WordPress Tutorial: How to Create a Post in WordPress
Posts vs. Pages
In WordPress, there are two main types of content you can publish – posts and pages. It’s important to understand the key differences between them prior to setting up the structure of your site and creating content. Posts consist of content such as articles, news stories and opinion pieces. Posts are listed by date, in reverse chronological order and usually appear on a blog’s homepage or a site’s posts page. As you add new posts, they appear at the top of the list. Posts also usually have a comments feature (where others can contribute thoughts and comments on the post) and social media links that allow people to easily share the information. Posts can be organized by author, category, date, tags (covered in a later lesson) and also in the RSS feed of a blog. Using the various widgets available in WordPress, you can allow visitors to search and filter posts by date, author, categories and other tags.
Unlike posts, pages are usually static or permanent in nature and are not listed by date and do not use tags or categories. Examples of pages on a site include “About” and “Contact” pages, among others. Pages can also be organized using parent-child relationships. “Child” pages are related to a “Parent” page to create a logical organizational structure. For example, TeachUcomp, Inc. might have one parent page called “Courses” with several child pages related to it (such as a “Microsoft Word” page, a “WordPress” page, an “Adobe Acrobat” page and so on). You can quickly identify child pages in the WordPress Admin Area because they appear below their Parent page, slightly indented and preceded by a hyphen. Also, while it is possible to add comments and social media links to a page in WordPress, most pages do not contain those features. Finally (and most importantly), pages do not appear in the blog stream. That is, they will not appear in the list of posts on your site. So in order for people to find your page, you must provide them with a link to it on your site. Links to pages are usually located in a site’s navigation in the Main Menu at the top of a site, in the footer of the page or in a sidebar.
Creating a New Post
To create a new post in WordPress, select “Posts” in the Navigation bar in the WordPress dashboard. When the menu expands, click the “Add New” command. You can also hover over the “New” command in the WordPress Toolbar and then select “Post” from the drop-down that appears. In either case, you will be taken to the “Add New Post” window.
The first step is to give your new post a name by entering it into the “Title” textbox, where it says “Enter Title Here.” Once you click out of the “Title” textbox, WordPress will automatically save your post and assign a permalink (URL) based on your WordPress settings. We discuss permalinks in detail in an upcoming chapter.
Just below the title and permalink is the Post Editor. You have the “Add Media” button, which we look at in an upcoming lesson. Below that, you’ll see two tabs where you can create and edit your post. The “Visual” tab provides a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) environment. On the Visual tab, you can use the available tools in the Formatting toolbar to edit your post and WordPress will create the HTML code for you. For example, you can highlight text you have added, and select the “Bold” button to bold the text. You will then immediately see that the text is bolded. You can then click the “Text” tab to display the HTML that makes up your post. HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the language used to create webpages. HTML documents written with this text (or coding) tell browsers how to interpret and display the data. If you are familiar with HTML, you can use the Text tab in the Post Editor to view and edit the HTML directly. Notice that when you click either the Visual or Text tab, the toolbar changes to adapt to that environment, supplying you with the available tools. We will focus on the Visual Editor throughout this course.
On the Visual tab of the Editor, the Formatting toolbar provides several familiar text formatting tools including Bold and Italics, as well as font and alignment options.
Within the post window, you’ll also see a few panels by default: “Publish,” “Categories,” “Tags” and “Featured Image.” Remember that depending on the theme you have installed, you may have others as well. Other than the Title and Editor panels, you can move the panels around to customize the window to meet your needs. To do so, just hover over the title of a panel until your mouse turns into a four-pointing arrow. Then just click, drag and drop the panel in the new desired location. You can also customize the size of the Editor panel by hovering over the bottom-right corner of the panel until your mouse pointed turns into a double-sided arrow. Then just click, drag and release the panel when it’s the size you want.
After you have created your new post, you can click the “Save Draft” button in the Publish panel. Once you have saved the draft, you can then view the post to see what it will look like to your visitors by clicking the “Preview” button in the Publish panel to display it in a new tab or window.