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 “New Post” button — the pencil icon on the left side of the toolbar at the top of your screen:
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 quote and link tools:
Highlighting text and clicking the quote button will create an indented blockquote, like this paragraph. And highlighting text and clicking the link button will allow you to insert a URL to create a link, like this one.
Now, let’s add a picture. To add an image, place your cursor in the text where you’d like to put the image, and click Add Media, then Upload Files. 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 20 seconds so that nothing gets lost.)
Once the file uploads, you’ll see your image’s details. You’ll be able to give the image a caption and choose the size you’d like to display in your post:
You can also choose the image’s alignment here. If you’d like to have your words wrap around the image, choose right or left. If you want the image to be clickable, select Custom URL as your “Link to” option, and paste the link in the box below. When you’re ready, put the image into your post by clicking Insert into post.
After you insert the image, you may see something you want to change — maybe you don’t like the alignment, or the picture is too small. No worries! You can edit the image at any time by clicking on it to pull up editing tools:
The first four icons change the alignment, and the pencil allows you to edit the image’s settings. To remove the image entirely, click the X. 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.
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 “Photography” tag, which will allow people browsing the “Photography” tag in the WordPress.com Reader to find my post, and the category “Street Art” so people who visit my blog can find it among the other types of photography.
When you’re ready to flip the switch, click Publish at the bottom of the page. You’ll see a small green status bar at the top of the page, followed by a notice that your post has been published with 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 Settings 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 20 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 “Look and Feel,” 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. You’ll see a default “About” item, plus any other pages you’ve added. On this photo blog, I’ve added a page called “My Photography Gear”:
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. Here, I’ve opened the default About item, told the menu to make it a link to my “Street Art” category, and changed the menu text to “Street Art”:
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…
- Make your blog private, or set personal posts to be password-protected to you can control who’s able to read them. Learn more about your privacy and visibility settings.
- Add images to make your posts and pages pop, even if you’re not a photographer. The web is full of free-to-use images.
- An “About” page is usually the most-visited page on a website — create an irresistible one. Our About Page 101 and About Page 201 guides will help.
- Category pages are a great way to organize the content on a blog and make it easy for readers to find what they’re looking for. Learn why we think they’re so nifty and how to set them up.
- Wondering what the “Featured Image” section in your post and page editor is for? Learn what featured images are and how to choose the perfect one.