WordPress for Non-Techies Part Deux

Woodie knows WordPress - Carrie Spencer Smart Ass RomanceFirst, let’s recap from last week – we signed up, signed in, gasped in horror at our dashboard, and then changed our theme. Right? Right.

So let’s take the bull by the horns and move on to Part Deux – Pages, Posts and Bears –  Oh My!

Go ahead and sign in. Quit making that face – it’s only your dashboard!

At the top of this section of buttons is one called Posts. A little farther down is one called Pages. Let me explain the difference.

Posts appear on your blog every time you “post.” Sounds simple doesn’t it? Every time you make a new post, it appears at the top of your blog, and the older posts move down.

Pages on the other hand, are static. A good example of a page is an About Page. Also note that any Page will also be turned into a navigation button on your site. If you click on the name of your site at the top of your page, you’ll notice you already have a Home and an About button. Cool eh?

First, let’s work on updating our About Page.

  • Go to your dashboard and click on Pages
  • In the drop down menu, it says Pages and Add New. Pages is highlighted, and in the middle pane you can see a page named About. This middle pane lists all the pages you have available.
  • Mouseover About, and underneath it Edit | Quick Edit | Trash | View appear. Click Edit.

For those of you who use Word or Works, this should look fairly familiar. It’s a word processing program for blogging. Piece of cake!

  • Where it says This is an example of a WordPress page etc, delete all of that by highlighting it with your mouse and hitting the delete button on your keyboard.
  • Put on your thinking cap.
  • Write.

Don’t know what to say about yourself? No problem. Now that you know how to get to your about page, you can change it any time you want.

If you want your About page to say something more clever as the title than About – go ahead and change that too. Maybe something exotic like About Me. Ooo.

Done with it? Happy? Now here’s the important part some people tend to forget. On the right hand panel is a button that says Update and another that says Preview Changes.

Preview Changes lets you umm…preview the changes. =) If you click that button a new window will open that will show you the changes you’ve made. BUT, your page IS NOT UPDATED until you hit the Update button. Sorry, didn’t mean to yell.

  • Hit the update button now.
  • In the yellow bar at the top it says View page. So, let’s go view the page!

If you’ve changed your page title name, you’ll notice right away that has changed on the button in the front. Neato! What’s that you say? You mis-spelled a word? Right under the About text is a little line that says Edit this entry. Click there, and you’ll be right back into editing your about page. Fix your boo-boo, then click update. Voila.

Let’s say we want to make new pages and new navigation buttons. On your dashboard look under the pages button again. The drop down says Pages and Add New.

  • Click on Add New
  • Add the title of your page – remember this will also be a navigation button on every page in your site!
  • Add your info in the bottom box
  • Click Update.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back.

Oh, you caught me. Yes, there’s a few more new things with a new page as well.

This looks really darn close to the other Publish box. BUT…there’s a Publish button. Click that and whammo, your page is live.

So what are those Status: Visibility and Publish buttons?

Let me explain –

  • Status: Draft Edit – If you don’t click Edit, nothing happens. If you click Edit, you have a choice of Draft or Pending Review. Pending review is used if you have other contributors to your blog. A contributor can use your dashboard and edit posts, but only you, as administrator, can publish them.
  • Visibility: Public – Under the Edit button here is Public, Private and Password Protected. If you click nothing, your draft is going public. Private means only YOU can see it, and Password Protected will ask you for a password before you can view it.
  • Publish: Immediately – Click nothing and your page is *shouting like Emeril* BAM! Out there. Or you can click on Edit and select a date and time for it to post. This is pretty darn handy if you’ve got a post made up in advance because you’re spending the weekend in Aruba, but don’t want to override the posts in front of yours.

Let’s move on to posts, shall we? C’mon, this is easy! Click Posts on your dashboard.

As you can see, Posts is highlighted. If you look to the middle of your dashboard, you’ll see one titled Hello World! We’re going to update that.

  • Mouse over Hello World!, and click Edit, just like we did in Pages.
  • Change the title of your blog post
  • Put in something fun and fascinating in the box below. Tell about your trip to Italy or your favorite artichoke hearts recipe.
  • Click update or preview.
  • Click view post in the yellow box that has appeared.
  • Stand back and admire your genius. Whoa. You’re good.
  • Helpful hint? Look at the Publish box above to see if you want to publish now, wait until later or keep it as a draft. I vote we publish now – just do it!

Want to make another?

  • Go back to Posts on your dashboard
  • Click Add New.

A fresh blank slate has appeared, waiting for your every syllable. Remember since this is a new post, your choice in the publish box will be preview or publish.

Homework for next time? Get some pictures together that you’d like to use in your posts. We’ll be learning how to put graphics in with your text, and how to use categories and tags!

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