Let's Play

Now that WordPress is installed on your site you have the power to modify literally anything you want to in your WordPress site. Of course power without knowledge is a dangerous thing so let's work on plugging that gap.

Basic Blogging

As you can see, the Dashboard offers lots of options. We will start our exploration of those options with "Posts," "Pages," and "Appearance."

sidemenu

Let's start with a simple blog post. Click on "Posts" on the left navigation bar.  The page that comes up is the list of all your posts, and you currently don't have any.  Now click the "Add New" button to the right of the "Edit Posts" header.

Once the post loads, you should see a big place to put a title for the post and another place to start writing. Go ahead and create a title, any title, and write a sentence or two. Now click the publish button and Congratulations!  You have published your first blog post on WordPress.  Click "View Post" to see it.

Categories

Now that we have been able to make a blog post, we need to add some categories to it. These help with allowing your reader to understand the main topics of your post. Later on, when you have a lot of blog posts, visitors to your site will be able to view all of the entries that are associated with a given category. For instance, say your blog is about college sports and the new post for the day talks about the new quarterback. A couple of categories that you may add to this post could include: "The name of your college," "Football," and "Varsity Sports." By just looking at those category tags, one could easily infer the main topic of the post.

Time to add categories of your own. Click Categories, just to the left of your post on the dashboard . Type in the Category Name and Description in their appropriately labeled boxes and click "Add Category" at the bottom of the page.  Add as many categories as you would like. Now return to your post and to the post editor. On the right sidebar you should see Categories listed as an option. Open categories and add your post to a  category. Update your post. 

As you add more categories, notice how the list updates itself on the right side to show all of the categories that you have created thus-far. When you revisit the categories editor it shows how many posts you have under each category for you to take inventory later.  When you have LOT of posts or pages, it can sometimes be useful to sort page or post list by category, in order to find a post or page that you want to edit. 

Permalinks

Another feature you should see in the right sidebar is called Permalinks, which stands for Permanent Links, and functions as a permanent url for a page or post. If you open the Permalink editor you will see a 'slug' which, because you chose post name for your Permalinks settings, is simply the name of the post. The slug, which you can change by the way, is added to the URL of your WordPress site to create a unique URL for your post or page. .

Beating Spam, Comments and Pings

Although WordPress is a great content management system, it started as a blogging system and blogging features, such as default enabling of comments on pages, are deeply embedded in its DNA. Although comments can be great for a blog, you may not want random strangers to be able to comment about every page or post on your website. In particular, you certainly don't want to be bombarded with thousands of random bot-generated comments [footnote] otherwise known as spam.[/footnote]

I won't go into a definition of Pings but you probably don't want them or comments, to be authorized in this age of bots that we live in. To remove both, click "Quick edit" for a given post and uncheck "Allow pings" and "Allow comments". If you neglect this step,  and want to remove comments from multiple posts or pages later on, see below.

1. Check the pages or posts that you want to de-comment.

2. Click the "bulk actions" button ScreenshotScreenshot and select edit.

3. Click apply and set comments to do not allow.
Screenshot

4. Click Update and the comment boxes on those pages and posts will disappear.

Pages v. Posts . . . What's the difference?

Take a look at the left navigation. You'll notice that there are buttons for both Posts and Pages, so what is the difference? Take a look at what WordPress says about it:

Posts are listed in reverse chronological order on the blog home page or on the posts page if you have set one in Settings > Reading.

Pages are static and are not listed by date. Pages are more for static content, stuff that doesn't change on a regular basis. Posts are timestamped and act like a blog.

In our next lesson, we will make a page that is has some basic information about yourself.

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