How to Build a Blog With WordPress

Tag and Manage Content

Your next task is to add tags. These simple words and phrases help readers find posts on the same topic, just as image tags do for photos. Use keywords that describe the post, specify what it's about, and even identify proper names of things inside. Separate the tags with commas, and click Add.

Categories offer an organizational structure similar to tags, except that--depending on your layout--WordPress can instantly create navigational tabs for each category. This arrangement works great if your blog has a few repeating themes, such as "work," "soccer," "cooking," and "family." I recommend that you make as many tags as you can think of--even five or so for a single post--but try to limit your categories to a few main topics. Type a name, and click Add, or use the checkboxes below to designate the category.

Click Save on the right, and click Preview this Post. If it looks good, click Publish. If you prefer to schedule the post to go live at a certain time, click Edit, and enter the future date and time when you want this to happen.

Post Via E-Mail

WordPress 2.5 can publish posts that you or others e-mail to a specific address; this ability is ideal for occasions when you want to send content from a phone away from a computer. But the default process has drawbacks: It doesn't work with SSL accounts, it requires POP3, and currently it doesn't work with photos. For these reasons I prefer the free plug-in, Postie. Besides overcoming the preceding limitations of WordPress 2.5's e-mail process, Postie can be instructed to publish only e-mail sent from a specific address, which enhances your security.

Create a new, secret mail account exclusively to use with WordPress content, and upload the 'postie' folder to /wp-content/plugins. Create new folders in your main directory called wp-photos and wp-files where Postie can save its data. (Make sure that they're write-accessible on your server.)

Postie gives you a hassle-free way to send posts to your blog via e-mail or text message.
In WordPress, click Plugins near the upper-right. Activate Postie. Log out and then log back in as an administrator. Click Settings, Configure Postie. Enter any e-mail addresses that you want to permit to post entries to the blog. Leave the other settings at their default values, scroll down to the end, and enter your e-mail account settings. Click Update Options, and click Test Config. If you run into any problems, check to confirm that the e-mail account details are correct.

Postie should be ready to go, but you'll need to create a scheduled Unix command that regularly checks the e-mail account for new messages. In your server configuration tool, open the Cron Jobs tool and create a new job. In it, paste the text */5 * * * * /usr/bin/lynx --source http://www.mywebsite.com/wp-content/plugins/postie/get_mail.php >/dev/null 2>&1 to cause WordPress to check for new mail every 5 minutes. Now you're ready to mail in your posts. Postie will use your e-mail subject line as the title of the post, and the body of your message will become the body of the post.

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