When using a password manager enable two-factor authentication! This can be a text message or an OTP generator (One Time Password), such as Google Authenticator or Yubikey. They can be attached to your account and required each time you log in. This sounds like more work, but once you've gotten used to using it, it makes it almost impossible for someone to break into any of your accounts.
In previous posts, we’ve gone over most of the basics with WordPress, including how to get started using WordPress and an overview of the WordPress administrative panel. In this post, we’re going to focus on what and how to use the Posts system. Our next post will focus on how to add new Posts or Pages.
While the Posts and Pages sections are within different areas of WordPress, they are reasonably similar in their function on the backend. The difference comes into play on the front-end or public-facing side of WordPress.
Posts – Posts generally are for blogs, news, articles, or quick bits of information that you need to organize in chronological, or category-based order on your website.
Pages – Unlike posts, pages are more for static information that doesn’t change often. These can be services that your business offers, an about page, or a public-facing policy related to your company.
Note: Any information that could go on a post could also go on a page, and vise versa. It’s subjective and at the discretion of the website owner.
Now that we’re familiar with the differences between the two, let’s focus our attention on the Posts section and everything it provides.
Let’s start by learning the different sections of the primary system, Posts. Log into WordPress, then click on Posts from the primary left menu. Clicking the menu item Posts takes us to a new section in the admin panel, with a list of all our published posts—this section will eventually contain any trashed or drafted posts, as well. Since we’re working with a vanilla install of WordPress, we’ll have the iconic “Hello world!” post as our only entry.
Posts Landing Page
We’ll start in the upper left of the screen and work through what each item does.
The first button we’ll see, prominent, and at the top left of the page, is Add New. Clicking this will take us to a new page, which would allow us to create a new post. Our next post will go in-depth on this page and how to use it.
Under Posts and Add New, we have a list of links. Since we do not have any drafts or trashed posts, we’ll only see All and Published. As we progress and publish more posts, more menu items will show up. Some plugins may also add extra items to this menu—it can be fluid, so check it often.
In the next section down, we have a drop-down menu for Bulk Actions and the button to apply Bulk Actions.
To the right of that, we can sort our list of posts below, by using filters. The drop-down menus for Filters will change and grow over time. Again check these often as it makes navigating large lists of Posts much more manageable.
Now we have our main table for Posts. Depending on which section you’re in, or which filters are applied, this list may only show one or two, or it could show dozens. In our case, we’re in All, and we only have a single “Hello world!” post visible.
This table is very interactive, and it isn’t just a spreadsheet to display a matrix of your posts. It also can allow you to sort posts by the Title column, or you can use the Filter above to show only specific categories. Take note of what is colored in blue, as these links are quick links to other sections of WordPress that pertain directly to that post. For instance, if we click on the author obs, that would take us to that author’s bio page quickly.
There’s more to this table than is currently visible as well, hover over the post “Hello world!”; you’ll notice that other action items will appear under the title.
From left to right on this hover menu, we have Edit, Quick Edit, Trash, and View.
Edit – This link takes you to the full edit page for that post.
Quick Edit – Clicking this will open an edit screen directly in our table, to edit a small selection of items quickly.
Trash – Just as it sounds, this will trash the post. There is no confirmation when trashing a post, if clicked, it will put the post in the Trash. Don’t worry, though, you can restore items from the Trash.
View – Just as it sounds, this link allows us to view the post as others would see it on our publicly-facing website.
Finishing out this page, we have another Bulk Actions form available, which is very useful while viewing large lists of Posts. Bulk Actions allow us to Edit or Move to the Trash. Using the Edit Bulk Action is similar to the Quick Edit screen, opening the quick edit screen with all checked posts editable from that one quick edit screen.
Once we’ve clicked into Quick Edit, the screen slides down, and several options are available to us for editing. We’ll start on the left and move to the right. Keep in mind that when you select multiple posts to edit, making changes on this screen will apply the same modifications to each post chosen.
The first column allows us to change the Title, Slug, Date of publication, and make the post private with a password or not.
Note: A slug is the text used in the URL structure of your website. In this case, our URL to this post would include /hello-world/ in the link, because that is our slug.
In our second column, we can select the category that our post belongs to. You’ll find that this is the most commonly used quick edit feature.
Next to categories, we can change the template that our page is using and the tags related to our post. We can also allow or disallow comments and pings. The last two options are to change the status and setting the post sticky or not. In the far right, we can save our changes with the Update button.
Tip: This quick edit screen is the same on other sections of the WordPress admin panel, so be sure to learn how to use it and what each does, you will use it later.
Going to the next section on our menu, or using the primary Add New button, takes us to the page to create a brand new post, we would use the Add New link or button. We will go in-depth on the Add New screen in another post, due to the complexity of that section.
Categories & Tags
The next menu item is Categories. This section is where we can create, edit, and delete all categories used on our posts. This section is very straightforward to use, and again, other sections of WordPress use this same layout, such as Tags.
Once we click the link Categories or Tags, we land on a page that will immediately allow us to add a new category or a tag. This form provides four options for categories and three options for tags – name, slug, parent if category, and description. It’s good practice to write a full explanation for each of your categories or tags, so any users that run across them will know what content to find attached to each. Google can also crawl the index pages for each category or tag, possibly providing a boost in your search rankings or search engine presence.
Moving to the right, we can see a full list of all categories, or tags, depending on which you’re editing. This table should look familiar, as it’s using the same system we saw earlier in Posts. We can bulk edit each entry, sort, search, and we have hover quick links for each. The edit screen for a category or post is the same as the form to our left.
Note: It’s essential to take your time when categorizing or tagging your posts. Correctly categorizing each post will not only make it easier to find a post at a later date, but it also makes it much easier for viewers to track down the content they seek as well. The last significant bit to correctly categorizing or tagging posts pertains to search engine optimization. Having proper titles, slugs, and descriptions is a great chance to garner more authority or higher rankings with search engines.
While each of these sections may seem daunting at first, once a few minor changes or additions have taken place, you’ll find that they become much easier to navigate. WordPress has done great at re-using layouts, features, and functions throughout the WordPress administrative panel. Doing this not only helps the application run more efficiently, but it also allows webmasters to more quickly learn to use WordPress.
Tip: While your website is in development, take your time and learn what each section is, how it works, and why it’s useful. Learning these before your website is public will reduce the amount of stress you’ll experience publishing, editing, or even deleting anything at a later date.
Was there anything that you’d like us to go more in-depth on in this post?
How do you categories your posts? Do you tag all of your posts?
Let us know in the comments below! We love helping new website owners, small businesses, or sole-proprietors with their next big project.
Author: Mike Bowden
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