How to Create WordPress Posts
In this video, we're going to take a look at posts in WordPress. WordPress started out as a blogging platform and so it's really excellent at blogging. Now, a blog is basically just an online journal, a diary, as it were. Posts are entries in that journal or diary but they don't have to be. There are lots of different things that have dated content, like that. We're building a site for word ville and so we're going to use posts as news items and, if you think about it, they're very, very similar. News items have a headline, some content and a date - exactly like a blog post or a journal entry. So let's take a look at how posts work in WordPress. On the left here, we have posts and we can look at all posts, add new categories or tags. We'll take a look at categories and tags in another video. If we go to all posts, you'll see that we have none. So we'll come back to this page after we've created one. On this page, there are three different ways to create a new post. On the left, there's the add new. At the top of this page there's add new and then in the admin bar, at the very top, there's a new button, and you can create a post. All three do exactly the same thing so it doesn't matter which one you click. The one at the top is always with you as long as you're logged in so it may become the most useful but it's entirely up to you. So this is the new post page. Right at the very top, we can enter a title. Now I have some news written up so we're going to use that. Now once I click out of the title you'll note that it creates something called a permalink and this is the address for the site. You'll note that it's kind of ugly with 'p=18&preview=true'. The 'preview=true' is only there because we haven't published yet. Let's publish now and now it says '?p=18'. That's actually a pretty terrible URL. It doesn't mean anything to your readers and it doesn't mean anything to Google. So right here, next to it, is a link to change permalinks. Let's do that. That takes us to the settings permalinks page and here are our options. The first one is what we had, then we can choose day and name, or just month and name. We could choose numeric, which isn't much better than the first one or we could choose post name, which is what we really want. We could choose custom structure and just make something up but that's not very useful. So let's click post name and you'll note that custom structure actually holds what we chose. If we choose any of the others, it changes. That helps you know how to build your own custom structure if you want to, but we'll choose post name and go to the bottom. We'll come back and look this optional stuff later. So now I'll click Save Changes and close this tab. Now, if I reload this page, you'll see that we have a much more readable, attractive permalink. We could change it by clicking edit but we really want to leave it related to the title. Now if you change to the title, you could come in here and delete it all together and hit OK and it would make you a new one. That can be handy, but once you've published and Google has seen it you really don't want to change the permalink. Google really hates that. So now we have a title and a permalink and here we can put in our news information. There we are. Now we could put some pictures in here, but we'll look at doing that in another video. We're actually going to look at all of these options in another video. In the top right, we have the publish box. This allows us to preview changes, change the status. Let's go back to draft so that it's not out there in the wind, half done, and I'll just click update. We can change the visibility. Right now, it's public and we can optionally stick it to the front page. That's what sticky posts are. We could password protect it or make it private so that it can only be seen by people who are logged into the website. We have two revisions and we'll look at those in a few minutes. We can also change the date on which it's published and then we can move to trash. The box right below it is called format. Not all themes support post formats. The idea is that, depending on the format, your content might be presented differently. So, for example, if you had nothing but an image it might give it a great big border or if you had nothing but a quote it might make the text extra large. We'll leave ours standard. We can also do categories and tags and we'll look at those in another video. Then we have featured image. With featured image, you can associate an image with this post. It doesn't put it in your post, it merely tells WordPress that the picture is related. Then your theme can do whatever it wants with your featured image. It might put it at the top, it might put it at the side or the bottom. It's entirely up to the theme, so you should experiment and see what it looks like for your theme. Here we have the revisions box. WordPress actually saves a copy about every 60 seconds, so that if your computer shuts off or you lose your internet connection or your tab gets closed, your post is still here and you can come back and get it. It also makes a revision every time you publish, as long as it's different. There. Now, you can click one of these dates and go back to your post the way it was then. We'll look at that in another video. As well, here, we have the excerpt box and an excerpt is exactly what it sounds like. It's just a little bit of your post. By default, WordPress uses the first 155 characters of your post as the excerpt but this box allows you to write something else, something that does a better job summarising your post. The first 155 characters often don't adequately summarise your post. Now I want to show you something else here at the top, on the right, under screen options. You'll see that there are some other things here. There's send Trackbacks, custom fields, discussion, comments, slug and author. Let's take a look at those real quick. You'll see that they've been added here at the bottom. A trackback is a URL from another site that you're writing about. If you put that address right in here then when you post it will send a message to that other site to let them know that you wrote about them. Trackbacks aren't very common anymore but some sites still use them. Here we have custom fields. If this were a book report, you could write something like title and the title of the book and click add custom field. The problem with this is that not all themes support custom fields and these may not get rendered on the front of your site at all. In that case, they're not very useful but if your theme does support them then they can be very useful. Next we have the discussion box. In the settings, you can enable or disable comments for the entire site. This box allows you to override that just for this post. So if they're off everywhere you could turn them on here or if they're on everywhere you could turn them off here. You can do the same with trackbacks and pingbacks. The comments box actually shows comments that are related to this post. There aren't any yet but, if there were, you could see them right here and you could take action on them. You could approve them or spam them or whatever. You can also simply add a comment right here and there you can see the comment. Now the slug is part of the address. If we go back up to the top, you can see it's right here. You can change it here as well as at the top but I really don't recommend it. Then you can set the author of this post. This is particularly useful if you are posting for someone else. For example, if your copy editor sends you some text and they want to post it as them but they want you to do the posting, you can come in here, make your post and change the author to them. When you're all done, we can simply update.