by Sarah & Kevin Arrow

WordPress Writing Settings

The options on the Writing Settings page control the default categories for posts, default post format, and settings to post via email. All of these settings can be changed in the future. In most instances, the WordPress default setting suffices for the writing settings options.

Terminology You Need To Know

  • Post Category - This is the category(ies) you choose when writing a blog post.
  • Post Format - The post format tells your WordPress theme how to display your content.
  • Classic Editor - Pre WordPress 5.0 WYSIWYG editor.
  • Block Editor - Post WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg block editor.
  • Mail Server - The URL on your web host that controls the sending and receiving of email.
  • Update Services - Used to let others know you have updated your blog.


Writing Settings - What It All Means 

Default Post Category 

 When you create a new blog post WordPress automatically assigns it to a default category. This is where you pick and assign that default category. By default the Default Post Category is Uncategorized. Please note that you must first add categories under the Post -> New Category settings before they will appear here as an option.

 Default Post Format

With WordPress 3.1 post formats were introduced as a way to format similar content in the same manner. A normal blog post uses the standard post format. Like with the default post category, when you create a new blog post WordPress will automatically assign a default post format. This is where you should assign that default post format. In most instances, the default selection, Standard, is perfectly acceptable.

 The post formats you can choose from include:

  • Standard
  • Aside
  • Chart
  • Gallery
  • Link
  • Image
  • Quote
  • Status
  • Video
  • Audio
  • A theme or plugin may add more options

Post via Email

 Did you know that you can send an email to your WordPress site? Did you know that you can create a blog post by email? Yes, you really can! When the Post via Email settings are completed, you can send an email to your WordPress site and it will automatically create a post with the content in the email. You can get the mail server, login name, and password from your web host. Once this is set up any emails sent will create a blog post saved as a draft using the default category.

Update Services

 Update Services is a list of URLs that WordPress will notify when you publish a new blog post. This notification is called a ping. By default, WordPress includes Ping-o-Matic on the list. Some others you could include are: 


 Update services were once considered essential, but now they're not used as much.

The writing settings are pretty straight forward and affect how your blog posts are created. These settings are important when considering content and SEO needs. Be sure to check these settings when starting any new WordPress site.

About the author, Sarah & Kevin Arrow


Sarah & Kevin Arrow have worked in digital marketing since 2006. They share their thoughts and tips here on this site. They'd love to help you become more visible. Book in a call or ping us a message - we're waiting to hear from you!

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