In this post we will take a dive through the Settings area of your WordPress admin area. For some this is a rarely visited zone of confusion, so we are going to explorer what options are available here, what they do, and how to set things up ‘the right way’. Today we will continue our settings series by exploring the Writing and Reading options.

Writing Settings

Formatting: Here you can specify if your WP should convert smiley’s into images. Also, WP can try to correct issues in your HTML for you (missing closing tags etc) – just check the ‘WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically’ box and your all set.

Default Post Category: If your a blogger, having WP default all new posts to ‘Uncategorised’ is far from ideal (especially if you forget to set a category when creating a post) – this option allows you to choose which category all post should be set to by default.

Default Post Format: If your theme supports post formats, you can utilize this to set the default format used for all new posts. This can be handy if your theme is aimed towards photographers via nicely formatted post type.

Post via email: Here you can setup a little used feature of WP which allows you to submit new posts to your blog via email. A POP3 mail server is essential for this.

Update services: When a new post or page is created, WordPress has the ability to alert (or ping) your new content to various indexing services (so folks can find your new item quicker). A great list of services which you can just copy and paste into this area can be found here.

Reading Settings

Front page displays: This is one of the more crucial options available in WordPress. By default, WordPress shows users who visited your site your most recent 10 or so blog posts – however in most cases you would probably want a custom page or nice home page instead – here is where you control what page is your Front (home) page and which page should be used to display your latest posts.

Please note, when you select a static front page, you must also choose a blog page for core WP functions to work correctly.

Post pages/syndications show at most: Here is where you can specify how many items are show per page when users are browsing your site. The syndication part controls how many recent items are shown on your sites RSS feed.

Search Engine visibility: Although most of the big search engines ignore this, check this box if you would like to discourage search bots from indexing your site.