If you just started a WordPress website, or even if you’ve been using one for a while, there are some great options that go along with WordPress that you won’t want to miss. Since posts are very similar to pages, this tutorial will refer to both.
At the very top of each page/post, you’ll see a place for your title. That will be the title of your page.
Next you will see a large box for your page content. We call this the WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editor. It comes with most of the basic options that you are used to in Microsoft Word. You can make words bold, italic, strikethrough, unordered lists, ordered lists, block quotes. You can add horizontal lines, left justify, center, or right justify the text. As you’ll see in the picture below, you want to make sure that you are using the visual tab (unless you are comfortable with code) and there is another row of icons that can be displayed by clicking on what we call the “kitchen sink” icon.
You can view my video here to see exactly how all the icons work:
And this video covers a few more icons:
Be sure to see this tutorial for more info on how to handle those headings:
Quick Tip: If you have problems with too much space in between your lines of text, shift over to the “Text” tab and remove them there.
Images The video below does a great job of showing this in detail.
Videos Most videos are fairly large in file size, so I recommend streaming them from YouTube or Viemo. That saves bandwidth and space on your own site and can mean much faster load times. The easiest option is just to copy and paste the link for your video right into your content editor. WordPress will automatically format it. You can see that is how I embedded the video above from the TCF Department. Here is what my code looks like:
If you want to customize the size of your video, when you upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo, they will give you the code to embed your video into your site along with certain options like size. Just copy and paste that text, but be sure to use the Text tab of your editor rather than the visual tab so none of the code will be corrupted or lost.
PDF’s Please read the full tutorial here: http://wpdecoder.com/the-basics/adding-pdfs-to-wordpress/
Next, we’ll move to the top right of the of the screen and take a look at the Publish block. You have several options here.
Save Draft First, you’ll notice the “Save Draft” button. I like to save occasionally, but WordPress autosaves every two minutes, so don’t panic if the power goes out and you haven’t saved in a while.
Preview This will open a preview in a new tab so you can see what you page or post is going to look like, even before you have published. A nice option because although the editor gives you a pretty good idea what your content will look like, sometimes you will want to see it in relationship to other content on your site, like the header and sidebar.
Status Clicking the “Edit” link next to this will open a dropdown where you can choose either Draft or Pending Review. There is really no difference between these except if you have various people on your site and you want to let your administrator know that an article is waiting to be reviewed. Once you publish a page or post, Published will also be an option, so if you’ve already published a page and changed your mind, you can unpublish it by changing it back to a draft.
Visibility This is where you have the option to password protect your page/post. Clicking the Edit link next to this will show you three options. You can this illustrated in the picture on the right.
- Public – which means everyone will be able to see it once it is published.
- Password Protected – gives you a place to enter a password that people will need to enter before seeing the content.
- Private – visitors must be logged into your site before they can see this content.
When using the password protection, this is what will show instead of your content:
Scheduling The Publish on section will be automatically be set to publish at the current time. (Note: be sure you have your settings set to the right time zone to make this more accurate.). However, if you want to schedule a post to be published at a later date, or back date a post, you can do that here.
Now let’s talk about the Page Attributes box.
Parent This is where you can add a little site architecture to help you, your customers, and Google understand and find your pages easier. Let’s say you have a general Services page, and then three different pages about your three different services. That’s great. Now we are going to use the Parent dropdown to choose that general services page when we are making the individual service pages. That means they will be organized together in your dashboard, your permalinks (more on permalinks later) will reflect that relationship, and Google will see that these individual pages are part of your services.
Template This dropdown option will be dependent on your theme. When you select a theme, different page times is something you may want to look for. Usually that will mean options for sidebars, specially formatted portfolio pages, or even landing pages with no navigation. If those are options of your theme, this is where you will probably find them. Use this dropdown option to immediately transform the structure of your page. You’ll see in the image on the right, the theme I’m using offers a default page, a front page option, and then an option for a full width page with no sidebar. As I mentioned, your choices will be different depending on your theme.
Order The final option determines the order that pages are displayed in your backend. I like to match it up with how my menu is laid out so that pages are easier to find. It will not affect how pages/post are displayed on the front end of you site unless your theme is specifically set up to show them that way. It is more often used for the front end display when used in conjunction with custom post types, which will be covered in a later tutorial.
This is another feature that not too many people use, but see my post here for all the details:
This is another feature that very few people know about. It keeps some of the lesser used functions hidden away until you need them. You can find it at the very top right of your screen and clicking on it will expand it to reveal those extra options.
As you can see, this gives you options to see the following:
Revisions If you ever make a mistake on your page and you want to revert back to a previous version, this little function makes it pretty easy to do. It will even compare past revisions so you can see exactly what changed.
Custom Fields This will come in handy if you make custom formatting changes to your site. If there is certain data that you want to be displayed on all posts, this is where you will enter it. It takes a little extra work to make it show up on your site.
Discussion This is where you control if you want to allow comments or not.
Slug refers to how WordPress will label this page/post. This will be the same as your permalink. The permalink is the URL where you can reach your page/post. If you set this correctly in the WordPress settings page, it will be an easy to read, SEO-friendly URL. Otherwise, WordPress will just add it’s own numbers and use dates to differentiate the pages/posts. Since this can also be changed up at the top, right under the title, I see no need for this box.
In the example above, you will see my site name, then my category or the name of the parent page, and then the specific slug for that page/post. You can only edit the slug specific to that page/post. You can not edit the part that names the category or parent page without changing the category/parent page itself. If at a later time you change the category name or parent page title, don’t worry. WordPress will automatically update all these permalinks to match.
Author The last standard option is for author. If you have more than one author who writes for your website, you can attribute the post to that person. Anyone who you have added as a User to the site will have their name here in the dropdown.
There are other options that you might see here as well that are dependent on your theme, so be sure to check to see if there are any other options that you are missing that might be helpful to you. Sometimes when you install plugins, they will have options that you can choose to show or hide here as well.
Screen Layout Finally, if you prefer to have more room to type your content, you can choose to have your page editor displayed as one column instead of two. This will not have any affect on how your website displays.
Help And to wind things up, the last thing we will talk about today is the Help option. It’s tucked up at the very top right hand of the screen and it drops down just like the Screen Options button. Use this button to find more valuable info on Pages and links to other helpful information.
To find out more about controlling the formatting of your page, please read my post here: http://wpdecoder.com/the-basics/control-your-wordpress-page-formatting-with-basic-html/