Wordpress screen options featured

WordPress Screen Options – The Walkthrough

Tucked away in the upper right-hand corner of the WordPress editor is an almost unnoticeable flyout tab called Screen Options.

The Screen Options tab includes several checkboxes that you can enable or disable in order to change which options are available to you within the editor and today, I will be walking you through all of those options.

screen options panel

Simply check to make each option visible or uncheck to hide them and the selections you make will be populated either at the bottom, under the page or post or, on the right sidebar.

Revisions

As you are writing your page or post, every time you hit the save or update button is a revision.

Having this checked in the screen options tab will make all of your revisions visible underneath the page or post.

This is useful so that you can roll back to a prior revision if something should get messed up beyond repair.

This feature has saved me a couple of times.

Alternately, you can also access the revisions in the upper right, within the publish menu.

Excerpt

This feature allows you to write your own excerpt or teaser to describe the content of a page/post.

The excerpt can be used as a meta description for search engines and can also be used to display a summary in the RSS feed.

Other ways these excerpts are commonly used is for various archives including:

  • Category Archives
  • Tag Archives
  • Author Archives
  • Monthly Archives

It should be noted that this type of excerpt does not replace the main blogroll excerpt

(see Read More Button paragraph).

Send Trackbacks

Trackbacks are a way of letting other webmasters of legacy blog systems know that you have linked to them.

Upon placing their URL in the area provided, the other webmaster will receive a trackback notification that their content was linked to.

However, if you are linking to another WordPress site, the webmaster will automatically be notified when linking to them with a pingback notification in the comments section of their dashboard so, there won’t be a need to add their URL.

This once popular function isn’t really used that much anymore as many webmasters have this feature disabled in their “discussion” settings due to spam issues but, I still get one from time to time when another site links to my content.

Custom Fields

Custom fields are a way of adding custom meta-data to a post such as to display your mood, what you are reading, listening to etc.

Some themes have ways of easily adding these types of things but, if your theme doesn’t support it, the only way to make it work is to edit the Loop from within your index.php file.

If you are a beginner and not used to edit these types of files, it is something you may want to hold off on until you gain more experience but, the link I provided will explain it in much more detail if you are the adventurous type.

Discussion

The discussion feature will show 2 radio buttons to enable or disable comments and also trackbacks/pingbacks on a per post basis.

When you have “allow comments on new articles” enabled in the “Settings -> Discussion” settings, comments will be enabled on all posts and this feature will allow you to disable them for each specific post that you choose.

Alternately, comments will not be enabled on pages by default so, you would have to use this feature to turn them on for each page that you wish to have comments on.

Slug

A slug is the unique part of a Permalink (URL) that defines a specific page.

In WordPress, the slug will automatically be taken from your post or page title and added to the permalink if you have “Custom Structure %postname%” enabled in your “Settings -> Permalink” settings.

For example, On your “About Me” page, the permalink would look like this:

http://yoursite.com/about-me

The bolded portion of the permalink is the slug.

With the Slug feature in the WordPress editor, you will be able to change the slug portion of the permalink.

You can also change it by clicking the permalink edit link that is directly under the title in the editor.

Why would I want to do this?

Because, it is a best practice to have short permalinks whenever possible and if you have a long title or, have the need to change titles frequently then, having the ability to edit the slug gives you that flexibility.

For another example, you may have a post titled “How to select the best dog treats for puppies – 10 Awesome Examples”.

That title would make an unusually long permalink so, you could change it to something more appropriate like:

http://yoursite.com/best-dog-treats.

A Word Of Caution

All changes to the permalink structure should be made before you publish the page or post.

Once it is published, anyone clicking on the old link will come up with a 404 error which isn’t good for user experience and SEO and will also save you from having to do 301 re-directs to set things right.

Author

When publishing a post, whatever username you are logged in with will appear as the author.

The Author feature allows you to change the author’s name from a dropdown list that is populated with all of the users you have created for your site.

This comes in handy if you are publishing guest posts or if you should happen to be logged in as admin then, of course, you would want an actual name to be listed as the author.

Alternately, you can change the author using the quick edit feature from the “All Posts” or “All Pages” screen.

Format

Allows you to select a pre-defined format for creating your posts that are supported by the theme you are using.

This feature is not accessible for pages and is replaced with “Page Attributes” when creating pages.

Categories

This feature allows you to create and to assign your post to different categories.

Remember that categories are exclusive to posts only and not pages.

Tags

Create and assign tags to your posts which again, is exclusive to posts only.

Featured Image

Allows you to add or remove a featured image to your pages and posts.

The featured image will usually be placed at the top of your page along with a thumbnail placed on the side of the title for the blogroll excerpt depending on how your theme handles featured images.

Layout

With the layout feature, you will be able to view the WordPress editor in either a one or two column format.

Choosing the one column format will place everything that is in the right sidebar underneath the visual editor.

Additional Settings

Enable full-height editor and distraction-free functionality will either show or hide the distraction-free viewing button.

Changing The Editor Layout

While I feel that the default layout of the editor works fairly well, it is easy to change the order of the specific options modules.

For example, would you prefer the Featured Image module to appear first, above the Publish module?

Simply hover the mouse over the module heading where you will see the cursor change to a 4 direction arrow then, drag and drop it to your desired location.

Color Scheme

While not a part of the screen options, you can also change the color scheme of the WordPress editor by hovering over “Howdy, YourName” in the upper right corner and then click “Edit my profile”.

There you will find several pre-defined options for changing the color of the editor for those of you who prefer something other than the default black and white.

 

Need Help?

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comment area below and if you have enjoyed this post and have found it informative then, please feel free to share it with your friends and followers.

You can learn all about WordPress and more at Wealthy Affiliate where I am also a member.

Read my full review here.

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