The WordPress Settings menu option is where the site administrator can determine the basic settings for your WordPress website. By default, the settings are broken down into 7 submenus (General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, Media, Permalinks, and Privacy) but be aware that many plugins will add submenus with additional settings as well. Before making any major changes in the settings, please confirm that a good recent backup of your site is available.

The general settings are exactly as they seem – general settings for the WordPress site and many of these settings are set when installing WordPress. Each setting option is described in more detail below the image.

wordpress general settings guide

Site Title – The site title is the name of your WordPress site. It is shown in the browser tab and most WordPress themes will also display it in various places throughout the site. It’s easy to change if you ever rebrand or rename your site.

Tagline – The tagline is a short sentence that indicates what your site is all about. For example,’s tagline is “Beginner’s Guide for WordPress” since the site focuses on teaching beginning WordPress users. Many themes also display the tagline throughout the site. As with the site title, the tagline is easy to change if needed in the future.

WordPress Address – The WordPress Address is the link to the directory on your webserver where WordPress is installed. Normally this is the same as your URL address or domain name. However, if you have WordPress in a separate directory, such as blog, then the WordPress address would be

URL Address – The URL Address is the URL the user will type in to view your WordPress site. Normally it will be the same as the WordPress address unless WordPress is installed in a separate directory. If WordPress is installed in a directory named blog as shown in the above example, but you want users to access the site by typing in then the URL address would be

Administrator Email – The administrator email is the email address that all notifications are sent. If you ever change your administrator email a confirmation email will be sent to the old address to confirm the change. Make sure you have access to this email if you own and/or are the admin of the WordPress site.

Membership – The membership checkbox determines if you will allow anyone to register as a user on your WordPress site. By default this box is unchecked, meaning, no one can register. If the box remains unchecked the administrator will have to add all new users. Please note that this does not make your WordPress site a full-fledged membership site. It simply controls if others can register on your site.

New User Default Role – When a person registers on your site as a user they are automatically assigned a role. This option will define what role they are defined. The default role is subscriber and for security purposes, I suggest you keep it like that. The subscriber role is the most limited role a user can have in WordPress. The administrator can always change the user’s role in the future if needed.

Site Language – Define the language your site will use with this setting. If needed and available, the translation files will be automatically downloaded and installed. This is also defined when installing WordPress, so it shouldn’t need to be changed often or at all.

Time Zone – The timezone option defines what date and time the site will use. All posts and pages are dated based on the day created, edited, deleted, etc.

Date Format and Time Format – Once you have chosen your timezone you will then need to choose the date and time format you would like to use when displaying the date and time on your site. Please be aware that some themes will override these format settings.

Week Starts On – Choose the day of the week you want your week to start on for the site. The default is Monday. This is used in the calendar widget.

Remember all these settings can be changed in the future if needed – nothing is set in stone if you change your mind on something. Just be a good site owner/administrator and make sure to have a current backup of your site available.


Sarah Arrow

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