Adding a post is more than just putting the text and images together and blasting them online. We use categories to manage lists and visibility, and there are other things (such as scheduling) to think of. So before putting down the first word of your post, prepare your file to be a post.
Preparing your file
From the main menu, go to Posts, then Add New. This gives you your blank starter.
- Choose your title — short and pithy.
- Go to the Post part of the settings — select the gearwheel next to Publish (top right) if necessary.
- Decide on the categories now. Remember to untick the Uncategorised category.
- Write an excerpt of 30-50 words in the Excerpt box.
This ensures that there is a sensible précis rather than just the first n words of the text. The excerpt comes into play if readers perform a search of our posts.
- Select a “featured image”, selecting from the media library. If there is no suitable image, upload one from your filestore (but be parsimonious: we do not have limitless space).
The featured image is displayed at the top of the post, and accompanies the excerpt in any search results.
- If you are preparing this in advance of release, go to the Page characteristics on the right margin (if you cannot see them, select the gearwheel at the top right of the WordPress screen area), and set your required date and time next to Publish. Nobody will see the post before that date and time.
Unless you have a specific embargo time, choose a time in the middle of the UK night, but off the hour so that publication does not compete with everyone else publishing on that hour around the globe. I tend to use 0145.
Only now are you ready to start adding content.
Writing your post
- Add your text first, breaking it into shortish paragraphs where there might be a break.
Never ever resort to typewriter mode by pressing Return at the end of what looks like a line to you: Return is only used to delineate paragraphs.
Never ever use underlining: that went out with the typewriter, and is not helpful in text-to-speech. Likewise, do not use ampersands and other such characters.
- Add links to pages or posts, using the flow of text. Do not use contrivances such as “There is a link here”, linking the word here — that is ugly and lazy.
- Add any necessary images (following the how-to guide), resizing them so that they do not overwhelm the text. Be sure to caption each image.
You now have the post ready to go … almost. But before it is published, a quick review is necessary.
Review before publication
- Read it again, slowly, checking for typos, ambiguities or unfortunate wording (for example, “during the Ottoman occupation during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries” — change the first “during” to “throughout” or “when Pécs was under”).
- Read it again to make sure there is no “insider knowledge” assumed in the text. Play a mean Devil’s Advocate.
- Read the excerpt again, and edit it if necessary.
- Check the categories once more.
- Preview the page and make any cosmetic adjustments which are necessary.
Review after publication
OK, now you can publish it.
If the post is for immediate publication, go ahead. Then go to the user view of the site (you should have placed a bookmark to https://greenwalks.uk/ on your bookmark bar, so that the public view is always available to you) immediately on publication, and read the post. Make any further adjustments to the “raw” post, update the post, go back to the user view, refresh the page, and look at the new version.
If the post is for delayed publication, review as above from your file. Set a reminder in your online calendar to review it once more shortly before publication, with another reminder at publication time so that you can review the post as published.