This is another addition to our Beginners guide. Even though adding a new post is very easy and self-explanatory in WordPress, we want to highlight every feature there is, so you are not lost or nervous when you are writing your first post. We have worked with numerous clients in the past and often they might have a nervous feeling that they might mess things up because they did not know what they are doing. This article will help you through out writing your first post. We will mention features that often go unnoticed on add a new post page. This should be your reference guide for adding a new post and utilizing all the features.
This is what our writing panel look like. Now some of yours might not look like this because you have rich text editor enabled, which we suggest you get rid of because it can cause future errors such as alignment, messing up the formatting of your post and more. We have already written an article about how to remove visual editor mode from WordPress. Do not freak out thinking without the visual editor, you would have to do everything in HTML. WordPress automatically understands line break, you have image tag, quote tags, and more feature on this normal toolbar as well. You will probably never use half of the features on the visual editor anyways.
Now you have the title field which is pretty obvious at the top. Right below the title field, you see a Permalink structure that will let you modify the URLs and change things around. Considering you are using the SEO Friendly URLs for WordPress. You can switch keywords to make it fit your needs. There is also a word count feature that you can see. But the most robust feature is that Upload/Insert area right below the Permalink structure. All you see in the above screenshot is a few buttons, when you click on them something like this will appear.
Now as you can see, we have combined two tabs together in the image, but they do not appear right below each other. You would have to click on From URL tab to see the bottom version. But it is just that easy to insert an image with WordPress. You can either upload it from your computer, or you can simply use the one that you have already uploaded on the web. Always remember if you are using an image from flickr that was not uploaded by you, please give credit to the individual. We only displayed how to add an image, but adding video, and music follows the same procedure therefore we will not be posting screenshots of those.
You can definitely view the post before you publish it, and we recommend that you do so to make sure that everything looks ok. There different post status that you can select but before publishing there are only two options available. One is called Draft, and the other is called Pending Review. Pending Review option is for your blog users with a contributor role. They can contribute to your blog, but all their articles must be approved by an administrator before they can be published.
Another option is you will see is called Visibility. By default this option is set to public, but you have other options to make the post private. You can make certain posts password-protected, so only users with the password can see the post. When you click on the Password protected radio button, another field will pop up where you can insert the password. When a user sees the post, it will say the post is password protected, and it will ask them to enter the password.
Another option is called Private which will keep your posts private from all public users, and only admins and registered users can view those posts. Now you must remember, that password-protected and private posts can be seen by other registered users on your site, therefore it is not really private for them.
If your theme supports the sticky post option, you can check the “stick this post on the front page” box and it will make that post appear at the top of all other posts for as long as you want. This really helps when you are running a contest on your website or something of that sort.
Last, but certainly not the least on the publish bar is the option to schedule your post. Sometimes new user might wake up as early as 5:30 a.m in the morning to publish a post because that is when they want it go live to their audience. You do not have to get up at 5:30 a.m, all you have to do is schedule a post. You do not even have to be online if you are on a vacation. You can schedule posts for as many days as you want as long as you have the articles pre-written.
Now some users might have complained in the past that schedule a post does not work because it did not post the article on the right time for them. That was because they did not set the right time zone. You can live in Eastern Standard Timezone, and your blog can be in Pacific Standard Time Zone. There is no possible way for the blog to know which timezone you are in, unless you modify the settings. It is really easy to set the correct timezone on your blog. All you need to do is visit your Settings Tab and click General. Scroll down to where you see Timezones and change the settings.
Remember it shows what time it is in each timezone if you select it. This system does not adjust to Daylight Savings, so you must adjust the WordPress clock as well. You should probably do this if you want the accurate date and time to be post stamped for your post as well if you are displaying those details with your posts as some themes do.
Because there is no AM and PM option, you must enter the time in Military Format. As soon as you change the date and time, the publish button will change into being a Schedule button. Once done writing the post, simply click schedule and the post will be scheduled to be published on a specific date and time.
Excerpts is another feature that is great to utilize when writing a post in WordPress. As you see when you view our categories such as Showcase, you will notice that you are not seeing full articles, instead you are seeing custom written descriptions/summary of each article. That is what is called excerpts. Utilizing excerpts is an smart technique that many uses to increase pageviews on their site. Your visitor lands on the category page, and then click on additional page to read the post. It also avoids duplicate content to be created. This feature will only work if your theme is compatible with it. If you want to make your theme compatible by showing excerpts in your category page, simply open your index.php and replace
<?php the_content(); ?>
<?php the_excerpt(); ?>
When writing a post in WordPress, you might end up using sites as a resource, or you might link to external articles as a reference. WordPress has a way of keeping track of that and it is called trackbacks. Most of the time if not all of the time, the system automatically detects each external link, and notify the other site that it is being cited. Therefore if the other site chooses, they can list your link as a trackback below their comments. But you may also enter URLs if you want to confirm that you send trackback to these specific links in the field shown in the image above.
Having an organized WordPress blog is essential to your blog’s success and growth. It is wise to assign your post a specific category, and add related tags to help your users navigate through sites. You can associate tags with a specific post which can help your user navigate your site with tags, or tag cloud if you have them. Blog Engines like technorati also looks at these tags when listing your post. To learn more about Categories check out our Beginners Guide on Categories and Subcategories.
Custom Fields by no mean is a beginner option, but we are adding it here because it is on your Add a New post page. It is better to inform the users rather than keeping them uninformed. You should not use it if you have no clue what you are doing. Custom fields are used to add extra objects to your post like Thumbnails, or an automatic digg button without editing codes in each post.
If you do not want to receive comments and trackback on an specific post, this option lets you turn it off. This is a very resourceful option when writing an announcement article because there is no reason for users to comment. But again, it is helpful if you allow users to comment because they do provide awesome feedback.
Now if you followed everything we have listed in this website, then you must have had the All in One SEO plugin that we recommended in our recommended WordPress plugin list. This is an excellent plugin to have because it lets you add a custom meta title, description, and keywords to your all your WordPress page. This is one of the most important thing you can do for your WordPress SEO. You will only see this option in your post page, if you have the plugin installed and activated.
There will be more options added to your page as you add more plugins. You can move each option around and change placement to fit your needs. All you have to do is simply drag and move each box with your mouse. So you can have Categories above tags, or whatever you really like.
If you do not use an option, you can simply mimize them by click on the grey bar which has their heading. Like we display in the image above, but there is also a way that you can completely hide it. You need to look in the top right hand corner, right below where it says Logout, you should see “Screen Options” Tab.
Select or unselect any option that you want to display. You can also select whether you want to display a one column, or two column layout. Try out settings and get a feel for it and then make your final decision.
We hope that this guide helped you in better understanding when writing a new post. If we missed out anything, please let us know in the comments if not feel free to pass this article to your new friends or colleagues who are learning WordPress.