About the WordPress “Posts” Section
This is a post intended for clients of ClickNathan.com. While you may find the information below useful, as it generally applies to WordPress, there may be information involving customized aspects of WordPress that aren’t out-of-the-box features. It was written for WordPress v. 3.3.1.
This area gives you control over all things “blogging” on your site, except for comments, which are handled via their own section. Here we’ll review the basic functionality of creating and editing posts, as well as features like categories and tags.
Posts > All Posts
This is a master list of all posts on your site. The list has various pieces of information, including:
- Post Titles If you hover over a particular Post’s title, you’ll get a few additional options, allowing you to quickly edit certain aspects of a Post, Trash the page (ie, move it to a “Trash Bin” where it can be retrieved later, but won’t be shown on the front end of the site while it’s in the Trash), Edit it (see Posts > Add New below for info on editing Posts) or View the Post.
- Author which user created the Post.
- Comments if the Page has them, though I do not usually set up comments on most Posts, and only ever do if you’ve also purchased Blogging with your project.
- Date the post was published.
- What Categories and/or Tags the post has been assigned.
- All | Published | Draft | Trash These links allow you to view different types of posts, depending on their current status.
- Bulk Actions By ticking off the checkboxes by a post, you can perform certain actions on multiple posts at once.
- Search allows you to search for keywords. The feature will search the Post’s Title & Content, though no other aspects of the post will be searched (such as Custom Fields or Comments)
Posts > Add New
Here we’ll cover functionality available within the Post Editor (very similar to the Page Editor, for those of you who’ve read that article already). If your particular site has additional functionality, you’ll be notified in your Beta How to document.
Sets the title of the Post, displayed in the content area on the front end.
Though not viewable initially when creating new Posts (typically until you add a Title or some content in the Content Editor), this provides some level of control over the URL of a Post.
By default, WordPress creates the URL of a post based on it’s Title and some settings which I configure (and do so with SEO fully in mind). So if you had a post with a Title of “What I Ate for Breakfast” the URL (referred to in WordPress at times as the Permalink), would be:
By clicking the yellow highlighted area in the Permalinks section, you can modify the last piece of this to just about anything you want. Note that you can’t use spaces in URLs, WordPress will automatically replace spaces with a dash.
This is the big box in the middle of the page. It’s where you actually add the bulk of your Post’s content. It has multiple capabilities, including:
You can upload images and other types of files here, using the first icon (which looks like a camera with a musical note behind it). Additionally, you can add forms here if your site includes the Gravity Forms plugin. More details on the Upload/Insert functionality.
Visual / HTML
Visual mode allows you to create content in a format similar to a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages program. You get a variety of buttons that allow for easy formatting including bold, italics, creating lists, aligning content, inserting links, etc. Note: You should never paste into the Content Editor while you’re in Visual mode. This will copy over all formatting from whatever you used to create the content (ie, Microsoft Word) and while you’ll retain handy info like bold and italics, you’ll also copy over the invalid HTML that the original word processing program used, and the end result will be that your site’s front end will be ugly, the content will not match the format and style of the rest of your site, and you could even break your site’s entire layout.
HTML mode provides an interface for working more closely with the code behind your posts. It is not recommended for the faint of heart, and does require some knowledge of writing HTML and CSS. Even for those who don’t want to get involved in messing with the HTML, though, this tab is highly useful for pasting in copy from another word processor (see the note above in this section) and for pasting in embed code from other sites (such as YouTube or Google Maps).
This area may contain a plethora of fields depending on your particular project. Any additional fields will be explained with your Beta How To document. There are two standard fields that I build into every site though, both of which have to do with Search Engine Optimization.
This populates the HTML Title Tag of a post (typically displayed in the top of a browser window). More information on Title Tags can be found here.
This populates the Meta Description tag of a post (typically displayed in the top of a browser window). More information on Meta Descriptions can be found here.
If comments are configured on your site, this determines whether or not you want to allow people to comment on this particular post, typically set to yes by default.
Trackbacks and pingbacks can be disabled as well. When someone else links to a post on your site, if WordPress knows about it, it’ll try and create a trackback which is basically a comment automatically added to the post that links back to the site that referenced it. Feel free to disable this whenever you’d like. You can disable it on a global level by going to Settings > Discussion and unchecking the appropriate box on that page.
This functions similar to how the Permalink section does above, allowing you to manipulate the URL of a Post.
Here you can use the dropdown to change who the Author of a post is, for administrative purposes. If your site has multiple users, particularly if they have different Roles (like Admin, Author, Editor and Contributor), this can be useful.
Here you can control the aspects of how this post will appear on the front end. There are a few options:
Save Draft & Preview Buttons
Allow you to just what they say. Saving a post as a Draft will not put it live to the site, but you can come back and work on it later. Preview will show you what the post will look like on the front end, though only a logged in Administrator or Author of a post will be able to see the preview (in other words, it doesn’t really exist on the front end).
Click Edit to change this. The possible values are:
- Draft The post is not live on the front end of the site, but can be edited via the backend.
- Published The post is live on your actual website.
- Pending Review Someone created the post (either via a form on your site’s front end, if that is included in your site’s functionality) or a user you created as a Contributor. The post is not live on the front end, and must be approved by an Editor or Admin before going live. This is not typically included functionality on most websites I create.
Click Edit to change this. The possible values are:
- Public If the post is Published, anyone can see it on the front end.
- Password protected If the post is Published, anyone can see get to it on the front end, but they’ll need to type in the password you designate to see the actual content.
- Private If the post is Published, only logged in Administrators or the post’s Author can see the post, though it is live on the front end, just not displayed to anyone but those types of users.
By default, new posts are put live to the front end of the website as soon as you click Publish for the first time. This allows you to enter a date into the future which will prevent the post from appearing live on the front end until that date and time.
Publish / Update Button
You must click this to save any changes you make while editing the post.
Categories allow you to group posts. Unless I’ve provided specific instructions on what particular categories do, you can create categories as you like and assign a post to as many of those as you want. You can create new categories directly from the Categories box here, or via Posts > Categories, the latter giving you much more control over categories, including the ability to make a category a child of another one (ie, a sub-category).
Tags are similar to categories in that they allow you to group posts in a way, but tags can be used for other things as well, such as adding keywords to a post where those keywords may not have actually been included in the actual post’s text. While categories are hierarchical (in that a category can have sub-categories, as discussed above), tags cannot. In general, I use Categories for larger groupings, for example, a blog about pets might have categories like Dogs, Cats, Fish and use tags for things like Feeding your Fish, Grooming your Dog, Kennels, Doggy T-shirts, etc.
Featured images are used for a variety of purposes, depending on your site’s particular setup, and this should have been covered in your site’s Beta How To document.