So you have arrived at the add new post page in WordPress and are ready to knock out a fabulous post. The question is what 8 WordPress Features will be most helpful in creating that award-winning post?
1. The Toolbar
In addition to the traditional B (bold) and I (italic) that you find in many writing-related software programs, a number of other handy features can be found on the WordPress toolbar.
- This drop down menu allows you to select preformatted paragraph and header sizes. I use this feature all the time to separate sections within posts for readability.
- The link and unlink buttons are great for adding a clickable link, such as a website page address, to your text. For example, you reference a fabulous chocolate cake recipe in your post. By highlighting “chocolate cake recipe” and hitting the closed link icon, a box will pop up which will allow you add a hotlink to the baker’s recipe page.
If you mess up and accidentally add the wrong link, just hit the open link icon to remove.
- The font color changer drop down is great when you want to emphasize text by changing it to a different color than the surrounding text.
- The special character button is the place to find the trademark, copyright, registered and a variety of other language symbols that are commonly needed by bloggers.
- The decrease and increase indent button lets you easily and uniformly adjust where text or symbols start on a line.
- The undo button lets you quickly hop back a step or more if you mess something up.
- The proofread button will help you check your work for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- The shortcuts button will show you all the toolbar shortcuts.
- The toolbar toggle button enables you to see more or less of the toolbar as desired.
2. Visual and Text Views
The visual view (upper right of screen) is generally a “What You See Is What You Get” scenario. For those of us who have worked with word processing programs such as MS Word quite a bit, this view is quite familiar.
The text view shows the coding behind the post. Access this view to paste affiliate links into the post, fix spacing issues or glitches, etc… The more you work with text mode, the more you will become familiar with some basic html coding.
3. Revision Feature in Publish Box
Clicking this link (publish box often found on upper right of screen) will allow you to look at revisions of your post starting from current backwards. This feature is handy when you screw something up as you are crafting your post and want to step back and start again.
4. Publish Status in Publish Box
Set your post to go live immediately when you hit publish or at a later date. A great option if you are working ahead on posts.
The tags box (often located on right sidebar) provides you a place to add words or phrases that describe your post. These tags can help users more easily find your relevant related content. Remember that tags and category listings (which will be discussed below) should be kept to 15 or less to avoid WordPress spam triggers.
6. Add Media
This button (often above the toolbar) is the place to upload images, video, and audio for your posts, as well as, access the media library.
7. Featured Image
Setting a featured image (often located on right side bar) will tell WordPress which of your images is the main one to show in previews. It is always good to specify a featured image even if your design theme does not use it right now. I learned that the hard way when I changed themes and had to go back and selected hundreds of featured images.
Categories are a WordPress feature used to describe posts in broader terms (i.e. savings tips, diy projects, etc…). Categories can be arranged hierarchically and,depending on the theme, can be tied to your site navigation features.
As you can see, a number of helpful WordPress features are available to aid in crafting informative and visually appealing posts. I have summarized these features and put together a handy cheat sheet that you can download for FREE below.