Please review the general WordPress documentation on my website, then refer to the specific instructions below for your site, originally all written for the Classic editor. For most of your site, the “Classic” editor is sufficient and straightforward: paragraphs, links, lists, images. The place “Block” will be more useful is when re-ordering existing content, on image pages, columnar pages, and when tables are needed. I have converted the pages that most benefit from the Block Editor. WordPress continues to shift to the Block editor, so let me know when help is needed. There is always the risk these instructions are out-of-date.
Note: your new theme is a Genesis child theme so you will see some applicable notes.
Whenever editing, I suggest opening two or three tabs or windows: the public site and the admin in separate windows, and these instructions if needed in another tab. Reason: speed, ease of additional updates without additional navigation and page changing. Once you have saved some changes, switch to public tab and refresh and you won’t lose your place in the page you are editing.
- Most common work will be within Pages and Posts.
- Within either, images (and slide shows, currently disabled) may be added, and a featured image can be attached to the top. (Otherwise, pages, posts and categories show a random image at the top.)
- Media can also be managed independently within Media (and Meta Slider, currently disabled) and then utilized in multiple locations.
- Main/upper navigation is managed within Appearance Menus.
NOTE: I have enabled switching between Classic and Block editing, so the Page and Post list will have more options. To retain editing in the existing Classic format, click on the name of the page or post you wish to open or the Edit (Classic Editor) below it. If you open in Block editor by accident, back out without saving. Once a page or post is converted to Block, it can be converted back to Classic, but it retains some extraneous Block code. (I will not venture to summarize particular comments on consequences at this time although I believe them to be minimal.)
IMPORTANT: One of the challenges in the Block editor is knowing exactly where you are when placing your cursor. You may end up inside another block, as blocks can be nested within groups. Near the upper left of the admin, there is a three-lined icon that says “Outline” when you hover over it. Click that and it shows you the page structure. The paragraph block is the easiest from which to “cleanly” hit enter to get a new block, so sometimes I just put a new block anywhere, then use the up and down arrows or 6-dot drag handle icon to move it to the desired place.
Observing the page structure is also important if you want to delete a grouped block so you don’t accidentally only delete the blocks within. This is particularly important if attempting to delete a reusable block so that you don’t inadvertently edit it.
The Block Editor offers many benefits that outweigh the challenges. Please review the Sample Page for specific details and use that page to practice/test.
- Best if you type the post right in the admin. Copy and paste can have some formatting consequences, especially if copying from Word.
- If you make a long post, I suggest adding a “more” tag, also located in the top row of the formatting bar (or among the blocks in the Block Editor). This will keep your post short on summary pages.
- Please DON’T FORGET to categorize your post at right, multiple categories allowed.
- You can add images to the body of your post, or attach files.
- If you feel additional categories are warranted, add them.
- Note that if you change a page or post title after creating it, you should edit the Permalink immediately below it (or in the right sidebar in the Block Editor).
- Post dates can be adjusted under the Publish field.
Note: NEVER allow trackbacks and pingbacks. Although they were good in concept, the abusers have totally thwarted their usefulness and they result in huge amounts of spam.
- You may add an image inside your post (and page). Put your cursor where you want it and click “Add Media” above the text window. You can upload an image from your hard drive. The system will save it in multiple sizes. You’ll most likely want the medium or small size. I suggest you align small images to right or medium images to none (center). You can give it a caption if you’d like.
- Any time you are inserting an image from the Media Library, you can select the one you think you want and verify its size at right.
- Multiple images can be uploaded at once into Media Library–those not destined to be headers (needing scaling or cropping). It stores multiple sizes.
- See the Sample Page for image manipulation in Block Editor.
Click Edit or Add New.
- Page Attributes
- Choose placement in navigation hierarchy (if it has a parent).
- Use Default Template.
- Do not change Order.
- Featured image if desired, below.
- See other possibly helpful bullets above under Posts and Images.
Two Column Page
In new Block editor, place cursor in title, hit enter. Click the “+” sign, type “col…” to filter and show the column block, select, then add a couple quick letters in each side as placeholder paragraph blocks. Add the desired content each side, or drag other blocks into each column, or cut and paste from other blocks.
Reusable Blocks Currently Saved
- Board Meeting Schedule
- Town Clerk Office Hours
- Zoning Administrator Office Hours
- Listers Office Hours
- Join Our Mailing List (should not need update)
- Town Officers List
- Highlight Template Convert
See the sample page for instruction/comments on reusable blocks.
Media & PDFs (revised 5/19/21)
You’ve probably already experienced that the Media Library grows and grows. When you update an agenda or minutes, the old one stays (and can cause confusion). This is because two files can’t have the same filename, so the WordPress system will normally append a “-1” to the filename. Suggestion: don’t spend time trying to clean up the Media Library; it’s not worth it. Certainly if you see an older version, you can delete it.
Revised: I had pointed out that in some circumstances you can delete a file and replace it with the updated file of the same filename and alleviate having to update the link to it. I have since seen file caching to be problematic. Best to just upload new and re-link. If you have a link to an image or file in more than one place, you can save it as a reusable block and replace all existing blocks with the reusable.
Added note about inserting PDFs: If you click to add a new block, you can add a “file” block, but it will display as a download button. If you simply want to link text to a PDF, 1) upload the PDF to the media gallery, 2) copy the file URL (to clipboard), 3) open the page where the text and link want to go, 4) type text, highlight, click link icon, 5) paste (from clipboard) the link to the PDF, 6) toggle to open in a new tab, 7) click the curved arrow to submit.
Featured Media (updated 4/17/21)
The best way to prep Featured Images is:
- Take photos with points of interest in the middle. Images will display differently on different devices. Wide monitors will show only a narrow horizontal slice through the middle, hiding the top and bottom. Edges will be hidden on phones.
- Upload your images directly to the Media Library.
- Click Appearance > Customize > Essence Pro Settings > Header Background Image. Click “Add New Image.” Select the image. In the lower right click “Select and Crop.” Drag the box downward to the best location. Click “Crop Image.” You can also resize the cropping box but you may lose the 2-to-1 width to height proportion. Not a problem if close.
- The new image will become the default header. So remember to scroll to near the bottom of the Customizer panel and click on “Randomize Uploaded Headers” (not suggested headers).
- Don’t click “Hide Image.”
- IMPORTANT: When you’re done, click “Publish” at the top of the Customizer (near the upper left), then “X” out to close when finished.
- To remove an image from the randomized rotation, hover over it and click the “X.” This will not remove it from the Media Library, so it can still be used on specific pages or posts.
- The images you crop in the Customizer will be saved as an additional image that size/shape in the Media Library. If you want a specific image in a particular page or post, open that page or post and near the bottom right click “Set Featured Image,” choosing the cropped version (which will be nearest the top of the Media Library). If you choose an un-cropped image, it will still work but may be larger file size than necessary and without best placement of points of interest. (Although you can edit images in the Media Library, those edits only apply to images used within the content area of a page or a post.)
We could use a few more seasonal pictures of the Town Hall. Please try to take them from the same position: above 10-15 feet from the fence, positioning the right fence post just to the right of the front door at the “bottom,” and the first light post to the right of the window to the right of the left door. This shows a glimpse of the pellet storage as well. It would be great if the outside lights were on.
Updating Agendas and Minutes in Regular Pages (original method–retired)
Instructions for existing system and archive pages–retired. See below for new method set up as “Meetings.”
- Click to the appropriate 2nd level page.
- Place your cursor “somewhere” inside the desired column, and use the arrow key to move it to the beginning of the first line (below the year).
- Use Shift Enter to create a single line (rather than a new paragraph), and arrow up to that line.
- Type your text, highlight, and “Add Media.”
- Upload the desired file. In the right column, Attachment Display Settings should be set to “Media File,” not “Attachment Page.” Click Insert into Post.
- Before leaving the new line, click Insert/Edit Hyperlink, and check the box “Open in a new window/tab.”
- Check your work on the live page, and click on the link.
Meetings (updated 4/19/21)
Click Meetings upper left for the new method of adding agendas, documents (packets, packages), and minutes.
- You may click on your department to filter your own meetings when viewing what is in the admin.
- When adding new, I suggest a naming protocol of department abbreviation first, then date as year-month-day, i.e. SB 2021-03-17, but this part is totally optional. Although tedious, this will help you find the newest at the top of the list when desiring to edit, although they will also be easy to find when you filter by category as noted above.
- At right, add the Meeting Type so you don’t forget it. If you forget it, it simply won’t show on the public page and you can go back and add it. The category will also not show in the admin, so either of these reviews should make it apparent if forgotten.
- Copy the date into the date field, or use the date picker.
- Add an Optional Meeting Type if necessary.
- Add an agenda that you may have already uploaded to the Media Library, or add it directly from your computer while adding the new meeting.
- Go back to this same meeting when you need to add documents or minutes.
- If you have updated any of the files, open the meeting, hover over the previously uploaded file, click the “X” to delete, and add new/replaced file from Media Library or as new upload.
- Go to Appearance > Menus
- If you don’t see a page you want to add under Recent, click the View All Pages tab, select any additional pages, click Add to menu, then drag and drop to correct location and indentation.
- If you add any top level nav, be careful not to exceed the width that will fit on one line at the narrowest window before mobile nav is activated.
Go to Appearance > Widgets to update existing sidebars.
The Text widget in the primary sidebar is updated the same way as described above in the reusable blocks section. The Text widgets in the Conservation sidebar are intuitive.
If additional unique Sidebars are desired, navigate to Genesis > Simple Sidebars. Name it and click “Add New Sidebar.” It will appear in the list. Navigate to Appearance > Widgets and add widgets/content to the new sidebar. Navigate to the Page on which you want the new sidebar and select it at right (under the Page tab in Block Editor) in the Sidebar Selection, replacing the Primary Sidebar.
I turned this plugin off since it wasn’t being used. If you decide you want to insert a slideshow anywhere, we can turn it back on. Instructions saved from before:
- Go to Meta Slider. Settings at right should be Flex Slider, 720 max X your preference, Fade, Arrows, Hidden or Dots your preference, Auto play, Smart Crop or Disabled, Hover pause, 6000, 800, Print CSS, Print JS. These will stay like this for new sliders and can be modified as desired.
- Click one to edit or click + to create new.
- Name it to match the page (for convenience).
- Add Slide(s). Captions may attach to the image in/from other places, i.e. in other sliders or use of the image, so double-check this.
- Go to page or post, place curser, select Add slider. This will insert the shortcode. The shortcode can also be copied and pasted (metaslider ID#).
Miscellaneous, One-Time or Advanced
- In Classic Editor, in every admin panel, there are Screen Options at the upper right. We set these during our meeting.
- For Posts, un-check Slug, Custom Fields, Send Trackbacks, Excerpt, Format; these will be out of your way in the future. (We are only using the Standard Format, no excerpts, no pingbacks or trackbacks, leave the slug alone.)
- For Pages, un-check Author, Slug, Comments, Custom Fields; these will be out of your way in the future. (We are only using the Default Template.)
- In Block Editor, these options appear under the Page tab and can be expanded as needed.
- In the Classic formatting bar, expand “Show/Hide Kitchen Sink” near right end to see more formatting options.
- Switch to “Text” tab (upper right), and get used to reading the html. Sometimes copy and paste is easier in this mode, then clean up under “Visual” tab.
- Feel free to use Tags on Posts, optional. (I prefer to stick with Categories.)
- You may Comment on Posts while logged in.