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Add or Modify Posts, Pages or Custom Content

This page will cover the basics of adding or modifying content in WordPress. There are a few components that may or may not be built into your theme which are covered on other pages here.

The Post and Page edit screens are almost identical. Also, some custom content types will be very similar as well. Whether you’re adding new content or changing an existing piece, the steps will almost be the same.

To add a new Page or Post:

  1. Click Page or Post in the sidebar, then Add New
  2. First, give the content piece a descriptive title. This is typically used as both the on-page title that people see as well as the page meta title (used by search engines) and in the link that’s created. Make sure it’s succinct, to the point, contains any relevant keywords, and is spelled correctly!
  3. If you hit Tab to go to a new field or click the content editor, WordPress will create the link for you and make a few other changes to the page. If you’d like to change the link that is created, click the Edit button next to the link, just below the title field. Make sure you only use letters, numbers, underscores, and dashes here or else you could have routing problems. Keep it short and click Ok when you’re done

To edit an existing Page or Post:

  1. Click PageĀ  or Post in the sidebar
  2. Look for the content piece you’d like to edit and click its title
  3. You’ll now be on the edit screen and can continue with the steps below

Components of the Edit screen

You may or may not be using all WordPress Screen Options tabof these pieces on your site. We’ll start in the main, middle column, then move on to the options on the right. If a particular component covered below is not visible, click the Screen Options tab on the top right and make sure to select the appropriate option.

I should note, some of these boxes can be rearranged so the order listed below may not match your site. Also, some plugins and themes add additional boxes which may not be covered here. I’ll indicated if something isn’t part of the core WordPress install so that you can keep everything straight.

  1. The Title field is the first text field at the top. This is human-readable text that is likely displayed on the page itself. It’s also parsed and used for the URL so length is a factor.
  2. Just below that, for most content types, is the Permalink (or “slug” or “page name”). This is generated automatically from your title and should not be changed once the page is published.
  3. Just above the editor box is the Upload/Insert link. This opens the file manager for this content type and can be used to upload images, documents, and other files. This page covers how to insert an image into your content. This page covers how to manage images that are already uploaded to your post or page.
  4. The main Editor box is usually used to enter the content to a page or post. The post editor will be covered in-depth later in this guide but it is generally straight-forward and functions like a word processor.
  5. Below the editor box is the Excerpt field. Some templates use this to show short blurbs of content on aggregation pages or in RSS fields. If there is nothing entered here, your template might grab the first part of the content in your post.
  6. Below that, you might find the Custom Fields box, covered in-depth here.
  7. Next, the Discussion box controls whether or not users can create content on this page. There are global settings for these under Settings > Discussion but you can also turn them on or off for each individual post or page.
  8. Next, the Comments box will show current comments for this content piece and allow you to manage them. Click here for more information on WordPress Comments.
  9. The Slug is the same as the URL field just below the title. If you change this for an existing piece of content, the URL will change and break any incoming or on-site links here. Make sure that this is a new page or that you put through a proper 301 redirect.
  10. The Author box allows you to choose a different author for the post or page (if there are several people contributing to the site).
  11. The Revisions box saves older versions of the post or page so that previous copies can be restored. This works well if someone inadvertently makes a change to the page and needs to roll it back. Keep in mind, this isn’t considered a real “backup” simply because it is in the same database as the rest of the content. More about backups will be covered later.
  12. On the top right, you will find the Publish box, which contains a few important settings:
    1. The Save Draft button appears for unpublished pages and posts. If you’re not ready for this content piece to go live but don’t want to lose your work, click this button.
    2. Once saved, the Preview button becomes available to show you what the content piece will look like on the site. The link that is created cannot be viewed by someone who is not a user of the site.
    3. The Status tells us whether the page can be viewed or not. Draft and Pending Review indicates that the content is not live on the site. Published means that the content is live on the site.
    4. Visibility can be used to restrict who can see this content piece.
      • If it’s in a Published status, Public here means that anyone can view it(the “” checkbox means that it will stay at the top of any list that it appears in).
      • Password Protected allows you to save a password for this content piece and users will need to have this password to view the content.
      • Private means that you need to be a registered and logged-in user to view this content.
    5. Near the bottom of this box, the Publish field with the calendar icon allows you so set a future date for publishing content or to move the content to a past date (which can change the order it’s listed in). Keep in mind that changing a currently published piece of content to a future publish date will unpublish that content and take it off of the site (breaking any current incoming links) until that date.
    6. The Update or Publish button (depending on the current status) saves all the changes made to this content piece.
    7. The Move to Trash button removes the content piece from the site (it will stay in Trash for 30 days so you can recover it if needed)