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build your blog

step 5: categories & pages

by JuliannaKunstler.com

How to add pages and categories, set up a navigation menu. Start a blog from scratch. Tutorial for beginners. Step-by-step tutorials. Free to use. Using WordPress platform.

in this section:

  • pages vs. categories
  • top level pages:
    • home page
    • other top level pages
  • categories & sub-categories

pages vs. categories

site map planning

Remember, you sketched your site map?

Get it out now. You are going to use it in this step.

We are going to add some pages and categories to your site.

Before we do so, let's discuss the difference between these two options. (The option of posts we will skip for now, as we are going to use posts as our "end level" pages).

Both page and category will look and act the same for your site visitor, but it matters a lot to YOU in terms of the functionality of the site.

pages (static)


A page is just that: it’s a single page.

You can design it how you like (add columns, photos, headings, etc.).

You could add your events in a bulleted list. But it’s not “automated.”

Pages are best for content that’s not going to be updated very often. For example, About, Contact, Resources, etc.

Use a page if you want full design control, but also want to manually update the content.

Quick tip:

You can have a dynamic block within your static page as a widget.

categories (dynamic)


Use categories to organize your posts.

A category is a collection of posts in that category. It will show the list of those posts. Depending on your theme, this usually will show, per post:

  1. Post title
  2. Featured image
  3. Meta data (author, date posted, etc.)
  4. Excerpt (or full content if you choose)
  5. Read more

The downside of this approach is that you do not have much control over the visual part of the category, just what your theme offers you. You can style this list (and use layout features) but it’s not like a page that you can go in there and make it look exactly as you’d like.

Now determine which pages you want to create as static pages and which pages will be dynamic categories.

Based on my site map:

I use a static page option for my home page - I want to have a full control over its design.

I would use static pages for Classes, Resources and Contact.

I would use a posts page for News and updates (posts page displays all posts and updates).

I would use categories for portfolio and individual classes, and sub-categories for units.

I would use posts for individual lessons.

site map structure


manage pages

To add or edit a page from your dashboard menu:

Click on Pages > All Pages

edit page

You will see a list of all pages that you have so far.

This is where you can add and edit pages.

edit page

You should already have at least two pages:

HOME page (your front page) and NEWS (posts page).

We are going to edit your home page.

home page

edit page

If you roll over the home page button - you will have an option to choose what you want to do with the page.

If you choose Edit - you will be able to add /edit text, images, page attributes, add interactive forms, etc. This is what you choose for working with the page content.

If you choose Quick Edit - you will be able to edit some page settings, but not the content.

The other two choices are obvious!

edit page

Page Editor window will open.

This is where you can put in your content.

Quick tip:

The content will not get changed (unless you change it) if you switch the theme in the future.

edit page

You can keep the page title as is.

There is no other name for a home page but "home" :).

edit page

Below the title bar are forms bar and text editing tools.

Add text to a static page

Text tools are quite simple and are similar to any text editor.

edit text and headings

There are choices of text formatting: headings and paragraph.

Font typefaces, colors, sizes will depend on your Theme choice.

add links

You can add links to a text.

Links can point to an outside web page or one of your own.

Content for class "step" Goes Here
read more tag

Read More tag:

You can truncate your blog entries so that only the first part of a posts is displayed on homepage, archive pages and in subscriber emails.

When you do this, a link will be placed directly after your excerpt, pointing the reader to the full post. You can put this link anywhere in a post, and customize it to say whatever you want.

expand edit bar

Toolbar Toogle:

Opens more text formatting options.

Add images, videos, galleries, etc to your page:

Click on Add Media button.

add forms to page
add media to a page

Add images that you have already uploaded to your Media Library


upload images

...upload a new image by clicking on Select Files button or just dragging and dropping them onto the window.

create gallery

You can add an entire gallery here.

Upload multiple files and they will be formatted into a gallery (with thumbnail previews).

add youtube video

You can also add a YouTube video or other media bu placing a link to it.

There are other forms available for you to add.

You decide what you want.

add forms to page

Choose a template for your home page.

Try all templates and decide which one you like more for this particular page.

Consider Front Page layout for home page, but test and preview them all to get a feel of them.

social media buttons

Decide if you want social media buttons and likes on the page.

add featured image

You might want to add a featured image to the page. It will be displayer at the top of the page.

Not required though.

publish a page

Preview changes.

Does everything look the way you want?

Click Update button. This is how you save changes.

other pages

edit page

To add a new page:

Click Add New button in the top left part of the window.

Page title will determine the page's URL (web address). It does not apply to home page because it is set up as your front page.

Page title will show at the top part of the page.

It will also work as a link in your navigation menu.

Keep it short and descriptive.

add contact page

For example: Contact. This is a standard page to have on a site.

Check permalink below the title - it should have your site address and then .../contact/

If more complex - click Edit button and change it.

contact form

This is where you might want to add a contact form for visitors to communicate with you.

You can also add your email address and/or other information for people to find you.

Consider including all social media buttons here.

modify contact form

You can modify the contact form by selecting it and clicking on Edit button.

Choose page options:

  • title
  • permalink
  • add media and/or forms
  • add text content
  • page attributes (choose template, no-parent for top level pages)
  • order (leave 0 for now)
  • featured image
  • social media and like buttons
  • preview changes
  • Upload to save.

Follow the same steps to create other top-level pages.

quick edit pages

To edit pages settings (not content) - click Quick Edit from All Pages menu.

You can edit:

  • Title
  • Slug (permalink extension)
  • Published date
  • Add access password or make it private
  • Choose parent order: Main Page (no parent) - for top level pages.
  • Order of the page in site navigation
  • Template
  • Published status (you can keep it as a draft if you are not done with it)

Click Update to apply changes.

quick edit page
pages in wordpress

Add the rest of the pages.

categories and sub-categories


add new category

To add a new Category click:

Posts > Categories

add category

After naming a category - choose NONE for Parent Category because this is the first tier of categories.

Once you add a parent - it becomes a sub-category.

Add a short sweet description.

add category

This is how it will show in the list of categories.

It will automatically add a slug (web address extension). If you had a space in your Category name, it will add a dash "-" symbol. URLs do not like spaces.

all categories

Add the rest of the top level categories.

Quick tip:

You cannot modify the way the categories page will look. You cannot manually add any additional text or images to it - only by adding a new post.

So if you want a full control of the page - make it a static page.



add sub-category

To add a sub-category is as easy as to add a category.

You just need to choose a parent category for it.

subcategory setting

Add a description.

Click Add New Category button.


This is how a sub-category will appear in the list.

sub-categories in the list
all sub-categories

Add more sub-categories to your existing categories where needed.

Now you are ready for the next step - create a navigation for your site.