The Power of the Write Post Page

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Write Post Screenshot

I’ve found that many WordPress users miss out on a lot of the features packed into the default WordPress Write Post page. Even I have been guilty of installing Plugins only to realize that WordPress already does what I’m looking for! Hopefully these quick tips will help you avoid unnecessary downloads and installations.

Changing the Post Slug

Post Slug Screenshot

The post-slug dialog box allows you to adjust the way your post’s URL displays. This can be helpful in a number of different ways, specifically:

  • In case you have a long post title. Try and avoid it if you want, but it’s going to happen. There will be a time when you can’t remove even a single word from the title, or it would take away from the quality of the entire post. When that happens, head over to the Post Slug dialog box.
  • In order to improve your SEO. All of the words in your post title aren’t going to need to be in your URL, and if they were would take away the strength of the other words. Improve all around by choosing only the best and most relevant words for your post.

If you add the post slug when writing the post, it will be whatever you told it to be. If you ever want to change it, just head in to Manage > Posts, find the post, hit Edit, and scroll down to the right to change the current post slug. Try to only ever change it once, and if that make it early in the course of the post’s life. Nothing is improved (search engine rank or aesthetics) if your post’s link breaks when you’re trying to “optimize” it.

I’ll be trying to keep this in mind from this point forward. It’s never interested me much before, but it does now.

Blog-Op actually had a great post the other week about how to use post slugs to their full potential.

Adjusting the Post’s Timestamp

Post Timestamp Screenshot

I’ve posted a tutorial on adjusting your post’s timestamp before, in case you would like to read a walkthrough of the process.

The main reason for changing the post’s timestamp is to post ahead of time. Using this simple process, you could post a full week’s worth of posts (or more) in one afternoon. If that doesn’t get you excited, it should! Check out the tutorial link above for more detail on the topic.

Custom Summaries

Optional Excerpt Screenshot

This is a cool one. If you want to, add in your own summary of your post in this box to control what text displays on search results pages, archives, and category listing pages. I’ve used this before, since sometimes my posts develop (as they should, right?) and the first paragraph of the post, which is what displays by default, isn’t good enough to describe the content of the post.

It’s also good for the sake of your readers. Usually you’ll write the first part of your post with the assumption that they will keep reading (or should I say the hope). But on summary pages you are writing a summary of the post. That requires different thinking on your part, for the sake of the reader. Give it a shot.

Closing (and embarrassing) thoughts

I’m curious: was anyone surprised by what they could do with their Write Post page? I’ll be the first one to say that, for a long time, I had a very convoluted solution for the custom summaries issues. Then I realized the options was built into WordPress. That was a sobering moment.

Okay, I’ve embarrassed myself first—who’s next?