In the previous two posts we looked at creating a basic but professional looking website template using WordPress.
I want to follow on with a quick tutorial on adding content to your blank shell. One of the reasons WordPress is a great Content Management System for those who have little web programming experience is that once your basic shell is set up, adding content is no more difficult than sending emails or creating a word processor document.
So let’s get started – the first decision we need to make is whether we’re going to add a Page or a Post.
Pages Or Posts?
I covered this briefly in the previous two articles. Basically WordPress uses the term ‘Page’ to designate a static web page. It only changes if you edit it. But a ‘Post’ is the term WordPress uses for a new entry in the ‘blog’ section of your website.
When you create and publish a new post it automatically appears as the most recent ‘post’ on the page you designated to have ‘blog’ posts – and all the older posts get pushed down the hierarchy by one post.
I’ll show you this in more detail in a moment.
So let’s start with a Page. Let’s take the ‘About’ Page and go create some ‘About’ Information.
Creating The About Page
If we go to our Dashboard and click on the Pages Menu you should see the 7 pages we created in the previous lesson. Then we click on the ‘About’ page and we’ll get the following screen:
This is where you can enter your content. Now there’s actually already some default text there – this is the text that starts with the words ‘This is an example of a WordPress page….’
This is text that WordPress adds as a default on the first installation.
To enter text for our about page all we have to do is highlight the default text, press backspace to delete it, and then start typing.
Here’s a screenshot of the page with some text entered in:
Now in the previous Lesson we ‘published’ this page to our test website. To make our changes visible we need to press the blue ‘Update’ button. And then if we hit the ‘View Page’ button we can see what it actually looks like. And it’s something like this:
Now that was pretty simple, if you had better text obviously it would read much more like the kind of web pages you see on the old Interwebz. But let’s say your ‘About’ Page text takes you 15 minutes to write, well you just hit the ‘Update’ button and it’s live on your website.
It really is that simple.
What About Formatting? Bold? Italics?
Formatting is just as simple with WordPress as with whatever word processor document you’re familiar with. Or email program for that matter.
In the Dashboard area where you are entering your content there is a row of buttons that looks like this:
To make something bold, simply highlight the words you want to have this effect and click the ‘B’ button. It’s the ‘I’ button to make something appear Italic.
You can also create bulleted text, numbered bullets, change the alignment, add links, spell check and most of the other features you’d associate with general ‘text formatting.’
One note – the version of WordPress you get at WordPress.com is a stripped down version and has less features than the version you would install yourself on your own hosted domain.
OK, before we finish up I just want to look at some posts and show you exactly how the blog feature works.
Adding Content To Posts
Adding content to Posts is identical to adding content to pages – except we use the ‘Posts’ menu.
As you can see, there is already a default post created – titled ‘Hello World.’ I’m going to leave that for the moment – here’s what that post looks like on the actual website we created:
To create a new post we simply return to the dashboard, press the ‘Posts’ button to reveal the Posts sub-menu. And then click on ‘New Post.
Here’s a screenshot of a new post I’ve created:
And if we press the blue ‘Publish’ button, and then click the view link we can see how it appears on the web site we created. Notice as this is a post how it pushes down the previous post….
That’s a basic introduction to creating content with WordPress. It’s very simple, as I’ve demonstrated. Of course there are some more features of WordPress; you can create hyper links, you can have different sized headings, you can add images, you can add audio, you can embed video from YouTube. And lots more.
This site isn’t a WordPress Tutorial site however – there are plenty of resources out there on the Interwebz that will teach you about WordPress. In fact one of the members of my Mastermind Group is working on a series of WordPress Tutorials for Small Business Owners at this moment – once she has completed it I’ll let you know. (And there will be more about Mastermind Groups soon as well….)
Go And Test It For Yourself
The easiest way to get to grips with WordPress and to see how easy it is to use and create a professional looking website is to go to www.wordpress.com and create a free blog for yourself. Then follow the tutorials I’ve posted and just have a play around with the features, see what you come up with.
One caveat though: if you are writing long posts, or your pages have a lot of content, I recommend that you create them in a different program and then copy and paste them to WordPress. The reason for this is that the Content Entry Window is quite small – and it gets annoying scrolling up and down in long posts or pages.
So go take WordPress for a test drive. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to use.