Understanding the WordPress Configuration Settings – General

December 4, 2012

The “General Settings” screen is where you can edit the most basic options of your website. It controls where WordPress should look for files on your website, how to handle new users, and some display options.

Site Title

The site title is the name of your website. It may be just your name, your business’ name, or something completely different. Your site’s title is your website’s identity to many users and bots, and is often displayed by your theme in a browser’s title bar and at the top of most pages. WordPress also uses the title of your site when creating feeds and communicating with other blogs and various update services.


Your site’s tagline is for your slogan or motto. Its purpose is to describe what your website’s purpose is in a few words. For example, this site’s tagline is “All about Chris.” It delivers in three words what CJEllison.com is about, and is easy to understand.

WordPress Address (URL)

Your WordPress address is where your WordPress installation is located on your domain name. It should have been pre-populated by WordPress during its installation, but it indicates where content such as the wp-config.php file and wp-content folder reside.

Site Address (URL)

Your site address is where you will be displaying your WordPress-based content. If this address is different from your WordPress address, WordPress will need to be properly configured. It can be your domain name, a sub-domain, or even a sub-directory of either two. It is most often the case that this is the same as your WordPress address, and should have been pre-populated by WordPress.

E-mail Address

The email address here should be the one provided during installation, assuming you have not altered it already. This email address is where WordPress will send emails if it needs your attention on a variety of issues, be it comment moderation, new user notification, or other administrative tasks. This email address should be checked regularly in order to keep up on needed maintenance.


If you want any member of the public to become a user on your site, check the box. It is necessary to have this checked if you run a membership-based website. Leave the box unchecked if you want to manually add each user.

New User Default Role

This role will be assigned to all new users by default, no matter if they registered themselves or were added using the “Add New User” screen. Keeping it as low as possible reduces the possible security risks, but should be left as “Subscriber” if you are running a public site and allow for users to register themselves.


The timezone determines which time and date a post will display when being viewed. WordPress saves the date and time of post creation and modification in GMT time and in your local timezone, so choose the timezone where you or your business is located. The best option is to choose a city within your timezone from the list, but you can choose how many hours away from GMT you are as well.

Date Format/Time Format

The options on how the time and day a post was created is for use by theme developers when making themes. However, a theme developer may choose to override these options, but you should set them to your preference in case an update to your theme is released that respects these options. It should be noted that these options do not alter the display of times and day within any of the administrative screens.

Week Starts On

If you display a calendar on your blog, the day chosen will be displayed in the first column. It is preset to Monday, but it can be set to any day for any reason (just keep your target audience in mind when doing this, as they are most likely accustomed to a certain style of calendar layout).

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