WordPress posts – 15 things a beginner needs to know when creating WordPress posts


This is a basic introduction to creating a post in WordPress highlighting 15 points of note in the admin area that you should be familiar with as soon as possible. Some are quite self explanatory and of course some need a bit more explanation. I have started out by highlighting the essential three in red and following on from there.

Use the graphic to help guide you through the areas in WordPress so you can begin creating effective posts just click it to open a larger version.

Wordpress posts   15 things a beginner needs to know when creating Wordpress posts

1. Title of your post

Title tags are probably the most important thing to begin with when creating a wordpress post. The title of your post is important for two main reasons, one technical and the other in terms of perception.

Technically the post will be ranked on Google depending on what words are used in the title so you should consider the content of the post with this in mind and title it accordingly to help the information reach people who will be interested in it by ranking naturally on search engines.

The second point is perception. The title should be interesting as well because its being read by real people, never forget that, so it needs to describe the post clearly but also make it interesting enough that the reader wants to read more.

2. Tags in a wordpress post

Tags are a great way for people to find something interesting in your posts.  Tags are a simple way of highlighting single keywords or key phrases what your post is about and in essence are actually links to a list of relevant posts or a single post which uses that particular tag.

Many blogs use tags clouds and you will notice that some words are larger than others.  This happens because the posts that have been “tagged” with the same word grow that word and make it more prominent than other tags within the cloud. Dont fall into the trap of over tagging or spam tagging, it won’t help you rank and it wont help your visitors, but it depends on the length of the post and its context. As a rule of thumb you should probably never need to tag more than 10 words or phrases and you should never have zero tags.

Tags need to be carefully selected to reflect the content you write about and be relevant!

3. WordPress Categories for your post

You would think this is a pretty simple thing but categories can be a pain if its not clear what category your post should fall under.  Never fear however, posts can be added to more than one category.  Again, like tags, you should NOT add posts to all the categories, that’s just lazy and makes the post irrelevant and on the flip side its really annoying to see lots of posts in the “uncategorised” default category.

Try and control the number of categories you have as well, decide in advance what you want to write about and focus on and build on the categories that way, it will definitely save you headaches later on.

Categories can also have sub-categories, so for example you may have a category called music and subcategories called Jazz, Blues, Rock, Dance and so on all within the main parent category.  Its meant to be logical but can get out of control if you fail to plan ahead!

4. Add an Image/Media to your wordpress post

These four little buttons allow you to upload or add an image, a video file or music file into your post.  Its pretty simple process and has a range of options depending on what medium your using that I wont go into here.  Don’t confuse this with adding a video to a post from Vimeo or Youtube though, thats a different process which is explained in detail on the post WordPress and Youtube.

5. WordPress WYSIWYG (wizzywig)

The WordPress WYSIWYG editor, like most CMS nowadays, allows for some flexability when writing a post but isnt without its little bugs.

This is where you get down to the business of actually writing up your post. Depending on what view you have chosen, either Visual or HTML, you will have different sets of options to help you on your way. See Number 11 in this list for more details on these two options.

Most folks will use the Visual option as it allows them to see how the post will appear in the final version, more or less. The structure and layout of your posts is very important to both search engines and especially to your visitor but I will go into detail about semantic mark-up and formatting on a post in the future or you can read this cracking post about semantic markup in posts by Joost de Valk.


The points 6 through 10 are the default sections you will see in wordpress.  As you add more plugins and develop the blog more sections may appear or if your theme has a specific requirement it may also require some additional actions.  Most of these new sections are explained in the relevant or provided documentation or are elaborated on with a footnote.

6. WordPress Excerpts of a post

WordPress excerpts are only used on some themes that require you to show..well..an exert or if you have decided via wordpress settings to force exerts on the homepage.  Whatever information you put in there will possibly be displayed on your homepage in the form of a paragraph followed by a “Click here to read more” link, or something similar, leading to the full post.

7. Send WordPress Trackbacks

WordPress Trackbacks are a way of notifying other blog platforms that you have linked to them or referenced them in a post. If the other blog is a wordpress blog this happens automatically, its called a ping back, and a large proportion of blogs are wordpress so you might never actually use this. Its worth knowing what it does though. Pingbacks need to be activated to function and can be disabled if you wish, but I would suggest you keep it on.

To enable pinging URLs in the blog entry, make sure there is a check mark next to “Attempt to notify any Weblogs linked to from the article (slows down posting.)” in the “Options->Discussion” section of the WordPress admin panel and your done.

8. WordPress Custom Fields

WordPress Custom Fields allow us to add extra features to a post, or a list of predefined functions that you do on a regular basis.  Some blogs will require the custom fields section to be used, so make sure you know what the actions are and how to utilise them. Most themes will support this with notes or instructions in some form or fashion so some searching about may be required but some also have this feature well integrated and you may never do or manually manipulate a custom field in the whole lifetime of your blog. If your a beginner, leave this to the experts!

9. Discussion of your post

This section is very simple.  It will contain two options (usually) in the form of tick boxes and is quite self explanatory.

Allow comments on this post
Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this post

It is very unusual to UNTICK these boxes so leave them ticked unless you have a very specific reason to disallow comments or pingbacks and trackbacks.

10. Post Author

This allows you to assign the current post to a particular Author on your blog (if you have more than one author).  If your blog is a single author blog it will automatically be assigned to the account you have signed in on.

11. Visual or HTML mode

In the wordpress content panel (wysiwyg editor) you will notice these two tabs for visual and HTML views.  Most of your content will be wrote in the visual view but you may find it necessary to switch to the HTML view to add some embed code for a youtube video and edit its dimensions, for example. Unless your doing something quite specific it probably wont be necessary to use HTML view as the content area is well supported with insert and formatting icons to faciliatate the beginner.

12. Save Draft

Self explanatorty really. If your writing a post and dont wish to publish it to the site yet, you can save a draft version allowing you to edit the post again later or complete it at a later date.

13. Preview

Want a quick look at your wordpress post before you publish it?  Hit Preview to open a new tab and see how it looks in the final version.

14. Post details

This section details some pertinent information about your post and contains three points.

Status: The current status of the post, is it still a draft, or has it been published.

Visibility: The post can be made public, meaning it appears to all on the front of the site or it can be private allowing access to particualr people with a password and alternatively you can make the post only visible to other admins on the site.

15. Publish your wordpress post

The publish button is the final stage of every post.  Once you hit publish all your work will be pushed to the front of the blog and is available for all to read and consider.  Just make sure you do a spell check and a final edit and review before you hit the blue button!  You can of course edit the post after you publish it, but its always nice to have a good post with proper spelling first time round.

Get posting on wordpress!

So thats that, hope it helps make the post admin panel a little more approachable first time round, so dive in, play around, have some fun and get posting!

In case you want more depth and details on the different areas of wordpress here is the official wordpress breakdown on this very same admin panel I have detailed above.  The post I have wrote is a more simplified version for beginners so if you want more check out the more advanced wordpress description of the wordpress post admin.

For further information about the whole wordpress administration area have a read at this post about the wordpress administration panels, again on the official wordpress support site.

40 essential tips for wordpress blogs – Joost De Valk


Although its been a few weeks I had the pleasure of seeing Joost de Valk present at the a4uexpo in Amsterdam on 40 essential tips for wordpress blogs just this April past.

His session focused on optimising your wordpress blogs and a prominent part was ensuring that it was able to load quickly for visitors but also factors such as SOE, maintenance and analytics.

Slow loading sites can serious reduce your visitors experience as patience is definitely not a virtue online and its about time I addressed the points he raised. The other tips are definitely worth reviewing and applying although all the recommendations might not be applicable to your own blog depending on what your coding ability is or what plugins and features you may already have implemented.

If its easier, here’s the list of recommend pages and plugins included on the slide show to help make sure your wordpress blog is running at full capacity.

Making your WordPress Blog FAST

Slide 19: Install WP Super Cache with Gzip enabled

Slide 20: Move .htaccess directives to your server config (if possible) and disable .htaccess parsing. (what the hell is this? dont ask me how to do it, pay someone who knows.)

Slide 21: Combine CSS files into one big CSS file, same goes for Javascript which should be loaded in the footer.

Slide 22: Use CSS Sprites (see your developer if you dont know what this is).

Slide 23: Add a PHP opcode Cahce – pick one, all are better than having none. (see slide 20 for instructions in how to deal with this)

Slide 24: Kill some plugins…and try and replace them with similar ones, some plugins are god awful.

Slide 25: Still slow?  Switch to better hosting: http://www.westhost.com/blog-yoast.html (that’s an affiliate link for Joost, so if your gonna purchase hosting use it, I’m sure he would appreciate it and he kinda deserves it even though he owes me a beer).

Adding SEO to your WordPress Blog

Slide 27: Set Pretty Permalinks – Why do people still forget this?

Slide 28: Switch Blog name and Post Title – the format should be post title – blog name

Slide 29: Give Robots Directions – Noindex wp-admin, login and register pages etc. Try Joosts Meta Robots Plugin.

Slide 30: Write better Titles – Use HeadSpace2 or even All in one SEO.

Slide 31: Write Good Meta Descriptions – If you don’t, do NOT auto generate them.

Slide 32: Create Proper Pagination using wp-pagenavi by Lester Chan, f/i

Slide 33: Diasbale paged Comments… they suck.

Slide 34: Read and Implement everything in my (Joost’s) WordPress SEO Guide

Maintaining your WordPress Blog

Slide 36: Backup your database every few hours. Use Lester Chans WP-DBManager plugin.

Slide 37: Optimise your database every day using the same plugin.

Slide 38: Backup your files every day. Use WordPress Backup.

Slide 39: Check your queries. Use the debug queries plugin to check for plugins gone mad.

Slide 40: Run Askimet. Kill those spam comments.

Slide 41: Check the referrers for comments.  (Click the WP plugins Tab)

Slide 42: Remove those nonsense widgets. Technocrati rank? Well…OK. Blog Value Widget: = Nonsense.

Slide 43: Track your uptime. Use pingdom, or another tool. But be the first to know when your blog is down. (and address it immediately)

Slide 44: Check 404’s. Use the 404 notifier plugin and fix them using the redirection plugin.

Slide 45: Remove unnecessary META info.


// Remove Really simple discovery link
remove_action( ‘wp_head’, ‘rsd_link’ );
// Remove Windows Live Writer Link
remove_action( ‘wp_head’, ‘wlwmanifest_link’ );
// Remove  the version number
remove_action( ‘wp_head’, ‘wp-generator’ );

Making your WordPress Blog Social

Slide 47: Allow and encourage people to submit (share) your content. Use socialable, dammit :)

Slide 48: Doing newsletters? Add a refer to a friend button the the Thank You page.

Slide 49: Or use my(Joost’s) Comment Redirect plugin, and add the refer a friend there!  ^^

Slide 50: Use WP Greet Box, even useful on “normal” sites.

Slide 51: Make sure your comments are gravatar enabled.

Slide 52: Do the Twitter thing. Its an absurd traffic driver.

WordPress Blog Analytics

Slide 54: Use Google Analytic’s (and my*Joosts* Google Analytics plugin for it)

Slide 55: Use RSS link tagger

Slide 56: Track Twitter Traffic with Twitter Traffic Plugin

Slide 57: Install Canonical URL’s so your analytics does’nt interfere wiuth your SEO.

Slide 58: Use comment redirect to track first time commenter’s

Slide 59: Track Comments as a goal! Use an onclick Javascript with a minor delay.

Slide 60: Track RSS subscribers the same way.

Slide 61: Start optimising: Which traffic leads to more subscribers? (and yes that means forgetting about Digg).

Slide 62: Use my(Joost’s) blog metrics plugin. Improve yourself each month!

And to round it all of, heres the actual presentation itself.
*Joost, next time, make it 20 tips will you?  This took me bloody ages.
40 essential tips for wordpress blogs   Joost De Valk

Canonical URL Plugin for WordPress


Canonical URL Plugin for WordpressI think  bloggers will be very interested to read about the new canonical tag and the plugin developed by Joost de Valk now available to download and installable ahead of time!

As per usual Joost has been on the ball and ahead of the game in explaining the reasons for and the solution to canonical issues and again provides us with this cool little plugin so instead of waffling on about it I will pass you over to him so you can read and download his new Canonical Plugin for Woordpress.

Also by doing this it means I can get back to installing it…stop reading this and go get it. (And while your there make sure and leave him a nice comment, he gets all giddy over things like that.)