wordpress: getting started

Your First Post

Let's dive in! First, take a quick look at the vertical sidebar along the left side of the Dashboard.

Roll your mouse over a section, and a downward-facing arrow will appear (#1, pictured above). Clicking that arrow will expand that section of the navigation, allowing access to more options. Try doing that with all of the downward-facing arrows in the sidebar, just to get oriented - we'll revisit all of these sections in other KDMC WordPress tutorials.

With the Posts section expanded, you'll see an "Add New" link (#2 left, pictured above). Note that you'll also see a big New Post button near the top right while you're in most sections of the Dashboard.

The main aspects of the New Post screen are fairly self-explanatory. Your headline or post title goes in first main field, and your story goes in the second.

Across the top of the main field is a row of formatting icons. The first nine should look familiar if you've ever used a word processor - select some text then click these buttons to control the appearance of your text. The lone exception is the icon that looks like a pair of quotation marks - this is used for setting off a chunk of text as an HTML "blockquote," which you'll generally use when quoting some external source at length. The appearance of a blockquote on the public site will be controlled by your theme.

The chainlink icons are used for linking words or images to other pages on the web (or on your own site). Copy a URL from your browser to the clipboard, select some text, click the chain link icon, and paste in the URL. Click OK and those words will become a hyperlink. Use the "broken chainlink" icon to un-do an existing link.

Pay special attention to the icon that looks like a pair of stacked rectangles - it's used for creating a "More" break in your text. Clicking it produces the horizontal dotted line seen in the image above. On your homepage or category pages, only the text above the "More" break will appear, while the whole story will be displayed when a user clicks through to read the full content. It's important to use this whenever a post is longer than, say, a paragraph - you don't want to overwhelm your homepage with full-text stories!

Also note the small diagonal lines at the bottom right of the post window - grab these and drag to make your text editing field larger. If you really want a large editing area free of distractions, click the small blue icon circled on the toolbar above to go full-screen, then click it again to exit full-screen mode.

Finally, note the last icon on the toolbar, dubbed "kitchen sink." Click this to enable another row of icons, with less common purposes. The purpose of all of the toolbar icons is explained in Appendix A of this tutorial.

Kitchen Sink

A second row of formatting icons is revealed by clicking the "Kitchen Sink" icon.

Editing the slug

Once the post has been saved in the database, you'll see a Permalink field under the title field:

Clicking the Edit button on this line lets you alter the URL of the completed post, and can be useful if you want to make sure the keywords you need for good SEO are present.