Tutorial Written: December 2017
While some people may think that adding a new post in WordPress is self-explanatory, most newbie WordPress clients can find it a bit overwhelming. So I wanted to write a step-by-step DETAILED (with screenshots and everything) tutorial to show the features available of the post editor and get you writing your first blog post in no time!
The Post Editor:
2) Blog Post URL: This is the url of the blog post that get’s automatically generated after you type the blog post. You can edit if you need to.
3) Add Media: Where you upload and select images or media that go into your post. We will go over the Media Uploader in detail below.
4) Heading Styles: Use the drop-down to change the formatting of any selected text or headings and other pre-defined styles built into your theme.
5) Bold: This will bold selected text.
6) Italic: This will italicize selected text.
7) Unordered List: Click this before you type to place bullets in front of your listed items. Double space to end the bulleted list.
8) Ordered List: Click this before you type to place numbers in front of your listed items. Double space to end the numbered list.
9) Blockquote: Click this before you type to display your text in a quoted styled area pre-defined into your theme. Double space to end the blockquote.
10) Align Left: All text and images will be aligned to the left of the margin.
11) Align center: All text and images will be center aligned of the margin.
12) Align Right: All text and images will be aligned to the right of the margin.
13) Insert/Edit Link: Place in a link for selected text or edit a link for selected text.
14) Insert Read More: This is to place a “Read More” link or button (pre-defined in theme) in your blog posts. Some themes already have this built into the theme settings.
15) Toolbar Toggle: Also known as “The Kitchen Sink”, you can toggle this to view or hide the second row of editing option buttons.
16) Strikethrough: Place a
strikethrough selected text.
17) Horizontal Rule: Place a horizontal separator line between text.
18) Text Color: Change your text color using this drop-down. WARNING: Themes have built in text color to match your theme, changing font colors may leave your blog posts looking strange.
20) Clear Formatting: Another valuable but overlooked tool! Highlight text to remove any formatting.
21) Insert Custom Character: Click this button and you can insert special characters into your text by selecting them from a popup window.
22) Decrease Indent: This will remove an indent created in text.
23) Increase Indent: This will create an indent for text.
24) Undo: Undo your last action.
25) Redo: Redo your last action.
26) Help: Displays information about using the editor, as well as keyboard shortcuts.
27) Visual Editor Mode: The mode you should be writing your posts in, the visual editor is a WYSIWG (what you see is what you get) editor. Which simply means means that however the content shows up on your display is exactly the way it will be when it is published. Editors like Microsoft Word and Pages fall into a WYSIWG type editor. If you need to add any coding to your posts, you will then need to switch to the TEXT editor mode, add the code, then switch back.
28) Text Editor Mode: Essentially you could write your posts in the Text Editor Mode, but if you need certain formatting to your text, you will need to know some HTML to accomplish it. I advise only advanced HTML users to use this mode.
29) Distraction-free Writing Mode: Writing posts in this mode will hide the right and left side items from view, making your post editor full screen and all that you can see. Click it again and bring it all back. In order to publish your post, you will have to come OUT of this mode.
30) Word Count: WordPress counts your words as you type.
31) Autosave/Edits: As you write, WordPress will automatically save a draft of your post. As soon as you save your draft or write more content, WordPress cleans up your autosave temporary draft and replaces it with a new one. This process ensures that you do not lose your content due to internet connection or hardware failure.
The Media Uploader:
PART 1: Really all you need once you are in the Media Uploader (#1) is to make sure you are on the Upload Files tab (#2) and click the Select Files (#3) to upload your images. The other options (#4 – #8) I will not go over in this tutorial. The button (#9) you will not need until you are ready to insert your image into the post.
PART 2: Once you have uploaded an image(s), you should be in the Media Library tab (#10). Now we will go over #11 – #24 below the image.
12) Previous Uploads: If you have uploaded images before, they will be shown here.
13) Media Details: All about the image uploaded: file name and type (jpg or png), date uploaded, file size, file dimensions in pixels, edit and delete. I will NOT be going over the EDIT portion. You should be editing your images BEFORE upload.
An important note about the FILE NAME: While your visitors will never see this file name, search engines/Google will and it’s very important for SEO, so please name your file BEFORE you upload it to your WordPress Media Library.
14) URL: The direct link of the image file.
15) Title: This is the title of the image, which will automatically populate from the file name. You chould change it to reflect more detail and NOT include any special characters, like hyphens. This title is also the text that is shown when you hover over an image on your blog or website.
16) Caption: Any text you enter here will be shown directly UNDER the photo in the post. This would be a good area to add any information about the photo or add image copyright information.
17) Alt Text: Add an accurate summary description of the image. This is very good for SEO and is also used by users who are visually or hearing impaired. The alt text is used in search engine IMAGE searches and is seen by users.
18) Description: Add a more detailed description of what the image is about, also good for SEO. The description is also used in search engine IMAGE searches and is seen by users.
19) Regenerate Thumbnails: You will only have this if the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin has been installed. You will more than likely NOT need to use this at this point. You can read more about the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin on the Plugins page.
20) Alignment: Left, center or right align your image.
21) Link To: This either links the image someplace or not:
None: Unclickable, the image does not link to anything.
Media File: Links the full-size version of the image to the direct location of where the image is stored on your server.
Attachment Page: Links the image to the page it’s used on.
Custom URL: Allows you to set a custom URL for your image to link to when clicked.
22) Size: This determines the size of the image you are adding to your blog post. By default WordPress creates a range of sizes for you to choose from. However, because your theme is responsive, you can use the large OR Full Size setting and the image will resize itself for the column and for smaller screens. If you want to use a smaller size, that’s fine too.
23) Insert into Post: Places the image into your post.
24) X: Use this only if you DO NOT want to put an image in the post, basically cancelling adding an image.
Categories and Tags:
Categories and tags help you organize your content in a meaningful and browsable format. Not only can your users easily find your content, but it’s also good for your site SEO. Think of the categories and tags as folders in a filing cabinet. How would you FILE your posts?
Note: Blog posts can have as many categories or tags as you need.
Categories: Categories are general topics or table of contents for your site. They are there to help identify what your blog is really about and to help your readers in finding the right content on your site. You MUST categorize your posts. If you do not categorize your posts, they will be categorized under the “uncategorized” category.
Tags: Tags describe specific details of your posts. Think of them as your site’s index words. You are not required to add any tags. So, you can write posts and add categories but never tag them.
For example: You have a personal blog and write about your life. Your categories are: Family, Food, Fashion, Travel, and Books. When you write a post about the steakhouse restaurant you ate at, you will use the Food category and use tags like steak, baked potato, salad, etc.
2) + Add New Category: Click to add a new category to the post. Once added, it will be added to the list of categories to choose for each new post thereafter.
3) Tags: Add each tag word separated by a comma. Once used, a tag word will auto populate when you start typing it for each new post thereafter.
4) List of Tags: Showing the list of tag words used. Click the x to delete a tag word.
5) Choose from the most used tags: This will show all of the tags used on the blog. Click to use on the post.
The Featured Image is basically a thumbnail or smaller sized version of an image and is used on some themes in various places like the homepage to show post summaries and their image or “featured image” or on the sidebar to also show post summaries and their “featured image”. If you are unsure about whether your theme uses a featured image anywhere, just go ahead and set it, it never hurts!
1) Click on Set Featured Image and it will bring up the Media Library to either upload a new image or pick an image that was previously uploaded to the Media Library. Follow the same instructions above under The WordPress Media Uploader for the Title, Caption, Alt Text, and Description. Click on the Set featured image button to set the Featured Image.
2) You will now see the Featured Image you Selected!
The image on the left shows what the Publishing options look like when you first create a new post. If you click on the Edit link next to each, it will open up additional options. See below the image for information.
2) Preview: Click at any time to view a live preview of your post. You can use it to see how your post will look as you go along or after it’s published.
3) Status: This allows you to set a status for your post. However, WordPress automatically handles post status for drafts and published posts. You really do not need to worry about this option.
4) Visibility: The first option under Visibility is Public, which is a default setting.
5) Visibility: Public: Showing the default setting of Public.
6) Visibility: Sticky: This setting us UNDER Public. Checking this will allow you to make your post sticky on the front page of your blog. Sticky posts are like featured content that are displayed on top of all other posts and will remain on top even if you publish a new post. Uncheck it to remove it from being sticky.
7) Visibility: Password Protected: Checking this option takes your blog post out of public view and requires the user to enter in a password in order to view it. After checking this, you are prompted to enter in the password and click ok to set it.
9) Revisions: When you first start a new post, you will not see this in the publishing options. Once you start writing your post and click on save draft, this will appear and show how many times (revisions) you have saved the draft. You can click on the Browse link to view the latest revision of the post with a scroll bar on top. Sliding the button on the scroll bar will take you to different revisions of your post and allow you to UNDO changes.
10) Publish Immediately: Publish Immediately is the default setting for Publishing.
11) Publish: Date and Time: Use this option to schedule posts out for a different date and time or create back dated posts.
12) Move to Trash: This allows you to delete your post. Deleted posts live under trash. You can always restore deleted posts, they will remain under trash for up to 30 days.
13) Publish: Click the Publish button to make your post public to your readers. If you have scheduled a post, then it will appear on your blog on the scheduled date and time.
2 Important Tips Before you Create your first Post:
1) Resize images BEFORE you upload them to WordPress, as well as rename them appropriately to the post you are using them on. This is very important AND good for SEO and I wrote a tutorial on why and how to do that here.
2) DO NOT draft your posts in a word processor program. Read why you shouldn’t here. You should be drafting your posts IN the post editor in WordPress. But if you must draft your posts outside of WordPress, you should use Notepad or Wordpad on a Windows PC and TextEdit on a Mac. However!!!! You may use the PASTE AS TEXT option under The WordPress Post Editor #19.
Okay, on to the tutorial!
How to Create your First Blog Post in WordPress:
A quick and easy workflow using some of the features described above:
1) Within your WordPress Dashboard, go to POSTS / ADD NEW
2) Add your Title.
3) Add an Image to be shown first in your post (optional).
4) Write your post or copy and paste it from Notepad, Wordpad or TextEdit.
5) Add additional images as needed.
6) Select your categories or add new categories.
7) Select your tags or add new tags (optional).
8) Set your Featured Image.
9) Save as a Draft and Preview your post.
10) Edit as needed.
11) Schedule post for future date or PUBLISH now!
12) Viola, you are done!