Now that we understand more about the structure or WordPress and the types of content that can be added we will look at some options for creating pages, setting your home page, creating a menu, and the use of sidebars and widgets.
Adding pages to WordPress is simple. Simply navigate to Pages > Add New. Give the page a name, select a page template (If your theme allows it) or build the page with a layout builder, such as Flothemes, Visual Composer etc.
If you have a basic WordPress theme you’ll simply add content to the main content area inside the page. You can add images, text, music etc by just adding directly from the upload media button, or by selecting existing media from your media library.
Once happy with the page you can publish the page. Pages can be published privately, for the public, or even with password protection, found in the publish tag on the right hand side, in the Publish tab.
Pages can be structured using pages and sub pages to create a hierarchy for your pages. For example maybe you want to have a locations page for where you work or travel to and then sub pages with details on the specific location:
– New York
– Los Angeles
To Add a sub page is easy, simply go to Pages > Add New, then on the right hand side, the page attributes section, under parent pick the parent page. In the case above, for London, you would select “locations” as the parent page.
The page structure would now be example.com/locations/london/
With Flothemes pages can be created using our layout builder, giving you a lot of flexibility to create unique and highly optimized pages for your content. You can learn more about the block building system and how it works here:
Creating posts is very similar to pages, this time you’ll go to Posts > Add new. Then you’ll want to add the following:
- Featured image
- Assign categories
- Add tags (not required)
- Add Content
To add content, you can use the body content area, you can add text, upload images and other media types.
Once you’ve added the content you can go to the publish section, top right. You can then preview the post to see how it looks, save it as a draft to send for review, publish the post now, or schedule the post to be published at a later date.
You can see the section in the screen shot above, the very top right option. In this section you’ll also note a visibility option, here you can post to the public, add a password, or privately publish the post for other admins or editors to review.
For a full description on posts, check out the WordPress codex describing all options.
Setting Your Home Page
Now that you’ve created your pages, you’ll want to make sure to set your main home page for the site. By default WordPress displays all blog posts on the home page. However most of you will want to use a page that you’ve built to show as the first page for users to land on, when they go to your site.
To set the home page, to go Settings > Reading, then in the “Your Home Page Displays” section, select the option for “A Static Page” and then choose the relevant page for the drop down.
If your theme does not have a custom page template, or options to create a blog page, you can also set the post page where you would like to display your post archives.
BONUS – Using WordPress Gallery Shortcode for Easier Blogging
Sometimes adding images to blog posts can be difficult, WordPress may put the images in the incorrect order and then you’ll have to spend quite some time updating the post to make it right. Thankfully there is a little known WordPress hack, that will help you manage your posts easier. Using the WordPress gallery shortcode, you can easily manage the images inside your post, check out how it works in the following video:
Creating a Menu
You’ve created pages, set your main home page and created your blog posts. Now it’s time to create a menu so users can navigate your site. To do this go to Appearance > Menus, and from here you’ll be able to add a number of items to the menu, including pages, posts, custom links, categories, tags and even custom post types if your theme has them.
Simply select the items you would like to add, and insert them into the menu. You can then drag and drop them into order. If you’d like to create a drop down menu item, that is, a menu item that will show underneath a other menu options, simply drag it to the right underneath the main menu item.
We recommend keeping the number of pages in the menu to under 6, as it’s best for user experience. If you require more items, think about using drop down menu items to better structure your content.
Once you’re happy with the structure, make sure to set the menu as the primary menu for the site, in the Menu Settings area, just below the menu items, select “primary menu”.
To learn more about creating a menu, check out our creating your main menu tutorial.
Sidebars and Widgets
WordPress widgets allow you to add content to sidebars on your site. With most basic WordPress themes you’ll have the main sidebar area available to add to pages or posts. With custom themes you may have options to add sidebars to various locations on your pages and posts.
By default WordPress comes with pre-packaged widgets, with the most popular options being pages, posts, categories, search and the text widget (which allows you to insert video, text, images, and even HTML code). If you require additional widgets, you can simply install plugins from the WordPress plugins directory.
To view the available sidebar areas and widgets, you can go to Appearance > Widgets and find widgets that are available on the left and the widget areas on the right.
To add a widget to any sidebar area, you can click it and select the widget area you wish to add it to, or simply drag the widget to the sidebar that you’d like to use it on. Then configure the relevant options. You can add as many widgets as you like, to any sidebar area. To delete a widget from a sidebar area, click on the widget, and hit the delete option, at the bottom.
Wanting to display widgets on only specific pages or locations? Check out our tutorial on how to use JetPack widget visibility to give you more flexibility for where they show.
Changing URL Permalink’s
If you’ve created pages or posts, and have a URL that you’re not happy with, or simply want to change you can do so easily. Just remember if you’re changing URL’s on your site, you’ll want to make sure that you re-direct the old link, especially if it’s older content that you’ve transferred from your previous website, that has been indexed by Google.
To edit the URL of any post or page, you can do it in 2 ways:
1. In the pages or posts section, hit “quick edit”, and change the “slug” section, then hit update.
2. Alternatively, go into the page or post and just underneath the title, where the permalink is, on the right hand side, click edit, and update the link, click “ok” and update the page.
NOTE: Ideally you change the url structure before a post or page has been published, indexed by Google and shared online. Otherwise, users may end up landing on 404 pages, and you’d lose traffic and increase your bounce rate.
Thats all for todays lesson. In Day 6 of 7 Days of WordPress we’ll explain what plugins are, how you can use them to extend the functionality of your WordPress site, and some recommended plugins we think every site owner should have.