When you start a blog, various default settings have already been set for you, and if you are happy with the default settings, you can continue to blog without bothering with the settings. I would advise changing at least some settings, so in this tutorial, we will learn about what settings are available and what and how to change them.
Basic SettingsWhen you are in a blog creating or editing post or in template editing mode, etc, you will see these tabs and sub-tabs at the top left of the page:
If you want to change any of the default settings, you click on the SETTINGS tab and by default, you will be in the BASIC sub-tab. In this sub-tab page, you can change your blog title which can be anything you like and do not need to be unique (this will not change your blog's URL. Also, if you value getting targetted traffic to your site, you should chose a title which has relevance to the content of your blog), write or edit the description of your blog that will appear in the Header of the blog, choose whether to add your blog to Blogger listings (default is "yes". It is best to leave it as "yes" unless you want privacy), choose whether to show quick editing icon at the bottom of your posts when you are logged into Blogger. Default is "yes" and this will enable you to edit the post when viewing the post with just one click. This is a great convenience and I would advise to leave it as "yes". Some expressed irritation at seeing the pencil and screwdriver and spanner icons, but rest assure you will be the only person seeing them. Other visitors will not see them. You also have a choice of whether to show email post icon which will enable your visitors to click and email that post to their friends. The default is "no". Some say that showing this icon will help your blog become better known as visitors email the post to their friends. If you are of the same opinion, you can elect to enable this by selecting "yes". Others may not want that option, preferring that people read their post on their blog instead, in which case they will set it to "no" (default).
All the above settings apply only to the particular blog you are on. The last setting is a global setting, that is, it will apply to all blogs in your account. That setting is whether to enable COMPOSE mode for all your blogs. If you select "yes" you will see these tabs at the top right-hand corner of the template editor. The COMPOSE mode is what is often referred to as WYSIWYG (what you see is what your get) mode, and in this mode, as you prepare your post, you will see the post as it will appear on the Web including photos displayed as photos rather as HTML. I personally prefer EDIT HTML mode, but if you are not familiar with HTML mode, by all means chose the COMPOSE mode. But I would encourage you to learn some HTML because that can help you a lot in your blogging tasks even if you only know a little bit of HTML. A good place to learn is W3schools. However, if you chose not to take the trouble, I think you will also be able to pick up some HTML as you read the posts in my blogs.
Some people post a lot of codes for special characters (like me) on their post, and for them, if they are not careful and switch to the COMPOSE mode, they will get their codes for special HTML characters converted to HTML tags and they will have to redo their post all over again to get it to display as how they want it. (If you don't understand what I am saying, it is OK because only very few bloggers will be concerned regarding this matter). For most people, it is best to enable COMPOSE mode especially if they are not familiar with HTML.
Setting for PublishingIf you click on the "Publishing" sub-tab, you will be able to change the URL (If you are not familiar with URL, refer to this post What is an URL and how do I get it? (click "BACK" button to return to this page)) of your blog if you wish (subject to availability) and also choose whether to ping blog update notification services whenever you publish a new post to let them knows the blog has been updated. The default is NO in my account. You can set it to YES, and Blogger will automatically ping the list of blog update notification services. Unfortunately, they don't tell us what services are being pinged even when I asked them. So I have set mine to NO and each time I make a new post, I will go to pingoat.com and do the pinging myself. Some also use pingomatic.com, but there seem to be less there and I prefer pingoat.com. More about pinging later.
FormattingsThere are a lot of settings to be set in this sub-tab. The first is to choose the number of posts you want displayed on the main (home or index) page which can be according to the actual number of posts or the number of post in a specified number of days. The default is 7 posts displayed on the main page. You can change it to whatever you want, but if number of posts in a specified number of days is chosen, a maximum of 99 posts will be imposed. See screenshot:
Here you will also choose the Date Header Format (the way the Date Header of your post is displayed),
the Archive Index Date Format
and the Timestamp Format
You can also choose the Time Zone and the language your blog will be in. Other choices are whether to enable line breaks. If set to no, even when you press the Enter key in the post editor to start a new line, the next line will be displayed on the same line as the one above. So if you select "no", all your paragraphs will be squashed into one long paragraph. You should leave it as the default "yes".
You also chose whether to display the title Field or not. If set to "no" the title of your post will be the first line of your post. You should leave it as the default "yes" in which case, above the post editor will be displayed a box for you to type in the title of your post.
. This will allow you to type your own post title and you should try to include relevant keywords in the post title for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
There will be a choice of whether to show link field or not. If you select yes, a box for the link field will be displayed as shown in the screenshot above, and you can enter the URL of the site that is connected to your post. You may also leave it blank. I normally leave it blank unless I have very good reason to link to another site. If you leave it blank, anyone who clicks on the post title will be taken to the individual post page (permalink) where you will see only that post on the page plus comments, and no other posts.
You will also select whether to Enable float alignment or not. You should leave it as "yes" unless you are having problems with post layout.
Finally at the bottom there is a Post Template box. Anything you enter into the Post Template box will always appear in the post editor window whenever you create a new post. This comes in handy when you want something always repeated in your post
CommentsIn this sub-tab, you wil be given a choice of whether to show or hide comments (default is "show"), select who can comment - only registered Users (those who have a Blogger account), Anyone (anonymous) or only members of this blog (those you have invited to become an author and have accepted). Default is "only registered users". You can set this by clicking on SETTINGS > COMMENT, then in the "Who can comment?" section, use the drop-down menu to select your choice:
You can also choose whether new post have comments enabled or not, to show or hide backlinks (sites which have linked to your post), whether new post have backlinks, the Comments Timestamp Format, whether to show the comments in a pop-up window.
You can choose whether to enable comment moderation or not. If you enable comment moderation, a box will appear for you to enter the email address to which notification of new comments for you to publish or reject. If you leave this blank, the only way for you to moderate the comment is via the sub-tab in the Dashboard. This will not be good because unlike moderating via email notification, you will not know which post the comment was made unless you remember to click the in which case you will be able to see part or all of the title of the post in which the comment is made. If you intend to respond to the comment, my advice is to type or copy-paste the post title in a Notepad file so you have a record. The moment you approve the comment, it will disappear from the Dashboard and if you can't remember the post title, you will have a really tough time to find the post to respond to the comment. This is the reason why I have chosen to moderate comment via email notification. You have a permanent record plus you have a link to the post through which you can get to very easily by cliking on the link. Plus if you accidentally rejected the comment or you want to edit it, you can remedy that. Refer to What you can do if you accidentally rejected comment or want to edit comment
You can also chose to enable word verification or not. This is to control comment spam, so that only human who enter the text they see in a graphic correctly will get their comment posted. It is good to enable word verification to cut down spam comments, but if you have chosen comment moderation, you may choose to disable this to make it easier for your visitors to make comments. This is what I do.
There will be a choice of whether to display the profile photo of commentators in the comments. The default is "yes".
Finally, there is a box for you to enter an email address for all comments to be sent to. This is useful if you want a backup of your blog comment by creating an email address specifically to receive new comments. You may also choose to leave it blank.
ArchivingIn this sub-tab, you can set the archiving to monthly, weekly, daily, or even no archiving at all. Then there is a very important setting of whether to enable post pages or not. The highly recommended choice (the default) is "yes", in which case each post will have their individual post page URL (permalink). When this is enabled, each post will have its own page and URL and visitors who like that post can link to it using the individual post page URL (permalink).
SitefeedThis sub-tab will give you the choice of having your sitefeed in full or short. If "full" is selected, then those who subscribe to the feed will receive your post in full. Some people prefer to set it to "short" in which case subscriber to the feed will only be given part of the post, and to read the rest of the post, they will have to visit your site.
There is also a window for you to type the feed footer (what appears at the bottom of the feed. For the few AdSense account holder who have the AdSense for Feeds or other third-party feed additions, they can paste their code in that window. For this to work, you must have enabled individual post page and set your sitefeed to "full".
PermissionsThis is the final sub-tab, and in this, you can set the blog to let anyone (default), only certain people you choose, or only the authors of the blog to be able to view your blog. However, if you choose to limit the blogs to certain people, they first have to log in to be able to view your blog.
You can also invite people to become co-authors of your blog by providing the email addresses of those people you want to invite. If they accept the invitation, they will then be able to publish posts on your blogs. They wouldn't be able to change any settings or template unless you make them administrators of the blog.