Edit and publish articles and pages on your blog

Last update: February 2019

Since September 2018, the WordPress text editor has undergone a major change. To keep up with current trends, WordPress has replaced the classic editor (TinyMCE) with a block editor (Gutenberg).

If the new text editor opens by default when creating a new article or page, both editors coexist on the Hypotheses blogs until 2021, when WordPress announced that it would stop maintaining the old editor.

Pages and articles can be modified from their editing interfaces in the administration interface of your blog.

Summary

Objects defined by the platform

  • Articles: They are the heart of your blog, as they represent the most common object found on a blog-type publication medium. Articles can accomodate the majority of the types of texts you would wish to publish on your blog. They can be associated with tags and categories. They appear in anterchronological order in “archive feeds” such as the homepage of the blog (that, by default, contains all the articles), feeds matching an author, a tag or a category. They also appear in the RSS feeds from your blog, to which people can subscribe.
  • Pages: Pages, in the sense of WordPress, are meant to publish more “static” contents, such as general information about the editorial project of the blog, its editorial team, its academic affiliations, a bibliography, etc. Unlike articles, they cannot be organised in categories or associated with tags. Although they are referenced in search engines such as Google, pages do not appear in the blog’s RSS feeds, and do not appear amidst articles on the blog’s homepage. They can be made accessible via navigation elements such as menus.

The content editing interface

This article is intended to explain the basic handling of the content editing interface on Hypotheses. It does not exhaustively describe all the options of this constantly evolving editor.

The top bar

The horizontal bar at the top of the editing interface allows to add a block following the others (+), to undo or restore the last action performed in the editor, to get information about the structure of the content being written (i), and to navigate block by block through the content. At the top right are the Save as draft, Preview (of content before publication), Publication, Settings column (cogwheel) and a “3 dots” menu (interface options) buttons.

The “3 dots” menu provides access to layout options for the editing interface: full page editing, “Code editor” to display content as html code, “Tips” to display contextual help on the screen and “Copy all content” to select and copy all content from the editor.

Top bar of the editing interface

The settings column

If the interface does not display it by default, it is possible to find a column of settings similar to that of the previous text editor by clicking on the “Settings” icon (cogwheel) at the right of the bar. To close the “Settings” column, click again on the cogwheel icon or click on the “Close Settings” cross at the top right of the column.

“Block” tab

This is a dynamic tab whose content is related to the block currently selected in the editor. It provides a description of the block and options for customizing it, in addition to the options presented in the block toolbar.

“Document” tab of the article editing interface

It contains all the options related to the publication of the article or page, such as “Status and visibility” (choice of date and author), “Categories” and “Tags”, “Featured image”, “Discussion settings”.

“Document” tab of the article editing interface

The options in Status and Visibility allow to manage the publication status of the article (draft / pending review / published), its visibility (public / password protected / private), the highlighting of an article on the homepage (which makes it appear first even if others are more recent), its publication date (by default the date and time is when the “Publish” button was clicked, but it is possible to backdate or schedule an article). The author of a content is, by default, the user account that created the content. The author does not change if another user subsequently publishes or modifies this content. The author can be changed at all times by the user accounts with an “Editor” or “Administrator” role thanks to the drop-down menu of this Author field: it is therefore possible to assign an article or a page to another account. It is strongly recommended to assign to a content the real name of its author, and not the name of a third party who has posted the content online. It is indeed the name entered in this Author field that will be kept as the “author” metadata in all databases where this article will appear.

From the Discussion section, it is possible to customize the comments, pings and backlinks settings on a particular article or page. This setting takes precedence over the choices made at the blog’s level in Settings > Discussion (see the blog post “Discussion settings options” on the House of blogs). Thanks to this section, it is possible to allow comments on the whole blog except for a particular article, or vice-versa.

The featured image is an image that is not contained in the body of the article, but is often displayed around the title of the article. It has an aesthetic vocation and is rather intended to attract the reader and encourage them to click on the article to open and read it. More and more graphic themes give a prominent place to the featured images. It is therefore a good practice to add some to your posts (while respecting the intellectual property of these images).

“Document” tab of the page editing interface

“Document” tab of the page editing interface

The interface for creating and editing a page works similarly to that of articles but has features that differ among the options in the “Document” tab of the interface:

  • The Parent field: allows to prioritize the pages, as a page can be a subpage of another;
  • The Order field: allows to order the pages in a menu that would automatically display them.

The redaction area

The title field of the content does not offer editing options because the formatting of the title (font, text size, eventual all capitals) is determined by the graphic theme used on the blog.
To style the headings of parts and sub-parts in the content of a post or page, use the ” Title” block.

The content editing area makes it very easy to format an article or page using a default editing mode called “Visual Editor” that follows the principle of “What You See Is What You Get“.

The WordPress text editor works by arranging blocks in relation to each other. Each type of content is a block: a paragraph is a block, an image is a block, a title is a block, etc.

There are several ways to add a new block:

  • Clicking on the button (+) at the top left of the editing interface opens the block selector and will add the selected block after the blocks already inserted;
  • Clicking on the button (+) that appears when the mouse moves over the boundary between two already inserted blocks allows to add a new block of undefined nature between these blocks ;
  • Pressing the Enter key at the end of a block containing text allows a new block of an undefined nature to be added in succession.
Three ways to add a block in the editor

Once a block of indefinite nature has been created, a new button (+) appears on its left side: clicking on it opens the block selector.

Hovering the mouse over a block highlights it with a colored frame, specifies the nature of the block and displays on its left the buttons to move it up, down, or by hand (by drag and drop).

Above a selected block appears a small toolbar, consisting of buttons that differ depending on the nature of the block. The first button is constant and allows you to change the nature of the block to a block of a similar nature (transforming a “Paragraph” block into “Title” is possible but, for example, “Paragraph” into “Image” would not).

The last button is a “3-dots” menu displaying options related to the block. These allow you to duplicate the selected block, insert a block above or below it, modify the block in its html code form (without switching the whole article to html), and make the block reusable. This then allows you to find it in the list of existing blocks, and to insert it, as is, in an article or page.

The “3-dots” menu also offers a button to remove the block. It is likewise possible to click on click on the block and press the Delete key on the keyboard, or, in the case of a “Paragraph” block, delete its contents and hit the backspace once more to delete the block.

Focus: the paragraph block

The “Paragraph” block is the block used to write text. Each paragraph of text being a separate block, it is the most used block in an article: it therefore benefits from shortcuts for its creation.

When a block is added, its nature is indefinite. But it is enough to write or paste text into it to transform it into a “Paragraph” block, without going through the block selector (where the “Paragraph” block is located in the “Common Blocks” category, if needed).

As with word processing software, pressing the Enter key causes a change of paragraph to occur – i.e. a new “Paragraph” block to be created here.

Toolbar of a “Paragraph” block

The “Paragraph” block toolbar contains buttons to align the paragraph left, right or center; to bold, italicize, cross out text, or add a hyperlink.

Media insertion

Reminder on the intellectual property rights of images

Whatever the type of document to be inserted (texts, videos, sound recordings, etc.), it is protected by author’s rights, which by default prohibits any reuse of a work without authorization and credit. To be able to use a media on your blog, it must check one of theses conditions :

  • Be your work;
  • You have the authorization from the author (then you should signal it in the legend by something like “Courtesy of…”);
  • You purchased the work;
  • The work is placed under a license that states that you can re-use it, like Creative Commons licenses.

Nevertheless, whatever the license affixed to the document, it is possible, when technically permitted, to retrieve the html “embed” code of the document that allows to insert, without infringing intellectual property rights, a work in a blog (see the “Multimedia on your blog” article from the House of blogs).

Inserting a media

Technically, it is possible to insert all kinds of files into the body of an article or page, up to a maximum of 10MB per file. Simply select the block corresponding to the type of media to be inserted:

  • The Image block allows you to display an image (jpg, jpeg, png or gif);
Image insertion
  • The Gallery block allows you to display a gallery of several images;
  • The Video block allows you to display a video player for a video hosted on the blog (mp4, mov, avi or wmv);
  • The Audio block allows you to display a player for an audio file hosted on the blog (mp3, midi or mid);
  • The File block allows you to insert a link to the file (pdf, doc, odt, xls, zip). Depending on the browser, the file will be displayed (only in the case of PDFs) or a dialog box will open to offer the download.
File insertion

For each type of block allowing to insert a media, it is possible to upload a file either from your computer or from the Internet if it is already available online (just indicate its URL), or to search for the file in the media library of the blog. Once the media is loaded into the media library, it can be described using different fields, by assigning it a title, a legend, an alternative text, and a description.

Embedded Content blocks allow you to display external media/publications from some known platforms, without hosting them on the blog, by simply pasting their URL. If the external service is not available in the list of “embedded content” blocks, it is sometimes possible to insert an iframe to display the external content. To do this, you need to paste an html “embed” code into a custom Html block. See the article “Multimedia on your blog” from the House of blogs.

What about the other blocks?

Diversity of “Widget” blocks

Feel free to explore the available blocks, whose number and functions evolve with the updates of the text editor, and that allow you to add point/numbered lists, display computer code, style a quote, add a button, write in column form or add a table, “Display only the extracts of posts on the homepage of a blog“, etc.).

The block-based approach of the text editor has allowed WordPress teams to offer some widgets as blocks, to be added not only in a fixed widget area around the content, but also in an article or a page.

Featured Image: Photo by Kate Trysh under Unsplash license

Cite this article as: "Edit and publish articles and pages on your blog" from Marion Wesely. Published on The house of blogs, 01/09/2011. Link: https://houseofblogs.hypotheses.org/103.

Marion Wesely

Anciennement Chargée de l'accompagnement des communautés et de la valorisation des contenus d'Hypothèses / Community manager & communication officer for the Hypotheses platform (OpenEdition)

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