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Lesson 7 – Part 5 – Create the Pages

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WordPress Categories

What we’re going to talk about next is how to create these pages in WordPress. Kim notes that she thinks one of the most difficult things to do is to figure out how to use categories. We are going to talk about categories in a couple of weeks in several sessions when we start adding the blog functionality to this but at the moment, we’re just going to talk about pages.

Actually, organizing your categories is going to be almost identical to the way you would organize pages. That is, you consider what material you’re going to present and then figure out how it can be organized into categories and sub categories like pages and subpages. I think that the best way to approach this is just to create an outline.

Page Outline

In fact, this is our page outline. If we look at our example here, we’ve got these main pages and a couple of the main pages have some subpages under them. When we get around to this, this Articles page is going to have some categories and those categories may have subcategories and inside each of those categories are subcategories that will be blog posts or articles.

But it all starts off with an outline and our outline is from our Homepage we have our Main pages, our Finished Products, Testimonials, Services, About and Articles. Inside a couple of them, we have subpages that’s where we’re going to start off right now. Working off this outline, we’re going to create our main pages. This is a very basic concept but this is where we’re going to start creating a new page.

So here we are, I’ve already logged in to my site. If we start from our dashboard side of the site, we would come over to Pages and say, “Add New”. Now, if this interface is not familiar to you, I encourage you to go back and look at Lesson 4 and Lesson 5 in the Start Building Your Website Here Series because in those lessons I talked about the basics of the WordPress interface. It’s a good idea for you to take a look at that if you’re not familiar with this because what I’m going to talk about now sort of assumes you’ve already done that.

Creating the Pages

We’ve come over here to Pages, and we’ll say, “Add New”. The first page we’re going to create actually is our Homepage and I’m just going to publish it. The next page I’m going to create, I’m going to say, “Add New” again and I’m going to create a Services page.

We’ll talk about how that should really be titled but for the moment we’re just going to create the pages. This is a process of evolution as we work our way through this. When we start talking about what the actual content of the pages should be we’ll refine things like our page title and that kind of thing.

So, we’re going to add a new one that we’re going to call Testimonials. Another new page called About us and then finally a new page called Finished Projects. If we look at our Edit Pages screen, we seem to have this group of newly created pages. The sample page was created automatically when WordPress was installed and all the rest of these pages are the pages that we have just created. It’s as simple as pressing, “Add New”, giving it a title and hitting “Save” and you would have created your page.

The next thing that we’re going to do is set up our Homepage. If you have watched the previous videos you’ll know that WordPress comes sort of pre-set up as a blog so Homepage shows its blog posts. Of course, that’s not useful to us so the very first thing we do once we’ve created our first set of pages is to go over to Settings and Reading and change our Front page so it displays not our latest post but a static page.

We’re going to choose our Front page as our Homepage and then our post page will be Articles. I didn’t create Articles yet so let’s give make About Us first then we’re going to come back over here to Pages and we’re going to say, “Add New” and we’ll say Articles, and say Publish. Then we’ve come back to our Reading and Settings again, I’m going to change this About Us to Articles.

When we go to  our site, our Homepage is actually our Homepage and not a blog posts page which is what it was prior to making this change. Let’s come back to our dashboard and let’s look at pages. We’ve got our main pages created, the next thing I want to do is create our subpages. If we look at our page outline under Finished Projects we have West Seattle View Home, East Side Luxury Spec Home and Edmonds View Remodel. Go ahead and create those pages.

Parent-Child Relationship

We’ll say, “Add New”, the first one is West Seattle View Home. We’re going to do something different, we’ll come over here to Page Attributes and we’re going to set the parent page. This is how you end up creating the hierarchy by defining a parent-child relationship. Select Finished Projects as our parent page and hit “Publish”.

If you look at this URL here you can see it says, It’s now showing us the URL that this page structure created for us. If we clicked over here to view the page, obviously it is blank but you can see that URL, finished-projects/west-seattle-view-home, I’ll just go ahead and post that one. Let’s add another new page which is the East Side Luxury Spec.

East Side Luxury Spec Home is also going to be Finished Projects. You can see it doesn’t have that Finished Projects in here, right? The URL just puts it at the top level but once we hit “Publish”, Finished Projects is there in between. Let’s add West Seattle View Home. When you’re creating your own site, don’t be afraid to go ahead and create the pages even if you don’t have the content. What you’re doing is you’re essentially creating your outline, you’re creating the containers to be able to put your content into. Again we’ll pick that and hit, “Publish”.

If we look here, under our Services we also have, Custom Home Designs Services, Builder Home Designs Services and Home Remodel Design Services. We need to create those pages as well. We’ll “Add New”, and so Custom Home Design Services and we’re picking our Services page and select “Publish”. Then we’re going to add a new one which will be Builders Spec Home Design Services, picking our parent and hitting “Publish”. Finally, Home Remodel Design Services and pick our parent.

Alphabetical Organization

If we come back over and take a look at all pages again, you can see that the child pages are nested under their parent, right? These are all organized alphabetically. Alphabetical organization might be useful but it’s not necessary. I’m going to show you my system that I use for organizing how these things get laid out.

What we’ll do is We use a thing called Page Order to organize the pages in your administrative view. I have this little system where if you don’t specify anything, that gets to be what I call “sandbox” page and you’ll learn about that later. For our main pages I give a number 1 through 19 and I want them to be in the order that I’m using them on the menu.

On more complex sites you may have hidden pages for Downloads or Thank You pages or you may have Administrative pages like Shopping Cart pages and Check Out pages and that kind of stuff. You also might have lost password or that kind of thing or might have 301 redirect pages. In this case, the site that we’re creating really doesn’t have those kinds of pages so we’re going to go ahead and confine ourselves to giving numbers to our main pages.

The System of Numbers

We’ll look at our system here. Home is number 1, About Us is 2, Finished Projects should be 3, Testimonials 4, Services 5 and Articles 6. Look at the page order here, Home we’ll give 1 and update. Then About Us, you can set this from inside the Edits screen under Page Attributes, Page Order and “Update”. Once you’ve created the pages, it’s faster to do it from inside of the Quick Edit. Under Articles, if we hit “Quick Edit”, that was a 6, “Update” and Finished Project was 3, Testimonials was 4, and Services is 5.

We’ll take that sample page and we’ll make it 30, we’ll make it an Admin page. Ultimately what we’ll do is delete it. But for the time being in order for you to see what happens, we’ll take this sample page, “Quick Edit” and give it a page order of 30 and hit, “Update”. If we refresh this our pages are laid out in the order that we have them in our menu with Home at the top, About Us, Finished Projects, Testimonials, Services, Articles and then the Sample page is not being displayed so it’s just down here at the bottom.

I think a system like that makes it easier for you to find your way around your pages especially when you have lots of pages. If for a moment you were to look at our site which has hundreds of pages, it can be difficult to manage and find your way around. We actually have tools that we use, we have an administrative plugin that we have installed that allows us to collapse parent and child pages or expand them.

We have lots of hidden pages and administrative pages in here for upgrades and renewal options and membership administration and all kinds of things that are not really applicable to the situation that we’re in. Nevertheless, if we look under our video tutorials page, there are actually 102 pages that are child pages of Video Tutorials and if you don’t have a system for organizing those, it can be difficult to figure out where on earth you are inside of your structure.

That’s why I teach the system of numbers so that your most important pages are up here at the top and the pages that you’re going to access least are down here at the bottom. You may also want to do the same thing with your subpages. With subpages, what I try to do is essentially in logical or menu order, I just number them in the order that I want them to show up in the menu.

That’s what we’ll do here. I think West Seattle View Home wants to be number 1, and East Side Luxury Spec wants to be number 2, and Edmonds View Remodel . When we start talking about site SEO, I’ll talk about how you configure this URLs or how you can customized this URLs a little bit more but it’s not actually part of today’s discussion.

Going back to this, my Edmonds View Remodel, I want to make that one number 3, “Update”. If you refresh this, you’ll see that these have been organized in that order here. We have these pages created in the order that we want. We don’t need them to have any content at the moment, all we really need them to do is to reflect the structure.

What we’re going to do on Thursday is add content to them and talk about what that content needs to look like, and talk about the SEO settings and related material. That wraps up what I intended for us to do tonight.

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