WordPress Training Notes


For those working with the Gutenberg editor, you can learn how to edit the content by watching this short 10-minute video or checkout WordPress.org’s Gutenberg WordPress editor guide.

To add/edit Pages

  1. Go to Pages and click on an existing page to edit or Add New.
  2. Add Heading at top.
  3. Update the Permalink (URL) with your SEO-friendly URL.
  4. Add content into the wysiwyg editor using Heading options and bullet/ordered lists when possible.
  5. Add your SEO title and description to that section at bottom.
  6. Turn comments & trackbacks off unless you want to allow them.
  7. Hit Publish/update.

To add/edit News posts (blog)

  1. Go to Posts and click on an existing post to edit or Add New.
  2. Add Heading at top.
  3. Add content into the wysiwyg editor using Heading options and bullet/ordered lists when possible.
  4. Choose a category(ies) to post in.
  5. IF you want customize how the category pages and blogroll displays all of your posts, then fill in the excerpt section with a summary for the post.
  6. IF you want to display a featured image on category pages and blogroll, then upload one on the right side.
  7. Turn comments & trackbacks off unless you want to allow them.
  8. Add SEO title and description to that section at bottom. You can use your excerpt for your description if you don’t have an SEO description.
  9. Hit Publish/update.

To create a new Category for your News posts (blog)

Go to Posts > Categories and add a Name (it will fill in the slug using lowercase and dashes, no spaces), don’t fill in anything else unless your category page is customized with a description.

If you change a page/post/category heading

You MUST update the slug/URL to use that new name (no spaces are allowed; use ONLY lowercase and dashes in between words). You may want to also setup a redirect to point the old page to the newly named one. See redirects below.

To repost articles, videos, etc. from other sites

You should never republish anyone else’s article in full on your website due to duplicate content violations and just linking to the article does your site no good either. However, you can “repost” it as curated content. Read more on why to do this and how in our article Curated content marketing – a quick and easy way to keep your website fresh!

To make a line break (move your cursor down 1 line vs. 2 lines when clicking Return),

just click Shift+Return. If you just click Return it will move your cursor down 2 lines.

To edit News (posts) sidebar

Go to Appearance > Widgets and drag any widgets you would like into the sidebar area.

To edit your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

  1. Edit page/post and scroll to the bottom where the Yoast/All-in-one SEO plugin section will be.
  2. Add the Meta Titles and Descriptions as well as the Focus Keyword for the page (only one can be setup per page).
  3. Your focus keyword should be included in every aspect of your page – Headings, Meta title & description, Permalink/slug/URL, content, images, etc.
    NOTE: If you have Yoast installed it will grade you on how well you integrate that keyword into the page as well as how much text/images are needed.
  4. It is also recommended that you incorporate internal linking strategies throughout your content as well – read this article on how to do that with Yoast Pro (the paid version of plugin).
  5. Be sure to Update/Publish your page.

To optimize photos

Before uploading it is SUPER important that optimize your images for faster downloading since google search engines do rank your site for its speed.

NOTE: If you already have images uploaded to your Media Gallery that need to be optimized in bulk, please consider installing WP Smush plugin to do the bulk optimization for you.

To read more about image optimization check out the Yoast SEO post from Yoast.

  1. First of all, it is best if you choose a personal image that you took vs. a stock photo.
  2. Use the online editor here https://www.befunky.com/create/ or https://squoosh.app/
  3. Open the photo you want to optimize (button at top).
  4. Resizing is important because it affects loading time which is important for UX and SEO. So please resize the image to how you want it displayed or what was specified in your website training notes. If you want it to look good for retina displays make it double the planned display size. Go to Edit > Resize and change width to the dimensions you want. The height will adjust proportionately automatically. (DO NOT force the height via image size as it will make the image disproportionate. Let the software adjust automatically.) Click OK. 
NOTE: 100px = ~1 inch
  5. IF you want to change a vertical image to be horizontal (what is recommended for posts) or crop off part of the image, go to Edit > Crop and resize.
  6. Go to Save button at top and give the photo a proper keyword-friendly name using all lowercase and dashes, no spaces or underscores. The format should be JPEG (quality 80) for photos, PNG for transparent background images, webp for mobile (not fully supported yet), and SVG for logos & icons. Check the file size – anything under 100KB is great! Click OK to save and choose your web photos folder to save the optimized file to.
  7. Then to compress even more, I recommend using Compressor.io tool.

To add photos to content (after optimizing above)

  1. Edit post/page you want to add the photo to.
  2. Place cursor BEFORE the paragraph in which you want to align it. Keep in mind that placing the image near keyword-relevant text will help with SEO ranking.
  3. Click “Add Media” button to upload or choose from existing media gallery.
  4. Be sure to add keyword-rich alt text to every image you use describing the image. Do NOT use “keyword stuffing” here or you will get downgraded for spam!
  5. Some browsers show the title text as a ‘tooltip’ like Chrome or IE. Just simply copy the alt text to the title text field if you feel like going the extra mile.
  6. Give it a keyword-rich caption (text below photo on the page) if it makes sense to do so. Captions are read on average 300% more than the body copy itself and they count as search text too. Just don’t overdo it!!
  7. Under Attachment Display Settings choose your alignment so it adds padding around the image and wraps text around it, choose a Link to options if you want the image to link it itself or a custom link or none, and choose the Full Size image if sized appropriately or half the size if you optimized for retina-displays. When done, click the blue button to Insert into Post.
  8. To edit/delete the photo AFTER it is inserted into post, just click on the photo to display the edit or delete options.
  9. To further optimize images for rich results, just add structured data to your pages which can help search engines display your images and content as rich results. (i.e. recipes, products, videos).

To add a hyperlink to content

  1. link iconSimply highlight the text you want to link and click the chainlink-looking icon in wysiwig editor. In popup box you can either paste in your hyperlink or choose from existing pages of your site below. Then click ‘Add Link’ button in bottom right corner.
  2. If you are linking to an outside site we recommend checking the option that says “Open link in a new window/tab”.
  3. If you want to delete a link, highlight the link text and click the Remove Link icon (next to the chainlink-looking icon).

To save out Word documents as PDFs

  1. Open document in Word, go to File > Print
  2. In popup print window, choose the pulldown PDF button at bottom left and select “Save as PDF…” from the pulldown.
  3. Then select any options you want and choose where you want to save the file.
  4. If your PDF is a large filesize (above a couple of MB) you may want to think about compressing it using this free tool (only allows 2 files to be compressed per hour) — Small PDF

To add PDFs to content

  1. First upload the image/file to the Media Library by clicking Add New and upload
  2. Then click to Edit the image/file.
  3. Copy the File URL on right side.
  4. Then go to edit your post/page that you want to add the link to.
  5. Highlight text and click the link icon to paste in the URL you copied.
  6. Click Update to publish the page.

To add/remove pages to the Menu (Navigation):

Go to Appearance > Menus.

  • If you have more than one menu (ex. main menu vs. text menu) to edit, be sure to change to the one you want to edit first (at top) in the pulldown.
  • To add a page to the Menu (you must have this page created first to be able to add), select the page you wish to add on left side under Pages section. The page will then display on right side at bottom of Menu Structure section. Simply drag and drop it where you want it to show in the menu.
  • If you want it to show as a pulldown (subpage) under another page, then indent it under that main page by dragging and dropping – you will see the indent happen.
  • If you want to change the wording shown in the menu to be different from the normal page heading, just edit the Navigation Label by clicking the down arrow next to that menu item.
  • If you want to remove a page from the Menu, simply click the down arrow next to it and click Remove. Be sure to go to Pages and either Trash the page or change status to “Draft” if you no longer want this page accessible to the public – but if you want to keep the page live (published) so other pages can link to it, then don’t do anything here.

To access your web statistics

Go to www.google.com/analytics and login with your google account. See your password protected login sheet with username & password if you have forgotten it.

To exclude a page from your Google sitemap

IF using XML Sitemap & Google News Feeds plugin, open the post or page you want to exclude for editing and find the XML Sitemap meta box (normally at the right hand side, under the default ones). Check the option “Exclude from XML Sitemap” there and save. This does not necessarily hide your page from search engines, for that Evolv may need to hide the page through robots.txt

To edit your Contact form (Gravity Forms):

To edit form:

  1. Go to Forms.
  2. Click the form you want to edit.
  3. Hover over the field you want to change and click the small Edit link.
  4. You can make changes the field name or options here.
  5. Make sure to click Update Form on the right hand side when done.

To view form submissions:

  1. Go to Forms > Entries and you will see a list of form submissions (entries)
  2. If you want to see form entries from another form (other than the default), click on Switch Form in the upper right corner and select that form.
  3. Click any entry to see more details.

*NOTE: If you are having trouble receiving emails, make sure you have setup a whitelist rule in your email client.

To setup redirects (AFTER you go live)

  • If hosted with WP Engine, go to WP Engine > User Portal and click on Redirect Rules in left sidebar and then New Redirect Rule button in upper right. In popup give your redirect a proper name, then paste in your old URL to the Source field (be sure to replace the domain at beginning with a ^) and then paste the new FULL URL (including domain) into Destination field. See below screenshot. Then click Save AND Test on frontend to make sure it is working!!! Read more about it via WP Engine’s post “Setting up Redirects”.
    WARNING: Setting up redirects can sometimes be very difficult. I strongly recommend you test, test, test, and contact us if you need help. Even WP Engine does not support setting up redirects correctly.

  • If hosted with another host, you will need to install a redirect plugin like Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin or setup an .htaccess file on root of server.NOTE: If there are typos in the htaccess file this can cause an internal server error that can take down the whole site. Make sure each redirect rule is on its own line!

To Update WordPress, plugins, and themes (if you don’t have the WP Updates Package)

See this post on Why and How to Update WordPress

To manually update theme (if backend does not allow you to automatically update),

  1. Download theme zip files from vendor and unzip to see all files.
  2. Start up your FTP program and connect the local site to your desktop where parent theme folder is located and the remote site to your server.
  3. On right side navigate to /wp-content/themes/[parent theme]/ folder on server.
  4. Upload (drag and drop) files from your local computer to server in the parent theme folder above (DO NOT go to child theme folder or you will overwrite all customizations).
  5. You are now done! Test site to make sure is still up and running.
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