Writing Settings

Once you’ve reset your blog to create a tabula rasa and configured your general settings, it’s time to configure some options on the “Writing Settings” page.

WordPress Writing Settings page

1. Size of the post box

How many lines deep do you want the text-entry portion of your post editor to be? You can always adjust the box with your mouse if you need more room, but this controls the default size when the “Edit Post” page loads.

2. Formatting

Do you want emoticons to be converted into graphics? If so, there is WordPress Codex list of available “smileys” and their graphic representations.

If you only plan on using the visual editor, then you shouldn’t worry about whether to have WordPress fix invalid XHTML. But if you are going to try your hand at your own markup on your posts, this is probably a good option to enable.

3. Default Post Category

If you want to change this to something besides “Uncategorized”, you will need to add another category first. Go to “Posts » Categories” and create a category. You can call it anything you want, like “Interesting Stuff”. (And you can also delete the “Uncategorized” category if you don’t think you’ll use it.) Now when you return to the “Writing Settings” page, you will can choose “Interesting Stuff” as the default post category.

4. Default Post Format

Chances are, you’ll want all of your blog posts to appear like, well, blog posts — so leave this option set to “Standard”. If curiosity has gotten the better of you, you can learn more about WordPress post formats at the WordPress codex.

5. Default Link Category

If you plan on including a list of links in your sidebar, you may want to restrict that list to a single link category. If that list will not actually be a blogroll, then you’ll probably want to change the default link category to something more accurate. As with regular categories, you need to add a new link category at “Links » Link Categories” before setting it as the default.

6. Press This

Note: Do not add this bookmarklet to a the browser on a shared computer. If you have your own personal computer, adding this bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmarks bar will let you highlight content found elsewhere on the Internet and quickly blog about it.

7. Remote Publishing

If you want to use a remote publishing application — such as the WordPress iPad app or desktop apps like MarsEdit or Windows Live Writer — then you will need to enable one of these protocols. Check the documentation for your preferred app to determine which one is best for you.