WordPress Posts

Posts are the foundation of the WordPress content management system which began as a platform for blogging. Since the vast majority of websites that have now adopted WordPress are not just blogs, most users will be more likely to be editing Pages and custom post types rather than blog posts. The fundamentals of all posts, however are the same.

Characteristics of posts include:

  • Generally used for news, or articles (you are currently reading a post)
  • By default, posts are listed in reverse chronological order
  • Can be assigned taxonomies (tags and categories) to create organization and data relationships
  • Assigned a date and author which will be displayed on the post in most themes

Below are instructions for creating and managing posts as well as an overview of the fields and taxonomies that are assigned to WordPress posts, plus a few links for more in-depth reading and instructions.

Posts Screen

Navigate to “Posts” in the main navigation from the WordPress dashboard (the left sidebar).

This will take you to the posts area where you can view a list of all your posts.

Post Status

Along the top of the work area, you will see a list of statuses (All, Draft, Trash). The actual statuses will depend on whether or not you have posts in those statuses. Clicking on theses statuses will filter your view to see only the posts in that status.

A published post is live on the front end of your website. 

A draft post isn’t live on the front end of the website. If you have a live (published) post you’d like to take down for awhile, simply set its status to draft. Or you can trash it if you think you might be done with it altogether.

A trashed post is not live, and is not listed among the rest of your posts on the post list. Read more about trash below.

Add a New Post

The button next to the posts heading at the top of the work area, will allow you to add a new post. Additionally, you can click “+ New” link in the Toolbar and select “post” from the dropdown menu to add a new post.

Edit a Post

Hover over the post name and click “Edit.” This will bring up the post editor.

Quick Edit

Hover over the post name and click “Quick Edit”. This will allow you to quickly change any of the following post components:

  • Rename your post
  • Change the slug of your post
  • Change the publication date of your post
  • Change the author of your post
  • Password-protect your post
  • Assign or remove post categories (you cannot create a new category from this screen)
  • Assign or remove post tags
  • Choose whether or not to allow comments and pings
  • Change the post status
  • Make the post sticky (displays ahead of all others on archive pages)

All of the actions you can perform in the quick edit screen can also be done from the main post editor.

Trash a Post

Hover over the post name and click “Trash.” This will change the post status to Trash. In this status your post will not be visible on your website but it will still be accessible to you in the backend and it can be restored (made Published again) until you Permanently Delete the post.

View a Post

Hover over the post name and click “View”. This will open a new browser window where you can view your post on the frontend of your website. This is how visitors to your website will see this post.

Saving and Publishing Posts

When composing a new post, you will see the option in both editors to either “Save Draft” or “Publish” your post. Drafts are not publically available. Additionally, you will see a “Preview” button which allows you to view the post on the frontend before publishing. These buttons are displayed along the top-right bar (in the Classic Editor, they will be displayed in the “Publish” box in the right sidebar).

Post Editor

When you add a new post or edit an existing post, you will be taken to the post editor screen where you can define and manage all of the properties of your post.

We will describe each component of the posts in order of left column to right column. If you are using a smaller screen, then these components will all be in one column and appear in the order as outlined below.

Screen Options

Before you review all of the components of the post, you’ll probably want to update your screen preferences when you enter the post editor. This area controls which fields, settings and taxonomies are displayed. It’s a good practice to hide those that you will never change because it will allow the screen to load faster and declutter your workspace; but for the purpose of learning each component, you will want to select them all.

Post Title

The post title will be displayed at the top of the post (for most themes), and is what will most likely be displayed in search engine results. Make sure your title is simple but relevant. Avoid using the same title for multiple posts and it should also include keywords and phrases for SEO.

Post Permalink (Slug)

The post permalink (or slug) is the URL of the post. Generally speaking, the slug is the part of the URL following your domain, depending on how your permalinks are configured:


The slug will be automatically generated from your post title when you save the post for the first time. I is best to use all lowercase letters and separate words with hyphens (-), although WordPress will do this automatically upon saving the post.

To update your slug:

  1. Click on post Title, you will see the “Permalink” field appear above your title. 
  2. Click the “Edit” button to the right.
  3. Change the text (use hyphens to separate words and all lowercase letters)
  4. Click “Save”

Classic Editor:

  1. Click the “Edit” button to the right next to the permalink
  2. Enter your desired text in the field.
  3. Click “OK” to save your changes or “Cancel” to exit.

Post Content

The post content is vastly different between Gutenberg and the classic editor. Both, however, make up the “meat and potatoes” of your post. Use the links below to learn how to use each of the two editors:



WordPress stores a history of the revisions you have made to the post Content and post Title. You can preview and compare the Revisions and see who authored the revision and when it was created. 

In the right column, in the “Document” tab, click “[X] Revisions” to page through the various Revisions by clicking the “Next” or “Previous” buttons. Click “Restore This Revision.” This will both restore and save the post.

Classic Editor:

To restore a previous revision, click on the revision and click “Restore This Revision.” This will both restore and save the post.


The post Excerpt is a summary of what the post is about. Depending on your Theme, it is often what is displayed in the Archive views of your posts. When no Excerpt is present, then most Themes will display the first 55 words of the post with a <!-more-> quicktag which translates to a “Read More” link.

The Excerpt field can be found in the right sidebar by expanding the Excerpt heading. The textarea field will accept html and basic text.

Further Reading: https://wordpress.org/support/article/excerpt/

***Customize the Read More link

***Change the number of words displayed in a post Excerpt

Classic Editor:

The Excerpt field displays below the post Revisions. The text area field will accept html and basic text.

Send Trackbacks (Classic Editor Only)

This section is really only relevant to blogs who are sharing links with other blogs. From WordPress, “A way to notify legacy blog systems that you’ve linked to them. If you link other WordPress blogs, they’ll be notified automatically using pingbacks. No other action is necessary. For those blogs that don’t recognize pingbacks, you can send a trackback to the blog by entering the website address(es) in this box, separating each one by a space”

Custom Fields (Classic Editor Only)

Custom fields will be introduce either by a plugin or Theme. These fields can greatly extend how a post is displayed. We recommend using the PODs or Advanced Custom Fields plugins to create and manage custom fields. 

Learn more about custom post types and Fields

Discussion Settings 

These checkboxes allow you to override the default discussion settings to determine whether or not you want to allow comments or trackbacks and pingbacks on the post.

Expand the right column heading “Discussion” and check the box next to “Allow comments” and/or “Allow pingbacks & trackbacks” to allow visitors to comment on your post (make sure you configure your Discussion settings to define the workflows around Comments)

Classic Editor:

Check the box next to “Allow comments” and/or “Allow pingbacks & trackbacks” to allow visitors to comment on your post (make sure you configure your Discussion settings to define the workflows around comments)

Learn more about discussion settings


This section allows you to add your own comment to the post with you as the Author or the Comment. Click “Add comment” to post a comment to your post.


This is another field where you can change the Slug and Permalink of your post. After you replace the value in this field and click “Publish” or “Update” in your post, the Permalink will change to reflect the new slug. 

Learn more about permalink settings

See editing permalink

Post Author

The post author is pretty self explanatory: it’s the author/creator of the post. This will be a user in your WordPress website. In most themes, the Display Name of this user will be displayed on the single post page and in some cases on the archive pages as well. 

In the “Document” tab in the right column, expand the “Status and visibility” heading. You will see a dropdown menu for “Author” which allows you to select any user from your WordPress website to be the Author of the post.

Classic Editor:

Under the “Author” heading, you will see a dropdown box which allows you to select any user from your WordPress website to be the author of the post. 

Status and Visibility

The “Status & Visibility” section in the “Document” tab in the right column, will allow you to modify the post Visibility, post Date and post Status.

  • Post Status – Click “Switch to draft” in the top editing bar if your post is in the Publish state and you wish to change the post Status.
  • Visibility – Click on the status of the Visibility status to modify. Learn more about post Visibility.
  • Publish Date (“Publish”) – click on the date next to the heading to modify the post Date. Learn more about post Dates and Scheduling posts.
  • Stick to the front page – This setting will display this post ahead of all others that are not also set as “Sticky” in all archive views

Classic Editor – Publish Box:

This is displayed in the upper right corner of the work area and allows you to modify the Status, Visibility, Publish Date, and browse Revisions.

  • Post Status – Click “Edit” next to the post Status to change the post Status. Learn more about post Statuses
  • Visibility – Click “Edit” next to the Visibility to change the Visibility settings. Learn more about post visibility.
  • Revisions – Click “Browse” to enter the paging view of post Revisions. Learn more about post Revisions
  • Publish Date (“Published on”) – click “Edit” next to the date to modify the post Date. Learn more about post Dates and Scheduling posts.
  • Sticky – Check this box to display this post ahead of all others on all Archive Pages

Featured Image

The display of this field will be dictated by your WordPress theme. This field provides a clean interface for assigning a primary image to your page rather than trying to embed a main image within the Page.

In both editors, you will find the featured image in the right column and you can click on the image (if one has been set) to change the image, or click “Set Featured Image” to set an image for the first time. 

Further Reading: https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/functionality/featured-images-post-thumbnails/

Accessibility Practices

While we recommend downloading and installing the WP Accessibility plugin to help you make your WordPress website accessible, a few simple strategies will go a long way and ar worth noting:

  • Links should be underlined
  • All images should include an alt and title description (Learn More about WordPress Media)
  • Headings should be structured. All pages and posts should begin with an h1 heading, and then do not skip heading levels (e.g. h3 must follow an h2)
  • Links should open in the same window unless specified otherwise

Further Reading: https://wordpress.org/support/article/pages/

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