Writing Your first Post is the second post in the blogging series WordPress Introduction Tutorials and uses wp-admin screenshots from WordPress version 2.9. If you have read WP-admin an Introduction you are ready to start blogging! This post isn’t about what to write about, it is about how to use the WordPress administration area.
Now the real fun begins! In the navigation menu on the left (below Dashboard), click on Posts. WordPress installed a sample post “Hello world!” so you will want to begin by editing that post to make it your own. Click the edit button below the post name.
POST TITLE: Edit the post title changing it from “Hello World!” to your own post name.
PERMALINK: In the last tutorial you set your permalink structure in settings, if you haven’t already done this you will see a change permalink button, click it and change your structure now. With the new permalink structure you selected the URL is automatically generated from your title. In previous versions of WordPress, this was referred to as the “page-slug.” Commas, quotes, apostrophes, and other non-HTML favourable characters are changed and a dash is put between each word. Click Edit to customize the permalink for this post changing “hello-world” to a title that applies to your post. In future as you write posts always check that permalink is short and clear.
POST EDITING AREA: The blank box where you enter your writing, links, links to images, and any information you want to display on your site. You can use either the Visual or the HTML view to compose your posts. These screenshots will show you how to use the WordPress visual editor.
At the top of this area next to the words Upload/Insert you can click to add images and other media to your post. Browse your computer to find the image, click upload, decide how you want the image to appear (centered, left, right) and then insert the image into your post.
If you click the last icon Show/Hide Kitchen Sink you can open more editing features.
IMPORTANT! Do not paste text into your blog directly from MS Word!! You will bring in a mess of code that can cause problems. Open the Kitchen Sink and click on the icon that is a clipboard with a T and paste as plain text.
You can expand the post editing area by clicking on the bottom corner of the editor and dragging it down.
EXCERPT: WordPress says “Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content“. This field is used in themes to provide short summary text on blog pages that link to the post. If you don’t put any text in this field WordPress will automatically use the first 55 words of your post as the Excerpt or all the text before the “more”tag in your post (the icon right before the ABC spell checker). By taking the time to write an excerpt that is unique text summarizing your post, you will help users and search engines accurately know what the post is all about.
Save Draft – yes it does just what it says… saves your post in draft form without publishing it.
Preview – Allows you to view the post in your browser before officially publishing it.
Publish – will publish your post to the status, visibility and schedule you have set
- A Published status means the post has been published on your blog for all to see.
- Pending Review status means the draft is waiting for review by an editor prior to publication.
- Draft status means the post has not been published and remains a draft for you.
- Public posts will be visible by all website visitors once published.
- Password Protected posts are published to all, but visitors must know the password to view the post content.
- Private posts are visible only to you (and to other editors or admins within your site)
Move to Trash – This will move your post to the trash where it will stay for 30 days, you can also click delete permanently or restore.
- To publish immediately you can just click publish
- To schedule a post for publication on a future time or date, click “Edit” in the Publish area next to the words “Publish immediately”. Change the settings to the desired time and date – click ok. You must also click the “Schedule” button to complete setting the post to publish at the desired time and date.
Tags appear in the tag cloud on your blog. They are micro-categories for your blog. Posts with similar tags are linked together when a user clicks one of the tags. Tags have to be enabled with the right code in your theme for them to appear in your post. Add new tags to the post by typing the tag into the box and clicking “Add” or “Choose from the most used tags in Post Tags”. Larger fonts are assigned to your more popular tags. Tags are good for Search Engine Optimization and are a convenient way for users to find what they are looking for.
The general topic the post can be classified in. Generally, bloggers have 7-10 categories for their content. Readers can browse specific categories to see all posts in the category. Be sure to assign a category to your post otherwise it will appear in uncategorized!
To add a new category, click the +Add New Category link under categories in the right column. This will create the new category and assign your current post to this new category.
You can also manage your categories by going to Posts > Categories in the left hand column.
You’ve changed the post title and permalink, you’ve written your text adding images, you’ve written an excerpt that summarizes the post, you’ve created a category to put the post in and assigned tags for the post. You’re almost ready to publish your first blog post! Before you do click on the Spell Checker Icon (the ABC with a checkmark) to make sure there aren’t any typos in your post.
Congratulations you’re ready to go ahead and PUBLISH your post!
If you found this post helpful please add a comment and feel free to post a link to your newly published post so I can stop by and read what you’ve written. Are you ready for Lesson 3: Pages?