For a quick overview of creating content in WordPress, download the two-page Princeton WordPress Quickstart Guide (PDF). The full text of the guide is after the break.
(Updated January 23, 2012, for WordPress 3.3 — Michael)
Princeton WordPress Quickstart Guide
If you are working with a new site on the WordPress service, you should find a log-in link in the site’s sidebar menu. Click this link and enter your Princeton netID and password on the subsequent page to log in. Logging in should redirect you back to the site from which you originated, and the WordPress Admin Toolbar should now be across the top of the site.
If no log-in link is available, the log-in URL for the main site admin is at http://blogs.princeton.edu/wp-admin. Then use the Admin Toolbar to navigate to your site’s Dashboard. From the Dashboard, you can add posts or pages, change themes, etc. If you are associated with more than one site in the system, look for a button in the Admin Toolbar labeled My Sites. Hovering over this button shows a hierarchical dropdown of your sites.
Posts and pages
WordPress allows you to post content via two main content types: posts and pages. Posts are what people generally think of with blog publishing. Posts are pieces of content associated with the date they were composed. Using posts, the front page of a site, for example, can display many posts in chronological order. Pages are usually more static, such as an “About me” page. Page navigation in WordPress sites is often via a horizontal menu that can be hierarchical.
Select either Post or Page from the left hand menu, and then click on the Add New link. After you have created a post or page, click Publish to add it to the site. You can see how your new post or page looks on your site by clicking the Preview button or View Post.
You can also go back and edit an existing post. Click on Posts (or Pages) in the left-hand menu then hover your mouse over the title of the post you would like to edit. Several links should appear directly below the title, including one labeled Edit.
Tags and categories
WordPress allows you to attach tags and categories to posts. Tags and Categories serve similar functions but are slightly different. You can group your posts into Categories in case you later want to display them as a menu on your site. Tags can be used to mark or label posts with a specific word so it’s easier to search for them on your site. To add a Tag or a Category to your site, you can go to Posts in your Dashboard and choose either Categories or Post Tags. You can also add new Tags or Categories while creating or editing a post.
Adding images, documents, video, and audio
You can add images, video, audio, and documents to a post or page. Above the textbox in the editor, you there is an Upload/Insert label and an Add Media button. Clicking that button opens a dialog with a drag-and-drop interface that dynamically detects the type of media you are uploading. You will have a choice of adding a file from your computer, from a URL, or from the collection of files you already uploaded (Media Library).
You can fill in metadata and choose where to position the image or media in the post. To comply with Federal and University accessibility requirements, make sure you fill in the Alternate Text field for images.
The maximum file upload size is 5 MB. You may want to store larger videos on an external video sharing service. For YouTube videos, you can simply copy the video URL and paste the plain text URL into the post. The dynamic embedding feature (oEmbed) will take care of the rest.
Changing the theme
You can change the design of your site by changing the theme. Click on the Appearance link on on the left side of the Dashboard to choose a theme. You can click on the theme to see a preview of how that design will look with your content. Once you have selected a theme, click on the Activate link on the top of the preview window or click the Activate link at the bottom of the blog description. Depending on the theme, you can also modify the header image and load a new one to give your blog a unique look and feel. You can do this through the Appearance menu dropdown. If you have configured custom menus or widgets, you will have to re-add them after changing your theme. Different themes will often have theme-specific options and theme-specific widgets.
Adding a list of links
One way to add a list of links to your site is to select the Links menu in your Dashboard. Click the Add New button and fill out the name and the URL of the link you would like to add. To display a list of links on your site, you will have to add a Links Widget to your sidebar. Widgets are under the Appearance menu in the Dashboard. To activate the Links Widget, drag it to the Primary Widget Area. Click the Save button and the links will appear in your site sidebar.
If you want to see, control, and reply to comments left on your site, click on the Comments menu on the left-hand side of the Dashboard or click the speech balloon button in the Admin Toolbar. Here you can see all comments that are left at each post (including replies that you, as the author, have made to comments). You can mark certain comments as spam, or you can approve the comment, and it will be published to the post or page. To set up certain rules for spam, comment moderation, and blacklist certain words so they never show up on your blog, go to Settings and choose Discussion. Here you can indicate how comments should be moderated and whether you should be notified when comments are added to the site. Click Save Changes at the bottom when you are finished.
To log out of your WordPress site, go to the top left of your screen and click on your username. In the drop down, you will see a menu option for you to log out. Once you log out, you will need to sign in again to make any edits or changes to your blog.