Part 1 of How To Make a Post in WordPress – Creating and Drafting your Post
Welcome to our guide on how to create new posts on your WordPress site. Posts are blog posts or any type of content where an idea is being discussed such as, “How our business stays green” or “Five Great Ways to Stay Productive During Quarantine” If you want to add more core content to your website, such as an “About Us” or “Contact Page” check out our guide on How to Create Pages on your WordPress site!
Now that you know you’re on the right guide, log in to your WordPress admin dashboard, carry on to step 1, and we will walk you through the process!
Step 1: Hover over “Posts” in the left-hand menu
Now that you are logged into your WordPress admin dashboard, find the menu item labeled “Posts” in the left-hand menu and hover over it (this means to place your mouse over the word “Posts” but do not click). If you’re having trouble finding the “Posts” button, it is circled in red in the screenshot below. Once you hover over “Posts,” a secondary menu should appear, and you will be ready for step 2.
Step 2: Select “Add New”
Once you’ve hovered over the “Posts” item in the left-hand menu and the secondary menu has emerged, look for the second item from the top labeled “Add New” and click it. This should bring you to the page where you will draft your post. If you’re unsure of where this button is, it is circled in red in the screenshot below.
Step 3: Type in the title of the Post
Now that you’re on the page where you will draft your post, you can start by adding your title. At the very top center of the page, there should be the words “Add title”. If you don’t see that at the top of your page, go back to steps 1 & 2. If you do see it, you can click on those words to begin typing in your title. If you’re wondering if you’re on the right page, it should look like the screenshot below. We circled the words “Add title” just in case you’re unsure of where to click.
Step 4: Type in the body of the post
Now that your post has a title, you are ready to add in the content of the post! This step is the most involved step for you (the poster), so we’ve got two screenshots for this step. We also have another supporting guide called, “How to Use the Block Editor,” that will be useful if this is your first time posting to WordPress in the past couple of years (or ever).
With that said, if your post starts with text (not a picture, video, or another type of content) you can get started by clicking the words, “Start writing or type/to choose a block.” Once you have clicked there those words will disappear and you can start typing the content of your post.
Alternatively, if you have already typed your post somewhere else, you can paste it there instead. This step is visualized with the screenshot below where we have circled the space for you to start typing.
If your post does not start with text and you want to start with an image, video, or some other type of content, look for the plus sign circled in red in the screenshot below. If you click on it, this will open up a list of “Blocks” which allow you to add different types of media or different types of formatted text, such as headings, lists, and quotes. If this is your first time hearing about “Blocks” or if this menu feels confusing to you, check out our previously mentioned guide on “Introduction to the Block Editor” to learn more.
Part 2 of How To Make a Post in WordPress – Preparing and Publishing your Post
Now that your post is composed, the hard part is over! Yay! You are now ready to move into the part of the posting process where you configure a few different settings that determine how the post will appear on your website. If you haven’t taken a break yet, feel free to go grab a beverage of your choice, have a little stretch, and gear up for the second half of the guide!
Step 5: Switch from the “Block” settings menu to the “Document” Settings menu
With the move into Part 2 of this guide, you are ready to switch from the “Block” settings menu to the “Document” settings menu. The “Block” settings menu, is for formatting the content of your post. The “Document” settings menu controls how the page containing the content of your post will appear on the website.
To find the document settings menu, look for the right-hand sidebar below the words “Preview” and “Publish” and then click on the word “Document.” If you’re unsure of where to click, we have the place you’re supposed to click circled in red in the screenshot below. If your page does not have the right-hand sidebar, click on the gear button to the right of the word “Publish” in the upper-righthand corner. It should then appear.
Once you have clicked on the word “Document” the menu of document settings will appear, and you’ll be ready to choose all of the settings that you want to apply to the page containing your post. Steps 6- 13 outline the various options you have before it comes time to publish your post. With the document settings menu up you will be ready to carry on to Step 6.
Step 6: Choosing Status & Visibility
Status refers to the timeline of publishing your post. Visibility refers to whether or not you make your post public or private. The default visibility of every post is public. This means that once you press publish, anybody with the link to your post will be able to view it. If you want to change this setting, you also have a private option, and a password protected option. To change this setting, click on the word “Public” which is blue and underlined. This will pull up another menu where you can switch to private or password protected. This menu describes the difference between these three options.
The other setting that you may want to change within Status & Visibility relates to when you want your post to be published. The default is to publish the post immediately, but if you would rather schedule your post to be published automatically at a later time or date, you can click on the blue underlined word “Immediately” which will pull up a calendar (also known as a date/time picker) where you can select a later date. Picking a time will change the Publish button in the upper right-hand corner to “Schedule…”. Clicking “Schedule” will close the post editor and set your post to automatically go live on the day and time that you have selected. This means that if you want to continue choosing other document settings (which you probably do), wait until step 10 to click that button.
The other two options listed under Status & Visibility are checkboxes labeled “Stick to the top of the blog” and “Pending Review”. The “Stick to the top of the blog” option will make your post be listed first on whatever page your posts are listed when selected. If this is what you want to do, this can be a good option, but just know, your theme might not support this option, so if you check this box, double check to make sure it worked.
The other box says “Pending review”. This will change the way the post is labeled in the WordPress admin dashboard, but will not prevent the post from being published. We think that this is a little confusing and misleading and that the default label of “Draft” conveys the message of “Pending review” just fine. If you simply exit out of the page editor without publishing it, the page will be saved as a “Draft” and have this label.
Step 7: Edit the “Permalink”
Before we go into this step it is important to know what a “Permalink” is and if you should be editing it. If you don’t know what a permalink is, a “Permalink” is the portion of the URL that comes after your root domain. The root domain of your site is the name of your site combined with .com or .org, for example, our root domain is webdevavl.com. The permalink is the part that comes after the /. For example webdevavl.com/this-is-the-permalink.
The name “Permalink” comes from the fact that the links to your blog post should be permanent. Links or URLs are unique to each page and help the magical interwebs pull up the content that your users want to see. By default, WordPress uses “pretty permalinks” which take the title of the post or page and replace the spaces with hyphens to form a link. Most of the time this structure is perfect and helps with showing up on google.
Sometimes you may want to edit the permalink before the post is published, WordPress does not give you the option to do this. This means that to edit the permalink, you will have to click the “Publish” button or schedule the post to be published later. Doing either of those will turn the uneditable link into a text box where you can change the permalink from the hyphenated title of the post to whatever you want to change it to. If you want to do this that is fine, but it is recommended that you don’t for purposes of showing up on Google.
Finally, if you do choose to edit your permalink, only do so as you are publishing the post. If you change the permalink after the page has been live for 24 hours or more, this will make Google upset, and you do not want to make Google upset.
Step 8: Add Category to post
Categories are a way to organize content on your blog. For example, if you are a food blogger, you may have a “recipes” category on your blog along with a “kitchen tips” category, and a “favorite ingredients” category. Someone visiting your blog could choose to scroll through all of your blog posts in the order that they were published, or if they just wanted to see recipes they could browse by category and select the recipes category. Categories are a great way to organize your blog to make it more user friendly.
The categories section is circled in red in the screenshot below, and any categories that have already been created will be listed along with checkboxes within that section. If you’re like us, the only category you have is “uncategorized” this is the default WordPress category, however, adding appropriate categories is usually a good idea. To add a new category, click the button that says “Add new category” and type the name of the category in the text box. Adding a new category will automatically select that as the category for the post that you are adding it to. You will also have to uncheck “uncategorized” as your post now has a category.
Another thing worth noticing and considering is that there is an option for adding a “Parent category” too. Carrying on with our food blog example, if your post was a kale salad recipe, you may want to set “Recipes” as the parent category and add “Healthy Recipes” as the category for the kale salad recipe itself. For blogs without much content (less than 10 posts per category), parent categories are probably not necessary, but it’s up to you!
Step 9- Adding Tags to a Post
Like categories, tags are a way to add organization to your blog. Unlike categories, which are required, tags are optional. As far as the difference between the two, as we learned in the previous step, categories are general broad topics that a post can fall under. Tags, on the other hand, are specific keywords or topics that are directly related to the post.
Carrying on with our food blog example, the kale salad recipe, which is in the “Healthy Recipes” category, might contain the tags “Kale” and “Salad.” As you can see from this example, the category is general and could contain other recipes like a sweet potato soup recipe. The tags, on the other hand, are specific to the kale salad recipe, and you wouldn’t find the sweet potato soup recipe by looking under the “Kale” or “Salad” tags.
Tags are helpful with it comes to both organization and search engine optimization (aka showing up on Google). Tags help people looking for specific information find that information (aka your post). Tags can be single words or short phrases, and you can add as many to a post as you want. Simply list off your tags separated by commas by typing them into the text box circled in red in the screenshot below. When you’re done, press enter and the tags will be added to your post.
Step 10- Adding a Featured Image
The featured image for your post is an image that represents the post in its entirety. For our kale salad recipe post, the featured image would probably be a picture of the salad. Depending on your theme, the featured image may be displayed in different places. The most common featured image placement is at the top of the post either above or below the title. The featured image also often shows up with the title of the post and an excerpt from the post on your blog page that lists all of your posts.
To add the featured image, click in the grey box labeled “set featured image” which is circled in red in the screenshot below. This will pull up the media library uploader where you can drag and drop your image into your library or select it from your files. If you are unfamiliar with the media library, check out our guide on how to use the WordPress Media Library. Once you have uploaded the image, you can click the blue button labeled “Set Featured Image” in the bottom right-hand corner of the uploader to set the featured image.
Step 11- Adding an Excerpt to your Post
This step is optional as an excerpt is automatically added to all WordPress posts. The excerpt is a short snippet that shows up on the page where all of your posts are listed, along with the post title and featured image. This is dependent on your theme, but that is the standard setup. Also dependent on your theme but generally standard is the length of the automatic excerpt. Typically the automatically generated excerpt is the first 50 words of your post.
If you want to use a custom excerpt instead of the one that is automatically generated, you can use the box circled in red in the screenshot below to type in that excerpt.
Step 12- Enabling or disabling comments
Depending on your site’s settings, comments are either enabled or disabled sitewide. The default setting is to enable comments on all posts. In the “Discussion” settings section, you can choose to disable comments on a specific post if your default is to have them enabled. Both boxes will be checked if this is your default. You can disable them by unchecking the “Allow comments” box.
Keep in mind that more often than not, comments on blog posts are often left by spammers and trolls, so the choice to enable or disable comments is one that should be seriously considered. If allowing comments is important based on the content you are posting, go for it! If you feel like a comment section won’t add value to your post, we would recommend disabling comments.
The other option in the Discussion setting box is to “Allow pingbacks & trackbacks” or to not. This choice raises the important question, what even are pingbacks & trackbacks? Pingbacks & trackbacks are systems that automatically leave a comment on your post when someone links to it. When pingbacks & trackbacks were invented, the internet was younger and more innocent, and they served a purpose. In 2020 pingbacks and trackbacks are almost exclusively used by spammers. Because of this, we recommend disabling the option to allow pingbacks & trackbacks. You can do this by unchecking the box to the left of that label.
Step 13: Set Post Attributes
The last option you have before it’s time to publish is to set your post attributes. This setting will affect how your post looks. In this section, you will find a dropdown menu labeled “Template”. What is on this dropdown menu depends on your theme, but all themes have a “default template” which, (suprise) is the default. Usually, it is a good idea for all of your posts to use the same template, and the default template is a good bet. Typically the default template displays your content with a margin on the right and left sides. If your blog has a sidebar it will usually display the sidebar as well.
Once again, the templates listed here depend on your theme so we won’t try to guess what other templates you have, but examples of other templates are:
- Full-width Template (A template to display your content with no margins)
- Default no sidebar template (A template to display your content without a sidebar)
- Content-specific templates (Perhaps if you’re using a theme designed for your recipe blog, it has a special template that makes recipes display with special recipe specific formatting. Other types of themes may have other content specific templates.)
When you have a template selected you are ready to proceed to the final step of publishing your post!
Step 14: Publish your post
Congratulations! You made it to the final step! With your post fully composed and all of the document settings the way you want them, you are ready to hit that beautiful blue “Publish” button. You can find the button in the upper right-hand corner of your screen (we circled it in red in the screenshot below). Once you’ve found it all you have to do is click it!
Once you’ve published your post, it will be live for all of your site visitors to view in seconds. After pressing “Publish” the right-hand sidebar will show you a link to your post, which you can copy and use to share with all of your followers. There is also a button labeled “View Post,” which you can click to view your post. We recommend viewing your post to double-check that everything turned out the way you want.
That’s it! We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to make a post in WordPress! If you liked this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. If you think that this post is missing something, contact us and let us know what it needs. Thanks for reading!