Adding Content to Your WordPress Site

There are three main places to exhibit content on your site: posts, pages, and comments.

● A post is one entry in a site. Usually the newest post is shown at the top.

● A page is the standard platform for Web content to exist in. A page is generally used for more static content (unlike the kind of articles, updates, and musings you might see in posts). A page sticks around regardless of what’s new—it’s ideal for publishing information you want to keep available and in the same place, like contact info or an “about” page.

Comments are written by the readers of your blog or site. Comments can be left on either a post or a page.

Content is created similarly for posts and pages. If you click on Posts, for example, you’ll be taken to the post management screen. Here’s what you would see for this site:

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This site now has twenty-seven posts; here, you’re only seeing five of them. Entries for posts at the top are newer than those lower down. “A video walk-through of MLA Commons” is marked Sticky. This means that I’ve set that post to appear above everything else regardless of date. You can also see the author, and the bubble near the right-hand margin shows the number of comments on each post. If I click one of these entries, I’m taken to the main editing interface.

If you’ve created a site, you’ll see a default post entitled “Hello World!” You can click on that to edit it if you want; you probably don’t want that text on your site.

But first, let’s make a new post. You can do that in a number of ways. You’ll see an Add New button just to the right of the Posts header at the top of your list of posts (see the screenshot above). There’s also an Add New button in the menu on the left side of the screen. Finally, you can hover over the + New button in your MLA toolbar at the top of the screen and choose Post in the drop-down menu.

The new post page looks like this:

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The first thing to note is the empty box at the top where the cursor is. Enter a title here for your post. Every post should have a title.

Your main content will go in the editor below the title. As a default, you will be in the “Visual” editor, marked by a tab at the top right of the editor. Clicking on “Text” takes you to a text editor where you can enter HTML code directly.

Above the typing area in the visual editor you’ll find a toolbar with formatting buttons. Many of these are self-explanatory, since they are similar to the ones used by word processors, but a few are unique to WordPress and are especially important:

The toolbar toggle (shown below) allows you to extend the toolbar so that you have more formatting options available:

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After clicking it you’ll have access to a drop-down menu that will let you alter the size of your font, ranging from Paragraph (the default font size) to Heading 1 (the largest font size).

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The Paste as Plain Text button is important for copying and pasting text into the editor. Sometimes, text that is pasted from an e-mail or from a software application doesn’t appear normally when you publish it in a post—this is because it can carry unnecessary code from the application, which gets displayed as if it were text. If this is happening to you, it can be helpful to click this Paste as Plain Text button before pasting your text. This will get rid of any formatting (like words that are in italics or bold). But you can always add this later, within the WordPress editor itself.

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You can add video or image content by clicking the Add Media button.

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This will open up a dialogue box. The Upload Files tab (to which the page defaults) allows you to access the upload area of the box:

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Here, you can add media by either dragging files into the box or finding them on your computer with the Select Files button. These files will be saved under the Media Library tab for future use. If you want to add external content, including videos and images, click on Insert from URL in the left-hand column and add the URL. In the screenshot below, you can see how you might embed a video from YouTube:

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Creating content in a page works in almost the same way. You can add a new page using the Pages tab in the left-hand menu:

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Alternatively, you can go to the black toolbar at the top of the screen, then hover over + New and choose Page from the drop-down menu:

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Comments are written by your readers, but you can manage them by clicking on Comments in the left-hand menu of the main WordPress Admin Panel. This will give you a list of comments that have been sent by readers.

If a new comment arrives on your site, it will not be published immediately—you have to approve it first. It will not surprise you to learn that most comments on WordPress are spam; however, we have spam filters installed on MLA Commons. This should take care of the worst of it, but you can delete any spam messages or mark them as spam.

If you place your cursor over any comment on the list, you’ll see a set of options appear below the preview of the comment’s text. This is where you can Approve a comment, Trash it, or mark it as Spam. After you approve a comment it will be published at the bottom of the corresponding post or page.

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