Learn All About WordPress Posts
About This Lesson
With WordPress, there are two different ways you can create content for your website. Posts and pages.
In this lesson I’ll teach you all you need to know about WordPress posts!
- What posts are and how you use them
- How to create a new post and edit an old one
- How to navigate around the post screen
- And what all the different features do
So let’s begin!
Before starting this lesson, I recommend that you understand the difference between WordPress posts and pages
With this lesson there aren’t really any action steps. Instead it’s more about making sure you understand all of the following,
5.2) Post Format
5.4) Featured Images
5.7) Screen Options
Read All About It
What Are Posts?
Put simply, WordPress posts are individual articles that make up a blog.
Every time you create a new post, it automatically gets put into your blog. Inserting the new post at the top and moving all the other posts down the blog.
You can see in the image below, from the Nerd Fitness blog, I’ve highlighted three blog posts. When they release a new post it automatically gets put at the top of this blog and all the other posts will move down the blog.
This means when you create posts, not only will the content have its own address on your website, but it will be included within a blog.
You can then use your blog as a news section for your website, where you can deliver important updates, timely information, talking points, thoughts, ideas, or whatever you want.
(Throughout this example I’m going to call it a blog, but posts can be used to create a blog, or a latest news section, or latest articles, or latest deals, whatever you want this to be.)
The advantages with posts,
- You can use them to display content in a blog or latest news style, i.e. newest posts first, oldest posts last
- People have the option of subscribing to your blog. Meaning anytime you publish a new post, they’ll be alerted
- You can organize your posts into categories or tags, which your visitors can go through. So for instance, you could have a category on your site for “Exercises for men” and another for “Exercises for women”. Your visitors can then go through the category that’s most relevant to them and see related posts.
- Posts also usually have comments at the bottom. (Although you can turn this off if you want). Comments allow your readers to interact with you, add their thoughts or ask any questions they have about the post
Check out my blog for an example of posts.
How To Create A New Post
It’s pretty easy to create a new post, simply go to the navigation menu and hover over “Posts”, then click “Add New”.
How To Edit An Old Post
To edit an old post, hover your mouse over “Posts” in the navigation menu, then click “All Posts”. This will then show all the posts you have, like in the image below.
- Click the title of the post you want to edit, and you’ll be taken to that post
- If you have more than 20 posts, you might need to search for the one you want
- You can also see the “live” version of the post, by clicking “View”
Main Content Area
Let me walk you through all the different areas in the post screen and show you how to use them.
To begin with, lets start with the main content area.
1) Title: – This is where you put your post’s title!
2) Permalink For Your Post: – This lets you create the URL for a particular post. If at any time you want to change this, just click edit and then input your new address. (Note: You can’t use spaces to separate words, use the minus sign, like in the image above.)
(If you want to change the default URL settings, you need to change them in the Permalinks Settings.)
3) Visual Editor Or Text Editor: – This lets you change how you edit your content, from a visual editor to a text editor.
- The visual editor works just like Microsoft Word, where you add your text and then use the visual editor to make some of it bold, italic, numbered lists, or add links, etc
- The text editor lets you create content using XHTML
4) Enter Your Content Here: – Enter the text and images that will make up your content, in this area.
5) Use The Visual Editor To Style Your Content: – (See – Using the visual editor to style your content)
Additional Post Features
Within posts you also have a number of other features, so let me walk you through how to use them.
1 – Publish
The “Publish” module lets you control when and how you publish your posts.
A) Preview/Preview Changes: – If at any time you want to see how the post looks on your site, but you don’t want to publish it yet, click the preview/preview changes button. (This will open in a new window.)
B) Status: – This tells you the state of your post and lets you change it if you want. Let me briefly explain what the options mean,
- Published: – This means the post has been published and is live on your site
- Pending Review: – If you’ve added a user to your site and given them the “Contributor” role, they won’t be able to “Publish” a post live on your site, instead it will be set to “Pending Review”, where an Editor or Administrator will have to give it the O.K. and then Publish it. (Learn more about user roles here).
- Draft: – This gives you the chance to start creating your content and if you’re not ready for it to go live on your site, you can set it to “draft” and then come back to it later
- Scheduled: – This will be used alongside D) below. But this lets you know that you’ve set this post to be automatically published on a future date
C) Visibility: – This lets you set who can and can’t read this post. For most posts you’ll simply keep this as “Public”, but let me quickly run through what all the options do.
- Public: – This means everyone will be able to see the post
- Stick this post to the front page: – Posts are generally displayed on your blog as newest post first, oldest post last. This option lets you set a post as “Sticky”, to make it stay at the top. When you no longer want it at the top, you simply untick this button
- Password protected: – This lets you set a password for a post. These posts will still show up in your blog, but only the people that have the password will be able to see the contents of the post
- Private: – This lets you set posts so they can ONLY be seen by “Editors” and “Administrators” of your site
D) Publish Immediately/Schedule for/Published On: – This lets you set a date and time for when you want to publish a post. This means you can publish it immediately or sometime in the future. If you set it for a future date, WordPress will automatically make it live at the time and date you set.
E) Update/Publish: – This lets you save any changes you make and will then publish them live on your site.
F) Move To Trash: – If you want to delete a post, just click this button. This will then be moved into your trash folder in “All Posts”, where it will remain for 30 days, or until you delete it permanently.
Side Note: Save Draft
If you’ve created a new post and not yet published it on your site, you’ll see the extra option to “Save Draft”, in the Publish module.
2 – Choose A Post Format
This setting lets you choose what post format you want to set for a blog post.
Post formats allow themes to create different styles for different posts. So you can have standard posts, link posts, quotes posts, etc, and the theme will style them differently. (Like the image below.)
I personally think this is one of those “nice to have” features of WordPress…but 99% of people will probably never use it.
But if this is a feature you’re interested in using, I’ve created a separate lesson on post formats, which will explain all you need to know.
3 – Using Categories & Tags
As I talked about at the start of this lesson, you can assign categories or tags to your posts, which means you can group related posts together and better organize them.
So you could have three categories, called “News”, “Sports”, “Entertainment” and then group together all your posts on those subjects. This way, if a visitor to your site is only interested in posts about “Sports”, they can look through an archive page of all your “Sports” category posts, and ignore the rest.
I’ll cover categories and tags in more detail in a future lesson.
4 – Using Featured Images
“Featured Image” is used by some themes to give you the option to upload or select an associated image for the article.
Where and how the featured image shows up on your site will vary from theme to theme. For example here’s how the default WordPress Twenty Fourteen theme displays a featured image,
Notice how big the image is, how the title and content is below the image, but that the content overlaps it a little.
Here’s how the exact same featured image, on the exact same post, looks when I switch to a different theme. This time the flounder theme. Notice how the featured image is in a different location. This time it’s between the title and content, with no overlap.
Setting a featured image is similar to inserting media into your content. Simply click the “Set featured image” link, then either 1) upload the image you want to use, 2) search though the images you’ve already uploaded by going through the media library.
Side Note: Featured Image Module Not Showing
If you don’t see the “Featured Image” module in your post screen, then it’s probably because your theme doesn’t support this feature.
Or you haven’t got it ticked within your “Screen Options”, see below.
5 – Revisions
Each time you click “Save Draft” or “Update” in the publish module, a revision is saved.
This section of the posts screen will give you a history of your revisions and it also gives you the chance to revert to an earlier version.
To see an earlier version of your post, simply click the link next to the date you want. You’ll then be able to compare different versions of your post to the current version and can also revert back to an older version.
6 – Discussions
The “Discussion” module lets you turn on/off comments on an individual post basis.
Comments allow your readers to interact with you, add their thoughts or ask any questions they have about the post.
Obviously if you don’t want comments, simply untick the top box.
You can learn more about trackbacks and pingbacks here!
(If you haven’t already, I recommend going through the discussion settings, so you can set the default discussion settings.)
7 – Screen Options
This lets you add or remove items from showing on your post screen.
So for instance, if I didn’t want to show “Category” and “Tag” information, I would click the “Screen Options” and then untick “Category” and “Tags”, and this will be removed from my screen.
(That’s just an example for this particular screen, you can use the “Screen Options” feature across most screens within WordPress.)
Understand How To Navigate The “All Posts”
Finally, we touched on this above with “How To Edit An Old Post”, but I just want to explain in more detail how to use the “All Posts” screen.
To get there, hover your mouse over “posts” in the navigation menu, then click “All Posts”. This will then show all the posts you have, like in the image below,
- This shows you all the posts you’ve created
- If you only want to display the posts you have live on your site, click “Published”
- If you only want to display the drafts, click “Draft”
- If you want to edit a post, click the title and you’ll be taken to that post
- If you have more posts then the current screen shows, you might need to search for the one you want
- Or you can use the breadcrumbs to search through all your posts
You can also see the posts you have in your trash,
- Click “Trash”
- Here you can restore a post you previously put in the trash
- Here you can “Delete Permanently”, a post you no longer want
And good news, because you’ve gone through this lesson you’ll be able to breeze through most of the pages lesson.
In fact you only really need to go through the three items in pages attributes!