WordPress: How to Format Pages & Post with More Pop!
Although the WordPress content management system is used by 80 million active website owners worldwide, most are not utilizing the editing tool bar to maximize content and make it pop.
The main reason for creating content to publish on web pages is to engage the reader and get them to respond to a call-to-action. Yet, the majority of web users are not reading full articles, but rather scanning to find the things that interest them.
In order to engage web users, provide rich interesting content and grab their attention, pulling them into the content to connect with them, build a relationship of trust and get them to commit to a call-to-action (CTA).
The rules have changed from print media, where it was necessary to create long paragraphs filled with descriptive adjectives, to where it is now customary to confine paragraphs to two or three sentences. So, to get the web reader’s attention we must make use of formatting tools, such as:
- Bulleted lists
- Bold & italicized words or sentences
- Use of Title Case in Subheads
1. Be Bold, yet Subtle
With a little restraint, the use of bold and italicized formatting is an effective means of breaking up big blocks of text. One very effective means of utilizing bold is to make the first sentence of the paragraph bold to introduce a new concept.
This use of bold breaks up the monotony of continuous text. And, serves two additional purposes as well, it signals to the reader that this sentence is important and draws the reader’s attention to that piece of information from anywhere on the page.
The use of Italicized text follows some of the same rules previously used, but may be applied more liberally. Use italicized text when quoting, when using words that may be anomalous, or unfamiliar to the average reader, to place emphasis on a certain word, or a foreign word, and when using the following:
- Movie, plays, & TV show titles
- Magazines, books, and newspaper titles
- Works of Art
- DVD, CD, or album titles
When a paragraph becomes too long or when you have a list of things, use bullets.
A practical means of breaking up text into different concepts is the use of subheads utilizing different size headings. Keep in mind that Heading 1 or H1 should only be used once as the title of the piece. If you use title case for subheadings, use it consistently throughout, and don’t capitalize articles and conjunctions.
4. Know Before you Go
Knowing what tools are available on the text editor tool bar and how to use those will make writing that article or blog quicker and more efficient. To customize the toolbar, add or delete features for better familiarity try one or more of these 17 WordPress Plugins to expand your toolbar, some even add social networking functions.
5. Make Use of WordPress Tutorials
One of the best features of WordPress over other CMS platforms is the very large online community of writers and designers who in most cases are more than willing to add written and video tutorials to the WordPress library. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the time to dig around for the right information.
If you need some training that is a little more hands on, Course Vector has the answer in the form of one-on-one WordPress training. If you would like one of our technicians to provide personalized training on your website utilizing shared computer screens, fill out a training request form.
6. Add Relevant Images to Enhance the Point
Images, particularly charts and graphs can go a long way toward emphasizing a particular point. Normally, a large amount of numbers throw off the reader, so percentages and figures contained within a chart or graph can be desirable. To add images to a WordPress page or post select “upload/insert media.” This will initiate a pop-up to drag and drop a photo to a spot stating: “drop files here.” Be sure to complete the alt-text fields and optimize the image to reduce load times and add image tags to XML sitemaps.
The ability to drag and drop images from the internet to your WordPress Media Library is very handy and one WP plugin that facilitates that is Snipi.
7. Formatting Photos
There are many ways to format images to support your text and whether you align them left, right, or center is a matter of choice, but remember to be consistent and try not to put text beside an image unless there is a specific purpose for doing that. Additionally, add keywords to captions when used, this will give the content an SEO boost.
8. Cut & Paste Options
To copy and paste text or images in WordPress you can still use the Ctrl + V the same as you would in an Office application. However, if the text doesn’t look the way you expect, use the “Paste as plain Text” or “Paste from Word” option in your text editor tool bar. Some formatting alterations might be necessary to achieve the desired look.
9. What is a “Soft Return?”
Pressing the enter key will generate a double line space, in order to generate a single line space, it is necessary to use Shift + Enter, this is what is known as a “soft return.”
10. Always Start Strong and Finish Stronger!
Actually, this has nothing to do with formatting, just a good tip! A strong opening and a stronger summary surrounding rich content will keep readers on the page.
So, remember to use these formatting tips and tricks to make your WordPress content pop off the page:
- Be Bold, yet Subtle
- Know Before you Go (get familiar with the text editor tool bar)
- Make Use of WordPress Tutorials
- Add Relevant Images to Enhance the Point
- Format Photos
- Cut & Paste Options
- What is a “Soft Return?”
- Always Start Strong and Finish Stronger