Settings for Writing to a WordPress Blog

On the Settings Tab click on Writing to get to the Writing Settings. Default settings for writing a post or page are specified here.

Settings in WordPress for writing a blog post.

Choose a larger or smaller Post box (which appears on the write post or write page screens where you enter your content), by altering the default value of 10 to the number of lines you wish.

Under ‘Formatting’ you’ll probably want to keep the defaults as is, but feel free to change them, of course. When the box for ‘Convert emoticons like :-) and :-P to graphics on display’ is checked, you’ll see smiley faces, like 🙂 and 😛 in your posts where you type the symbols for emoticons. If you’d rather not have the cute little faces in your posts, you don’t have to. Unless you already know what you’re doing, leave the box ‘WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically’ unchecked.

Default post and link categories are selected on the Writing Settings page. With a brand new blog you’ll have one category called ‘Uncategorized’, so you should learn how to make your own categories that fit into your blog’s theme. To help organize your thoughts each post to your blog should have a main topic, and maybe a few other related topics, which WordPress calls Categories.

To set up your WordPress blog categories choose Manage from the main menu, then select Categories from the sub-menu.

Add new, edit existing and manage categories for blog posts.

From the Manage Categories page you can add, delete or edit your blog’s categories. Click on ‘add new’ or scroll down to ‘Add Category’.

Add new categories to keep your WordPress blog posts organized.

Basically, fill in the blanks here. Specify a category name, but realize that category names usually appear on your blog as links so you’ll want to keep the name short, one word if possible. Enter a URL-friendly name for the category slug, where the category name has been cleaned up to contain only lowercase letters, numbers and hyphens.

The category parent may or may not be important to the structure of your blog. If you have a category that naturally contains other categories, specify the top-level category under ‘Category Parent’. For instance, if you’re blogging about things you like to eat, your parent category ‘Fruit’ may contain the child categories of strawberries and kiwi, and your Veggie parent category may contain peppers and squash.

Each category can be given a description, but not too many WordPress themes will show category descriptions, so this is not a high priority.

Don’t forget to click on ‘Add Category’ at the bottom of the Manage Categories page to actually add your new category.

Let’s say that you’ve gone ahead and entered several categories that you think will apply to your blog posts. Then you make several posts to your blog and find out that some of the categories don’t really apply. Trim down the number of categories from the Manage Categories page. Check off the box next to a category that you no longer need and click on “Delete” near the top of the Manage Categories page. Poof! The category no longer exists, but take note:

Deleting a category does not delete the posts in that category. Instead, posts that were only assigned to the deleted category are set to the default category.

Remember, the default category is selected on the Writing Settings page (that you reach from Writing within the Settings Tab).

The default category is selected on the Writing Settings page.

Don’t forget to click on “Save Changes’ on the bottom of the page after you’ve modified the default category or the changes won’t stick.

Perhaps you have several posts under a certain category name and need to edit the category name or description. Just click on the name of a category from the ‘Manage Categories’ page and you’ll find yourself at, you guessed it, the ‘Edit Category’ page for the category that you selected. Fill in new information and click on the ‘Edit Category’ button to keep the changes.

The default Link Category and assignment or editing of Link Categories is very similar to that for Categories. The default link category is called ‘Blogroll’, but you can assign other link categories. Manage your link categories by going to the Manage main menu and then the ‘Link Categories’ sub-menu to reach the ‘Manage Link Categories’ page.

From here you can add a link category by entering the appropriate info and clicking on ‘Add Category’. Edit a link category by clicking on a link category name. Then fill-in your info on the ‘Edit Category’ page making sure to hit the ‘Edit Category’ button to keep the changes.

The default Link Category is also specified on the Settings/Writing page.

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