User Guide for Contributors

As with many articles here at Ticknall Life, this is a ‘work in progress’, which will I hope become the definitive ‘way in’ to the practicalities of contributing to Ticknall Life. Thanks for your patience! You may also wish to have a look at the ‘Questions and Answers’ post – another ‘work in progress’.

This guide assumes a high level of privileges set by the administrator (that’s me) so some items may not be relevant to your account.

Descriptions of Post Fields

Title/Headline Box

The title of your post. You can use any phrases, words or characters. Avoid using the same title twice as that will cause problems. You can use commas, apostrophes, quotes, hypens/dashes and other typical symbols in the post like “My Site – Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid”. WordPress will then clean it up to generate a user-friendly and URL-valid name of the post (also called the “post slug”) to compose the permalink for the post.

Body Copy Box

The blank box where you enter your writing, links, links to images, and any information you want to display on your site. You can use either the Visual or the Text view to compose your posts. Note – if you are pasting in your copy from another document such as a MSWord document or a webpage, use the ‘Text’ tab first; paste in your copy then switch to the ‘Visual’ tab to do your edits.

Preview button

Allows you to view the post before officially publishing it.

Publish box

Contains buttons that control the state of your post. The main states are Published, Pending Review and Draft. A Published status means the post has been published live on your site for all to see. Pending Review means the draft is waiting for review by an editor prior to publication. Draft means the post has not been published and remains a draft for you. If you select a specific publish status and click the update post or “Publish” button, that status is applied to the post. For example, to save a post in the Pending Review status, select Pending Review from the Publish Status drop-down box, and click Save As Pending. (You will see all posts organized by status by going to Administration Panels > Posts > Edit). To schedule a post for publication on a future time or date, click “Edit” in the Publish area next to the words “Publish immediately”. You can also change the publish date to a date in the past to back-date posts. Change the settings to the desired time and date. You must also hit the “Publish” button when you have completed the post to publish at the desired time and date.

Visibility – This determines how your post appears to the world. Public posts will be visible by all website visitors once published. Password Protected posts are published to all, but visitors must know the password to view the post content. Private posts are visible only to you (and to other editors or admins within your site)

Permalink

Permalink stands for “permanent link”. That means a post URL that does not expose the post ID which could be subject to a change (e.g. when moving to different system), but it rather contains a user-friendly post name derived from the post title which could also change, although not recommended, but in a more controllable way. This post name (also referred to as “post slug” or just “slug”) can be edited, depending on your Permalinks settings, using the “Edit” button. (To change your settings, go to Administration Panels > Settings > Permalinks). The permalink is automatically generated based on the title you set to the post and is shown below the title field. Punctuation such as commas, quotes, apostrophes, and invalid URL characters are removed and spaces are substituted with dashes to separate each word. If your title is “My Site – Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid”, it will be cleaned up to create the slug “my-site-heres-lookin-at-you-kid”. You can manually change this, maybe shortening it to “my-site-lookin-at-you-kid”.

Save

Allows you to save your post as a draft / pending review rather than immediately publishing it. To return to your drafts later, visit Posts – Edit in the menu bar, then select your post from the list.

Publish

Publishes your post on the site. You can edit the time when the post is published by clicking the Edit link above the “Publish” button and specifying the time you want the post to be published. By default, at the time the post is first auto-saved, that will be the date and time of the post within the database.

Post Tags

Refers to micro-categories for your blog, similar to including index entries for a page. Posts with similar tags are linked together when a user clicks one of the tags. Tags have to be enabled with the right code in your theme for them to appear in your post. Add new tags to the post by typing the tag into the box and clicking “Add”.

Categories

The general topic the post can be classified in. Readers can browse specific categories to see all posts in the category. To add a new category, click the “+Add New Category” link in this section. You can manage your categories by going to Administration Panels > Posts > Categories.

Excerpt

A summary or brief teaser of your post featured on the front page of your site as well as on the category, archives, and search non-single post pages. Note that the Excerpt does not usually appear by default. It only appears in your post if the system has been configured to display the Excerpt instead of the content of a post. If not, the first (approx) 55 words of your post content or the content before the  quicktag will be used as the Excrept. If you use the “Excerpt” field when editing the post, this will be used no matter what.

Send Trackbacks

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. See Trackbacks and Pingbacks for more information.

Custom Fields

Custom_Fields offer a way to add information to your site. In conjunction with extra code in your template files or plugins, Custom Fields can modify the way a post is displayed. These are primarily used by plugins, but you can manually edit that information in this section.

Discussion

Options to enable interactivity and notification of your posts. This section hosts two check boxes: Allow Comments on this post and Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this post. If Allowing Comments is unchecked, no one can post comments to this particular post. If Allowing Pings is unchecked, no one can post pingbacks or trackbacks to this particular post.

Password Protect This Post

To password protect a post, click Edit next to Visibility in the Publish area to the top right, then click Password Protected, click Ok, and enter a password. Then click OK. Note – Editor and Admin users can see password protected or private posts in the edit view without knowing the password.

Post Author

A list of all blog authors you can select from to attribute as the post author. This section only shows if you have multiple users with authoring rights in your blog. To view your list of users, see Users tab on the far right.

Revisions

A list of all revisions made to the current post or page. Clicking on a revision will open a dedicated revision change where you can compare the current version of the post or page with any previous versions. There is also an option to restore any previous version.

Note: You can set basic options for writing, such as the size of the post box, how smiley tags are converted, and other details by going to Administration Panels > Settings > Writing. See Writing Options SubPanel. (Admins only)

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Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith is editor of Ticknall Life community magazine.

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