Using WordPress is quite easy. The only thing you have to understand is the difference between a "post" and a "page". We covered it in Step 5 but let's run through it again.
A 'post' is displayed on the main home page, a 'page' isn't. If you want everybody to see it, that's a post. If it's just some background info or side story that you're going to link to in the post, that's a page. Pages are automatically linked to on the sidebar unless you turn them off using the 'Exclude Pages' plugin. How many pages are displayed is determined by the theme.
If you want to change the order the pages are displayed on the sidebar (from alphabetical), use the 'Order' box when each page is in the editor. Lower numbers go first, and it doesn't accept decimals so be sure to give yourself plenty of room to expand. Make your first couple of pages '1', '5', '10', etc, so you can slip a page or two in between them later on.
The editor you're using is far, far better than the stock editor. It does, however, have a small bug or two, so if this is a serious endeavor on your part and you're going to be spending a lot of time behind the wheel, you might want to glance over this page.
Linking To A Post
To link to a post or page on your site:
- Open the post or page to be linked to. Click on the 'View Page' button. It'll open in a new window. Click in the address box and the whole thing should highlight. Hit Ctrl-C to copy the address to memory. Close the new window.
- Open the post you want the link on. Highlight the word(s) you want to be the link, then click on the 'Insert/Edit Link' button. Hit Ctrl-V to punch the permalink into the box, OK.
- Hit 'Save', click 'View Page' and test the link.
You'll notice that when you tested the link and went to the page, it stayed in the same browser window since you were linking to your own site. If you're linking to someone else's site ("off-linking"), you should open the page in a new browser window. In the editor's 'link' box, click on the 'Target' tab and set it to 'New Window'.
The 'Read More' Feature
This only works for posts, not pages. There's a 'More' button that puts a 'Continue reading…' link on the page to break up a long post. Readers will see the full post when they click on the link. What's on the 'more' page is called 'below the fold', the newspaper term.
What the 'more' phrase says is determined by the theme. To change it, you have to find the file it's in. Try inspecting the theme's "index.php" file first. It'll be in one of them.
If you want to link to a different page on your site and partways down it, you do that using an 'anchor'.
First, load the target page in the editor, click on it where you want the top of the page to be when the browser gets there, then click on the 'Anchor' button. Put in a short word signifying where it's going. It'll make a small 'Anchor' icon on the page where the cursor was.
Save the page, click on 'View Page' and copy the permalink in the browser's address box with Ctrl-C.
Now go to the main page, highlight the word(s) that will be the link, hit the 'Link' button and paste in the address. Put in a # at the end, followed by the anchor name. Like so:
Hit the 'Save' button, hit 'View Page' and test out the link. You can fine-tune how far it skips down the page by using cut & paste to move the 'Anchor' icon up or down.
Bug report: I had an anchor at the very beginning of a paragraph with a link to a site a few sentences in. While the link looked like a working link in the browser, it wouldn't work. I moved the anchor to the line above and the link worked fine, so keep it on its own line if there's a link in the paragraph.
It's not recommended you link to anchors on the same page, like those "back to top" links you see on long pages, as the browser's 'history' views it as a new page, and if someone starts hitting their 'Back' button, it's going to go back through all of those anchor points, very annoying. To use one on the same page, just put the # and the name of the anchor in the link box.
- On the editing pages you'll see a 'Visibility' option. This keeps posts, pages and links on the sidebar from being seen by anyone with the lowly default status of 'Subscriber'. There's a plugin called 'Exclude Pages' that will keep pages from being seen by anyone.
- If you want to change the date of the post, that's the little 'Edit' over on the right side. If you want to take a post temporarily offline, use the 'Published' area and change it to 'Draft'.
- If you're the hands-on type and plan on fussing and tweaking the site, you'll probably want to set up the SendTo feature to make editing HTML, PHP and CSS pages easier.
- The Search feature at the top of the 'Posts' and 'Pages' pages understands quote marks for exact matches. A search for 'your blog' (on this site) turns up any page with either 'your' or 'blog' on it, but a search for "your blog" only turns up pages with "your blog" on them.
- If you're putting a PayPal button on the site, read this.
All in all, WordPress is a very well thought-out program. I've used two other blog editors and both pale in comparison. They're all about the same when it comes to basic editing, but it's the extra control that WordPress offers (not to mention the themes and plugins) that really make it stand out.