Course: Adding Posts and Setting Up the Blog

In this course we’ll show you how to add posts to your website and set up a Blog page. We’ll cover the following topics:

  1. Adding and editing posts
  2. Creating categories and tags
  3. Creating snippets

Adding and Editing Posts

In this lesson, we’re going to show you how to add and edit pages on your website. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • Adding a new post
  • Editing an existing post
  • The difference between posts and pages

We’ll cover these topics in two ways:

  • With text and screenshots
  • With video

Let’s get started!


Adding and editing posts: Text and screenshots

Adding a new post

Adding the title and content

Adding a new post in WordPress is very similar to adding a new page. We’ll walk through adding a new post using our Stover Tree Service example site. The first step is to go to ‘Posts -> Add New’ in the WordPress Dashboard:

The Add New option in the Posts panel

The Add New option in the Posts panel

This takes us to the Post Editor:

The WordPress Post Editor

The WordPress Post Editor

As you can see, the main edit area for a post is identical to that of a page. We’ll follow the same steps we took for creating a new page. First, we can add the post title. This automatically creates a permalink, which we’ve shortened to just include the keywords:

Adding the post title

Adding the post title

The next step is to add the main content:

Main content added in the Post Editor

Main content added in the Post Editor

We can then click on the ‘Save Draft’ button:

The Save Draft button

The Save Draft button

And click on the ‘Preview post’ link to see a page preview:

The Preview post link

The Preview post link

A preview of the post

A preview of the post

Again, we can use the formatting tools at the top of the Post Editor to style our post. For this post, we’re going to change all the sub-headings to H2 headings:

Styling the sub-headings

Styling the sub-headings

And then we can take another look at the draft:

The updated draft preview

The updated draft preview

Post options

The first panel to the right of the main edit area is the Publish panel. This is identical to the Publish panel in the Page Editor. We can click now on the ‘Publish’ button to publish our post:

The Publish button

The Publish button

Below the Publish panel are two additional panels you’ll want to be familiar with: The Categories and Tags panels. We’ll explain how to use these panels in the next lesson.

Editing an existing post

Editing an existing post is identical to editing an existing page. Start by clicking on ‘All Posts’ in the WordPress Dashboard:

The All Posts panel in the WordPress Dashboard

The All Posts panel in the WordPress Dashboard

This takes you to a list of all your posts, where you can click to select the post you wish to edit:

Selecting a post in the All Posts panel

Selecting a post in the All Posts panel

And you will then be returned to the Post Editor:

Editing a post in the Post Editor

Editing a post in the Post Editor

The difference between posts and pages

We’ve talked a lot about how similar it is to add and edit posts and pages. Posts and pages themselves, however, are quite different. Whereas your pages will be displayed in standalone format, your posts will unite to create your blog. And because we set up our Blog page to display our posts, the post we just added will now appear at the top of this page:

The newest post on the Blog page

The newest post on the Blog page


Adding and editing posts: Video

In this video, we’ll cover adding and editing posts in WordPress:


Congratulations on completing Lesson 1! You should now understand:

  1. How to add a new post
  2. How to edit an existing post
  3. The difference between posts and pages

Creating Categories and Tags

In this lesson, we’re going to show you how to create categories and tags for your blog posts. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • The purpose of categories and tags
  • How to create categories
  • How to create tags
  • How to add categories to your navigation menu

We’ll cover these topics in two ways:

  • With text and screenshots
  • With video

Let’s get started!


Creating categories and tags: Text and screenshots

The purpose of categories and tags

Let’s start with some definitions.

Definitions: Categories and Tags

Categories are used to group your related posts under a topic. Including categories on your posts will allow your readers to find the subject matter they’re looking for quickly and easily.

Tags are keywords that identify your posts. These are primarily used by the search engines to determine what your posts are about, and to index them accordingly.

It’s important to include both categories and tags with your posts, as this will ensure that both your website visitors and the search engines have the information they need.

How to create categories

Returning to our first blog post for Stover Tree Service, let’s add a category. We can start by returning to the Post Editor for this post. In the Categories panel, we can uncheck the checkbox next to ‘Uncategorized’, and then click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link:

The Add New Category link

The Add New Category link

This opens up a text field where we can enter our new category name, ‘Stover Tree Service’, and then click on the ‘Add New Category’ button:

Creating a new category

Creating a new category

This adds the ‘Stover Tree Service’ category to our All Categories list, and also selects it for this post. Notice too that there is a ‘Parent Category’ field, which you can use to make any category a sub-category of another:

The ‘Stover Tree Service’ category added and selected

The ‘Stover Tree Service’ category added and selected

When we now take a look at the post on our Blog page, the ‘Stover Tree Service’ category has replaced the ‘Uncategorized’ category:

The new post category on the Blog page

The new post category on the Blog page

There are no limitations on how you create and add categories to your posts. Posts can have multiple categories, and categories can have multiple sub-categories. You’ll need to determine the best strategy for creating categories for your posts on a site-by-site basis.

How to create tags

We can add tags to our post in the same manner as we added a category. Remember, these tags will be used by the search engines to determine how to index and rank your websites, so you’ll want to use focused, targeted phrases for your tags.

For this post, there are a few good phrases that both fit the post and will work well as tags:

  • professional tree service
  • tree-trimming service
  • certified arborists

We can add these phrases in the text field in the Tags panel, separated by commas, and then click on the ‘Add’ button:

Adding new tags in the Tags panel

Adding new tags in the Tags panel

The tags will then be listed below the text field and ‘Add’ button, along with an ‘x’ next to each which can be used to remove the tag from the post:

List of added tags in the Tags panel

List of added tags in the Tags panel

Notice too the ‘Choose from the most used tags’ link below the tags. As you create multiple posts using the same tags, these tags will show in “cloud” format, with the most used being displayed in the largest fonts. This is a simple way to select tags for your posts once you’ve already created multiple posts and tags.

We can now click on the ‘Update’ button and take another look at the post in the blog to see the tags displayed:

Tags added to the blog post

Tags added to the blog post

How to add categories to your navigation menu

One of the options WordPress provides is to add categories to your navigation menus. We’ll start by returning to the Menus panel (under the Appearance panel in the Dashboard) and locating the Categories panel:

The Categories panel in Menus

The Categories panel in Menus

We can click the arrow on the right side of the panel to open it. Once opened, we can select the ‘Stover Tree Service’ category and then click on the ‘Add to Menu’ button to add it:

Adding a category to the menu

Adding a category to the menu

This adds the category to the bottom of the menu:

Category added to bottom of menu

Category added to bottom of menu

If we leave it in the default position, it will be added to the top-level of the navigation menu. However, since we plan to have multiple categories for this site, we’re going to instead include them in a drop-down menu under the Blog link. We can do this by sliding the category to the right, and then clicking on the ‘Save Menu’ button:

Moving the category to a drop-down of the Blog link

Moving the category to a drop-down of the Blog link

We can now view the page and see that the drop-down menu appears below the Blog link when we hover over it:

The drop-down menu under the Blog link

The drop-down menu under the Blog link


Creating categories and tags: Video

Watch this video to see the steps we’ve outlined above:


Congratulations on completing Lesson 2! You should now understand:

  1. The purpose of categories and tags
  2. How to create categories
  3. How to create tags
  4. How to add categories to your navigation menu

Creating Snippets

In this lesson, we’re going to show you how to create snippets for your WordPress blog. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • The purpose of snippets
  • How to create snippets

We’ll cover these topics in two ways:

  • With text and screenshots
  • With video

Let’s get started!


Creating snippets: Text and screenshots

The purpose of snippets

Let’s start with a definition.

Definition: Snippets

Snippets are abbreviated introductions to blog posts. They typically consist of the first few sentences of a post, and are displayed on the Blog page. Snippets sometimes include a ‘More’ link (often displayed as ‘[…]’ that links to the entire post.

Snippets are used in order to make your Blog page more readable. By only including the first few sentences of a post, readers can skim over the snippets to get an idea of what each post is about, without having to scroll through entire posts to get to those that follow.

The ‘More’ link allows readers to easily access the full content of any post they’re interested in reading. In cases where a ‘More’ link isn’t present, the title of the post snippet is always a link to the full post.

How to create snippets

For our Stover Tree Service website, since we’re using the Mystile theme, snippets are automatically created from our posts. When we look at the Blog page, we can see that only the first few sentences of our latest post appear on the blog, with a more link […] at the end of the snippet:

A default snippet in the Mystile theme

A default snippet in the Mystile theme

There may be times when you’re using a theme that doesn’t automatically create snippets. Fortunately, creating snippets in WordPress is as simple as clicking on an icon.

We can start by going to the post in the Post Editor:

Our latest post in the Post Editor

Our latest post in the Post Editor

The next step is to place the cursor where we want the snippet to end. In this example, we’ll place it at the end of the first sentence. We can then click on the ‘More’ tag icon to insert the tag:

The More tag in the Post Editor

The More tag in the Post Editor

This places the ‘More’ tag immediately after the first sentence, and we can then click on the ‘Update’ button to save the change:

The More tag inserted into the post

The More tag inserted into the post

We can then take another look at the Blog page to see the new snippet:

The new snippet on the Blog page

The new snippet on the Blog page


Creating snippets: Video

Watch this video to see how you can create snippets on your websites:


Congratulations on completing Lesson 3! You should now understand:

  1. The purpose of snippets
  2. How to create snippets

This concludes the Adding Posts and Setting Up the Blog course. In our next course, we’ll show you how to add images and video to your pages and posts.

Go to next Course: Adding Images and Video