At first glance, pages look very similar to posts. They also have a title and a content area in which we can write extended text. However, pages are handled quite differently from posts. Pages don’t have a timestamp, categories, or tags. Posts belong to your blog, which is meant to be a part of an ongoing expanding section of your website, and are added regularly. Pages are more static, and the regular parts of your site that stand alone in a separate part of the site.
When you installed WordPress, a page was automatically created for you (along with the first post and first comment). You can see it by clicking on the About link under Pages in the sidebar:
Adding a page
To add a new page, go to your WP Admin and navigate to Pages | Add New, or use the drop-down menu in the top grey menu by clicking on the arrow next to New Post and choosing New Page. This will take you to the Add New Page page:
The minimum you need to do to create a new page is type in a title and some content. Then click on the blue Publish button, just as you would for a post, and your new page will appear linked in the sidebar of your website.
You’ll recognize most of the fields on this page from the Add New Post page, and they work the same for pages as they do for posts. Let’s talk about the one new section, the box called Attributes
WordPress allows you to structure your pages hierarchically. This way, you can organize your website’s pages into main pages and subpages, which is useful if you’re going to have a lot of pages on your site. For example, if I was writing this blog along with three other authors, we would each have one page about us on the site, but they’d be subpages of the main About page. If I was adding one of these pages, I’d choose About as the parent page for this new page.
Theme designers often offer alternate templates that can be used for special pages. The default WordPress theme comes with two templates: Archives and Links. Let’s try using the Archives template.
Just give your new page a title (for example, Blog Archives) and some content (for example, Let’s experiment with the archives template). Then choose Archives from the Template pull-down menu and publish your page. When you go to your site and click on the Blog Archives link in the sidebar, you’ll see this:
As you can see, your title and content both do not appear, which makes this different from pages that use the default template (such as the About page). The sidebar is also missing. What does appear are the search box, a list of blog archives organized by month, and a list of archives organized by subject, that is, Categories.
This particular template doesn’t appear useful because all of its information is currently in the sidebar of the rest of the site. However, this shows you the power of a template. If you’re designing a theme for your own website, you can create any number of templates that have special content.
The Links template creates a similar page, but it lists all of your links.
By default, the pages in your page list on the sidebar of your blog will be in alphabetical order. If you want them in some other order, you can specify it by entering numbers in the Order box for all of your pages. Pages with lower numbers (0) will be listed before pages with higher numbers (5).
As the WordPress developers acknowledge right on this page, this method of ordering pages is quite clunky. Luckily, there is a plugin that makes ordering pages much easier.
You can download this from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pagemash/.
To see a list of all the pages on your website in the WP Admin, navigate to Pages | Edit in the main menu. You’ll see the Edit Pages page:
By now this list format should begin to look familiar to you. You’ve got your list of pages, and in each row are a number of useful links allowing you to Edit, Quick Edit, Delete, or View the page. You can click on an author’s name to filter the list by that author. You can use the two links at the top, All and Published, to filter the pages by status. And you can check boxes and mass-edit pages by using the Bulk Actions menu at the top and bottom of the list. You can also search your pages with the search box at the top.
Word Press gives you a very powerful way of organizing external links or bookmarks on your site. This is a way to link other related blogs—websites you like, websites that you think your visitors will find useful, or just any category of link you want—to your blog. Speaking of categories, you can create and manage link categories that are separate from your blog categories.
When you installed WordPress, it created the link category Blogroll along with a number of links in that category. You can see them in your blog’s sidebar as follows:
Adding a new link
Let’s add a new link to the Blogroll category. In your WP Admin, navigate to Links | Add New. This will take you to the Add New Link page, which has a number of boxes in which you can add information about your new link. Let’s look at the first three here:
Of all the fields on this page, it’s the top two that are the most important. You need to give your link a Name, which is the text people will see and can click on. You also need to give a Web Address, which is the URL of the website that is linked to your blog. You can add a description, which will show up when visitors hover over the link. (Alternatively, you can also choose to have the description show up on the page below the link.)
Now let’s look at the next two boxes in the following screenshot:
The first box in the screenshot above should look familiar because it’s very similar to the Categories selection box for posts. Keep in mind that link categories are separate from post categories. On this page, you will only see link categories. You can assign a category to the new link that you’re adding or create a brand new category by clicking on the + Add New Category link. Your links will be organized by the categories on your website. The second box lets you choose whether your visitors will be taken to a new window, or a new tab, when they click on the link. I generally recommend always using _blank when sending people to an external website. The other boxes on this page are used less commonly. You can use the two new boxes to specify XFN (XHTML Friends Network) relationships between you and any individuals you link to.
If you want to learn more about XFN, take a look at this website: http://gmpg.org/xfn/.
The final box at the bottom of this page will allow you to specify:
- An image that belongs with this link (for example, the logo of the company whose site you are linking to)
- The RSS feed for the website you’re linking to
- Any notes you have about the site, beyond what you entered into the Description box
- A rating for the site from 0 to 9
To make use of any of these pieces of information, you need to have a theme that recognizes and makes use of them.
At the top right of the page is a Save box with a checkbox that you can check if you want to keep the link private, that is, if you don’t want it to show up on your site to anyone but you. Click on the Add Link button in that box to save your new link.
I added a link for a recipe and food website using this form. I filled in only the first three boxes as seen in this screenshot:
Now when I save and then re-load my website, I see my new link here:
Managing links and categories
You can manage your links just as you manage posts and pages. Navigate to Links and you will see this:
From here, you can click on the name of a link to edit it, click on the URL to visit it, and see which categories you’ve chosen for it. Using the View all Categories pull-down menu, you can filter links by categories, change the order, and do bulk deletes.
Just as with post categories, you can manage and add new link categories on the Link Categories page. You can access this page by navigating to Links | Link Categories:
From this page, you can both add a new category using the form at the left and also manage your existing categories using the table at the right.
The media library is where WordPress stores all of your uploaded files—images, PDFs, music, video, and so on. To see your media library, navigate to Media in the main menu:
This is the now-familiar management table. My media library has only one photo that I uploaded when I posted about the butternut squash soup recipe. As you can see from this table, it shows me the following:
- A thumbnail of the image. If this were another type of media, I’d see an icon representing the type of media.
- The title that I gave the file when I uploaded it, along with the format extension.
- The author.
- Information about which post or page the file is attached to. This will be important when it comes to making an image gallery. The uploaded file will be attached to the post or page that you are editing while uploading a file.
- The number of comments waiting on the attached post or page.
- The date when the file was uploaded.
If you hover over the row with your mouse, links for Edit, Delete, and View will appear. You can click on the file’s title or the Edit link to edit the Title, Caption, and Description. You cannot edit anything else about uploaded files.
You can also add a new file to your media library. Navigate to Media | Add New to get a page similar to the upload media page that you got while uploading a file for a post. When you click on the Select Files button and select the file to be uploaded, it will upload it and then give you the options shown in this screenshot:
Enter a title, caption, and description if you want, and click on the Save all changes button. Your new item will appear in the media library, which will be unattached to any post or page. However, you’ll still be able to use what you just uploaded in any post or page.
To do that, click on the Upload/Insert button as you did before. But instead of choosing a file From Computer, click on the Media Library tab on the top of the box:
When you click on the Show link that is next to the image you want to use, you’ll get the same set of options you got after uploading an image. Now you can click on the Insert into Post button.