In this tutorial, we will discuss on How to create and publish a new WordPress Post. You will also learn the advanced customization options that available in the “add new post” screen. Everything is explained in simple language and with screenshots.
Introduction to WordPress Post:
While many of us think that adding a new post in WordPress is quite simple, many beginners find the interface a little overwhelming. The new post screen also contains some options that sometimes even bring surprises to the savvy users. See our guide on posts vs pages in WordPress.
In this beginner’s guide, we will explain you every feature that are available on the WordPress “add new post” screen so that you can make full use of them.
How to Create a New Post in WordPress
To create or write a new post, you must first go to Posts ⇒ Add New option [Shown Below]. It will take you to the post editor screen.
Here you can simply write the post title, the summary of your post and then click on the publish button to publish your post. Congrats! You have published your first WordPress post.
But wait… There are lots of features available to customize a post and make it user and SEO friendly.
[See Also: How to create and manage a WordPress page]
Explaining The Main WordPress Post Editor:
The main post editor screen has several areas to write and do formatting of your post content. The most used areas are the title and post content box.
See the image below where we have identified all the areas of a visual editor, followed by a brief explanation about them:
Depending on whether your settings default to the visual or the text editor, the first look of the editor screen.
You can quickly switch between the visual and text editor while writing a post, it's not recommended as this could mess up your post’s visual formatting.
The WordPress Visual Editor is a beginner friendly text editor with essential formatting buttons and a decent visual layout for the content area. Whereas, the text editor is a very basic plain text editor where you can see the HTML coding for your post or write your own code. You can also further extend the functionality of the visual editor by installing the TinyMCE Advanced plugin.
The topmost text area is where you add the post’s title. After entering the post title, WordPress will auto-generate a post URL based on the title and the permalink structure you have defined. You can also edit the URL by clicking on the edit button if you want to. See our guide on How to Configuring WordPress Permalinks settings.
The post content area is the place where you will write your post. You can use the formatting options available in the toolbar or use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your writing process. See our guide on 60+ Most Useful and Time Saving WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts.
You can also add multiple columns while writing your post. See our guide on Adding Multiple Columns in WordPress for detailed instructions.
On the left side of the footer area of the post content editor, WordPress will show you the total word count for your post. On the same footer area, on the right side, it will show you the autosave status.
As you start writing content, WordPress will automatically save a draft of your post as revision. WordPress saves drafts periodically when you write more content. This autosave process ascertains that you do not lose your content even if there is a loss of internet connection or hardware failure.
Adding Images and Media Within Post Content:
Between the title and post content field, there is a button named "Add Media". If you want to upload any media (image/audio/video etc) to your WordPress post then you need to click on this button. This will launch the media uploader window as a popup.
Just click on the select files button to browse local PC and upload media. Alternatively, you can drag and drop media files to that window for uploading that to your WordPress site. You can also create image galleries and audio playlists using those uploaded files.
WordPress also features some basic image editing tools like flip, rotate, and crop images to help customize the media.
Moreover, you can customize the default behavior of the uploaded media from the WordPress Media Settings screen. See our guide on configuring WordPress media settings.
Explaining Post Publishing Options in WordPress:
By default, the WordPress post edit screen is segregated into two columns. On the right side column, you will see different meta boxes to configure post settings.
The topmost meta box of the right column is dedicated to settings related to publishing and drafting posts. See the below image:
1. Clicking on the "Save Draft" button, stores a draft of the post or page that you are editing.
2. The Preview button us used to see a live preview of your post you are writing. You can use it to get an idea of how your post will look like after publishing.
3. The "Status" option allows you to set a status for your post. WordPress automatically takes care of the post status for all the drafts and published posts. But sometimes if you need to change any wrongly published posts to draft, you may use it manually.
4. To view and edit the visibility option, you first have to click on the Edit link next to it. The first option under visibility setting will allow you to publish your post as publically visible. There is also a sub-option to this public option. Checking this box will make your post stick on the top of other posts on the blog page.
5. The second option provides you the option to password protect a post in WordPress.
6. The third option which is labeled as "private" is used to privately publish a post on your WordPress site. This option will publish the post but the post will be only visible to the users having a minimum of editing privileges on your site.
7. Clicking on the edit link next to the Publish option will display the time and date options to schedule a post for future publication. You can use this option to schedule a future publication date or may create a backdated post in WordPress. To learn more, see our guide on how to properly schedule a post in WordPress.
8. Move to Trash option allows you to delete a WordPress post. Deleted posts are stored under trash for 30 days and you can restore them if you need within that time period.
9. Finally, the Publish button allows you to publish the WordPress post according to the options selected earlier. For example, if you have selected a schedule date and time then the post will appear on your site on that selected date and time.
Adding or Assigning Categories and Tags to a WordPress Post:
The next meta boxes in the right-hand column are categories and tags. It generally appears just below the publish meta box.
Categories and tags help you organize and group your posts in a much meaningful and browsable format. Not only the visitors can easily find your content, it also helps to boosts your site’s SEO. See our guides on how to properly create categories.
Explaining Featured Image (Post Thumbnails):
Majority of the WordPress themes support featured image or post thumbnail for articles. Normally it is the last box in the right-hand column of WordPress post edit screen.
Simply click on the "set featured image" link, and it will show the media uploader popup [discussed earlier]. You can then select an existing image from WordPress gallery or can upload a fresh image from your computer.
Screen Options in WordPress Post Editing Screen:
Till now you have learned about different options that are available by default. Now you will learn some options that are usually hidden by default to present a simpler and cleaner interface. These options are not usually used by beginners. However, learning them will enhance your blogging experience.
To enable those options, just click on the Screen Options button in the top right corner of the post screen. This will bring up a menu with checkboxes and their respective option names. [Shown below]
Here, you will see that some of those options will already be checked [enabled]. You can display/hide all the available options by clicking on the checkbox attached to an option name, and it will appear/disappear on your post edit page based on your action.
Let’s have a look at some of these options that are most useful for beginners or even for intermediates.
Unchecked by default, checking this box will add an excerpt meta box below your post content editor. You can use this excerpt box to add a customized short summary (excerpt) for your post.
Depending on the theme you are using, the excerpt will be displayed on your site’s main blog page and in archives. You have the option to display full content on the archive page but it's not recommended. You can also customize this option on the WordPress Reading Settings screen.
Although comments are very useful to engage your audience, sometimes you may not prefer to have comments on a particular post or a page. Enabling the discussion option will add a meta box below the post editor using which you can turn on/off comments and pingbacks for your post.
Here you can control the behavior on a per page basis, whereas global settings are configured on WordPress Discussion Settings Screen.
Slug Meta Box:
We already know what a slug is. It is the URL of your post or page.
We already learned that WordPress automatically generates a post slug based on the post title and displays it as the post URL just below the post title.
Though you can easily edit the post slug by clicking on the edit link below the post title, you can also do that same by enabling the slug option from the Screen Options.
Usually, WordPress automatically assigns the creator of a post as the author. However, in case you want to show another name other than the creator of a post then you can enable the author meta box to select different author name.
The Final Thoughts and Tips:
As we have seen from the above tutorial, WordPress offers a lot of useful tools to create new content and write posts. However, you can always extend the functionality with help of plugins.
Additionally, you can also customize the post editing screen by rearranging the meta boxes as per your convenience.
We hope that you have enjoyed the above article describing how to write posts in WordPress. Be with us to explore free training on Leading Technologies and Certifications.
Leave us some comments if you have any question or doubt about the features available at WordPress Post screen, we will be happy to help you.