The Post 102

Micro Managing Posts

In this WordPress video tutorial we go over some of the very useful finer points of how to use WordPress Posts, particularly WordPress Screen Options, excerpts, trackbacks, custom fields, managing comments, the slug, the author, and post revisions.

WordPress Tutorial Transcript

Hello and welcome to LifeGuard. In this video, we’re going to talk about Micro-Managing posts. There’s a number options that give us a more fine tuned control over the post. The ones we are currently interested in can be found in Screen Options. You can access Screen Options in the upper right hand corner of your screen.

Screen Options
Screen Options gives us a list of modules that can be enabled or disabled depending on your needs. To show you how it works, I’ll uncheck ‘Categories’. You’ll notice that when I do, the categories module disappears. I’m going to go ahead and keep it though since it’s something that’s commonly used. You can disable modules that you don’t use very often to customize your interface and display the options that are relevant to you.

Let’s take a look at a few of the additional options. First, we’re going to enable ‘Excerpt’. This adds a new module below the post composing box. The excerpt is most often used to input a custom summary of the post content. In most cases it is optional, however depending on the layout of some themes, it may be required. Whether your theme requires it or not, it can be helpful for SEO as well as improve browsing and click-through rate.

Send Trackbacks
Next, we’re going to enable the ‘Send Trackbacks’ module. Trackbacks are a way of notifying another blog that it was referenced in your post. Fortunately, WordPress and other modern platforms already handle trackbacks automatically so In almost all cases it’s not necessary to use the Trackbacks module. You really only need it if you’re linking to legacy blogging platforms that don’t support automatic trackbacks.

Custom Fields
Continuing with the next option, the Custom Fields module is typically a more advanced feature. It’s used to output specific non-default fields. The average user won’t need it in most cases as Custom Fields are not displayed unless custom theme enables it. A simple example might be to use it for displaying music you’re currently listening to.

The Discussion module is also a more advanced and lesser used module. It allows you to disable comments on this particular post as well as disable trackbacks. In most cases, users either allow comments on all of their posts or on none of their posts rather than disabling comments on one post in particular. If you want to disable posts for your blog, this is best done in Settings where you can toggle the option globally.

The Slug is the name that is used in the link to your post. If you look at the current permalink, you’ll see that right now, the name is ‘?p=31’. This isn’t a very friendly and you can use adjust the slug to change that to something more readable. Make sure you use lowercase letters, numbers or hyphens, not spaces. The slug module is primarily for fine tuning as WordPress already provides options to generate readable permalinks automatically by using the post title in the slug. We talk more about how to change the default Permalink options in video on ‘Settings’.

The Author module is rather straightforward. If you have multiple users you can use this to give credit a user other than yourself.

Revisions displays a list of auto saves that are currently stored. If you click an auto save, it brings you to a list of revisions. Form here you can compare two revisions and WordPress will let you know the difference between the two.

Next Videos
We cover more ways to micro-manage posts in the “Using the Visual Editor’ video, as well as the ‘Publishing Options’ video.