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How to Add a New Post in WordPress and Utilize all the Features

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How to Add a New Post in WordPress and Utilize all the Features

While some may think that adding a new post in WordPress is quite self-explanatory, many beginners find the interface a bit overwhelming. Not to mention, even the more savvy users are surprised to find the hidden gems on the posts screen. In this beginner’s guide, we will show you every feature on the add new post screen so that you can fully utilize all the features available.

Video Tutorial

If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

Title and Content Boxes

Title and Content Boxes are the most noticeable areas on the Add New Post screen (see the screenshot below).

Title and Content boxes on WordPress Post Edit screen

Yours might look slightly different depending on whether you are using the visual or the text editor.

You can switch between visual and text editor while writing a post, but we do not recommend switching as this could mess up your post’s formatting.

Visual Editor is a beginner friendly text editor with formatting buttons and a nice visual layout for content area. On the other hand, text editor is a plain text editor where you can actually see the HTML or write your own.

The first text area on the top is where you add the post’s title. If you are using SEO Friendly URL structure, then WordPress will auto generate post URL based on the title. You can edit the URL by clicking on the edit button.

The content area is where you will write your post. You can use the formatting options from the toolbar or use one of the many keyboard shortcuts available which will speed up your writing process.

If you are using the visual editor, then you may want to take a look at these 14 tips for mastering the WordPress visual editor.

In the footer area of the content editor, WordPress will show you the word count for your post. If you want to get even more detailed word count stats, then check out our tutorial on how to get word count stats in WordPress with Word Stats.

As you write, WordPress will automatically save a draft of your post. This autosave is stored in your WordPress database temporarily.

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. See our guide on how to undo changes in WordPress with post revisions.

The post editor shows your current draft and autosave status in the footer next to word count.

Add Images and Media

Between the title and content fields, there is a large Add Media button. You will need to click on it when you want to upload an image or any other media to your WordPress post. This will launch the media uploader in a popup window.

Media uploader popup in WordPress

Simply click on the select files button to upload images or any other media to your WordPress site. You can also create image galleries and audio playlists from uploaded files.

WordPress comes with some basic image editing tools. See our tutorial on how to edit, flip, rotate, and crop images in WordPress.

Publishing Options

The WordPress post edit screen is divided into two columns. The column on your left contains the post title and content editor. On your right hand side, you have different meta boxes to configure post settings.

The top most meta box in this column is labeled Publish. This is where all the publishing options for your posts are managed.

Publish options

1. Save Draft button stores a draft of the post or page that you are working on. WordPress also auto-saves your posts as you write them.

2. Preview button shows a live preview of your post. You can use it to see how your post will look after publishing.

3. Status allows you to set a status for your post. WordPress automatically handles post status for drafts and published posts. Unless you are using a plugin to add custom statuses, you don’t need to worry about this option.

4. Click on the Edit link next to visibility to expand it. The first option under visibility will allow you to make your post sticky on front-page. Sticky posts in WordPress are like featured content that are displayed on top of all other posts.

5. The next option allows you to password protect a post in WordPress.

6. The third option under visibility is labeled private. This allows you to privately publish a post on your WordPress site. The private posts will be visible to users who have the editing privileges on your site.

7. Click on the edit link next to Publish, and WordPress will display the time and date options. You can use this option to schedule posts or create back dated post in WordPress.

8. Move to trash allows you to delete a WordPress post. Deleted posts live under trash, and you can restore them if you need to for up to 30 days.

9. Finally, the publish button makes your WordPress post public. Remember if you scheduled a post, then it will appear on your site on the scheduled date and time.

Adding Categories and Tags

You can sort your posts into categories and tags. The categories and tags meta boxes usually appear in the right hand column, below the publish meta box.

Adding categories and tags to your WordPress posts

Categories and tags help you organize your content in a meaningful and browsable format. Not only your users can easily find your content, it also boosts your site’s SEO. See our guide on the difference between categories and tags and how to use them to sort your content.

Featured Image (Post Thumbnails)

Most WordPress themes support featured images or post thumbnails for articles. Usually it is the last box in right hand column on the post edit screen.

Featured image option on post edit screen in WordPress

Simply click on set featured image link, and it will bring up the media uploader popup. You can select an image from your previous uploads or upload a new image from your computer. For more detailed instructions, see our guide on how to add featured image or post thumbnails in WordPress.

Screen Options

Some of the options on the post edit screen are hidden by default to present a cleaner and simpler editing experience. These options are not commonly used by beginners. However, you may need them later.

Simply click on the Screen Options button on the top right corner of the page. This will show a menu with checkboxes next to option names.

Screen Options

As you can see some of the options will already be checked. For the others, you can display them by clicking on the checkbox next to an option name, and it will appear on your post edit page.

Let’s take a look at some of these options and what they do.


Checking this box adds a meta box below your content editor. You can use this box to add a short summary or excerpt for your post.

Excerpt box on WordPress post editing screen

Ideally, you should display summary or excerpt for your posts on your site’s front-page and archives. Full content should only be displayed on the post’s single page. Learn more about this in our guide full post vs summary (excerpt) in your WordPress archive pages.

Send Trackbacks

Send Trackbacks option allows you to notify other blog owners that you have linked to their content. Take a look at our guide on trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress to learn more.

Send trackbacks

If the other blog owner is running WordPress, then you don’t need to send them trackbacks. Your WordPress site will automatically send them a ping when you publish the post.

Trackback feature is misused by spammers so much that many site owners simply disable them. We have an article on dealing with trackback spam in WordPress.

Custom Fields

This option will display a user interface for custom fields below your post editor. You can use it to manually enter custom information in your posts. See our WordPress custom fields 101 guide for beginners to learn more.

Custom Fields


While comments are a great way to engage your audience, sometimes you may not want to have comments on a specific post or a page.

The discussion option displays a meta box below post editor to turn on/off comments and pingbacks for your post.

Turn comments and pingbacks off/on for individual WordPress posts

Since pages are supposed to be like static pages, most users want to turn off comments on them. You can do so by editing each page, or you can see this tutorial to turn off/disable comments on WordPress pages.

Once your WordPress site gets some reputation, you will start getting an increase of comment spam. Instead of turning off comments, you may want to try these tips and tools to combat comment spam in WordPress.


A slug is a cleaner title that can be used in URLs.

WordPress automatically generates a post slug and displays it as the post URL just below the post title. You can edit the URL slug by clicking on the edit link below the post title.

You can also enable the slug option from the Screen Options and edit your post slug there.

Editing post slug


WordPress will automatically assign you as the post author when you create a post. However, sometimes you may want to show another user on your WordPress site as the author. Enabling the author checkbox allows you to do that from the post edit screen.

Post author

Options Added by WordPress Plugins

So far we have only explained the default WordPress post edit settings. Many WordPress plugins will also add their own settings panels on the post edit screen.

For example, Yoast WordPress SEO plugin adds its own settings panel.

WordPress SEO settings for a post

Bonus Tips for Creating WordPress Posts

WordPress comes with a great set of tools available right out of the box to create new content and write posts. However, there are many more tools and tips that you can use to improve your writing and editorial experience.

Take a look at some of the plugins we are using at WPBeginner in our blueprint. We highly recommend using Edit Flow to improve your editorial workflow and check out this article to learn how to write faster blog posts.

You may also want to take a look at these plugins to manage multi-author WordPress blogs.

Lastly, you can learn how to rearrange the post editing screen to your own liking.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add a new post in WordPress and utilize all the features available to you.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Jasmine Honey Adams says:

    Could you possibly do a post about using the “new posting experience” that’s unexpectedly been foisted on us all this week? I only ask because it’s all changed and that big “add media” button has vanished, it appears that the only way to put a picture in is to either set it as a featured image or to revert to using the oldest old posting experience which as a previous commenter pointed out, has some formatting issues. I arrived at this tutorial from a web search looking for how to use the newest “posting experience,” and I would bet other people have as well. Having used WP for over a year, I now feel like a total noob again because this “new posting experience” has just arrived and didn’t even come with a “take the tour” or “tutorial” or even “mouseover the ? for help” type explanation. Perhaps you could help out those of us who are bad at figuring it out for ourselves?
    Best Wishes,

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      We don’t understand what new posting experience you are talking about. You can try this very basic troubleshooting tip. Deactivate all your WordPress plugins and then switch to a default theme. Visit the post editor to see if this resolved the issue. If it does, then this means that the issue was caused by a plugin or your WordPress theme. If it does not resolve the issue, then report back and we can troubleshoot it further.

  2. Anil says:

    Many thanks for this post

  3. Sarah says:

    Thank you for this info. I’m a really newbie blogger and am just trying to figure out what I’m doing and how to use WordPress properly. I think this site is going to be invaluable – just what I need simple clear info for a tech challenged person. I can already see a tonne of things that I can work on.

  4. imon says:

    Is it similar with a new page creation as with new WordPress Post creation?

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Yes except that you cannot choose categories or tags for a page by default. When creating a page you can also make it a parent or child page as well. See our guide on the difference between WordPress posts vs pages.

  5. Andy Clark says:

    I’ve always wondered why they don’t put a more featured calendar control on that form for scheduling posts. I mostly want to post things, “next Friday” or “on Wednesday” without needing to calculate the dates myself.

  6. Irene Anum says:

    Many thanks for this post which has taught me things i didnt know or overlooked. ill use them to make my site better.

  7. Connor Rickett says:

    I’m just patiently (less patiently than two versions ago) waiting for them to create an editor which reliably shows what the spacing and formatting will look like in the actual post. And doesn’t override the custom tags you add every time you switch over into the basic visual editor tab.

    WordPress is great overall, but that one thing is immensely frustrating; the primary purpose of a blog is to write content. The writing bit should, therefor, be flawless.

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