wordpress: getting started
When you're done writing, look to the right of the post editing field for the Publish section. You've got choices!
Clicking Preview will let you see how your post will appear, but without actually making it live on the site. Clicking Save Draft will save your post to the database, but without actually publishing it - use this if you're not done writing.
Clicking Publish will cause your post to go live on the site immediately.
If you click the "Edit" link next to Visibility, you'll have the option either to password-protect your post, or to mark it as "Private." Private posts can only be seen by you - not by the public and not by any non-administrative editors of the site.
It's also possible to modify the publication date for a post by clicking "Edit" next to the words Publish Immediately. This is useful in two circumstances:
1) You may need to back-fill a site with older content, while preserving the old article datelines.
2) You may want to set a "drip date" by setting the publication date in the future. When you do this, the post will become visible on the site as soon as that date and time comes around - a great way to have posts go live in the middle of the night, or while you're on vacation!
Clicking Move to Trash works as expected - the post will be kept in the database, but removed from the public site. We'll explain how to retrieve trashed posts later on.
Take a Look! (and keep tabs)
Once your post is live, you probably want to see how it looks on your public-facing site. You can click the new View Post link, but if you do that, you'll lose your place in the Dashboard. It's easy for users to get confused, trying to navigate between the Dashboard and the public site constantly.
Any time you're working in a content management system (like WordPress), we recommend using the "Tabs" feature in your web browser to keep both views open at the same time. Then you can use browser tabs to toggle back and forth between the Dashboard and the public site without losing your place in either.
In most browsers, you can pull down File | New Tab, or hit Cmd-T (Mac) or Ctrl-T (Windows) to open a new tab. Most browsers also let you open a link in a new tab by holding down the Cmd, Ctrl, or Alt key while clicking the link. So try Cmd-clicking that "View Post" link instead.
The Admin Bar
WordPress 3.1 makes it a bit easier to keep track of your place without using browser tabs by displaying an "Admin Bar" above the content on the public site.
Note that this bar is only visible to you while logged in, not to the general public. The Admin Bar will let you quickly edit the post you're currently viewing, or create new posts or pages, or jump directly to your Dashboard. We'll cover other features in the Admin Bar later.