Guide to WordPress – part 4 – Adding your First Post

Posted on 28th March, 2013 Leave a Comment

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Posts

WordPress says: Posts are what make your blog a blog — they’re servings of content that are listed in reverse chronological order on your blog’s front page.

But I feel that this is a bit specific to just a blog. If you’re using WordPress as a portfolio then posts would be the ideal way to display your latest work or if you run a shop these posts might be your products. Posts as you’ll come to see are the backbone of a WordPress site. Let’s take a look.

Edit Post ‹ WPtricks — WordPressThis will be the most used menu item, once you’ve set up your main site this will probably be the only menu item you use.

Posts are a rather general term for what these actually are; they can be used for a number of things and serve for a surprising amount of purposes.

An example might be:

If you’re using your site as a portfolio, then each post would probably contain an image and a description.  So not really what you might consider a blog post, more a new addition.

Let’s create our first post then give it a category and a tag

Under the Posts tab click Add New (you could use the toolbar to do the same).

A new administration page will open with the familiar main menu on the left, then you’ll notice a clearly sectioned off area containing all the modules to allow you to add a new post. I’ll walk you through using each of these modules and then you’ll be able to tailor this screen to your needs.  If you remember in the introduction to the dashboard article, I talked about using the Screen Options to customise each of the admin pages to your needs. You can apply that here.

Let’s take a look at what you’re seeing. I’ll explain each of the page sections in a logical order of how you would use the add post page.

Add-New-Post-‹-basic-site-—-WordPress

  1. Enter title here – This is where you’ll enter the post title. Think logically for this. What I mean by think logically is – place key words relevant to the post itself in your titles as this will also be used for the post URL (the address in the browser), so if you title your post “Your First Post” it would look like this http://my-website.co.uk/your-first-post. WordPress translates this to a hyphenated (-), a lower-case version used for the URL. Making your titles more relevant to the actual content can only have positive results and be more likely to push the content up in search results. In its most basic form… it makes your site more Google friendly.
  2. Visual – If you’ve used MS Word or any email client then this will look quite familiar. This is the point and click area to add your content to. Otherwise known as the WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get), in this section what you add will reflect what you’ll see on the front end, from a user’s point of view.
    Text – This is your article in its most basic form and unless you know HTML you should really be sticking to the Visual editor. Otherwise your post will look quite flat once published.
  3. The kitchen Sink* – Click this little button to expand the current WYSIWYG’s functionality.
    *Using the kitchen sink has its own section below!
  4. Add Media *– This does what it says on the tin. If you need to add an image, mp3, pdf, video or any type of uploadable media, add it here.
    *Using Add Media has its own section below!
  5. Categories* – You’ll notice the + Add New Category link, click this to add a category to your post.
    *Using Categories has its own section below!
  6. Tags* – These are used to further define a post, almost like sub categories.
    *Using Tags has its own section below!
  7. Excerpt – Add a custom excerpt for your post here. WordPress straight out of the box uses the first 55 words of a post for the standard excerpt. Excerpts can be turned on and off from the Settings menu.
  8. PublishThis area is where you save your work and adjusting these settings can hide, save and publish your post.
    *Using Publish has its own section below!

The Kitchen Sink

Let’s look at this in two halves, simply the top and the bottom rows.

The Top Row

These are the only options we see until you click on the kitchen sink button (o), for now let’s take a look at what functionality these easy access styles provide.

wysiwyg-top

  1. Bold text
  2. Italic text
  3. Strike through text
  4. • Unordered list
  5. 1. Ordered list
  6. “ Block Quote ”
  7. Text align left
  8. Text align centre
  9. Text align right
  10. Add a link
  11. Remove a link
  12. More Tag – If you display an excerpt of your content on the home or archive pages, this allows you to insert your own “read more” tag inside your main post*.
    *This is only displayed in your excerpts.
  13. Spell checker
  14. Fill the screen with the editor
  15. The Kitchen sink button – If you haven’t already, click this to reveal the rest of your tools.

The Bottom Row

wysiwyg-bottom

  1. Text style
    1. Paragraph
    2. Heading 1 – is a Main page heading and would normally be the page title.
    3. Heading 2, Heading 3, Heading 4, Heading 5 – are the next subheadings – these basically give you a way to specify titles to separate areas and provide defined sections in larger articles.
  2. Underline
  3. Fully justified text
  4. Text colour
  5. Paste in plain text – If you’re pasting in some text from notepad.
  6. Paste in text from MS Word – This preserves the formatting used to create the Word doc.
  7. Remove formatting
  8. Insert special character – WordPress has a bunch of special characters ready to be inserted into a post.
  9. Text indent
  10. Go Back
  11. Go Forward
  12. Help

Categories & Tags

If I was to think of a relative example of how you should think about these, then my example would be to think about the index of a book and the logical way in which the chapters are laid out. A logical hierarchy. This is the way you should train your brain to think about Categories and Tags. This isn’t essential, but in the long-run will make your site more professional and search engine friendly.

An Example: Take a cook book for example. This is a book logically split into sections. Each of the main sections (or categories in WordPress) are meat, fish, dairy and salads and these contain recipes with ingredients.

For instance the Sunday Roast would come under the main category “Meat”, as it’s the most important part of the dish. The ingredients (or tags in WordPress) are, beef, potato, wine and gravy.

Let me put that into a list to make it a little clearer.

  • Category – Meat
    • Tag – Beef
    • Tag – Wine
    • Tag – Potato
    • Tag – Gravy

Or another example could be:

  • Category – Meat
    • Sub-Category – Beef
      • Tag – Carrots
      • Tag – Potato
      • Tag – Gravy
    • Sub-Category – Pork
      • Tag – Gravy

If something is important enough, and depending on how large your site is going to be of course, you may want to create a sub-category.

From the lists above get a general idea on how you should basically structure your tags and categories. These can be changed, so don’t worry about getting them exactly right the first time. These will all become clearer as your site progresses and content grows. But keep this in mind, because you’ll benefit from it later on.

So, for the last time, so long as your tags and categories remain logical to the content, you should rank fairly well in Google search results.

My advice would be to spend a bit of time and thought on how you’d like your content laid out. Start with a list, this’ll help when it comes to deciding on what tags and categories to create.

Adding Media

You may have noticed that little button above the WYSIWYG box.

add-media

Images are the primary function of the media button but its uses are certainly not limited to just images, video (Vimeo, YouTube etc…), PDF, MS Word docs for just a few. You can also create galleries, set your featured images, edit existing images. All of which is explained on this post Media/Comments/

For now as this is your first post let’s sum it up so you can get this post published. So to add an image to your post click the add media button, drag your image to the browser window and insert your image.

Time to Publish that Post

publish-‹-WPtricks-—-WordPressWith all of the options expanded this is what you’ll see. Click on the Edit links.

  1. Preview Changes – This will open up the current page into a preview window, only you will be able to see this page whilst you’re logged in.
  2. Status – Draft/Published/Pending Review are the the choices here, I think they’re pretty self explanatory. These are the current status of the post, by choosing an option from the drop-down list you can change the current status of the post.
  3. Visibility
    1. Public – With this selected your post is live to the world.
      1. Stick this post to the front page – Does what it says. Creates a sticky post, this post will be held on the front page regardless of date published until you deselect this box.
    2. Password protected – If you’re creating a page for a specific person or group of people then you might want to create a password protected page.
    3. Private – By making a post private only you as the administrator will be able to view this post, so as the name suggests is a completely private post.
  4. Published – With this expanded you can set an exact date & time for the post to be published. Which if you’re organized and like to queue your posts to be published at 1pm every Monday, then that’s what you’ll do here. If you check your analytics regularly you’ll be able to pick key times and days to publish posts, to maximise the impact your posts have.

With that all taken care, of it’s time to update your post. Go ahead and click on the blue Update button.

Don’t forget to share your content with all your favourite social networks!

Featured in this series:

  1. Guide to WordPress – part 1.  What is WordPress
  2. Guide to WordPress – part 2. Introducing the Dashboard
  3. Guide to WordPress – part 3. Pages or Posts
  4. Guide to WordPress – part 4. Adding your First Post
  5. Guide to WordPress – part 5. Media/Comments/Plugins
  6. Guide to WordPress – part 6. Adding your First Page

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