Build a WordPress Website: Adding Your Content
Now that you’ve got your awesome theme picked out and customized some, it’s time to start adding your content (this can be done before the customizing as well). There are three areas of your WordPress website that contain content – pages, posts, and widgets. The first area you’ll want to work on is your pages.
(A more detailed article about Pages is coming soon!) Pages are what make up your website’s navigational menu (usually across the top). You’ll see the pages on my website are – “home – about – tutorials – videos – tips & tricks – resources – contact” – located underneath my header.
To create a page:
On your WordPress dashboard click Pages → Add New . Add a title at the top. (Make it simple as this is the text that will appear in your navigational menu.)
- Add your content in the editor.
- Click Publish – that’s it!
- Changing Your Permalinks
Something that you’ll definitely want to do is change your permalink settings.” By default WordPress gives your page a number and it will use that number (instead of a name) in the URL
- To change your permalinks:
- Go to Settings → Permalinks .
- Select Post name and click Save Changes .
Organizing Your Pages
(For a more detailed article see How to Order Your WordPress Pages with WordPress Menus.) The WordPress Menus tool is a drag-and-drop system that makes setting up your menu painless. It makes it easy to control which pages appear in your menu system (by default WordPress puts all of your pages in your menu bar), link menu items to other websites or categories, and reogranize your pages and set up drop-down menus.
- To set up your menu:
- First, click Appearance → Menus .
At the top of the screen you’ll see a spot where you can name your new menu called Menu Name . The name is only for your own reference purposes, so don’t sweat the name too much. Just call it “Navigation” or something and click Create Menu .
On the left side of the screen, you’ll see Theme Locations , Custom Links , Pages , and Categories . Theme Locations will have different options depending on your theme. With my theme I can have a page menu in a “Top Bar Menu” and a “Main Menu.” For now, I don’t want to use the “Top Bar Menu” so I’ve left it blank, but under Main Menu I select Navigation – the new menu I just created. It will now replace the default menu on my home screen.
There are a few ways to add pages to your menu. First, you can add pages that you have already made under the Pages section on the left. Simply select one, or a few, or all of them and click Add to Menu . If you want a menu item that actually links to something other than one of your pages you can do that under the Custom Links section. Simply put in the URL and then the name of your of menu item and then click Add to Menu .
The third option for adding menu items is under the Categories section. You can select one of your post categories to use as a menu item. This option will take all of your posts under that category and make a page with a list of them. I have done that with my “Tips & Tricks” page.
Organizing Your Menu
Now that you’ve set up your menu, I’ll show you how to organize your pages. As you hover over your menu items you’ll see navigation arrows appear. This is letting you know that you are able to freely move your menu items around. You are able to move them up and down and even left and right. If you move a menu item to the right you’ll see that it will indent itself under the menu item above it. This will make it a drop-down menu item. It will no longer appear as a main menu item on your website, but will instead appear when you hover over the menu item above it. You can always make it a main menu item again by moving it left.
Tip: To have your new menu automatically add new pages to your menu check the box to the right of your menu name.
(A more detailed article about Posts is coming soon!) Posts are an optional part of your website. Posts are the equivalent of articles. This article that you’re reading is a post. Posts are a great way to drive traffic to your website and will appear on a “blog” page (you can name it whatever you want). If all you need is a static website, then you can skip this section.
Adding posts is similar to adding pages:
- Go to Posts → Add New .
- Add your title . (Make it descriptive.)
- Add your content .
- Add categories and tags . (These help the search engines to find your website.)
Setting Up Your Blog Page and Home Page (optional)
By default WordPress makes your “Home” page the page where all your posts are stored. If you would rather have a static “Home” page and store your blog posts on another page you’ll need to change a setting or two.
- Create a page that says “Home” (or whatever you want your home page to say) and a page with the name you want your posts to appear on (“blog,” “updates,” etc.).
- Go to Settings → Reading.
- At the top you’ll see a section that says “Front page displays”. By default “Your latest posts” is selected.
- Select “A static page” and then select the name of your home page and the name of your posts page.
(A more detailed article about Widgets is coming soon!) Widgets are the different items that appear in your sidebar. Again, these are optional, but I highly recommend using widgets. You can see here on my website that I have a widget that has my picture, one that has a sign-up form for my free HTML/CSS Cheatsheet, one that has some ads, and one that has some links. You can have just about anything that you can think of in your sidebar.
To add widgets:
Go to Appearance → Widgets .
- You’ll see a list of widgets on the left side and an area on the right that says “ Sidebar ” or something similar.
- Simply drag your widgets from the left to your sidebar section on the right.