Okay, you’ve made yourself a WordPress account, asked and received an invite from the moderating team, and are now a fresh-faced and dewy-eyed author on The Avocado! So how the heck do you make a post?!
First things first. We need to log in to WordPress. This may seem painfully obvious, but a lot of the problems you might encounter using the site can be solved by simply logging out and back in again, in the same way clearing out your cookies will fix most issues when it comes to commenting on Disqus.
Let’s begin on the Home Page of the site. There are two ways to access this. After logging in, when you visit The Avocado you will see a WordPress ribbon along the top of the page where you can click on My Site.
The second way is to go directly to the Admin Panel. This page includes many quick access options not readily available on the Home Page, including the ability to see your past posts and clone them (we’ll take a look at how to clone posts here). This panel also allows you to delete drafts as needed.
You can find the Admin Panel at this link.
You should try accessing the site via both methods, to find which one feels more intuitive for you personally. Right now, let’s take a look at the site’s Home Page.
On the left you can see various links to different parts of the site. Some sections and tools may only be available to administrators.
Clicking on the Posts button will allow you to view all the posts that have been Published (Well over 20,000 so far!), Draft Posts, Scheduled Posts, and Binned Posts. On the top right corner of the page you can see the Write button, next to your avatar (Where you can edit your personal account), and the alert button (The bell icon, which will alert you if anyone has liked or commented on any of your posts).
To create a new post, you can click on Write, or the Add New Post button.
A new, pristine post is created, ready and waiting for all your brilliant thoughts and musings!
Let’s begin with the bar on the right side of the page. Here’s some screenshots of the different options you’ll see as you scroll through it:
We’ll start with the Post tab. This is where you can change all the settings related to how the post will look when it’s published. Under Status & Visibility you can set the post to Public or Private (Keep it set public of course, or no one will see it!). You can also set the date and time that you want your post to be published. When you create a new page, it will be set to publish immediately, so this is what we should set first. Clicking on Immediately will open the calendar window.
Important to remember: this clock is on Eastern Standard Time!
Here we are creating a Day Thread for 22 December 2022, so we’ll set the publishing time to 11:00AM (Open Threads are always 11AM/PM) It’s good practice to check this carefully, because WordPress will automatically set the time to AM when you start to change it.
Scrolling down we can set the Post Format. We can choose to Stick the post to the top of the blog or set it to Pending Review. Depending upon your author privileges you may not have these options, so don’t worry if you don’t see them. Next we can change the Permalink of the page if necessary. This will default to the title of your post when you publish it.
Next we have the Categories section. Here we can choose what to categorise our page. As we’re creating a Day Thread, the correct category is Open Thread. Next we can choose which Tags to add to the post. The box will autofill with suggestions as you write. For this post we should tag it as the Day Thread. It’s important to remember to tag your page correctly so everyone will be able to find it!
Finally, we can choose the Featured Image. We can pick something that is already on the site, upload a new image, or Feature an image by URL. Clicking on Set Featured Image will bring up the Media window.
Media space for the site is limited, so consider if you can link to an image first. Otherwise, think about the size of the image you are uploading and what format it is saved as. And please be mindful of adding unnecessary images! Are you creating a weekly feature that will have the same featured image every week? Then there’s no need to upload it more than once. The original will be waiting patiently for you in the media library like an adorable puppy made up of pixels.
Here are some other guidelines regarding images:
- It’s best not to use animated GIFs as featured images as they can affect anyone viewing the page on mobile phones. Moreover, the site admins won’t pin posts that have animated featured images. (Pinned posts are posts that appear at the top of the homepage with a little thumbtack icon.)
- In Open Threads please use a Gallery or Slideshow block if you want to include more than two images.
- It’s a good idea to save your images with descriptive names so they can be easily found later. Or you might want to save them with your username somewhere in the title.
Let’s search for “avocado” and see what images are in the library:
When you upload an image, you can choose to Edit it. You can add a caption or alt text, or change the size or orientation using the tools available. When you’re happy with the image, click Insert!
Now we’re ready to move from Post to Block. We can write our title and add in our text. On the right side of the screen you can change the text whichever way you want in the Typography toolbar.
It’s time to grapple with BLOCKS! Sometimes it can be a piece of cake, and sometimes it can be frustrating. Adding, removing, and rearranging blocks can take a little bit of practice to get used to. Let’s add a new block by clicking on the box with the Plus sign. A window will open where you can choose what kind of block you want to insert: a new paragraph, an image, a link to an Instagram post, a Tweet, or whatever you want! Another way to do this is to simply start writing to automatically begin a new paragraph, or typing / to choose a block.
Let’s add a YouTube link:
A YouTube URL block will be inserted into the body of your post.
Simply copy and past the URL for the YouTube video and it will embed:
On the top right of the page we have three options: Save as Draft, Preview, and Publish (Or Schedule if you’re posting at a future date and time). You can check to see if you’re happy with everything by opening up the preview window, or save your post for later. We’ll click Preview to make sure everything looks spiffy:
Sweet! Our Day Thread is complete, so we can click Close, and then Schedule.
Here we make sure everything is set correctly. We can also change the wording of the Tweet that will be posted by the Avocado’s account (@AvocadoDotOrg). Do you want to link to your personal account, or tag in anyone you’d like to see your post, or simply include some hashtags to get some more eyes on it? Go right ahead! Or if you don’t want to send out a Tweet at all, just click the slider to “Off”.
Press Publish and voila. A window will pop up to let you know you have successfully created your post. Well done you! If you want to make sure it’s set correctly, navigate back to the Posts page. Click on the Scheduled list and scroll down to find your post. Confusingly, the time will appear here in your timezone, not the site’s timezone. WORDPRESS! This can trip you up so don’t panic if you need to change it. By clicking on those three dots on the right hand side of the post, you can enter Edit mode again whenever you want and make any changes. Don’t forget to click Update when you’re done.
Let’s view the page via the Admin Panel:
This interface is handy because it allows you to make quick edits to your page without opening it. By hovering over the title we’re also given options including Clone and New Draft.
Clicking Clone will create a duplicate post and will not open the duplicate post in the post editor. It will be saved in the Drafts tab. Clicking on New Draft will copy the post and open it in the post editor, so you can start working on it right away.
Woo! You’ve taken your first steps into a larger world. As you no doubt noticed as we went through the steps, there’s a lot of tabs and windows you can use for further customisation, so take your time and learn at your own pace, and soon you’ll be a WordPress master. And don’t forget, if you run into trouble or get confused, don’t hesitate to ask for help. The Mods are always available via our email address.
If you would like to learn more, here are some links to further guides:
Looking for the latest guide for Block editor? Click here