Creating Your First WordPress Post
Updated: January 15, 2017
There are many factors which determine the most effective topics, manner and format for posting in a blog, but for today we will just walk through the steps to create your first post.
If you are still not completely sure about the difference between pages and posts, read: WordPress Pages and Posts – Defined for a quick definition.
Let’s begin! Go to Dashboard Menu “Posts>Add New”. Once you have done this, you will see a screen with “Add New” at the top. In the white text box under these words, you can add the title of your post.
What’s in a Title?
Just a quick note here that titles throughout any web site contribute ultimately to your site’s searchability (which equals findability) with search engines such as Google. So consider your title; make it catchy like a headline but keep it true to your topic. Also think about the key words people might be typing into a search box to find a post on your topic. If you can’t think of a compelling title right now, write a straight forward title and update it later.
In the next white text box (below), you can type the content of your post. If you are wondering about the function of some of the toolbar features, read the post, WordPress Post Editor Tool Bar Demystified. Don’t forget to click the kitchen sink icon if you are missing some features!
Readability and More!
If you already have an understanding of this Tool Bar, you should read this excellent article, A Comprehensive Guide to Formatting Your WordPress Posts and Pages by Pamela Wilson, for best effect and readability.
A “Word” About Microsoft Word
Some people prefer to type in Microsoft Word first, then copy and paste the text into their blog. This enables them to work on their posts in a familiar program and to work off-line if they want. Be warned however, that if you do this, the formatting from Word does not always transfer to WordPress and you will be adjusting it. (If you have a lot of posts, you will be doing a lot of adjusting!) For example, simple text formatting such as bold, italic and underlined text transfers to WordPress, but text sizing and spacing does not. If you have done a lot of formatting, this can be very frustrating because you will have to do it again once your text is in WordPress. If you want to work off-line you could use Notepad or Text Editor just to get the text down, then paste it into your WordPress post and format it there. Others use desktop blogging software such as Windows Live Writer, which is an off-line blog publishing software compatible with WordPress.
Publishing, Visibility and Revisions
The image below shows some other options in the Publish area (near top on left) to consider as you prepare to publish your post.
This image is the one currently displayed as I type this post. I have designated the Status as Draft by clicking Edit. If you are part way through your post and you need to save it and come back to it later, you can save it as a draft by clicking the Save Draft button on the left near the top.
So far, I want this post to be available to the general public which is the default of Visibility: Public. If I click Edit there is a check box which gives me the option to stick this post to the front page. This will place it at the top of the Blog page until a new post is published.
I can also make it Private which means that only I can see it; or I can Password Protect it (which I might decide to do if I only want some of my WordPress students to view it). In that case, I would have to give my students the password so they could access it.
Revisions is a box that sits below your content editing box. It displays revisions you have made. It will not show up at all until you have made a revision. A revision is a change saved after you have either published a post or saved a draft. When I click the arrow on the far right, the box expands to show all of my revisions. I see:
If you click one of the dates, you will see two columns. Each column has a different version of your post for easy comparison. The one on the right is the one that you will choose if you click the Restore this Revision button.
If you drag the little arrow button to the left, it will scroll along to previous versions of your post. If you decide you don’t like this version, you can scroll again and choose another version.
Posting From Email
The built-in feature that enabled posting from an email account to your WordPress blog is discontinued. Now WordPress is suggesting using one of these plugins if you want to be able to post from your email:
A final option for busy people who are comfortable using their phone or tablet is the WordPress App (for Android or IOS). Get it from the PlayStore or iTunes.
Share With the World!
Once you have finished your post, click the blue Publish button to make it live on your site. But don’t stop there – share it! Read this article by Brody Dorland if you are ready to use other platforms to bring readers to your WordPress posts.