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The post editor in WordPress, overview
2010 . May . 10
Sherwin Arnott

If you’re publishing your first post in WordPress, the editor interface can be a little overwhelming. There are a lot of buttons. And you can ignore most of the buttons most of the time. But you can’t ignore all of the buttons, all of the time. And in order to break it down into steps for you, we’ve identified three tiers of buttons: red are most important to get started, yellow buttons are important for creating more interesting content, and blue buttons make you a jedi knight of WordPress.

This is meant only as an overview to give you a birds eye view of your editor interface. If you click the image below, you get a larger view of the map. This map of the interface also assumes that you have administrator or editor status. If you have a lesser status, then some of these options might not be available to you.

The post editor in WordPress, overview

Buttons marked with red numbers

  1. Titles are important for search optimization, so it’s generally best to go with descriptive, utilitarian, context creating titles. Some folks suggest that you pretend you’re a newspaper editor. Avoid titles that make sense to an audience of one.
  2. Content goes here. Type it in. Text is the prince of content. Well written text is king. Write what you know. If you need to paste your text in, see yellow#7.
  3. This is where you select a category or categories for your posts to go in. Categories help you organize your posts, and they help your audience get context and search for your material.
  4. Tag your content with the key terms that occurs in the content of your post. If you’re writing about racism in Victoria, don’t tag your post with “race” – it’s too broad. The more specific your tags are, the more functional they will be for organizing your content and helping readers search and find your posts.
  5. This is very controversial to include as a red button. All in One SEO Pack is not a core feature of WordPress, but we use it so often, and we get so many questions about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that we thought we might as well include it here. Key words go here. Post description goes here. You don’t need to fill it out, but if you do, you’re a rock star and you’re helping people to find your material on the world wide web. Just open up these options by clicking the little arrow on the far right of the box and there you go.
  6. This is where you would save your work as a draft in case you’re not ready to publish your post just yet.
  7. This is the button you push to make your post go public. Don’t worry, you can unpublish and edit your posts. Not that you’ll need to.

Buttons marked with yellow numbers

  1. This is the Show Kitchen Sink icon that helps you to see both rows of icons.
  2. This is the HTML and visual editor toggle switch – we have a post on it here.
  3. This is the text style selector. Put your cursor on a paragraph and change the style of that paragraph with this selector. Most of the time you can leave it on Paragraph, but if you’ve broken up your article into sections with headers, then you might want to use the Header 2 selection (don’t use header 1, since the post title is header 1) or even the header 3 selection.
  4. These Upload/Insert buttons allow you to upload photos, pdfs, and even audio and video although you will probably never use it for audio or video. We will have a post on uploading and inserting images here (soonish).
  5. These buttons allow you to make ordered (numbered) and unordered (bulleted) lists.
  6. The Blockquote button allows you to quickly style a paragraph of text as a quote.
  7. These are the Paste from Word and Paste as Plain Text buttons that allow you to cut and paste text into your website without making a mess. We say more about this here.

Buttons marked with blue numbers

  1. This is sometimes called the thumbnail option. Not everyone uses this. If you have thumbnail images show up with excerpts of your posts on your home page, this is where you select the image to associate with those excerpts.
  2. If you want to turn commenting off (or on) of a particular post, you can do this here.
  3. If your website uses excerpts, this area give you manual control over the excerpt. Excerpts are normally pulled automatically from the beginning of your post. But sometimes you will want to create an excerpt (aka a teaser) that gives more information about the article, is more keyword laden for search engine optimization and gives more context for your readers.
  4. This option gives you control over the date and time of publication. You can future date it, if you want to schedule the post to come out next week. Pretty awesome.
  5. These options allow you to password protect a post or make it viewable to anyone that’s logged in.
  6. This option allow you to set a post to Pending Review, as a way of signaling other editors to review your post before publication.
  7. Change the author of the article here.
  8. Review, approve, trash or even edit your comments here.
  9. This option lets you revert back to an older version of the post. Yes, WordPress keeps a history of every version of your post. Cool, yes.