learnt how to navigate around WordPress

It’s also worth noting, this lesson, is a part of a series of lessons which show you how to setup WordPress. You can see the other lessons in this series by visiting the links below.

Action Steps

Here’s what you’ll go through in this lesson,

1) Formatting

2) Default Posts Category

3) Default Posts Format

4) Post via e-mail

5) Update Services

Course Navigation

How To Create A Website Course

This is Step 3 Part 2 – See the full course here!

How To Use WordPress Course

This is Step 3 Part 2 – See the full course here!

Read All About It

First of all, to get to the writing settings you need to login to the admin area of your WordPress site.

Then on the left hand side hover over the menu item Settings, and click Writing.

WordPress Writing Settings


WordPress Formatting

The first setting does exactly what it says.

Convert emoticons like 🙂 and 😛 to graphics on display

If you select this option and then in a post or a page type out the text : – ) (without the spaces), you’ll get a smiley face.

To see a full list of emoticons, visit Using Smilies on

The second setting is for people who want to create content while writing their own XHTML in the text editor.

Personally I always leave this unticked, as when I’m creating a post or a page I’m mostly using the visual editor, just like in Microsoft Word.

But if you do want to create content using XHTML, this option basically tells WordPress to automatically correct any HTML errors you make, so that your content is compliant with W3C.

It’s worth noting that some plugins will not work with this setting ticked.

Default Post Category

When you create a new post WordPress requires you to put this into a category.

If you forget to assign a category to a post, WordPress will use what you set here in the default post category.

Default Post Format

(This setting is only visible if the theme you have active supports post formats.)

The “Default Post Format” setting lets you set, well, the default post format.

And so if you forget to assign a post format to a post you create, WordPress will use what you set here. I’m normally leave this to “Standard”.

(You can learn more about post formats here, including a description of what they are and how you might use them on your site.)

Post via e-mail

This does exactly what it says. It lets you post to your blog by sending an email.

I would say most people will never use this feature (I never have), but I’ve created a separate lesson which shows you how to post to your blog via email.

Update Services

This is one of those settings that you don’t have to change, as WordPress has already set it up for you.

But for those of you curious, with “Update Services” whenever you publish a new blog post or modify an old post, WordPress will notify the “Update Services” that you have fresh content.

The theory behind this is that it can help increase the number of people visiting your site, as every time you publish a new post, the update services will notify blog search engines that you have fresh content, these blog search engines will then quickly index your post within their search results. (Note: this isn’t Google, Bing, Yahoo, it’s blog search engines like, Technorati).

The reality is, this doesn’t actually lead to many visitors, if any at all.

But as I said, WordPress has already set this up for you, so you don’t need to change anything.

And that’s it for the writing settings of WordPress!

Complete Setting Up WordPress

This lesson is a part of a series of lessons, which show you how to setup WordPress. You can see the other lessons in this series by visiting the links below.

Or if you want to save some time, check out my quick WordPress settings lesson.

Next Steps

When you’ve finished setting up WordPress, the next steps in creating your website and learning how to use WordPress, is to learn how WordPress posts and pages work, so you can then start creating the content that will make up your site!