• I think the word “post” is ambiguous in the context of this forum so I’m not going to use it. Content is “articles” (including fiction, photo essays, etc) and comments.
  • Similarly, the word “forum” is ambiguous. The Glibs website is a forum. But there’s also the Glibs Forum (aka chatroom).
  • In addition to the two above sites, I also have bookmarked Tonio’s article on how to edit your article in WordPress.
  • The yet-to-be-published authors don’t have access to the WordPress Dashboard, and thus can’t submit or edit their own article. Virgin authors are referred to the Leads/Submissions tab at the top of the forum. An editor will thrash you mercilessly work with you in a kind and supportive fashion until your article is ready to go.
  • This article describes the use of the WordPress Classic Editor. The WordPress Block Editor became available on Glibs after this article was written, but is covered briefly at the end of this article.


The Process

Tonio’s guide is the gold-standard source of what to do to compose an article that gladdens the hearts of The Powers That Be. But I’ve been hankering to add my own viewpoint. These are the steps I follow:

  1. Create a new article.
  2. Enter the title.
  3. Type or paste the text of your article.
  4. Enter the Excerpt.
  5. Upload your illustrations.
  6. Place, size, and caption illustrations.
  7. Select a Featured Image.
  8. Hide Featured Image on post and turn off the Sidebar.
  9. Choose the Categories.
  10. Preview and Proof.
  11. Submit for Review.



Create a New Article

When logged in, go to the Dashboard by clicking on:

  • Glibertarians (at the upper left corner)
  • Dashboard
  • Posts
  • Add New


Enter the Title

In the example below, the article title is “Love, Cascadian Style.” This text box is not labelled. Append DRAFT to the end of the title so that TPTB know not to publish it if it’s accidentally submitted.




Type or Paste the Text of Your Article

Always choose the WordPress Classic Editor if asked, unless you have special requirements (covered at the end of this article).

Tonio’s article covers this in-depth, particularly gotchas with pasting text from word processors. But even Tonio  is not perfect. One of the omissions from his guide was that you have to click on the Toolbar Toggle control (highlighted in the illo below) to unlock the second row of controls including the critical Paste as Text and Clear Formatting.



The section headings in this article are the Heading 3 text (click the word “Paragraph” to access text styles) , which is about as large as you need for most articles. The article Title should be the biggest text on the page.



A special note about tables, ie spreadsheet-style text: While you can manually compose them in HTML (as DB does because he’s just that geeky), it’s generally easier to get the table right in your word processor or spreadsheet, then export the table as a JPG file and place it as an illo. You have much better control over the appearance that way.



Create an Excerpt

The Excerpt is the text that appears on the Glibs main page, aka “feed.” The Excerpt appears next to the Featured Image, which is covered below. The Excerpt should either describe your article, or contain an attention-grabbing quote from the article.



Upload Your Illustrations

Always upload the highest-quality available (big file size, high resolution) version of your illustrations. WordPress automatically compresses uploads to save server space, and the better the quality of your original the better the compressed version will look.



Prepare you illustrations by editing them in Microsoft Photo Editor, which is the basic photo editor app included with Windows. The illustration above is an old wedding snapshot. Despite the photo flash, it’s a bit underlit. The people to the right are distracting background elements which takes our eyes away from the subject of the photo. First we crop the photo using the Crop tool, then we click the Filter tool and choose Enhance; this automatically brightens and sharpens the photo. We don’t fix the color balance because we want to preserve the fading of the photo print for reasons of authenticity.

After you edit your photos, use Save As to save a new copy of the photo with a descriptive name such as “Mr and Mrs Hobbit – Cutting the Cake fixed.” In this case, “fixed” refers to the cropping and enhancement. Best photo management practice is to never overwrite an original photo with an altered image; we are not the FBI, here.




To upload illustrations, click on:

  • Add Media (blue button in illustration below)
  • Upload files

Follow the instructions to upload your image(s).



If the file names of your illustrations are just a date and time stamp (as in the example below), do your fellow Glibsters a solid and enter a Description that others can use to search for your illos. Media Library Search feature looks at File Name and Description. Search does not look at the Uploader By field, even though you can see that when you click on an image. Please note that anyone with Media Library access can add Descriptions to files at any time.



We do not recommend setting Captions in the Media Library; set captions using the in-article Display Settings (see below). A caption added in the Media Library controls will be the default caption each time an illo is placed in an article. While this can be overridden in the Add Media / Edit Media controls, it’s a PITA for others to deal with if they use your picture at a later date (encouraged). FYI, if you change a Caption in Media Library, that will also change the caption for previously-published incidents of the picture that relied on the Media Library caption; that’s why it’s best to leave this blank. Also, alt-text isn’t what you think.



Place, Size, and Caption Images

Tonio’s article covers this in detail. Several addenda:

Before placing illos, makes sure there are at least three blank lines where you want to place your illo; put the illo on the middle line. Failure to do this may make it difficult to add text below the illo as WordPress is funky that way. Also, white space makes your article look better. Then you can use the image edit control to add a caption (optional) and to resize the illo.

The best-looking illos are one-half to two-thirds of the page width, and generally 400 pixels or less in height. There are exceptions to this rule such as Mars rover panoramas, photos of the Washington Monument, etc. As you scroll through an article you should always be able to see text (including title and headings)  above or below an illustration, ie you should never be able to see just the illo with no text (captions do not count as text here). That makes the transition from text to picture to text go smoothly. The one exception is, of course, articles that end with an illustration, but you should still be able to see text above the illustration whenyou scroll down all the way to the bottom.

Centered alignment with no text surrounding (left or right of the illo) is the most foolproof. You can experiment with other alignments, and flowing the text around illustrations, once you become more proficient with WordPress.



Once you add an illo to your article, you can resize it using the Size control (illustrated above). If the preset sizes don’t work for you, choose Custom Size and manually change one of the dimensions by typing in numbers, the other dimension will auto adjust to maintain the aspect ratio of the illo. Please note that resizing done with the controls above does not affect the original image in the Media Library, it only affects the instance of the image within your article.

While it is supposedly possible to move illustrations around within an article, using the image drag-and-drop controls often ends in tears. When in doubt, delete the problem illo from your article, save the article (which you should do before every major change, anyway), then add the illo back in again.

WordPress also offers an Edit Original control which lets you crop and flip illos. Use of this control is not recommended. It was hinky in earlier versions of the website and has not been tested post-upgrade. Do your fancy editing outside WordPress.



Select a Featured Image

The Featured Image is the illustration that appears on the Glibs main page, aka “feed.” The Featured Image appears next to the Excerpt.

While you are not required to have interior illustrations, ie those that appear in the article itself, you should have a Featured Image. If you do not choose one, one will be provided for you by the Art Department who are notoriously bitchy about that; rather like the quality of representation you get from a public defender.



Featured Images must have a aspect ratio of 16:10 which is a wide rectangle (called a “landscape” images in print media). WordPress will automatically crop Featured Images to 16:10 rectangle surrounding the center of the illustration. WordPress is totes Procrustean about Featured Images. That can lead to some interesting results for images which are squares, or tall rectangles (aka “portrait” images). Please note that both Photo Editor and Paint have preset crops for Widescreen (16:9) which is close to the Featured Image aspect ratio; crop your image to Widescreen format and you’ll only lose a little bit from each side when WordPress auto crops the image to Featured Image dimensions.

There is no preview for how the Featured Image will appear on the feed.

Consider the illustration below which is a screenshot of the Glibs feed for a Morning Links article. WordPress automatically cropped the original to 16:10 to comply with the Glibs template spec for Featured Images. So, WTF is going on here? Obviously, it’s a young couple getting frisky outdoors, but why is this relevant to a links article?



The original image uploaded to the media library (below) is a tall rectangle. When we see the entire image, the sight gag based on the sign becomes apparent, and we can see the admonition to “become ungovernable.” (The diagonal black line in the upper left of the illo, and the green patch in the upper right, were both in the original file uploaded to our media library.)



So, how do you fix that? If you’re brave you can use Microsoft Paint 3D to manually pillarbox the image. Paint is the basic image editor app that comes with Windows; this isn’t PhotoShop-level magic. Start by using the Paint Can tool to drop a solid color into the workspace. White works well because it’s the same color as the Glibs webpage background so the pillars disappear. Black also works as a pillarbox color for many images. Drop your illo into the workspace using the Sticker feature; be sure your illo fills the entire vertical workspace and is centered. The image below is pillarboxed using bright blue pillars (not a color you’d normally use), and was cropped slightly to eliminate the round corner in the original.




You can also request that Glibs editors do your pillarboxing for you. Write to your editor like you’re Mallory Archer’s building superintendent asking for a Christmas tip.

Website trivia: At the time Tonio wrote his article, the aspect ratio for Featured Images was 16:9. It’s since then changed to 16:10. Also, WordPress would resize (distort) tall or square images before, now it simply crops them.



Hide Featured Image on Post
and Turn Off the Sidebar

Locate the Extra Settings controls in the Classic Editor sidebar and make it look like the illustration below.

Sometimes you want to use the Featured Image as an interior illustration, too. But it’s much better to manually place a copy it in your article using the Add Media control. If you don’t check Hide Featured Image on Post, the interior image will be maximum page width and cannot be resized.

The Sidebar causes uncontrollable reeing among the commenters, and forgetting to turn it off is a total n00b move.




Choose the Categories

Categories appear in both the feed on the main page, and in the Title block inside the article. This is fun mostly because the category keywords I want are hardly ever on the list. “I am Lame” is automatically selected as a default. De-selecting it is optional.




Preview and
Submit for Review

Actually, I click on “Save Draft” and “Preview” frequently as I’m editing the article. The Preview tab does not auto-update as you make changes. To preview recent changes, close the Preview tab, Save Draft, and click on the Preview button to generate a new preview. Often the time spent tweaking an article will be equal to the time you spent composing  the article and doing basic illo placement. Editing times will be longer in the case of complex articles with many illos, or if you’re trying to do fancy layout.

When it all looks good remove DRAFT from the title and submit! Submitting your article moves it to the Pending folder which locks you out from editing it. If you need to make changes, email your editor and ask for the article to be reverted to Draft.




About the New, Fancy Editor

We now have access to the new WordPress Block Editor, aka Gutenberg Editor. Don’t panic, you can continue to use the WordPress Classic Editor. But now you know what to do if you are presented a choice of editors, or if the editor looks strangely different.

Embedding videos no longer works in the Classic Editor, as we discovered the hard way after the upgrade. If you do need to embed videos in your article you should compose and edit your article using the Classic Editor, then switch to the Block editor to do your video embedding. Major Gotcha: If you do embedding in an article with the Block Editor, then open the article in the Classic Editor, that will FUBAR the changes. Once you go Block, you never go back.

The Block editor offers a lot of features that are not available, or are unreliable in the Classic editor. Most of us will not need those features since our articles are basic text, links, and illos. We will try to make Block editor resources available in the coming months. We encourage our writers to experiment with this if they are so-inclined, but you’re on your own for the moment as far as support.



Editor’s Note: This article was expanded significantly by the editor, but Richard very much deserves credit for getting the ball rolling on a long-overdue update to the original “Working with WordPress” article. Anything you like about this article, thank Richard for; anything you don’t like, yell at the editor. I’d also like to thank the indispensable R.J. who took an initial stab at supplementing our original WordPress guide with a particular emphasis on illustrations; his work served as a basis for many of  the additions to this article. -Tonio