This looks like a simple post. A little bit of text and picture that everyone seemed to like on Saturday. But, the picture is not in a gallery, it’s centered, resized, and I changed the caption. Thus begins a series of How-To blog posts about working with the dreaded Block Editor. Today, I’m going to explain and illustrate how to 1) Schedule a post. 2) Set Categories and Tags, and 3) Insert and manipulate a single image from your media library. If you already know how to do all these things, you can click here, and jump to my gallery for today.
Note: the information shown below works for WordPress.com bloggers. If you are self-hosting, I’m sure these options are there, but I don’t know where. Also, the galleries in the post are all screenshots, without borders. They look better and make more sense if you click to bring up the screen show. They will appear in order.
I am going to start with scheduling a post, because it’s the first thing I do. It’s the first thing I do, because it eliminates the possibility that I will click “Publish” before I am ready. One of the things people complain about with the Block Editor is that it’s not intuitive. Well, scheduling your post is among the least intuitive steps there is. You start by clicking on the word “Immediately” – see, I told you.
When you click on “Immediately” a calendar widget appears. Here you can set or pick the date you want your post to go live. However, if you click on a date in the calendar, the post will show as ready to be scheduled for that date, at the current time. Often, the widget will close at this point. If you want to also set the time your post will go live, click on the date and time that replaced the word “immediately” and open the calendar widget again. Set the time. Choose AM or PM, and…oh yeah, this is one of those things that doesn’t have a “Save” option. Just click outside the widget and it will go away. Your settings were saved, and you can see them in the place where the word “immediately” used to be. You will note that the button that used to say “Publish” now says “Schedule.” Don’t push it yet, we’ll come back to that.
Let’s put that image into the post. To do that, we are going to need an Image block. Click on the black square with the plus sign. This will open a Block Selection widget. Note: for the duration of these lessons, please DO NOT click the option to Show All Blocks. That changes the layout of the editor, and, well, let’s not go there. Instead, if you don’t see the Image block as an option, place the cursor in the Search area and type “ima” then choose the Image block. In my case, I want an image I’ve already placed in my library – I always upload and add captions to my images before creating the post – so I’m going to Select Image – and I’m going to select it from my Media Library. I’ll choose that glamor shot of Maddie that everybody liked, and voilà…well, that looks like crap.
Maddie is full size and parked on the left side of my page. There are two ways to fix this. The first way is to click on the image. When you click on that – or any block in your post – the right sidebar will change from showing Post Attributes to showing Block Attributes. These will vary with the block you’ve clicked on, and for an image block they will let you size the image and edit the caption and Alt-Text. There are other options over there, but we’ll save those for Block Editor 102, if anyone signs up.
The second way to edit your image is to do it in the editor space. Click on the image. Notice the lower tool bar that is right above your image. You can click on the icon that looks like the paragraph alignment thingie. Click center and center justify your image. You can click on one of the little blue circles on your image and drag it (in, out, up, down, diagonally depending on the circle) and grow or shrink the image size. Finally, you can click on the caption and edit it in place.
Now, let’s add some text above the image. I like to do this by clicking on the image (or any block) and opening the Block menu on the tool bar above the block. I’m choosing to add a block above my image. Now I begin typing and we’re good.
Lastly, let’s look at getting ready to schedule this post. I’m including a few options people have asked me about via email.
If you are still in a block in the editor space, the sidebar widget will be showing block options. Click on the word “Post” at the top of the sidebar to switch to the Post Options tab. There are many, but let’s focus on two, Categories and Tags. Scroll down in the sidebar until Categories appears. This actually is kind of intuitive. Check/uncheck categories as you like. Add one if necessary. Then scroll down farther until you see Tags. Start typing, and tags you’ve used before will appear. Click on them or continue typing.
If you announce your post on social media, switch the sidebar to the Jetpack tab. Edit your social media message and then switch back to the Post/Block settings tab. If the “Save Post” option is available, do that. WordPress falls off a cliff often, so that’s always a good idea. Most, but not everything you’ve done is displayed as it will be in your blog, but I always like to Preview my post before scheduling. Click Preview, and unless you want to tempt fate, click open in a new window. If everything is hunky-dory, push Schedule. You will be asked to confirm this, and you will be given the option to turn that confirmation step off.
If you turn the confirmation step off, and then if you ever press Publish by accident, your post is live. I’d stick with the two-step process.
I’ll have more to share next week. I take requests, so if there is something you want to know about, feel free to ask in the comments.