As we were finishing up publishing Write Your Book recently, I realized that we needed to add a page for the book to our blog site where we can make the forms and linked bibliography that we mention in the book available.

Self-hosted WordPress blogs like ours contain both posts and pages. Posts are the new entries that are created regularly and appear in reverse chronological order on the Home page (or on the Blog page if the blogger has chosen to have them listed there and made the necessary modifications). Pages tend to be static and provide durable information about the blog, the blogger, or some other topic. Most blogs automatically include an About page that readers can access by clicking the About link in the header.

Pages will not show up in your site’s RSS feed and are not automatically emailed to subscribers. The content will not automatically appear on your Home page, but a link to each page will be automatically added to the navigation menu in the header unless you use a plugin such as those mentioned in the WordPress support topic on “How to Make Some Pages/Posts Invisible” or replace the default menu with a custom menu (I’ll explain how to do so in a future post). You cannot assign categories or tags to pages. Readers usually find a page by visiting your site and clicking on the link in the header or on a link you provide on a post or another page.

That said, the title of this post is “How to Create and Edit a Custom Page on Your Blog” so let’s get it done! I recommend printing this blog post so you can see what needs to be done without clicking back and forth between screens and can cross through the words in each step as you complete them.

screen capture of WordPress Dashboard for Creating Pages__ go to your Dashboard, rest the cursor on Pages, and click Add New
__ enter title in Enter Title Here box
__ enter text, images, and other content in the main post editing box and format it as desired
__ edit the Permalink (below the title) if the one WordPress automatically provided is not acceptable
__ click Publish
__ go to your blog’s Dashboard, rest cursor on Appearance, and click Menus
__ click View All tab in the Pages section
__ if Menu Structure does not currently list each page you want on the menu then click the checkbox for each page you want to add and click the “Add to Menu” button
__ if you want a page to be a “child listing” on a dropdown submenu for the “parent listing” of another page (so the child page listing will appear when you rest your cursor on the parent page listing in the menu) then rest your cursor on the child page until the cursor turns into a four-way arrow and then drag-and-drop the child page just below and slightly to the right of the parent page (after you move the child page it should be indented and say “sub item” just to the right of the title of the child page)
__ click the appropriate checkbox in the “Theme locations” part of the Menu Settings section at the bottom to designate the location where you want this menu to be used (in my case I was editing the primary menu at the top of the page so I clicked the Primary Menu checkbox; there may be more than one menu location listed if your theme supports sidebar menus or other menus—for more information see the WordPress Codex’s page on the Appearance Menus Screen)
__ if you want to have any new pages created in the future automatically added to this menu then click the “Automatically add new top-level pages to this menu” checkbox in the Menu Settings section at the bottom; if you may create some pages which you don’t want to include in this menu at all—perhaps because you only want to link to them from another post or page—then confirm the checkbox is not checked
__ when you believe that you have the menu structured the way you want it then click the Save button and go to your blog’s home page to confirm that the structure is as desired

Your new page should now appear in the header menu along with the Home and About pages.

To edit any page:
__ go to your Dashboard and click Pages
__ rest the cursor on title of the page you want to edit and click Edit
__ make the edits
__ click Update

That’s it! This is one of the simpler how-to posts, but one of the most important for authors who are beginning bloggers.

Do you have any questions or concerns? Shoot me a message via the About/Contact page and I’ll do my best to help.