Publishing Content

The primary activity that you’re likely to be doing on your WordPress site is publishing content. The content could be the text you write, pictures you take, videos or audios (which may be hosted on another site), or other media.

Posts vs. Pages

Out of the box, WordPress provides two primary content types for you to work with: posts and pages. If you read blogs or have ever written for a blog before, the concept of a post is probably a bit familiar. Posts often are content that appear on your blog in some kind of scheduled way. They usually are presented on your site in reverse-chronological order. Posts might be what you use to share your regular thoughts, reflections, or ideas about a topic. Posts make up a kind of “river” of content that you’re producing as part of your blogging activity.

Pages usually correspond to our more traditional concept of what makes up a Web site. Pages are presented outside of the “river” of content that are posts. They are more likely to stand alone and be organized according to a traditional hierarchy. Pages might be content that is less frequently updated or changed.

If you are an educator using WordPress to facilitate a collaborative class blog, you might have a page for the course syllabus, but you might encourage students to create weekly posts in which they reflect on assigned readings, for example.

A few other things to know about Pages vs Posts:

  • If you want your content to be accessible to your users via RSS/syndication, you’ll need to use Posts. By default, Pages do not appear in a site’s RSS feed.
  • Categories and Tags (which are used in WordPress to help you organize your content) are ONLY available on Posts. Page organization is done by customizing your site’s menus.
  • Okay, this get’s a little tricky: WordPress, by default, also creates “Category Pages” and “Tag Pages” that display all the Posts in a category or tag. These are NOT related to the regular Page type.

Media

Upon occasion, you may want to include media (images, audio, video) in your site’s posts and pages. There are generally two approaches to handling media in WordPress:

Uploading: You can upload the files to your site’s Media Gallery and then link to them in your posts/pages. This works very well for images, and when you take this approach for images you have the added benefit of being able to make use of WordPress’ built-in (albeit rudimentary) editing tools. Also, when you upload images to WordPress, it automatically creates different sizes that you can use, as needed. This approach works less well for audio and video. In order to have your media files actually show up in a “player” (with controls for stopping, pausing, etc.) you’ll need to install a plugin. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to include links to the files. How people view/listen to them will depend a bit on the setup on their own computer and in their own browser. They may, for example, have to download the media file and then open it in another program on their computer.

Embedding: You can embed media from other sites easily in WordPress. Embedding an image just means providing a URL to its location elsewhere on the Web. Instead of uploading it to the server, WordPress grabs that image from the external source and displays it on your post/page. However, with this approach, you lose your editing capabilities as well as the resizing feature. You can embed video and audio from many external services (YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud) by simply placing the full URL of the audio/video location on its own line in your post/page. There is a complete list of supported external services, and you can learn more about embedding from external sources at the WordPress site.

Our general advice is generally to embed audio and video by linking to YouTube, Vimeo, or SoundCloud. For images, if you need to do basic editing and/or require different sizes of images, upload them to your site. Otherwise, consider referencing them from another location (your Flickr account, for example).

Post Block Editor

WordPress is currently using a “block” editor for building posts. When you click on “Posts” and “Add New,” you’ll see a “+” sign, where you can select from a large variety of block formats.

Browse these blocks to explore various way to embed format text, embed media, and add design elements.

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