The post screen is where you enter your content. Some of the formatting options are very similar to what you'd see in a word processor. Carrie walks you through how to use each option to enhance the appearance and accessibility of your content. Also learn the difference between the visual post editor and the HTML editor.
- [Voiceover] The post screen in WordPress.com is probably the feature with the most drastic improvement over the years. Even if you've used WordPress.com in the past, the interface got a pretty drastic makeover in late 2015, so things might look unfamiliar. In this movie, I'd like to do a quick orientation with you to show you where everything is. Starting with the WordPress admin, which you can get to with the My Site button, I'm gonna click the Add button next to Blog Post. The post screen is minimal and visually sparse, giving you the best opportunity to focus on what matters, writing your content.
On the right, you'll see a space for entering your content. On the left, you'll see a variety of boxes with other settings and options, known as modules. These modules help you customize your post. You can schedule it, add tags, or a featured image, decide whether to allow comments on the post, and more. I'll go into the details of these modules later. For now, let's take a look at this editor area. First, at the top here, I can see that I'm working on a new post. A little further over in the right corner, and there's some icons.
This ribbon indicates that a post is sticky, which means that it will always show up at the top of your blog list, regardless of the publish date. This eye indicates your post visibility. Once we've started creating content, we'll also see a trashcan here, giving us the opportunity to discard a post. Next, we have an area for the post title. This is where you type the title for your post. Next to the post title, you can see a link icon. This is where you can edit the URL to your post. The URL structure for a post is always your domain/year/month/day, and then your post slug.
The post slug just refers to this last part you can edit. By default, it'll be your title, with dashes separating each word. While this isn't a terrible post slug, it's possible to end up with a super long URL which might make sharing more tedious. Here's a pro-tip. Post slugs also play an important role in SEO, or search engine optimization. While that's outside the scope of this course, you may enjoy checking out the SEO Fundamentals course with David Booth. Back to our post URL, you can use this link icon to customize your slug.
One careful note, once you've published a post, I'd strongly advise against changing the slug. If search engines have already indexed your post at a certain URL, but that URL no longer exists, then your site visitors will see an ugly 404 page not found error, and nobody wants that. Next in the post screen, we'll see a toolbar that's similar to what you might find in a word processor. You can upload a photo, you can do basic text formatting, such as bold, italicize, and align text. You can also create formatted lists, link text, or offset a bit of text to indicate a quote.
Also notice this ABC icon with the checkmark. That's for spell-check and it's probably one of my most used features of WordPress. It's certainly kept me from looking silly on more than one occasion. We've got the read more tag icon, which we'll discuss later in the course, and finally, we have this ellipses. We can use that to toggle on and off some advanced options. This gives you the whole kitchen sink of editing tools, so to speak. We'll cover these in more detail when we start writing content. One more thing I'd like to point out about this toolbar, and that's the visual editor versus the HTML editor.
HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the language of the web. When you add styling to your text in the visual editor, WordPress converts that into the corresponding HTML markup needed to display your content properly. Let's take a quick peek. Here we can see the text I've entered as is. If I go back to the visual editor, add some styling, and then go back to the HTML editor, I can see that HTML markup has been applied. Now, unless you just want to get into the code, or take a look around, you'll spend the majority of your time in the visual editor.
If the secret programmer in you wants to come out though, you might be interested in taking a look at that tab from time to time. Finally, the last thing I'd like to point out is this button that's visible when you've got the toolbar expanded to show all the options. Clicking on this gives you a list of keyboard shortcuts you can use to help you write more quickly. That's the post screen in a nutshell. I didn't get into all the details of the left-hand panel that provides additional post settings, but we'll cover those along with post creation and advanced text formatting later.
- Creating a WordPress.com account
- Updating your profile
- Importing content
- Publishing posts
- Applying categories and tags to posts
- Inserting images, videos, and other media
- Creating a new page
- Customizing your site with themes and widgets
- Managing users, notifications, and comments
- Using WordPress.com apps
- The limits of WordPress.com and the benefits of self-hosting