By default, you have two primary ways to create content in WordPress: pages and posts. It’s important to understand these two elements and what they do for your website. Otherwise, you may inadvertently create a huge mess and have to spend time fixing various problems.
The Difference Between Pages and Posts to Create Content
Pages and posts are significantly different in the WordPress system. Although they use the same type of editor, the layout of what you do with these two components is separate.
Let me explain how these two sections work.
Creating a Page
Think of pages as “stationary” pieces of content. This means they are permanently located in one spot and don’t change. Unlike posts, where you would publish one as often as you’d like, pages are meant for more static purposes.
For example, a “page” is used to show an “About Us” area or display a contact form. You may also want to use a page to create an image gallery, resume, landing page for a product you’re selling or deliver a classified ads section.
From your WordPress dashboard, go to the Pages area and click, “Add New.”
Give your page a new title. For this tutorial, I’m going to make an “About Me” page.
Use the editor and add the content for your page. Using my example, I would add some information about myself and why I built the website.
You have two ways you can save your work: Save Draft and Publish. If you want to save the content but not show it to everyone yet, click the “Save Draft” button. This will let you come back at a later time and edit your page before it actually goes live.
When you’re ready for the page to show on your website, click the “Publish” button on the right.
Creating a Post
Posts are the bread and butter of a WordPress website. It’s the primary method in which you’ll create content for the readers. That’s because of the way WordPress assigns pages and posts and how themes will use them. For example, widgets that pull content from categories will not work on pages. This is because pages do not have categories…or tags for that matter.
Go to the Posts area and click, “Add New.”
Give your post a new title. This is similar to creating a page, but posts are more centered around daily content. It’s kind of like filling out a journal or diary. For this post, I am going to label it, “Why I Love Brush Tees.”
Use the editor screen for creating content regarding your title.
Just like pages, posts also have the option to save a draft or publish. This is personal preference, but I’m going to click the “Publish” button to post the content to the website because I am done writing it.
Understanding the WordPress Editor
The editing system in WordPress is split into two functions by default: Visual and Text. Knowing the difference between these to areas helps quite a bit when you create content. For one thing, some functions are easier to do in one or the other.
Let me explain.
The visual editor is usually the first panel you see to create content in pages and posts. It’s similar to a word processor program as in you have access to things like bold, italic, justify and adding links. However, this isn’t the only thing you can do in WordPress. For example, you can add the TinyMCE Advanced plugin to give yourself more tools in the visual editor.
In the visual editor, you get an idea of what your post or page will look like when it’s live. This means images, video, fonts and more are somewhat visible. However, certain themes may change the appearance and alignment when you create content.
Click the “Visual” tab to return to the visual editor if you’re using something else like the Text editor.
The text editor is ideal for those who know a bit about coding HTML or want to paste an embed code from site’s like YouTube. WordPress accepts HTML and will try to fix its own coding when you go back to the visual editor.
There’s nothing wrong with using the text editor to purely create content. In fact, it’s my preferred method only because I have control over the HTML on the post. Just keep in mind that you won’t have access to many of the visual editor tools such as alignment. Those kind of changes you will have to make yourself using HTML.
To access the editor, click the “Text” tab on the top right corner.
If you want to learn more about using HTML, I suggest visiting W3 Schools. It’s an easy way to learn HTML for free.
Only the Beginning
This is just the beginning of creating content in WordPress. To get the most out of the experience, you’ll need to learn how categories and tags work as well as using images. Before long, you’ll create content like a pro.
One of the highlights to WordPress is adding plugins to give your site more features. When it comes to creating content, these plugins are quite plentiful. You can find tools to expand your visual editor abilities, fine-tune your search engine optimization and add everything from product rating systems to Google maps.
One of my favorites is Yoast SEO. It helps teach you how to create content that is ideal for search engines.
I would suggest taking a look at the plugins WordPress has available, even if it’s just to get a few ideas. With more than 45,000 available, you can find something for just about any niche.
It takes more than just words to create content to engage an audience. You need to offer something more if you want to make the website memorable. And the right plugin could do just that.
One of the reasons WordPress is so popular is because it’s easy to customize. From installing a theme to adding new functions through plugins, you can create nearly any kind of a site you want in WordPress. Explore what this application can do for you and customize the experience for yourself as well as your visitors.