Managing Settings: Writing

Learn how to configure the WordPress Writing Settings to streamline your posting experience. This walkthrough will give you an opportunity to personalize the Default Post Category, Default Post Format, and learn how to create a post via email.

Learning outcomes

  1. Personalize the Writing Settings of your WordPress website.

Comprehension questions

  1. What is the benefit of updating your Default Post Category?
  2. What are some reasons that you would create a post via email?
  3. What does Update Services do for your blog?



Have you ever felt that your admin settings weren’t personalized enough to meet your needs? Well, in this workshop, we’ll have you configure your writing settings to help streamline all new blog posts. I’ll be showing you how to configure the writing settings through My Food Blog, but please feel free to follow along and make changes on your own site.

I’m going to start from the dashboard of my food blog and hover over settings on the left navigation bar and click on Writing. You’ll see the Default Post Category is our first option on the top. If you already have existing post categories, you’ll be able to change the default option here,. You’ll see Uncategorized usually comes pre-selected, which means I would manually need to select a different category with each new post. I want mine to automatically go to my Recipes category, since that’s what I use most often. And now when I go to My Food Blog, you’ll see under categories that Recipe is already selected as that new default.

Let’s go to the second option under Writing Settings, which is Default Post Format. You’ll see different options in the drop down list depending on the theme you have installed. So for instance, I’m going to change my post format to an image since I usually start every post of My Food Blog with a picture. And now when I go to make a new post, you’ll see that the post is ready for me to add a new image.

Next, you’ll find a unique feature that allows you to write and publish posts right from your email. Most users are probably just going to use that add new post screen, but some people might have limited access to their website, making it tricky to add new posts. You can think of a user with poor internet connectivity, or even in a place where that website is blocked. Maybe someone wants to update their blog while they’re at work, but doesn’t want their employer to see that they’re accessing it. Posts via email allows for simple post updates in all of these cases. To use this feature, you’ll need to create an email account with POP3 access. If you got an email through your WordPress hosting provider, it’ll probably work or you could use other options like Gmail or Yahoo Mail. Just make sure your email is secret, and difficult to guess. WordPress will give a series of random strings that you could use for the email. Any email sent to this account, once it’s set up will result in a blog post. That’s why you want to keep it secret.

There’s a catch here though, WordPress has stated that this feature may be removed in an upcoming release. So if any of the above situations sound like they’d be helpful to you, I’d recommend checking out some posts by email plugins. I’ll attach the WordPress guide and the resources below this video.

The last section in writing settings is Update Services. This refers to blog rolling services like ping-o-matic, which let other people know that you’ve updated your blog. You can add any other blog rolling services in this box. And if you’ve updated or changed these settings, go ahead and click Save Changes.

Great job personalizing your Writing Settings. Be sure to check out our other workshops to personalize the rest of your settings at See you there!

Workshop Details


Roxy Kohilakis

I’m an instructional designer and audiologist. I’m sponsored by Automattic to contribute to the WordPress open-source project and Training Team.