As you begin to shape your site’s content and organization, you’ll mostly be working with ‘Pages’, ‘Posts’, ‘Testimonials’, and ‘Events’. All these options appear in the far left-hand column when you’re logged in to your admin area.
- ‘Pages’ are the evergreen (but still editable) content of your site. You will need to assign each page to a place in your navigation menu once they’re built, in order for them to appear to your visitors.
- ‘Posts’ are, in essence, blog entries — serial articles in a timeline. When you author a new post, it will appear on your ‘Articles’ page automatically, newest posts top-of-page.
- ‘Events’ are a specialized type of post (with attached locations, times/dates, registration options, etc. and their own category set).
- ‘Testimonials’ are also a type of specialized post – they look nice in a widget box at the top of a site’s right column (more on this later).
Working with a Page
Pages are the simplest type of content to begin with, with the fewest controls required to create them. Roll over the ‘Pages’ link in your left side admin menu; you’ll see a couple sub-links fly out. Click on ‘Add New’.
Now you’re looking an ‘Add New Page’ edit screen. It should look like this:
Near the top, right under the ‘Add New Page’ text, is your new page’s title block . (It will say ‘Enter title here’ in light gray text at first). Type a title for your new page, then click or tab into your content editing box below. This is where you’ll type the main content of your page. WordPress’s text editor is relatively full-featured, but you should keep in mind that the web does not offer the same options as typically available for printed material as when creating layouts in word-processing or layout software.
A few notes about content styling:
- In order to access all the styling tools available in WordPress’ text editor, make sure the ‘Kitchen Sink’ button is clicked on. If you only see one row of styling buttons (starting with B (bold) and I (italic) ), then click the right-most button (the Kitchen Sink button) to make visible a 2nd row of styling tools.
- The pulldown list at the left of the 2nd row of styling tools provides a few simple paragraph styling options, the most widely-used of which will be PARAGRAPH. MOST of your page content should be styled as basic Paragraph. The second-most applied style will probably be Heading styles (Heading 1-6). These are the style choices for internal headlines within your page content. In order to follow Google’s best practices for search optimization, you should avoid Headline 1 (which is correctly and automatically applied, by your site’s theme template, ONLY to your page’s main title – the title you put in first in that one-line box above the content editor). Internal section headlines should use Headline 2 in general, with Headline 3 for sub-sections, Headline 4 for sub-sub-sections, etc.
When you’ve got your Page content entered and styled to your liking, click the blue ‘Publish’ button near the top of the right-hand column.
If you want to save your Page for editing later and aren’t ready to ‘Publish’ yet, you can click the ‘Save Draft’ button instead.
Note that once you’ve published a Page, the ‘Publish’ button’s name changes to ‘Update’; you can edit that content at any time, and clicking ‘Update’ will refresh the Page that is visible to the public with your newly edited version.
Note that there are several additional options (‘meta-boxes’) on the admin screen controlling aspects of your new Page’s behaviors (Discussion, Page Attributes, Featured Image, to list a few). Don’t sweat these for now!
When you’re ready for a more in-depth look at these other controls or more detail on working with Pages in general, WordPress has an excellent in-depth article in their knowledge-base.
So What’s Different about Posts?
Once you’ve gotten comfortable creating and editing Pages, moving on to Posts is easy. As we mentioned above, Posts are generally a series of articles on a topic (this ‘How-to’ article you’re reading right now is one example of a Post in a series.)
So that your visitors can connect with the Post content they’re most interested in, WordPress adds a couple additional organizational tools: ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’. Categories are used to define the broad topics covered by the Posts you write. Tags are more specific and so used to define smaller subsets of your Posts.
For example, if you were building a recipes site, your Categories might be ‘Appetizers’, ‘Entrees’, and ‘Desserts’. Every recipe Post you wrote would fall into one (or maybe more) of those Categories. If you wrote a Post on your grandma’s recipe for fudge brownies, the Category would certainly be ‘Desserts’.
To provide additional information to visitors about the content of the Post, you might also create and apply the Tags ‘chocolate’, ‘heirloom’, and ‘favorites’. If you write enough Posts about cherished family recipes, ‘heirloom’ will become a Tag associated with a rich trove of Posts — but it still wouldn’t make much sense as a formal Category.
The other primary difference between Pages and Posts is how WordPress presents them to your visitors. While Pages are added by you to your site’s navigation, WordPress automatically presents Posts in groups. For example, if you’ve written 15 Posts in the Category ‘Technology’, you wouldn’t add each individual Post to your site’s navigation menu. You’d add a menu item in your navigation for the Category ‘Technology’, and WordPress would automatically aggregate those Posts in a summary screen where visitors can browse their way through your content and find the specific Post(s) they want. (To use the example of these ‘How-to’ articles again, ‘How-to’ is a Category.)
So What’s Different about Events?
Events are Posts with a few extra bits of information attached to each – location (or ‘no physical location’, for virtual/online events), start- and end-date (instead of just ‘publish date’), and some info that governs visitors’ ability to register to attend and even pay for tickets if you like (your Events Manager comes with a baked-in call out to PayPal!) Additionally:
- Events expire — once an event’s date is past, it will no longer show in a ‘Coming Events’ widget or on the main Events page (though there are ways to give visitors access to views of past events if you choose.)
- Events have Categories that are separate from your site’s Post categories.
- The Events screens have a little more detail to wrangle. If you’re type who learns by doing, just jump in and play around. If you’re more comfortable with a detailed manual to work from, then the Events Manager Pro plugin developer’s documentation will help you. If you want a simple walk-through, we’re working on an Events tutorial article – to be posted soon!
Other Content Types
You may occasionally fiddle with a couple more key content types: ‘Media’, ‘Comments’, and ‘Testimonials’, to name several common alternate content types. We’ll go into more detail on each of these in a future How-to article, but here are the basics:
- ‘Media’ lets you add and manage photos and other visual assets
- ‘Comments’ allows you moderate comments left by visitors to your site — approving, deleting them, or marking them as spam
- ‘Testimonials’ lets you display brief client testimonials praising your excellent work on their behalf. Great testimonials make for a great website experience!
Once you’ve built your Pages and Posts, you’ll be ready to build a navigational menu to help visitors connect to your content. That will be the topic of our next lesson.