Create posts

Finally, time to get some writing done!

First, let’s get in writing mode by logging out as an admin and logging in using the Author account you created before.

  1. In the admin bar on the top right, hover over the “Howdy” button and click Log Out.
  2. You should be sent to the login page for your site. Enter the author login and click Log In.
  3. Now, you’ll be sitting at the “Add New Post” screen with a nice motivational quote for you to take in. Read it, think about it, and get into the zone.

We’re going to walk through how to create a post in this system. There are a lot of options available but you don’t have to use all of them. If this is your first time in WordPress, don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it. We’ve seen lots of people get started with this software and, after a short learning period, they love it. WordPress has a great run-through of how to create a post here but we’ll walk you through the basics below.

First things first …

The post Title

The first field you’ll encounter is the title.

This field is used both for the title that you see and read on the post but also the link to the post from around the site. The text is also parsed and turned into the URL (the link like “http://www.wpwritersblock.com/docs/create-posts/” for this page). If you’re not sure what the title should be, just add some placeholder text in there related to what you’re about to write and change it later. You’ll use this text to identify the post later in the admin system.

The post Body

Here’s where we start to have some fun: the post editor.

Screenshot 2014-05-01 15.09.50

There is a lot going on here, and even more if you want them (the button on the far right is called “Show/Hide Kitchen Sink” and displays even more options), but the name of the game here is keeping it simple.

  • At the top of the editor, you have the Add Media button for placing images and other media. There are detailed steps on adding images here. This button is disabled for all post types besides “Standard.”
  • On the other side, you see the Visual and Text tabs. Switching to “Text” is like moving into HTML mode. You can paste code snippets, like YouTube embeds, in this mode. For the most part, though, if you’re not familiar with HTML then you’ll want to stick with Visual mode.
  • The first three buttons are all in-line styles that do what you’d expect by looking at their icon.
  • The next two are list buttons, Bullet and Numbered in order from left to right. These should be pretty intuitive to learn and function very similarly to their counterparts in document editing software like Word and Google Docs.
  • The next button is the Blockquote button, used for quoting text.
  • The next 3 buttons change the alignment of your text.
  • With text highlighted, the next button – the one with the chain icon – will add a link to an external page or content on your site. If you highlight an existing link, the next button – the broken chain – will remove that link.
  • The dashed line icon is the “more” button. Use this button to determine what shows in post listings and what is saved for when someone clicks on the “Read More” link.
  • The “ABC” button is a spellchecker in case your browser is not doing the job as it should.
  • The 4 arrow button 2nd from the right switches the mode to “minimal.” This takes our changes one step further and takes over the entire browser window; great for focus!
  • The last button on the right will open a second level of buttons with additional styles, font color (go easy on this one), and pasting options.

The two big things to know about the WordPress editor:

  1. The site is saving your work as you go along so don’t worry about writing directly in the editor. 
  2. The text here will not look exactly like the text on the site. To get an idea of what the length is or how things are aligned, scroll down to the “Publish” section on this page and in your editor to save the draft and preview.

Onward!

Format

The WP Writer’s Block theme uses the core WordPress formats to let you post different types of content using the regular post creation interface. The 4 types are:

  1. Standard: this is just a regular blog post
  2. Quote: use this format to post a quote; all text here will get blockquote styling
  3. Link: use this to point to your writing (or writing you like) on other sites
  4. Status: this is like a quick update, including an image if you’d like

Screenshot 2014-05-01 15.09.56

The format here is combined with the “WP Writer’s Block fields” just below to create unique post types depending on what you want to display. The different post formats can be displayed in various ways throughout the site using built-in widgets. They display differently than each other when being listed and when being viewed individually.

Let’s talk about these in a little more depth …

Standard

This is just a “plain” blog post. You can add a featured image if you’d like, create content using the buttons outlined above, and have a blast.

Field(s) associated with this format:

  • Display featured image – where should the featured image be displayed on the single post page? These settings give guidelines for size.

Quote

The idea behind this format was just to be able to post a plain quote from someone to your site. In-line images are disabled but a featured image can be added to accompany the quote (this will appear in the post listing and on the main post page).

Field(s) associated with this format:

  • Quote attribution – which will be added below the posted quote.
  • Hide the title – add title text but leave this box checked to display the text on its own
  • Display featured image – where should the featured image be displayed on the single post page? These settings give guidelines for size.

Link

This format is for posting links to other posts, pages, and sites from your site. This is meant to be used as links to your writing out there on the web at large. You can add a featured image to this post format but not inline images.

Field(s) associated with this format:

  • Direct URL – add the complete URL (including “http://”) to the external page
  • Publication name – add text here to display just under the link; good for the name of the site or group where the material is posted
  • Display featured image – where should the featured image be displayed on the single post page? These settings give guidelines for size.

Status

This format is used for quick updates to your readers, typically without a title. Type in what’s on your mind and post for top-of-mind content. You can add a featured image to this post format but not inline images.

Field(s) associated with this format:

  • Hide the title – add title text but leave this box checked to display the text on its own
  • Display featured image – where should the featured image be displayed on the single post page? These settings give guidelines for size.

Categories

Categories in WordPress are used to display and organize content hierarchically. The ruls of thumb with categories, typically, is the less the better. Creating solid, easy-to-understand groups of posts can help people find more writing they enjoy on your site.

The other role categories have, basides organization, is they can change how the “Next” and “Previous” links behave, depending on the setting you choose on the Settings page.

Tags

Tags are simple ways to connect content on your site. You can add as many as you’d like but watch out for over-tagging! Tags can be linked to groups of posts in the same tags and, like categories, help people find content they like.

Excerpt

The post excerpt is use for posts only. This short block of content is used on post listing pages, like archive pages and the homepage, if posts are displayed there. More about post excerpts here.

Publish

Ready to go live? Well, then you’re in the right place. Not ready? You’re still doing fine!

A few of the salient features of the Publish box:

  • The Save Draft button saves the post to the system without it going live. After you’ve saved it for the first time, you can click Preview to see how the post will look on the site. 
  • If you save without going live, the post will be in “Draft” status. The “Draft” and “Pending Review” statuses behave the same way.
  • Setting the “Visibility” to “Private” means that only logged-in users can see the post. “Password protected” will add a password field to the post. The “Stick this post…” checkbox will keep the post on the top of all post listings.
  • The little calendar icon next to “Publish” is the post date control. This can be set in the past to reorganize posts or set in the future to publish at a later date.
  • Move to trash deletes the post (it can be recovered for 30 days).
  • The big, blue button says Publish if the post is not live on the site yet. Otherwise, you’ll see it switch to Update, aka “Save.”

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