WordPress Posts and You
The beating heart of a Blog site is the Posts feature. WordPress has two distinct forms of Content Creation: Posts and Pages.
Posts are for New things that you want to share with the world and Pages are for things that are generally unchanging, like Contact Details or a Biography.
The “Main Posts” Section
In the image below you can see 4 areas highlighted. I’ll cover each one in a little detail here.
Section One – Add New Button
Pretty self explanatory really this one! Click this to move to the Post Creation Panel. You can also access the Post Creation Panel via the Admin Menu item on the left of the screen.
Section Two – Filtering Your Posts
If you’ve created a lot of Posts then you might want to sort them so you can find the one you’re looking for. You have a number of tools available in this section to help with this.
You have, in the top right, a Search Box that allows you to search based on Title and Tags. Probably the easiest way to find a single Post or a group of related Posts you’re looking for. If you have a bunch of them that you want to edit at once (you may need to change the Category for multiple Posts) then you can filter your search by Date and Category.
Once you’ve found all of the Posts you want to Edit click the title checkbox on the left to select them all, go up to the Bulk Actions drop-down and choose edit and it will open up a dialogue box where you can make Global Changes to them all. Click Save when you’re done.
Section Three – Heading Bar
Just a bar across the top with details of what’s what.
Section Four – Post Title
If you hover your cursor over the Article Title you’ll see a little context menu appear with the options
- Quick Edit
All pretty obvious what they do. I’d only point out the difference between Edit and Quick Edit: Edit opens the Post out fully in the Editor allowing you to tweak everything about it while Quick Edit opens and little tray with a couple of Global Options you can tweak. Quick Edit is handy if you just need to change a Post from one Category to another or change it’s status from Published to Draft (this takes it off the site so it’s a good way of hiding Posts if you’re working on them).
Creating Your Post
Take a look at the picture below:
Creating Your Post Title
This is a very important bit of the process, this Title is what Search Engines love. Be as descriptive with this as you can, if this is going to be a Menu Item (more on those later) you can change the text that’s displayed in the Menu settings. This Title also creates the Slug, a WordPress feature that goes in to the URL. You’ll see it displayed just under the Title next to the word Permalink.
The Main Content Creation Area
This is where you add in all your good stuff. Now there are two ways you can use this area:
- Visual Editor
- Text Editor
The Visual Editor has most of the general formatting tools of a Word Processing program, things like Text Alignment, Headings, Text Colour and all of the usual things. Most people will likely use this method to input text and images but there is another way…
The Text Editor. This has significantly less of the easy to use formatting tools available but if you know your HTML and CSS this is the way you want to add in your content. I personally use this method (I also like the font that the Text Editor uses!).
It’s all a personal taste thing married to what level of technical skills you have.
In either Editor you have access the Add Media button.
This one button opens the Media Uploader dialogue panel. From here you can insert Images, Video, Audio and files like .pdfs and .docx for people to download.
Take a look at the photo below:
As you can see you have several options:
- Upload Files
- Media Library
- Create Gallery
- Set Featured Image
When you want to Upload files you can either use the Select Files button and use the dialogue box that comes up to navigate to the file or you can Drag n Drop the file(s) you want to from your computer directly into the File Uploader. The screen will turn blue when the files are on the Upload Panel, this is normal so don’t worry, just drop them on the Uploader and wait for WordPress to process them.
After they’ve been uploaded they will be selected automatically so you can just click Insert Into Post and that’s that. There are a couple of options relating to how the Uploaded File(s) are displayed in the Published Post but for most situations you can choose Media File, Custom URL if you want the image to link somewhere specific or none if you don’t want the file clickable. Choose an image size and you’re done with general Image Insertion into Posts.
You do have other tools available to you. You can create a Gallery of the Images you’ve uploaded. Select the Images you want to have in your Gallery (Ctrl + Click/Cmnd + Click to select multiple Images) and then click Create Gallery.
At first it will seem that nothing has happened… However, look down to the bottom right of the Panel and you’ll see a new button has appeared called Create A New Gallery. You’ll then be presented with this:
From here you can Edit your Gallery before you Insert it into the Post. You can
- Add To Gallery (go back and add more pics to the Gallery)
- Drag and Drop to reorder the Images in the Gallery
- Change the Gallery’s number of columns used to display the Images and the Media File/Attachment/None Option
Once you’re happy with the content of the Gallery you just click Insert Gallery and WordPress creates a Shortcode that goes in your content Editor.
Switch Between Visual & Text Editors
On the top right of the Content Area you’ll see two little tabs that switch between the two different Editors. Why would you need to you may be thinking? Well, if you’re editing in the Text Editor and you create a Gallery, for example, you won’t be able to directly edit the Gallery, you’ll need to switch back to the Visual Editor and click on the Gallery in the Content Area which will reveal a little Pencil Editor icon; click this and you’ve got full access to the Gallery Settings.
(I’m not sure why you can’t do this in the Text Editor but for some reason you can’t so this is a handy little trick to know!)
Section Five – Publishing Your Post
Here you have a number of options to help you manage the Post.
- Save Draft (pretty obvious, if you’ve got it started but have to stop for some reason, Save your Draft and come back later)
- Preview (opens a new tab to show you the Post as it will be on your site)
- Status (you can manage the Status of the Post, ie Published, Draft, Pending Review)
- Revisions (WordPress keeps track of the changes you make and you can roll back to a different version if you need to)
- Publish “Immediately” (you can set a Post to Publish immediately or at a specific Date and Time. very handy if you’re writing something in advance and need it to automatically publish on a specific Date)
- Move To Trash (not a full delete option, it just relocates the Post and you can find it again in the Main Posts panel at the Top Left under the Posts/Add New button
If you’re totally happy with everything you can just click Publish and relax.
If you’re not sure about something then click on Preview and WordPress opens a new tab (or window depending on your Browser Settings) where you can view the Post as it will look on your site. This is great for fine tuning stuff as you may have things laid out nicely in the Editor but once the Theme gets hold of the Content different things may happen…
Now, on to the Bottom Half of the Post Creation Panel… Take a look at the image below:
The dominant feature of this picture is the SEO Section. For the most part you can usually leave this be as it’s going to create SEO information based on what’s in your Post. It is fully customisable so if you’re feeling brave then you can play about with it. I’ll create a more complete discussion of the Plugin and it’s features in another Post in the Guide.
Other important things to note here are:
- Categories (a list of all the Post Categories available and the option to create a new one if needed)
- Tags (WordPress’ own SEO feature, very useful indeed. you can achieve an awful lot of traffic using just these…)
- Set Featured Image (you can choose an Image to display with this Post on the site. some Themes use this feature, some don’t. try and see if your does!)
- Shareaholic (you can choose to show or hide various Social Features on this Post. you may not want to show Related Posts at to your visitors so you can switch that off here)
If for any reason some of these sections (which you can reorder with the ol’ Drag n Drop) aren’t visible when you enter the Post Creation Panel then scroll up to the top of the screen and you should see a couple of tabs:
- Screen Options (click to reveal checkboxes that let you select which things to see on the screen while you create
- Help (this offers you access to articles and pieces written by the WordPress Development Team. very good stuff and a valuable source of information if you get stuck)
Make sure that you’re happy with what you see on the screen, some elements you need and they should be visible by default but some other ones you don’t need and sometimes they’re visible too so use this feature to hide them!
I hope this has helped with some of the elements of creating a Post in your WordPress site. The main trick is to just do it and see. You can always delete or edit what you’ve created if you’re not happy with the results 😀