Content Management Systems (CMS’s), like WordPress and Joomla, are a great option for clients wanting to make regular updates to their websites themselves. Although it may cost a little extra initially, being able to add pages, edit text, and update blogs all on your own will be more cost efficient in the long run.
We most commonly use WordPress when building custom designed CMS websites for our clients. WordPress’s accessibility and popularity has resulted in a large online community of users who support one another through written instructions and video tutorials. The best part is that many of these tutorials are free and they can help even the least savvy web user get a handle on the basics of WordPress.
In addition to the amazing resources online, we offer CMS training for our clients who prefer to talk with someone one-on-one. While becoming a WordPress aficionado can take a little bit of time and training, we’ve compiled a list of ten of our favourite tips and tricks that focus on performing basic tasks relating to updating and/or making new posts or pages in WordPress.
1. Get to know your text editor!
When creating or editing a page/post you’ll notice the Text Editor toolbar at the top of the text area. This toolbar contains an assortment of little icons that you’ll use to format text, add photos and links, etc. We suggest taking a little time to explore the Text Editor to find out what it can do for you.
This very informative YouTube Video is a great place to start.
2. Soft returns
Hitting the Enter (return) key will always create a double space between your lines. To make a single space between lines, press shift + enter on your keyboard, known as a “soft return.”
3. Paste text
Copying and pasting text into WordPress using Regular Paste (Ctrl + V) will often get you the results that you want. But if your text doesn’t look like you expect it to, try using the Paste as Plain Text or Paste from Word features found in the text editor toolbar. You may need to do a bit of formatting to the pasted text afterward.
4. Keep it consistent
Use formatting options for your text, such as Heading 1, Heading 2, and paragraph, rather than just changing the font size, to keep your pages looking clean and consistent. Having too many different font types, colours, and sizes on one page makes your text look sloppy and is harder for your reader to navigate. When we design a WordPress site for you, we set the styles for headings, paragraphs, photos, etc. so that when you’re adding new posts or pages the design remains consistent.
5. Format text with keyboard commands
Keyboard shortcuts are the most efficient way to make formatting changes to your text. Below are a couple of commonly used commands. Simply highlight the text you want to change and press:
Ctrl+b for bold
Ctrl+i for italics
Ctrl+u to underline
Want to learn more keyboard commands to help you with everyday computer tasks? Take a look at: 20 Essential Text Editing Keyboard Shortcuts.
6. Add photos to your post
Add photos to your WordPress posts or pages by selecting upload/insert media. A pop-up box will open, where you can drag and drop the desired photo from your computer to the spot that says “drop files here.” After you’ve dropped your photo in, make sure to scroll down and fill out the necessary info and select Insert into Post and then Save all changes.
7. Put photos where you want them
When you’re inserting your photo using the above steps, make sure to choose how you want to align your photo. If you forgot to do it when first inserting the photo, that’s okay, you can use the photo editing tool to align your photo in the correct position (i.e., center, left, right). Once you’ve set the alignment you can select and drag your photo to where you want it in the body of the text.
8. Add interesting and relevant links to your text
You can copy and paste links directly into your text or you can make a link out of text or a picture in your post/page. Select the text or photo you want to use as your link and then click on the Insert/Edit Link button. You’ll be prompted to enter the URL and add a title for the link. Make sure to select Open link in a new window/tab if you want the link to navigate away from your own site.
9. Keep your content fresh
There’s nothing worse than perusing a website and discovering that most of its written content is out of date and no longer applicable. Keeping your copy engaging and relevant is beneficial for search engine optimization (SEO) and will help your audience connect with your site and your business.
10. Keep these online no-no’s in mind
Be careful with your use of underlined text; most readers will think any underlined text is a link. Try to use bold or italics for emphasis rather than underlining.
- Use one space between sentences rather than two.
- In the online world single spacing after each period is easier and faster to read than sentences with double spaces.
We hope these tips and tricks make updating your WordPress pages and blog posts a snap! Don’t be afraid to play with the Text Editor and to take the time to become confident in your WordPress skills.