WordPress post guide part 1
The majority of my web design projects now involve WordPress. It’s a fantastic content management system with a very easy to use back end administration area. What used to be primarily a blogging platform has now become the go-to tool for all types of websites from personal blogs and online portfolios to businesses both large and small.
I’m hoping that this post will form a handy 'how-to' guide for anybody who I’ve helped in creating their website on how to both create new posts and edit existing ones.
Lets get started!
The first stage of your entry into the world of wordpress is the login page. The website address of this page always takes the same format:
Just put your own website address in place of www.yoursite.com and you’re good to go.
Go ahead and enter your username and password and you’ll be taken to the main wordpress dashboard where you can begin to update your website (click on the below images to enlarge)
The amount of options you will be greeted with here will depend on your level of access. I would always set up an editor account for those sites I’ve worked on and advise users to login with this and only use the administrator account under some level of supervision. You could easily make changes to your site by clicking into the wrong area.
The two main operations you will undertake in the wordpress dashboard, that don’t include altering the look and feel of your website, are updating pages and posts. Pages contain the main content of your site and are meant to remain static. You will update these from time to time but for the most part pages such as the ‘About Us’ page and ‘Contact Us’ page will remain unchanged.
The Posts section is where you will spend most of your time in the wordpress dashboard. This is the area of your site that you will want to update regularly. Posts are the heartbeat of your website where you can inform your customers of your latest projects and keep them up to date with the latest news relating to not only your company but all information relevant to your entire business sector. Here you can categorise and tag your work to make it easier for people to find articles and you can allow sharing of your posts across multiple social networks.
Go ahead and click on ‘Posts’ on the main menu on the left hand side of the dashboard and you can either get a list of ‘All Posts’ or ‘Add New’. From here you can also edit your list of ‘categories’ and ‘tags’. We’ll come back to these in a later post. For now click on ‘Add New’ and we’ll create our first post.
First off you’ll want to give your new post a title. This will be the heading that will appear on your main blog or news page as a link to the full article. It will also be the heading that will appear in search engines such as Google or Bing should it rank high enough for somebody to come across it. The science behind this kind of thing is called search engine optimisation (SEO) and I’ll cover this in another blog post.
There are two modes available here. ‘Text’ mode allows you to use HTML tags to style your posts while ‘Visual’ mode is the standard mode, and what you see laid out here is what you will see on the published front end of your website. If you end up in the ‘Pages’ section of the dashboard you might see that the ‘Text’ mode contains a lot of HTML tags, so be careful to edit only the text contained within the tags as you can break the flow of a page by deleting or changing the tags themselves.
After you have decided on a title you can move into the main body of the post and begin adding text and media. If you are familiar with word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Openoffice.org then you will have no problem formatting your text using the built in editor. Standard formatting such as bold, italic and underline as well as changing font colour are included. You can also add numbered or bulleted lists as well as insert links and block quotes and also align your text.
At any stage you can save your work as a draft for working on later or you can publish your post straight away. These options are found on the right hand side at the top of the page. You can also preview your post before you publish. Just below this section you will see ‘Categories’ and further down the ‘Tags’ section.
To explain the difference between categories and tags it’s best to use a book analogy. Categories are like a contents list for your book while tags are more like an index list. Your blog or project post should have no more than one or two categories but you can have multiple tags. For example, I have filed this particular post under the category of ‘WordPress’ and I have tagged it as CMS, Web Design and SEO. You can add either a category or a tag on a per post basis by simply clicking ‘Add New Category’ and giving it a name or by typing in your new tag name and click the ‘Add’ button. Alternatively you can select ‘Categories’ or ‘Tags’ from the main dashboard menu on the left hand side of the page. Once you create a new category or tag they will be available for all future posts.
In the next part of this series I will show you how to add media to your posts.