There are various locations that your website content can be added in WordPress. The majority of this content will live in either posts or pages. So which one should you use? And how can you edit the content in each?
The new pieces of content you will be adding to your WordPress site are known as blog posts. These posts will normally appear on your site in reverse chronological order, and can be assigned to categories for easier browsing.
Whenever you are creating static content, you should create a page. Your about page, contact page, testimonials, and portfolio are examples of content for pages. This content is ‘static’ because it does not rely on date, as blog posts do.
Editing pages and posts
Pages and posts each have a dedicated editor that looks very much like a word processor. This has the option of switching between a visual editor and an HTML editor. Most of the time, you will likely be using the visual editor. However, it’s good to know how to navigate around the HTML editor so you can resolve problems as they arise.
Both the pages and posts edit screens are laid out in the same way, with modules for each type of information to input. At the top is a space to write the title and underneath is a large area for composing your piece. This area is just like a word processor, with buttons at the top for formatting your page or post:
The visual editor in WordPress makes it easy for you to compose your page or post. Just like a word processor, you can type, make text bold, italicised and so on. You can also add hyperlinks to other web pages, insert images, create lists, change the colour of text, and perform other formatting tasks. You can also auto-embed YouTube videos, Twitter feeds, and more.
Clicking on the button to the far right on the top line will reveal the “kitchen sink,” another row of buttons that allow you greater formatting control. Among these is the Format menu, a drop-down menu that allows you to assign one of various heading and paragraph styles to your text.
It’s important to note that these styles are set within your theme, so each of them will remain consistent throughout your website. I recommend that you use this menu to colour your text, rather than the text colour button, as this will ensure that colour is applied more consistently across your website. In the kitchen sink is also the symbol button – this is really handy for adding the copyright or trademark symbols, for example.
On occasion, you may need to switch over to the HTML editor, done by clicking the tab in the upper right hand corner. Switching to HTML mode can help you to see what code is being used by your post, and allow you to troubleshoot any formatting errors that are happening.
One cool thing you can do in the HTML editor is add pagination tags. If you type in this code: <!–nextpage–>, WordPress will automatically add page breaks to your post. You will be able to move from page to page via buttons at the bottom of the post or page.
Over on the right hand side of the edit screen is the publishing module, with options for scheduling your post to publish at a later time, making your post public or private. You also have a module for the pages or post’s “featured image” (as long as your theme supports it), an image attached to that piece that can be used by the theme in a number of different ways. On this page is also the option to enable or disable commenting on your page or post.
Some plugins will add additional modules to this screen. For example, the All in One SEO Pack plugin adds a module with spaces for the title, description and keywords to assign to that particular post or page. If you can’t see any of these modules, click the “Screen Options” button at the top and you will be able to check and uncheck the modules’ visibility:
These modules can be moved around on the screen to better suit your needs. For example, if you’d like the discussions box to live over on the right hand side, you can simply drag it over there. WordPress will remember this setting automatically.
The main difference between the edit screens for pages and posts are the ability to assign categories and tags to your posts – this isn’t possible for pages. Also, in pages you can assign a different page template to different pages. These templates are included with your theme, and they may, for example, allow you to have some pages with two sidebars and some with none.
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