The various Settings screens are used to configure your WordPress site. Normally, once your WordPress site is set up there’s no reason to change any of these settings.
These Settings options will only be touched upon very briefly. You can find out lots more information in regards to configuring your site within the WordPress Codex.
WordPress General Settings
The General settings configure your basic site preferences such as the Site Title and Tag Line, the WordPress Address and Site Address, the administrators email address and the date and time format, among other things.
The WordPress Address (URL) is the location of your main WordPress core files. The Site Address (URL) is the address you want to use for your site homepage. Usually these two URL’s are the same but they can be different if, for example, you have your WordPress files stored in a sub directory.
When you install WordPress, you get the option to select the language that you’d like to use within the Dashboard. After installation, if you’d like to change the language, you can select this using the Site Language drop down at the bottom of the page.
WordPress Writing Settings
The Writing settings configure various options with regards to your site content. Settings include defining the Default Post Category, Default Post Format (if supported by your Theme) and if the Link Manager plugin is installed, the Default Link Category.
WordPress Reading Settings
The Reading settings configure how your site is viewed. You can define whether your front page displays a static Page or your blog Posts, how many blog posts are displayed by default as well as Syndication/RSS options.
If you configure your site to display a static front page, you can set which page to display and also which page will show your blog posts.
The Search Engine Visibility setting enables you to block your site from search engines or allow it to be visible.
WordPress Discussion Settings
The Discussion settings define how your readers interact with your site and how your site interacts with other blogs. You can configure Pingbacks and Trackbacks, whether readers can post Comments or not and if so, how those Comments are moderated and displayed on your site.
This screen also lets you configure whether the Post Author should be emailed whenever someone posts a comment on your site. If you are receiving emails whenever someone posts a comment, simply uncheck the box next to Anyone posts a comment within the E-mail me whenever section on this screen and then save your changes.
If you would like to be notified whenever a comment is held for moderation, it can be configured on this screen as well within the E-mail me whenever section. The email notification is sent to the email address listed on the Settings > General page.
WordPress Media Settings
The Media settings define the default image sizes that are created when an image is uploaded.
You can also configure whether your uploaded media files are stored in folders based on the year and the month of the upload.
WordPress Permalinks Settings
The Permalink settings enable you to configure the URL format that is displayed in the web browser when someone browses your site.
WordPress will default your Permalinks to the Day and name format however you can change this so that the URL is more user friendly.
This also helps considerably with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). To change the way your site URL is displayed simply select one of the radio button options within the Common Settings section on this screen.
Next to each option is an example of how the URL would be displayed.