Here at Open to Export we have chosen WordPress as the system for content publication. It is currently the most utilised content management system in the world. Now don’t worry, it’s easy to use but not so easy to break. What’s more, because the only content you can edit is your own, you can have confidence you won’t accidentally wipe out someone else’s contribution.
Have a think about what it is you want to publish on Open to Export. It should fall into one of the following categories:
Articles – These are articles that inform the user. They can comprise ‘evergreen’ advice that will be long-lasting or can be more personal/topical/newsworthy
Events – These are upcoming export-related occasions that you or your company are hosting/promoting
Opportunities – These are export-specific business openings in a particular market and/or sector
The following guidance relates to all three above content types, although it refers specifically to articles.
1) Your dashboard
Once you’ve logged in, click on “my account” which is located on the top right of your screen. You will be presented with a dashboard that looks something like this:
The initial important step to take at this stage when you log in for the first time is creating your user profile. Click on ‘Edit Personal Profile’ on the left hand navigation. From there you can add your job description, your location, contact details and a short biography letting users know your background and who you are. You can also upload a profile picture, which helps complete the look of your profile and gives users an easy way to remember you.
We want you to get the most out of Open to Export. By completing all the sections in the Edit Personal Profile area, the information you provide will help users to gain a better understanding of your business and the products and services you provide. It will also make interacting with the Q&A community more productive and show your relevance as an expert in your area. There is a small tick-box on the ‘Edit Personal Profile’ screen that allows you to make your contact details public – if you want users to be able to view your biography, and to get in touch for advice or opportunities, please make sure you tick it.
When you’re ready to publish content, click the ‘Add/Edit Content’ option from the left hand navigation and you’ll be directed through to your WordPress dashboard:
Although it may look tricky at first, it’s quite straightforward. The options on the left side of the screen depict what type of content you can add or edit. The articles you have already added appear in the middle of the screen, allowing you to click and edit them.
2) Adding your content
Underneath the ‘Article’ (or ‘Events’ or ‘Opportunities’) button on the left you have the option to ‘Add New’. At this point you will be presented with the following ‘Add New Article’ screen:
The first box is for your headline or title. Make sure this is relevant to the content and not too long. Also avoid being cryptic or using puns. We want to make it easy for users to instantly know what your content is about.
The main box underneath this is for your body text or main content. In the header of the box is a selection of editorial and screen options. Have a play around with them and see what you can do.
And when writing your copy, remember to space paragraphs or sections out – it won’t do it for you.
If you are adding content directly from a Word document, there is a handy ‘Paste from Word’ button which removes any formatting that might look odd on Open to Export. When you click this, a popup box will appear which allows you to paste in content and ‘Insert’. If you are copying and pasting from any other type of document (e.g. a pdf), you can use the ‘Paste as Plain Text’ button, which also opens a popup box. This box provides the option to keep or remove line breaks (which are simply the points at which the text moves to a new line) – it’s usually best to remove them. Once you have inserted your content, you can then make any necessary adjustments within WordPress to re-format it (e.g. making text bold).
Just above the copy box is the option to Upload/Insert. This could be an image that you want to add within your content or a file that you would like users to download. Make sure the cursor is placed in the body text where you want the object to appear. Then, just click Upload/Insert and a pop up window will appear with easy to follow instructions.
To the right of ‘Upload/Insert’ are tabs called Visual and HTML. If you have a link you wish to add to your article, please click on the HTML button and from the screen that appears, highlight the text you wish to make into a link and select the link icon. Paste the full URL address into the relevant box and click ‘Add Link’ – see below:
If you want to link to content you’ve already published on Open to Export, instead of adding the URL address you can click ‘Or link to existing content’ and search for the appropriate upload by title, before clicking ‘Add Link’.
Don’t worry about the rest of the HTML screen unless you understand code. All that you need to write, edit and publish content can be done from the Visual screen.
Video content: If you have video hosted on either Youtube or Vimeo, you can embed it in an article. To do this, select the ‘Paste as Plain Text’ button and paste the url for your video into the pop up box.
Below the copy box is an area titled ‘Custom Fields’. Here you are able to upload a featured image that will display at the top of your content on the site. You can choose to add an image that you’ve uploaded previously, or to upload a new image. Before you add the image, you will be shown a list of options, where you can add a caption, resize the image, etc. You also have the option in the ‘Custom Fields’ box to insert an ‘Article Author’. Only use this box if you are not the author of the article and wish to attribute it to the original author. If you leave this blank, the content will be automatically attributed to you.
The ‘Custom Fields’ box for events and opportunities has different options. These are fairly self-explanatory, but please make sure to add dates for these content types. If you click in a date box, you will see a small calendar – select the date from this calendar to ensure the format is correct (WordPress will only display dates provided in a particular format).
3) Getting your content on the right areas of the site
To publish your content on Open to Export we need to ensure it goes in the right category. On the right side of the ‘Add New’ screen you’ll see it’s dominated by dropdown menus of categories – see below:
These are very important and selecting the right ones will ensure your content appears where it should on the site, which also means the user will have the best chance of finding it.
Open to Export is structured by Market, Topic and Sector. If your content is not relevant to any market or sector, be sure to select the next most relevant topic/s. YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO PUBLISH CONTENT WITHOUT SELECTING AT LEAST ONE TERM FROM (ONE OF) THESE BOXES!
The tag menus in the boxes reflect the site navigation, listing the categories and sub-categories which exporters can browse to find the most relevant information on the site. If you select a sub-category for your content, it will automatically appear in the associated higher level category. For example, you may be writing about the technology sector, but specifically around Communications. If you select the sub-category ‘Communications’, your content will also appear under the more general category ‘Technology’ on the site. Similarly, if writing about Taxation, when you select the ‘Taxation’ sub-category, your content will also appear under the ‘Legislation & Regulation’ category.
At the moment, some of the lower-level categories do not show on the live site but please use them as if they do – your content will still appear in the appropriate higher-level categories and once the amount of content on Open to Export reaches an appropriate level, these categories will be made available on the site (please refer to our ‘Categories Guide’ for brief descriptions of some of the categories in the Topics section).
And if your content is relevant to more than one category make sure you select all that it applies to. This way it will appear throughout the site, where it’s applicable. For example, if you happen to be writing about the import tax in India affecting communications firms in the technology sector, then select ‘Taxation’, ‘India’ and ‘Communications’.
This may seem quite complex but once you’ve created the content you’ll know the areas it fits.
DO NOT SELECT CATEGORIES THAT AREN’T RELEVANT or that don’t correspond to the central topic(s) of your content. Doing so will reflect badly on you as an authoritative contributor and will end up with the site community rating your content negatively.
Try to think about how users will find and use your content when tagging it. For example, it’s unlikely that a user looking for content about customs procedures in China will want to read an article which only contains a sentence or two on the topic. It may not always be easy to judge when tagging, but it’s worth taking time to consider what an exporter is looking for under each category.
4) Publishing your content
To publish your content, look for the blue button near the top right that says ‘Publish’ (see below):
Once you’ve clicked on this, the content will be on the live site for users to view. Don’t worry though, the article will still be on your screen in edit mode allowing you to make changes if you suddenly feel you need to. Simply make the changes and hit ‘Update’ again. The amended article will be updated on the live site in seconds.
Just above the ‘Publish” button is one called ‘Publish immediately Edit’. This can be selected if you want to schedule your content to be published at a later date. This is particularly useful if you are set to be away for a while and want to keep publishing a steady stream of content. You can write a few posts and schedule them to publish at different times.
Above this again is the option to ‘Save Draft’. You can use this if you are writing content that you want to keep but don’t want to publish immediately. The content will be saved and held as a draft in WordPress, but won’t show on the Open to Export site until you publish it.
5) Editing your content
To edit your content, select ‘Article’ from the left hand menu. You will then be presented with a screen showing all of your published content. By hovering the mouse over a specific title you will be given the option to ‘Edit’, ‘Quick Edit’ and ‘View’.
Selecting ‘Edit’ will bring up an ‘Edit article’ page that is the same as the ‘Add New’ screen in all but title. ‘Quick Edit’ allows you to make simple changes to the title, categories and tags without leaving the ‘Article’ screen. See below:
When you’re happy with your changes, select the ‘Update’ button or conversely the ‘Cancel’ button on the left.
And that’s it!
If you do have any questions on WordPress please send an email and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.
Or, you can find various tutorials on YouTube.com. Simply search for ‘WordPress tutorial’.
Go forth and publish!