WordPress Finesse

Greetings CRRA community,

We have been working on updating the blog and are in the process of adding new information in an effort to make it more user-friendly.  With this in mind, we felt it might be helpful to share our findings, what we learned about WordPress, with you, as you may find the information useful now or at some point in the future.  Feel free to share this information with colleagues, family and friends.

In this posting, we will present information on the following topics:

  1. Adding the “more tag” in blog posts
  2. Creating and displaying categories for blog posts
  3. Antedating blog posts
  4. Formatting a blog’s side bar

As an aside, please note that all the information pertains to blogs operated using the WordPress system. 

Adding the “More Tag”

The “more tag” is a very useful tool in blog posts.  Using the “more tag” will help to make your blog page look cleaner and sleeker and allow your readers to easily access the information they need.  Additionally, the “more tag,” allows users to quickly browse the most recent posts.

WordPress defines the “more tag” as a “tag that breaks a post into ‘teaser’ and content sections. Type a few paragraphs, insert this tag and then compose the rest of your post. On your blog’s home page you will see only those first paragraphs with a hyperlink ((more…)), which when followed displays the rest of the post’s content.”  The “more tag” is considered a QuicktagQuicktags are displayed in the tool bar at the top of the draft of your new post.  The “more tag” can be inserted at any point in your post.  Also, you can go back and edit previous posts and insert the “more tag” wherever it is most useful and then update the piece.

An example has been provided here.  Click this link and it will lead you to the rest of the content. 

For additional information, consult these links:

  1. http://codex.wordpress.org/Customizing_the_Read_More#Designing_the_More_Tag
  2. http://codex.wordpress.org/Write_Post_SubPanel#Quicktags

Categories for Blog Posts

Categorizing your blog posts is an easy process and it will help your readers to search for the information they want/need.  Follow these steps to create categories for your posts:

  1. On your blog home-page, locate the “Post” category on the left hand side menu.  In that menu, there is an option for “categories.”  Select “categories.”
  2. On the page that appears, you will be given the option to “Add New Category.”
  3. Determine the name for the category and type it in the selected field.
  4. You can then select a “Parent” category, should you desire that the categories have a hierarchy.
  5. Finally, you have the opportunity to provide a description for the category.  Add the description if you feel the category name needs further clarification.
  6. Once all these fields have been created, click the “Add New Category” button at the bottom of the page.  The new category will then appear in the categories list on the right hand side of the page.

With your category names created, you can then begin to categorize your posts.  Once you have composed a new post and are ready to publish the post, look on the right hand side of the “Add New Post” page and there will be a section titled “Categories.”  There, you can select the appropriate category for the post.  If you desire, you can publish the post in multiple categories.  Once this step is completed, you are ready to publish your new, categorized post!

Consult the following link for additional information:

  1. http://www.siteground.com/tutorials/wordpress/wordpress_category.htm

 Antedating Blog Posts

On occasion, you may wish to add something additional to your blog that corresponds to a previous post or create a post about something that happened months or years in the past. Blog posts are antedated in an effort to archive older information or past happenings in their appropriate sequence.  For example, if you would like to include a blog post for an event that happened in September 2012, but do not antedate the post, it will appear on the front page of the blog, as though it happened recently in March 2013.

WordPress automatically assigns blog posts the date of which the post is created.   However, backdating the post is very easy in WordPress.  Once you have created a new post and added your content, there is a section titled “Publish” on the right hand side of the “Add New Post” page.  In this section, publishing information is listed.  Likely, you will see “Publish immediately” listed.  There is an edit option next to this statement.  Select the edit option and you will be able to either future or backdate the publication.  Hence, it is easy to add information from earlier months or years.  Or, you can work ahead and add information that you would like to appear on the blog in the future.

Formatting a Blog’s Main Sidebar

The sidebar of the blog contains essential information that can help the site visitors navigate the blog.  The information on the sidebar can be changed and updated at any point.  In order to make changes, click the “appearance” tab on the left hand side of the Dashboard page.  Under the “appearance” tab, select the “widgets” option.  The widgets, which “add content and features to your sidebars,” can be edited or changed at any point.  Some possible widget options include: search, categories, navigation, etc.  In order to activate a widget, simply drag the desired widget from the section titled “Available widgets” on the left-hand side of the page to the desired sidebar location on the right-hand side of the page.  You can place widgets in the main sidebar section or at the footer or header of your blog page.   WordPress also conveniently shows all the widgets that are currently unused at the bottom of the page.  Feel free to experiment with different widgets to see which options work best for you and your readers.

We found this link to be helpful: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Widgets

We hope this information has been helpful.  We have learned more about blog management in this process and look forward to the opportunity to continue to update the blog and make it more user-friendly.  Any suggestions or comments about our changes or ideas for further changes are most welcome.

Thank you!  Happy Spring!