Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Post Formats, part of Start with a Theme: Twenty Thirteen.
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As you've been watching this course, you may have noticed I keep mentioning post formats again and again but I have yet to address what they are or how they work. Now it's time we take a look at post formats and how you can use them in your own sites. But before we do that, I wanted to show you where post formats came from and how they originated. It all came from Matt Mulenweg's blog, Matt Mullenweg is one of the creators of WordPress, and he's the guy that still manages the WordPress project. You can find his blog at ma.tt.
A couple years ago, Matt wanted to introduce a new feature on his blog, where he could post up these short updates type posts that displayed in the index but didn't really look like posts because they were short. You can still see them on his site. If you go to a site you can see here's one of those updates, you'll notice it has no title, it just has the date. And when you scroll down you see another one, and another one, and another one, and you have to go pretty far down before you actually find a normal post that has a normal title and some more bulky content.
So, these types of posts were what Matt referred to as asides. And he created a system within his blog that allowed him to apply the aside post format to some of his posts to display them differently. So that's where post formats came from. Now they've grown to ten different post formats that cover everything from image galleries to music and video. To different types of text posts. Quotes and status and chat and so on. And all these post formats change the behavior of the posts on the index pages, and on the single pages.
Post formats have been around in WordPress for several versions. But it's only now that they're starting to get front row exposure. The 2013 theme uses post formats to change the display of posts, depending on what type of content they carry. And used right, this can produce an interesting and visually appealing experience for the visitor. So let me show you how you can apply post formats to your post. Let's take this post on listening to music as an example. When I wrote this post, I intended it to be an aside, just a small bulk of text that appears in the index, but doesn't really.
Look like a real post. To make this into an aside, I'm going to click on Edit, to go to the editor. I could also go to the back end and navigate to Post, and then find the post, and click on Edit. And from here, I should see the Format panel. If you don't see the Format panel, try clicking on Screen Options. And navigating to Formats, and then check it. That should make it display. Once the Format panel displays, you can see I have many different options. I can apply the Standard, which is just the standard post.
I can apply Aside, Audio, Chat, Gallery, Image, Link, Quote, Status, or Video. In this case, I want to use the aside post format. So I'm going to click on Aside. You'll notice that the colored background changed here. And in some cases the text formatting will also change. And, now that I know that I have the right format, I'm going to click Update. Now I'm going to jump back to the front page of my site. And you'll notice that the aside looks slightly different from what it did before.
You'll remember I used to have the title up here, and then the date, and then you saw the post. And it had a white background. But now the title is gone, the date is down here. And I can click on it to go to the post itself. And the background has turned this beige color. This is because this is now an aside instead of a regular post. If I want to change it back, I can simply go back to my Dashboard, go to Posts, All Posts, and now you're going to see that my post has the aside icon next to it. I can click Edit, go back and change it back to Standard, and click Update.
And when I reload my front page, it goes back to being a regular post. So just like with categories and tags, post formats do not permanently change the post. They're just a feature that you can turn on and off, and change at will. And that will become important when you start experimenting with these post formats. Now that you know how to apply post formats to your content, it's important to understand exactly what they do to your content. That's next.