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Understanding WordPress Post & Page Settings

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The next thing I want to look at in this lesson on Adding Content to Your Site is understanding the WordPress post and page settings.

Pages

Let’s begin by looking at pages, all the options and what is included on them.

Screen Options

When we open up a post page and look at screen options these are the kinds of things that can show up on your edit screen. In this post edit screen it is very sparse but you have the option of adding custom fields. For example, you could add discussion or comments.

Organizing the Options

Let’s just turn on all these options so you can see what that would look like. The nice thing about the screen options is that you can move them around to be organized how you’d like. For example, we can drag slug over here and we can drag author over to here.

Theme and Plugins Affect Choices

What you see on the edit page is entirely dependent upon what your plugins are and what your theme is because they can add to your choices. For example, let’s take a look at a page that is running on the Agility Skin. Edit the page and when you scroll down there’s all kinds of choices that shows up.

There’s something from the types toolset that shows up because of my Agility Skin. Agility page details show up. The Thesis 2.2 SEO items shows up, including 301 redirect and that sort of thing. Custom body class, excerpt and all that can be controlled here. You can see that custom fields are not turned on in our discussion comments, slug author. I could show custom Read More Texts, Thesis Post Image, Thesis Thumbnail.

All of these things are dependent on various things that have already been installed on your site. This site has the Thesis Theme and my skin Agility installed. As you saw Agility page details is a choice. And I’ve been using types tool set and display as a choice. We don’t use that so I can just turn it off. I generally want to show custom fields and as I just showed you can control that with your screen options.

What you see is dependent upon lots of different things. Again, depending on your plugins and theme you are going to see other things than what you are going to see in this example that we are working on here.

Publish Options

Under the published screen there is a status. Once you publish the page it gets the status of published. If you’re working in a theme environment you could set it to draft or to pending review.

One mistake that many people make, especially many beginners, is they create all their pages and save them as drafts. Then they can’t figure out why they don’t show up and or why you can’t add them on the menu or why the category page doesn’t show anything.

When You Should Use Drafts

If you’re saving page as draft, it’s as good as if it doesn’t exist to WordPress. So when you’re setting your site up it does you almost no good to save a page as draft. The only time you’re ever really going to save something as draft is if your site is already developed and you’ve already got all the content you need in order to see what your site is going to look like.

When Not To Use Drafts

When your site is a work in progress, that is when you’re developing your site, all your work in progress should be published because you need all those bits of content in order to create a menu and see what your menu looks like. You need the content in order to create a your archive page and see what your archive page is going to look like.

Pending review is really only when you’ve got multiple authors and multiple author permissions it’s not particularly useful.

Published Visibility

There is published visibility. You have three choices there.

  • Public
  • Password protected
  • Private

If you set it to private that means only an admin can see it period. If you set it to password-protected you could setup a password and send the password to somebody and say to them “come take a look at this page”. It’s perfect for little one off things but it’s awful for a membership site, that’s not really what it’s for.

Published Date and Deleting

You can change the publishing date if you want to. And if you want to get rid of that you can move it to trash.

Page Attributes – Hierarchy and Order

Pages have page attributes which allow you to choose a parent. This is how you create a hierarchy and also an order. This page order came from when WordPress menus were automatically generated. When I started with WordPress there were no WordPress menus. WordPress 3.0 introduced this menu menu system that we’re using now.

Automatically generated menus were controlled by this menu order. If you wanted the menu element all the way the left it was menu order 0, the next one was menu order 1 and so on so forth. Now what you can use ordering for is to organize page views and other sorts of things. By default menu order, or page order as it’s commonly known as, only exists for pages.

Featured Image

Then you have featured image, that is as long as your theme supports featured images you’ve got that option. Here’s where you can set your featured image.

Author

With author you can choose the author that you want to assign something to and you can change the slug. Although I find it much more useful to change the slug up here so this is where I generally change the slug.

Permalink Settings

Notice here it’s got index PHP there. What I really have to do is come back to my permalink settings and open up category post name. It’s such a disservice to have that as your automatic setup, it just sets people going the wrong direction too early in the process. So those are the kinds of settings you have on pages.

Posts

Now let’s talk about posts and the options you find on the edit screen.

Publishing Options – Sticky Posts

When you go to posts and edit a post you have the same publishing options except that under public you have this ability to have a sticky post. If you check stick this post to the front page, what that means is that it’s going to take the post out of the main sort order of posts and this will be the one that’s at the top.

This takes the post out of the regular order in the list of posts. So this is useful if you want a post to be emphasized. You would use this stick this post to the front page. It doesn’t actually mean THE front-page what it really means is stick it to the top of whatever your blog posts page is. So that’s something available to a post which is not available the pages.

Post Format

Some themes support the post format. If so then you can choose a post format for the post. Thesis does not support post formats and although Genesis does in some some child themes but pages don’t have formats like this.

Categories and Tags

You can see the list of categories that are available. Categories are not available on pages so you don’t see the category choice there. You can see the category that has been chosen on this post. It’s salads which is actually a subcategory of menu and because it’s chosen it’s showing up there at the top. As for tags, you can see there are no tags.

Featured image is there. In fact from my perspective I would just turn off post formats in this case because I don’t care about them and that way my featured image is close to the top of the page.

Main Differences Between Posts and Pages

So those are WordPress post and page settings. The difference between the two is that posts generally don’t have attributes. They don’t have a parent and they don’t have an order. They also don’t have a template which are the things that pages often have under attributes. Pages don’t have categories and tags and don’t have this sticky post opportunity.

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