Writing a blog in WordPress, the end to end process
Adding text and images
- In the WordPress main menu select POSTS > ADD NEW
- In the title box give the post a relevant title. This will define the URL for the post.
- Enter your blog post text in the text area. If you are using a page builder such as Beaver Builder or Elementor then you can utilise the page builders features as required. You don't have to do this, you can just use the WordPress editor.
- Adding an image or images into the text adds interest and is recommended. Use the rule of thirds, i.e. make the image a third of the content width, it just looks balanced.
The right hand column
- PUBLISH - This area allows you to save as a draft, change the type to draft or published, change visibility (we rarely use this) and publish at a future time and date. This is also where you UPDATE your changes.
- FORMAT - Your blog might not use this so if it's not there ignore this item. If it is then usually a post would be STANDARD.
- CATEGORIES - These are very important. You can add a post to one category or multiple categories you want the post to appear under. Categories are the way we index / navigate blogs. DO not use UNCATEGORIZED as it looks terrible, if you want to use this category change it's name in the POSTS > CAEGORIES editor. Try to keep the number of categories to about 10 if you can. Think how the user might want to sort the information and give them what they need.
- TAGS - We rarely use these now with the exception of blogs that want the blogs posts indexable by a large number of words. For this we add tags and create a "tag cloud". It's unusual to need this.
- FEATURED IMAGE - Generally, but not always, this is the image that will appear in the blog index page if you are using images there. Sometimes developers add this to the post itself but it's not good practice and reduces flexibility. If it's just used for the blog index page image find out what size is required and resize the image before you upload to keep downloads light and the site fast. If it is also the header in the blog post then you will need to load a larger image. To get the size go to a current blog if there is one and click on the image in FEATHURED IMAGE to see the size. Or better still ask your developer.
- There may be other options depending on your features such as a post expiry box. These will vary based on your needs and your developer adding them.
Search engine optimisation
You will need an SEO plugin for this, we use Yoast SEO but there are others such as All in one SEO and rank math. The principles here apply to the all.
To understand how these look in Google please see https://alpha-tango.co.uk/understanding-the-google-search-results/
To see how your site looks in Google now type this into the Google search box site:yourdomainname.co.uk or whatever extension you are using. This is what's in the Google database not necessarily what's on your site, it only changes when Google re indexes your website.
- Scroll down to or find the SEO area for your post and open the box if it's not already open, drop down arrow on right.
- SEO PAGE TITLE - In the SEO title box you will see the default fields, usually page title and site name. Remove these.
- The page title should be up to 50 characters including the spaces. It should describe what's on the page. Getting this accurate is very important for your pages ranking in search.
- SLUG - Please do not change this as it's an internal item and has no effect on SEO, but can break the pages internal links
- META DESCRIPTION - This is your sales pitch and does not affect ranking, but it has a huge effect on whether the user clicks on your link.