Creating a News/Blog Post
If you read through my “Introduction to your WordPress Website“, I explained the difference between Posts and Pages. In a nutshell, a Page is designed to serve as a static web page on your site and a Post is a news item that will be added to other, archived news items. These new posts will appear, in chronological order, either on the front page of your site, or on a designated page for news or blog items. Each new post you create and publish will be added automatically to this news feed. The news or blog display page will show an excerpt of your post, along with a thumbnail image the first posted image on the post. I, generally, install a plugin that will automatically grab the first published image on most customer sites, so the customer has less to worry about when updating their website.
The important thing to remember about working with Posts is that most sites may have multiple categories in which these posts can be published. If your website has multiple categories, you will need to be aware of which category you are publishing your post by ticking on the appropriate category box.
To create a new post, look for the word “Posts” in the left-hand menu in your Administrator Dashboard. If you mouse over it, you will see four selections. Click on “Add New” to open a new Post page.
With the “Add New Post” page open, you can add your title and your body copy. The TinyMCE Advanced plugin makes editing your text very easy. If it is not appearing at the top of the editing box (as shown above), then you are in Text Mode. To activate your WYSIWYG editor, click on the “Visual” tab at the upper right-hand corner of the editing box. When I set up the TinyMCE Advanced editor, I try to arrange the icons uniformly from one website to the next.
Every post should have some sort of image in it — even if it serves as nothing more than a theme setter. The first image you add to your post will also serve as the thumbnail in your news feed. To add an image, click at the beginning of the paragraph you wish to insert an image, and then click on the “Add Media” tab, located at the upper left-hand corner of the editing box.
At the top of the Insert Media pop-up box, you will see two tabs. By default, the Insert Media box will display “Media Library”. With this tab active, you can simply drag your image from your desktop and drop it into the box. The page will turn blue, once you drag your file into the box area and will display the words “Drop files to upload”. Release your left-click button to drop the file(s) into the blue area and the images will upload to your Media Library. If you prefer to upload them via a file browser, click on the “Upload File” tab and you can either drag and drop your image file or click on the “Select Files” button to search your hard drive for the image file(s) you wish to add.
If you are successful, your newly uploaded image file(s) should now appear in your Media Library with a blue check box in the upper right-hand corner of the image. This indicates that this is the image you wish to add to your post/page. If the image is correct, click on the blue “Instert into post” button, located at the lower right-hand corner of your Media Library window.
Okay, now that you’ve inserted your image, you discover that it is way too big for your page! What do you do? Not to worry, you have the power to resize your image to fit your page by using the Image Edit feature in WordPress. To activate it, click on the image in your Post editing box and you will see a small group of icons appear at the top of the image. You can use these icons to format your image (left, right, center, or none), edit your image, or delete your image. In this exercise, we want to resize the image, so we will click on the little pencil icon within that icon bar.
Once you click on the pencil icon, an Image Details box will appear with your image displayed at the right-hand side. By default, the image will probably be displayed in its “Large” state. Under the Display Settings area, you will see a drop-down selection next to Size. You may select one of the other options available or you can select “Custom Size”. For this exercise, we will select “Custom Size”.
With Custom Size selected you now have the option to physically type in the width you wish your image to be scaled to. The aspect ratio of the image will remain intact, so whatever width you type in, the height will automatically scale accordingly. Since nearly all of the websites I design are between 1000 to 1024 pixels wide with a sidebar included, the most commonly used image width for a full-width display is 670 pixel wide. So, we will type 670 in the width box. Once you’ve done that, click on the blue “Update” button, located at the lower right-hand corner of the Image Details box.
When you return to your post edit page, the image should now be scaled properly to fit your page. You may repeat this process for any additional images you wish to add to your post.
Now for the big moment… publishing your post! Your text has been added and proofread, your images have been inserted, and now you are ready to publish your news post. (Hooray!). To do so, look to the upper portion of the right-hand column. You will see, within the first two widgets, a box that is labeled “Publish” and one below it that is labeled “Categories”. Before you publish your post, please make sure you select the appropriate category to publish it in. If your site has multiple categories, failure to select the correct category will cause your post to be published in all categories. In this example, we are selecting “News & Events” as our category. Once that’s set, we can now click on the blue “Publish” button. Once the system accepts your post, it will be officially published on your website.