by Abigail Carter
Getting used to the WordPress posting menu can take a little practice. Not everyone finds it all that intuitive. Here is the “Add New Post” screen:
Step 1: Create a title for your post.
There is a lot of wisdom out on the Internet about how to title your blog posts to attract the most readers. Lists are very popular (“5 tips to…” or “10 things you need to know about…”). I won’t go into a lot of that here, but CopyBlogger is a great website for how to write great blog posts.
Step 2: Get to know the formatting options.
If you hover over each of the symbols, they will tell you what they are. I have indicated in the image below where your blog title goes, where the post goes, and the arrow shows where the formatting options are. If you can’t see the lower row of symbols when you first open “Add Post”, click the “Toggle Toolbar” symbol.
You will see in the top right hand corner of the post window two tabs: “Visual” and “Text.” Visual allows you to see your post *almost* the way it will appear once it’s published. Not everything will be the same however. There will often be extra spaces that don’t appear in your post window but that do appear in your Preview. This will just take practice to go back and forth and fix the little formatting issues that crop up.
The “Text” menu is for people who know a little bit of HTML. If you do and you have extra spaces, you can go in and find them in the HTML code and remove them that way. It can be handy to see the code to see exactly what’s going on, but no worries if you don’t know HTML, just stick to the “Visual” tab.
In the next image, I have used each of the formats that are available with most templates. Some templates have additional formatting tools. Try them all out, and then click “preview” in the top right corner to see what they all look like. You don’t have to save the post.
Step 3: Add Media
Above the formatting menu you will see the “Add Media” button. Begin by placing your curser in the spot that you would like your image to appear. Click the “Add Media” button. This is the screen you will see:
Sometimes you will want to add an image that is already in your media library. You will see each of those images as thumbnails under the tab “Media Library.” Next to that is a tab called “Upload Files.” Most of the time you will click this link which will prompt you to either drag and drop your photo, are select a file from your computer or cloud files.
There are various options you can set for your photo:
Set the caption:
This will create a caption that will appear below the photo.
Set the alternative text:
This is text that will appear if someone hovers their mouse over the image. It’s a very nice habit to set the “alt” text, as it is very helpful for people who are blind who use the Internet using voice software.
You can set your image to align left, center or right.
WP will usually pre-set your image to the “medium” size, but you can make it smaller, or larger or use the original size of the image.
Here are the options and what they mean:
- Media file: This will link your photo directly to the image on your WordPress site.
- Attachment page: This will create a link within your WordPress site so that when a person clicks on the image, they will be taken to a page with the largest version of the image and nothing else.
- Custom URL: This is where you can set your image to link to another site. Add the URL in the box below the dropdown.
- None: This will make your image un-clickable.
There is also an advanced menu. Here you can get an image to open in a new browser tab or add CSS styling to your image. These are fairly advanced options, so I won’t get into them here.
Editing your image
Under the image, you will see two buttons: “Edit Original” and “Replace.” They are both pretty self explanatory, but in the Edit Original menu, you can flip, rotate, crop, scale and set which sized images you want to make the changes to. In WordPress 3.9, I still haven’t found the old “border” menu, which allowed me to add or remove a border. This was handy when trying to push text away from the images. Hope they bring that option back.
Hopefully, I haven’t overwhelmed you with information. The trick is to play around and see what happens when you click different things. If you get stuck, just do a Google search on your problem. There are thousands of links and videos out there to help you. And like anything, with practice, this will become easier and easier.
Continue with my author website series: