From Word to WordPress: How to Publish an Article

Typing on a keyboardI’ve developed quite a few websites on WordPress over the years. Clients often ask, ‘How do I write an article or post without messing it up?’ Since I go through this educational process often, I thought I’d share a step-by-step guide on how to post an article to a typical WordPress site.

Please feel free to use this as a personal guide or share it with your clients. I look forward to reading your comments below.

DISCLAIMER: Please consult your web administrator on specifics for your website. Many WordPress sites and themes have been customized. In some of these cases, a different series of steps will be required.

Okay. Now on to the good stuff!

Where do I write my original article or post?

You can choose to write your original article or post with any text-editor, word-processor or inside WordPress itself! For the purposes of consistency, editing and workflow, I recommend writing your article or post in Microsoft Word. I know some folks might not agree with this, but, for most of my clients, Microsoft Word is a tool they know how to use and is a comfortable writing environment.

When you write your post in Microsoft Word, I recommend you not style anything. Use only the stock fonts & styles. Even when it comes to headers, etc, leave them alone. The only exception is with bullets and lists. With these, use only the base styles form the list/bullets menu in Word.

  • Do not style anything, except lists and bullets.
  • No bold, italic, font sizing, etc.
  • No extra line spacing between paragraphs – one space is enough.

We will do our styling when we relocate your post into WordPress. If you do styling in Word, you can add extra work or complications. We don’t want that!

Also, don’t add any pictures or images in the Word document. For similar reasons, we will add those in WordPress as well.

Sooo, you’ve written your post. Now what?

The post is written. You’ve done your spell checking, proofreading, and you are ready to put that sucker onto your WordPress site. Rockin!

The first thing we need to do is log into WordPress. Go to http://’’/wp-admin and login. Hopefully, you know your login information. If not, you can request info be sent to you from the login screen, or consult your web administrator.

Once logged in, you are now in the ‘Dashboard.’ Woot! On the left side you will see a list of menu items. You want to click on ‘Posts.’ You will now see subcategory items listed under ‘Posts.’ Click on ‘Add New.’

Okay. Before we actually begin adding anything, we need to get you all set up. First things first: on the top right of the screen, you will see a tab called ‘Screen Options.’ Click that. You may not want to change anything here, but you should know it exists. It surprises me how many people, even developers, don’t realize these editing options are available. Until you learn your way around WordPress, I recommend you check all of them. You may not make adjustments in any or all of these areas, but it’s better to know what you can do than not. When done, click the tab for ‘Screen Options’ again to close it.

For the purposes this tutorial, I’m not going to get into all the dealios you will find on the ‘add post’ page. When you have time, you should poke around and become familiar with what’s there.

Wordpress: The Kitchen Sink
The ‘Kitchen Sink’

There is still one more thing we need to do before we go about adding any content. On the screen, can you find the ‘edit post’ buttons (under ‘upload/insert,’ see image)? Hover your pointer above the buttons. On the far right, a button will display ‘Show/Hide Kitchen Sink’ when hovered over it. Click that sucker! Coolness. Do you see all the nifty new buttons? Don’t worry; this is awesome!

Ready to start adding some content? Under ‘Add New Post,’ enter your article/post title. Cool. Now, one thing to know, don’t hit the ‘Publish’ button until your post is ready for the world to see. In the meantime, to save or view your post click ‘Save Draft’ and ‘Preview.’

This is the really cool part: Go to your document in Word, click ‘Edit’ at the top of the screen and click ‘Select All.’ Now your whole Word document should be highlighted. Click ‘Edit’ again and click ‘Copy.’ (If you know keystroke commands – you are a ninja!)

Now go back to WordPress. Do you remember when we selected to show the ‘Kitchen Sink’? In that group of icons you will find one labeled ‘Paste From Word’ (hover if you aren’t sure). Click that bad boy!

You will see in the window that pops out instructions to ‘Use CTRL + V on your keyboard to paste the text into the window.’ Click inside the blank window and then hit CTRL (command for MAC) and ‘V’ at the same time. See your document in the window? It may not look the same as your original post in Word, but the content should be all there. Cool? Okay. Now click ‘Insert.’

Woot! Your content is now in WordPress. But wait! It isn’t styled! No worries! Those icons above the post (see the ‘Kitchen Sink’) are all about styling. Here are some things to remember when styling your content:

  • For headings, don’t use ‘B’ or Bold. Instead, highlight the heading, click on ‘paragraph’ and select heading level – the lower the number the greater priority within your page (also pertains to SEO).
  • For SEO and styling purposes, DON’T use Heading1 (h1) or Heading2 (h2) in your styling. Just don’t!
  • Don’t mess with fonts, etc. What you see on this screen is different that the styled output (click preview to see).
  • Links: select the text you want to link and click the ‘link’ button above to add the link.
  • Images: Check out my other post ‘How to Add Images in WordPress.’
  • If your blog has categories, don’t forget to select the appropriate category on the right – typically select only one for improved SEO and user experience (depends on the site).
  • If you use tags, enter up to 5 keywords related to your post (on the right).

For most users, this should be about it. Preview the post and make sure it looks correct. If it does, go ahead and publish (or schedule a time to publish) to make it live on your site!

For more advanced users, there is one button in the ‘Kitchen Sink’ area you might want to use. That is the ‘HTML’ button. Here, you can switch between text editor and HTML editor. If you aren’t familiar with HTML, please don’t mess with this. If you do use it, remember to switch back to the text editor when done. I recommend this to protect you from accidentally making changes in the wrong place.

Hopefully this has been helpful. You should now be able to write, edit and style your posts like a pro!

For more information on editing posts, check out the article found in the Wordpres Codex.