If you are logging into WordPress admin dashboard for the first time, you may be wondering what is special with text pad kind of editor WordPress offers. Especially if you are familiar with free website builder tools like Weebly or Wix, the editor offered by WordPress makes more inconvenient at first look. Though it is called as WYSIWYG editor, it is definitely not the name to be used. Besides the look, features offered by the WordPress editor is incomparable and that is the reason WordPress is one of the most preferred blogging and content management platforms available in the world. This article is aimed at beginner level users to make them familiarize with how to create post in WordPress editor.
Classic Vs Gutenberg Editor
WordPress offers two editors – Classic and Gutenberg. By default, the installation comes with Gutenberg editor and you can replace it with old Classic style editor using plugins like Classic Editor.
Though Classic Editor is still used in most of the custom post types like WooCommerce product pages, Gutenberg is widely used for creating a standard posts in WordPress. Regardless of the editor you prefer to use, we recommend to prepare the content offline and copy / paste it into the WordPress editor instead of spending long time on the editor. Make sure to prepare the following things before you start publishing content on your site.
- Create a Category
- Create a Tag
- Featured Image
- Post Title
- Post Content
- Meta Description
- Custom Fields
- Disable whether to enable or disable comments and trackbacks.
- Post Format
- Visibility of the Post
- Decide Permalink Settings
Features on WordPress post editor may vary based on the theme and plugins you installed. The screenshots shown in this article are using one of the classic style WordPress themes (not block-based theme).
Creating Posts in Classic Editor
Login to your WordPress site and navigate to “Posts > Add New” section. This will open the post editor where you can create your content.
Screen Options Settings
When you logged into your admin dashboard, navigate to “Add New” menu under “Posts” tab to create a blog post. Before you start creating a post, click on the “Screen Options” button available at top right corner.
Each screen in WordPress has its own set of applicable options, which you can customize under “Screen Options” tab. Post editor offers various screen options like format, categories, tags, featured images, etc. which can be enabled or disabled based on your need. Select number of columns as 2 under “Screen Layout” option to view default widgets in the sidebar menu (choosing 1 will push all selected widgets below the content editor). “Expand the editor to match the window height” is the feature introduced with WordPress version 4.0, which scrolls the content area of the editor within the viewable window height.
WordPress Blog Post Classic Editor
With the number of columns selected as 2 WordPress editor will look like below having three sections – Menu, Editor and Sidebar.
Menu helps to navigate through various sections and sidebar shows default widgets enabled under “Screen Options” tab. Content editor is an important portion we will focus more in this article.
- Click on “Add media button to add images, PDFs, documents or any accepted files to your WordPress site. Any media files added within the editor will be attached to the post URL by default.
- Formatting Tools – These are the icons helps you to format your content. Use “Toolbar Toggle” button to expand or collapse the icons available.
- Distraction Free Writing – if you are the person spending more time on the editor creating your content then use this option to open the editor without menu and sidebar sections.
Post Title and Permalinks Settings
WordPress by default stores the URL with a unique number called post id. In order to provide a meaningful descriptive URL to users and search engines, you need to enable permalinks settings. Click on “Change Permalinks” button, which will appear automatically once you enter the post title, to change the permalink settings. Learn more about WordPress permalinks settings here.
Note: Post title is generally converted to the post URL which is also referred as slug in WordPress. Generally words like in, on, is, etc. are ignored in the URL which you can add it manually by clicking on the “Edit” button visible next to permalink.
Creating Post Content
- Choose the post format (if your theme offers this option) and copy / paste all your text content to the WordPress editor. WordPress be default inherit all formatting used in your word processor, if you only want to paste the text without formatting then click on the “Paste as Text” icon before pasting.
- Once your content is ready then add necessary links and media files wherever required.
Note: When creating and editing your content WordPress saves your content using autosave and revisions features. The links to autosaved posts and revisions can be seen below post content in the editor and these versions of your post are not shown neither to users nor to search engines. Learn more about revisions and autosave.
- Add category, tags and features image to your post. Use attractive featured image since it is the first impression user will get when viewing your post from external links like Facebook or Twitter.
- Enable or disable comment and trackback for your post which will supersede the site level settings made under “Settings > Discussion”.
- After completing all activities, hit preview button to check the look and alignment of post content. You can also set the visibility to “Private” or “Password Protected” based on your need.
- Finally click on “Publish” button to make your content live. Once published the “Publish” button will be changed to “Update”.
- Adding custom field will add a metadata which can be used on your theme, we do not touch upon this since this is more than a beginner level task.
- You may be wondering what to do with the meta description which was mentioned as a requirement for creating a post. Paste your meta description in the “Excerpt” box available below post content (if enabled in screen options) to enable search engines to show it in the search results. Excerpt is also used in your RSS feed instead of showing full content.
Note: Use SEO plugins like “Yoast SEO” in order to ensure your meta description is shown in search results and better search engine optimization of you site.
Bulk Actions and Quick Edit
Bulk actions like deleting selected posts is available under “Posts > All Posts”. Check the required posts, choose the bulk action from the drop-down and hit “Apply” button.
There is also a “Quick Edit” option which allows you to quickly modify the post related data like categories, tags, slug, etc, without going to the editor.
Creating Post in Gutenberg Editor
WordPress introduced Gutenberg with version 5.0 and you can follow most of the steps mentioned above in Gutenberg editor also. However, the big difference is that you need to use different blocks for creating content. Each block has its own settings which you can make use to customize the appearance which is not possible with old Classic editor. For example, you can use Columns block to create multiple column layout or use Table block to create colorful table without use any plugin. There are also advanced blocks like Query Loop to showcase a list of posts by adjusting various parameters.
Gutenberg block editor also has three sections – left side dashboard menu items, center content area and right sidebar showing meta boxes or block settings.
Click the + icon showing on top left corner to view all available blocks and click on the block to insert it in the content area.
Now, you can start adding content to the block and customize the appearance by using the settings/styles available in right sidebar “Block” section. Each block also has its own toolbar to do actions like lock, copy, duplicate, adjust alignment, etc.