This is part 6 in our series on how to start a blog. As I’ve mentioned before, having an internet presence is a must these days if you run a business; it can be a blog, a website, or a blog set up as a website, and it doesn’t have to be elaborate or have tons of pages; you can keep it to only your contact info if you want, but you need to have something out there.
In this series, we are talking about “traditional” WordPress blogs, and previous posts have covered
- the pros and cons of free vs. paid blogs
- how to set up a free blog on WordPress
- how to get a domain name and web hosting
- choosing a theme
- step-by-step instructions for how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog
Today, we’ll go over blog pages. On a traditional blog, pages are usually where you put information that remains constant. You can always edit your pages of course, but generally, they are good for things that don’t change all that often, like your contact information, your about page, services and fees, etc.
I usually set up my pages before I start writing blog posts; I like having all the static information in place before working on the “moving parts”.
Pages vs. Posts
The pages are the static parts of your blog, where you want to put information that should be visible at all times; the things you want “front and center”.
Posts are the dynamic part of your blog, where you publish new content on a regular basis. Posts are published in chronological order, with the last one first, and when you have a lot of posts, your earlier ones will be buried deep in your blog, so that’s not a good place to put contact info, rates, etc.
What Kind Of Information Should Be In Pages?
I recommend at least including the following:
- An “About” page where you tell people who you are and what your blog is about, with a photo of yourself.
- A “Disclaimer” or “Terms & Conditions” page, where you legally protect yourself by stating that you are not responsible for actions taken by people based on what they read on your site, etc. (look at mine, or do a search online for inspiration). This page is especially important if you’re in the healthcare field, but it’s a good idea for everyone needs to protect themselves from lawsuits.
- A “Contact” page where you let people know how they can get in touch with you. My Contact page has an online form to fill out, and I will talk about how to add that in a future post (I use a plugin).
Other suggestions for information that is best suited in a page:
- If you have an office or clinic, you probably want to set up a page with your address, phone number, hours, and how to schedule an appointment. If you do home visits, mention that, etc.
- If you accept advertising on your site, add a page with rates and info about that
- If you do demonstrations etc. at charity events and such, an Events page is a good idea (I would also mention the events in posts – more on that in a later post)
- Testimonials (which can really help increase business)
How To Publish A Page
To see the images larger, just click on them, they’ll open in a new window.
To create a page, on the dashboard on your blog go to Pages – Add New. This brings up a new window where you will create your page. The first thing I do is to go to the Publish menu on the right hand side and change the visibility to Private. I like to keep it that way until I’m ready to publish it.
Next, type in the Title of your page in the window up top. You will see a new line of text appear beneath the Title window. This is the URL for your page.
Now we’ll add the text part of the page. I usually type the text up in word and spell check it before copying and pasting it into the page. Once you’re done with your text in word, select it, copy and paste it into the Text tab in the text window. If you paste it in the Visual tab, it can sometimes end up looking very strange so I always use the Text. Click on Update.
Switch to the Visual tab to add formatting to your text. You can do it in Text, but in the beginning, it’s easier to use Visual. Eventually, you may want to just type in the Text code in your word document before copying it to be able to skip this step (but you need to learn some HTML to do that).
In the Visual tab, you will see your text, plain but separated into paragraphs. To bold a string of text, select it with your mouse and click on the B up top. Do the same with any text you want to italicize, underline or change in any other way. Once you’re happy with it, click on Update again.
If you want to add an image, click on the Add Media button. This will open your image library, and you can either select an image here, or upload a new one. We will go over images more in depth in a separate post.
To preview your page, right click on the Preview button in the Publish menu and select Open Link In New Tab. This will open a new tab in your browser with a preview of your new page (in the preview, your title will say Private until you change it to Public and publish it). I like to work this way because you can go back and forth and tweak you page in WP and see what it looks like immediately by just refreshing the preview.
If you have images in your pages, and especially if you have your blog set up to show images in excerpts and categories, it’s a good idea to set the image you want to “represent” the page, otherwise it will be the first image you have in each page, or if you don’t have any images, it’ll just display a grey circle with a slash through it. Scroll down to and click on “Set featured image”. This will bring up your media library, just select the image you want here and click Set featured image.
In the next few blogging posts, we will talk about how to publish posts, add images, and install plugins.
For a complete list of the blogging products I use and recommend, see the Recommended Blogging / Website Resources page.