You’ve picked a theme and added some personal touches. It’s time to publish! On WordPress.com, that means a post or a page.
Posts are what you think of when you think of a blog; they’re dated, and appear in reverse chronological order, moving down your blog as you publish new ones. They’re browsable in the WordPress.com Reader, where prospective fans can find them under tags you assign them.
Pages are different — once you publish them, they stay put. They’re handy for timeless content, like an About or Contact Me section.
Ready to publish a post? Get started by clicking the “Write” button on the right side of the toolbar at the top of your screen:
Or click on My Sites, then on Add next to “Blog Posts.”
This will create a draft post on your blog and open up the post editor:
In the top field, insert a title. Go for clear and intriguing — if your title doesn’t make someone want to click, your post isn’t going to get read.
In the large area below the title, write your post. To add more interest, use the formatting buttons, which you may recognize from a word processor. Along with standard formatting options like bold, italics, and bullet points, there are two specific tools here that are helpful to know about: the link and quote tools:
Highlighting text in your post and clicking the link button will allow you to insert a URL to create a link, like this one. Highlighting text and clicking the quote button will create an indented blockquote, like this paragraph.
Now, let’s add a picture. There are two ways to do this: you can drag the image files from your desktop right into the post where they’ll be automatically uploaded and inserted, or you can use the tools within the editor.
To add an image from the editor, place your cursor in the text where you’d like to put the image, and click + button:
Then, click Add Media.
The Media Manager will open and walk you through the process of choosing, uploading, and inserting the picture.
(By the way: as you do all this, we’ll be auto-saving your post every few seconds so that nothing gets lost.)
Once the file uploads, click Insert to put it into the post, or Edit to see the file’s details:
If you click Edit, you’ll be able to give the image a caption and a description, then click Insert to put the image into the post.
Once the image is in your post, you can choose its alignment and adjust its size. Click on the image to pull up these options:
If you’d like to have your words wrap around the image, choose a right or left alignment option. Use the plus and minus signs to increase or decrease the size of the image, and the thought bubble to edit your caption.
You can also adjust the size of your image right in the post by clicking and dragging one of the boxes at the image’s corners. To remove the image entirely, click the X.
Your post is almost ready! Before clicking Publish, give your new post a few tags and categories — you’ll see an area for that in the left-hand column:
I’ve given this photo of a mural the “Travel” tag, which will allow people browsing the “Travel” tag in the WordPress.com Reader to find my post, and the category “Photography” so people who visit my blog can find it among the other kinds of posts.
When you’re ready to flip the switch, click Publish at the top of the page:
You’ll see a small “saving” note over the publish button, followed by a notice that your post has been published and a link to the live post:
Congrats! You’re a published blogger.
If you notice a typo on your brand-new creation — doesn’t it seem like one always manages to sneak in? — you can always edit and update the post. Click on My Sites in the upper right corner, then on Blog Posts. This pulls up a list of all your posts, and you can click Edit to make changes:
Ready to try a page? The process is almost the same. Return to My Sites — you can click My Sites on either the blue or black admin bars, depending where you are on WordPress.com — but click Add next to Pages instead of Post:
The Page editor that appears looks just like the Post editor, and both writing and inserting images work in exactly the same way. The key differences between the Post and Page editors are:
- The Page editor has no area for tags and categories; pages don’t use either of those.
- The Page editor includes a Page Attributes section that lets you create parent and child pages or change the order of pages — mysterious now, but helpful when you want to create a menu with drop-down submenus for your site.
As with posts, WordPress.com will auto-save your work every few seconds while you’re drafting your page, and you’ll click the same Publish button to publish your page for the world.
Once you’ve published a page, you’ll probably want to create a menu to make it easy for your readers to find it and move around your site. Head back up to My Sites, and click Menus. You’ll find it in a section called “Personalize,” just under the post and page options:
This will open your menu settings. You’ll be able to see how many menus you have, add and subtract items, change the order of items in your menu, create sub-menus, and move menus around.
Click the pencil icon to the right of any menu item to edit or delete it, or Add New Item for an additional menu item.
You can create menu items that link to a page on your site, a link (either to your site, or anywhere at all), one of your categories or tags, or one of your posts. To re-order a menu item click and drag it. Click and drag an item to the right to nest it under another item. When you’re done, click Save.
There are a few themes that don’t support menus. If you’re not able to display menus, you can still use the Custom Menu widget to add a menu to your sidebar. Create a menu using the steps outlined here, and then add the widget to your site — you’ll learn all about adding widgets in the Get Flashy section here.
If you’re looking for more guidance, or want to dig deeper into your publishing options…