How to post a Wordpress Post

Monday, June 8, 2009 22:06
Posted in category How-To's, internet

While many of you out there either don’t have a Wordpress blog or care in the world to even start one, there may be several of you fine individuals out there who are looking to dip their toes into this whole blogging thing.  Besides the obvious and more often talked about domain names, server hosts, etc., the biggest question you need to ask yourself is: “What are you going to blog about?”  Picking a too general or too specific topic/genre will hamper your ability to grow and attract readers.  We’ll assume you’ve already made it through the whole “finding yourself” stage as well as server set up and the other beginning set up junk.  For this post we’ll focus on how to actually write an article.  Unleash the writer within…

visual-html-mashup

Writing a post in Wordpress is actually quite easy and doesn’t require the amount of brain surgery and rocket science that some may thing.  Using various pictures with scraggily traced red outlines as well as some text here and there, I’ll give you a quick, simple, and easy how-to on how to write articles using Wordpress.  It is worth noting that since you are reading this article, chances are you aren’t very strong yet in your Wordpress skills and/or HTML.  If that is the case, I highly suggest avoiding going into HTML view (though you can always toggle into it to see what your articles really look like under the pretty face that everyone normally sees.  Being able to edit the raw HTML of an article gives the author more creative freedom as while WYSIWYG editors are always nice and convenient, they aren’t always perfect, sometime requiring a bit of tinkering and tweaking underneath the hood.

1.  Creating a new post:

On the top left of the Wordpress Dashboard, click on “Add New”.  Upon clicking on Add New, a new page will be loaded featuring blank text boxes, tag/category fields, as well as optional fields for excerpts and other custom fields.

  • Publishing options and Text Formatting

After choosing a title and filling the main body with some relevant text, choosing tags (search engine helpers) on the mid right can help your article stand out from the sea of endless articles.  You want a fighting chance don’t you?  Tags are separated by commas with no limit in the amount of tags in sight.  After choosing some tags, next up are categories.  Depending on how the author of a particular blog incorporates and uses categories, they often can come across looking much like tags.  In the case of this blog, I have given you choice.  You can find just about everything and anything by search at the top, the tag clouds located at the top and bottom of the sidebar, and also through categories.  Hey, I like it when you read.  I’m here to help.

Editing the text that you have created may seem like a chore but with a few selections and button clicks, your text can be transformed into whatever you little blogging heart desires.posts-upload-insert-edit-text

The screen grab above shows a slew of buttons and options that may seem overwhelming.  In reality, most people will only use a few of these options.  Starting at the top left and moving left to right, top to bottom, we have the Upload/Insert buttons.  These four buttons, images, video, music, and media allow you to upload the respective content. (see screenshot below)  It’s again pretty straightforward really.  The second row contains more text oriented editing tools: bold, italics, strike through, unordered bulleted list, ordered bulleted list, paraphrase/quote/indented text, left/center/right justification, create hyper link, break hyperlink, create “more” break, toggle spellchecker on/off, toggle full screen mode on/off, and finally show/hide “kitchen sink”…a.k.a. - the 3rd row of icons.

how-to-add-image

Upload images from either your computer or pull images that you’ve already uploaded located in the gallery.

Row 3 brings with it (again from left to right): Predefined CSS font styles by way of a nifty drop down box.  Following the CSS font style picker, you have your standard underline, full align, quick text color picker, paste clipboard content as plain text, paste clipboard content as word doc, remove formatting, insert/embed media, insert custom character, indent left/right, undo/redo, and help.  Are you lost yet?

Finally, the fourth row pictured is actually a quick insertion plugin for various types of movies.  The plugin in question is Viper’s Quicktags Video Plugin.  As the icons suggest, clicking the YouTube icon will easily allow you to embed YouTube content etc.

  • Excerpts, Custom Fileds

Depending on how the blog is set up, your articles will either post the full content or content excerpts.  If you do use excerpts, this is the place you add the little blurbs that will be shown instead of the full article.  The excerpt will of course link to the full articles.  One way to truly make Wordpress your own is with the use of custom fields.  While custom fields can hold many different forms, functions, and uses, I have chosen to set up an “image” custom field that actually creates and places thumbnails.  The “value” field for such a custom field as “image” is simply the direct link of the image hosted online.

  • Publishing Options

how-to-publishWhen it comes time to hit that big blue Publish button, take a second to really look over your options.  While Wordpress automatically saves periodic drafts of articles in the case of a browser crash, power outage, etc., it is still a good idea especially with longer articles to go ahead and hit that save draft button to avoid any nasty issues later resulting in lost data after some sort crash/power outage.  The status of your article (before being published), will show as either draft or pending review depending on the users’ privileges on the blog.  Visibility is pretty self explanatory.  You can set any article to be fully viewable by the public, password protected for a select few, or completely private.  Why someone would choose completely private is beyond me.  I haven’t thought of a scenario in which I’d need it.  One particularly neat feature is the ability to give a post “sticky status”.  That is, a post that is “stickied to the front page” will stay at the vary top as long as the little sticky check box is checked with unstickied apps falling in place in normal order underneath the sticky article.

Finally, rounding out the list of publishing options,  you either choose to have your article published immediately upon the press of that big blue button, or, you can choose to schedule the post to go live on another date and time.  I have found that scheduling posts can be very helpful for times when you want to post content when away.  Good trick indeed.

This post was by no means the most in depth article on Wordpress or how-tos concerning Wordpress.  It is merely a quick little guide to get you and your articles going if you just need a quick reminder on how to use wordpress.   If you’ve gone through all of this and realize you’ve made a mistake on one of your previous, already posted articles, simply select “Edit” in the top left sidebar instead of “Add New”.  It’s that easy.

If you think I need add more to this how-to, call me out on it and let me know.  If you’d like to see more how-to’s either in regards to Wordpress or simply other areas of techdom, shoot me an email and make a request and I’ll see what I can do.

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