• WordPress Settings, Part 2
  • WordPress Settings, Part 2





Continuing our discussion about settings, we're here on the discussion settings page and this one 
gets a little long because there are a lot of options. Right here at the top, we basically have 
the option to turn comments and things on or off. Right here we have the option to attempt to 
notify any blogs linked to from the article so if you put any links into your blog post, WordPress 
will try to contact that site and let them know when you publish. This next option is the reverse 
of that. If someone else blogs about you, you can have your site be listening for those alerts. 
This can result in spam but it doesn't have to. It's actually not being used that much anymore so 
whether or not you use it is up to you and then lastly allow people to post comments on new 
articles. Now keep in mind that these settings are global settings and that they can be overridden 
on a per Post basis. Then we have other comment settings, basically requirements to comment. We can 
require the author to fill out the name in the email, we can say they must be logged in to comment, 
we can automatically close comments on articles older than 14 days. I'm torn about this one. I 
really see the value in preventing the spam by doing that but on my own personal blog I still get 
comments on posts that I did years ago because people find them and they're new for them. So very 
much personal preference there. You can enable threaded or nested comments five levels deep. This 
makes it easier for people to have conversations, to reply to other people's comments. Then if you 
end up with lots of comments, you can break the comments into pages with 50 top-level comments per 
page and the last page displayed by default. Obviously you can change these things. Also comments 
should be displayed with the older comments at the top of each page. That helps keep it 
chronological and in order but you can obviously switch that. You can get email alerts related to 
comments whenever someone posts a comment or whenever a comment is held for moderation. If you have 
many comments you may not want to get one every time someone posts a comment but you probably do 
want to get one when a comment is held for moderation so that you can push it through. This is one 
of my favorites: before a comment appears, comment must be manually approved. That would mean for 
everyone, all the time, but often you don't need that because many of your commenters are trusted so 
this next option says comment author must have a previously approved comment. So the very first time 
someone comments on your site you have to approve it but after that they can post comments without 
needing approval because you trusted them once. Once you mark one of their comments as spam then it 
removes that trust and they need to be re-imposed to that moderation. Here we have the area where we 
determine what makes a comment go into moderation. If it has two or more links it goes into 
moderation just by default. Here we have a text area where we can list words that would kick off the 
moderation queue. You can put any words in here you want, one word per line. If you want to avoid 
politics, you could make a great big list of political words. If you want g-rated language on your 
site, you could make a big long list of not g-rated words. Depending on how much you use it, this 
list could get very long. Then we have the common blacklist. These are words that will make the 
comment go straight to trash, not just moderated. So if you know there are words that you really 
just never want, and you don't even want to think about it, they would go in this list. Next we have 
avatars. We talked about this a little bit in the users section. If the user has a Gravatar account, 
it will grab their Gravatar. You can choose not to show them at all and then avatars can have a 
rating so you can set a requirement. You can say they must be suitable for all ages and then here 
you can choose a default. So if your user does not have a Gravatar and they have not uploaded an 
image for their own user here then they'll get this instead. Next, let's look at the media settings. 
Every time you upload an image, WordPress makes three sizes: a thumbnail size, which is perfectly 
square; a medium size, which has a max width of 300 by 300 which means it could be wider than it is 
tall or vice versa; and then a large size. It also maintains the original size now. It's possible to 
add additional sizes either with code or with any number of plugins. So if you have a need for a 
custom size, it's not very hard to add it. When your images are uploaded, they either all go into 
one giant folder or you can organise your uploads into month and year based folders. This is 
actually pretty wonderful, especially if you're browsing through the file system looking for a 
specific image. Next we'll look at permalinks and we covered this pretty well in an earlier video. 
You can choose what your urls look like, we've chosen post name. I promised that we would take a 
better look at category base and tag base. Right, now, if you go to a post archive of a category 
its /category/ and then the term but you can change that to something else. For example, you could 
use topics and you really could use anything at all. If you don't like categories, you can set it to 
anything at this point. It must be something, though, so you can either leave it blank and use the 
default or you could simply type in a word here like topics. At this point we've covered all of the 
default WordPress settings. However, it's very common for plugins to add their own settings areas to 
this master area so this is embed press that we used for embedding a Google map. We can have it 
enabled in the admin area or not, display a preview box inside the editor or not and display 
Facebook. It's in a different language. Then we have a Google Maps widget which has quite a few 
options. Now this list could get very long as you add plugins. If your plug-in has any settings, 
it's probably going to make a new entry here and you might end up with 15, 20 or even 30 settings 
pages. If you really need all those plugins, there's not a lot you can do about that and it doesn't 
really hurt anything. It can just get a little hard to navigate. So, to sum up, we've looked at all 
of the settings here under settings. They are the foundation of your site, they make your site work. 
So I recommend going through all of them and thinking carefully about each setting. Choose the 
settings that make the site work best for your users and for you as you administer it.

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