Hey there! This is your one-stop-shop for posting content to The Foursquare Church’s News + Resources site. This website is designed to let you publish articles to share with your Foursquare district community.
Wondering what to do and how it works? Let’s jump in.
First off, some context
You are an “author” on this site. That means you have an account — including a username and password — that allows you to log in to this site. As an author, you can:
- create a new post,
- edit an existing post that lists you as the author, and
- delete an existing post that lists you as the author.
And posts come in several different formats:
- Article: A post that informs, like a typical post you would find on a news site.
- Download: A post that is meant to share a specific downloadable resource.
- Link: A post that is meant to share an external link, such as a website.
- Video: A post that is meant to share a video — or several videos — from Vimeo, YouTube or an uploaded video file.
- Audio: A post that is meant to share an audio file.
All posts are submitted to editors on the Foursquare Communications team, who will review and publish the post each Tuesday and Friday.
Your editorial team
- Person: What they do, email, etc.
This training video walks you through each step of the process of posting an article, video, link, download or audio file. If you get stuck, this is a great reference video. If you are already somewhat familiar with WordPress, the process is also outlined below.
- Log in to WordPress.
- Click on any post type to get started (i.e. article, download, link, video, or article).
- Click “Add New” either in the WordPress navigation to the left, or at the top of the screen.
- Write content and save the post as a draft.
- Change the post “Status” to “Pending Review.”
- Click “Save as Pending.”
- The Foursquare Communications team is notified and will publish the post after reviewing it
Writing in WordPress
This site runs on WordPress, a content management system. WordPress provides us with a consistent interface with content publishing tools, like automatic formatting, categories, design options, file management, translation capabilities, and search engine optimization, among many other things.
That’s a lot of stuff! Let’s break those down a bit to show you how to get the most from WordPress when writing posts.
1. Post title
Every post must have a title. Please be descriptive but also mindful of length. It’s also worth noting that titles use sentence case, so only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
2. Alternative Headline / Subhead
These settings provide you extra control of the post title as well as a way to include a subheading in the post banner.
- Alternative Short Headline: If you find that your post title is longer than 50 characters, then add a shorter version of it here. This title is used on the main News + Resources homepage. If no headline is provided in this field, then the actual post title is used.
- Subhead: Adds text below the post title in the post banner. Usually, this is one complete sentence, but if you need more text, then please keep this under two full sentences.
3. Post content
This is the main content of the post. It includes a large area for you to type, as well as controls for formatting content, such as bold, italic, linking, lists, and other options.
Please avoid changing the size or color of text and rely instead on the formatting options in the top-left corner of the formatting options. There is a dropdown that allows you to change the text from a paragraph to a heading. Changing the size or color of the text will make the content inconsistent with the rest of the content on the site, and we want to provide the best experience possible to anyone reading content on the site.
4. Search Query Matches
When someone uses the search feature of the site, WordPress looks at the title and content of every post on the site, finds what it thinks are relevant matches, and displays those results. Unfortunately, it’s a little too accurate and only looks for exactly what’s typed in the search field.
This setting allows us to define additional search terms for WordPress to consider when finding matching search results, making it much easier to find certain articles.
5. Publish settings
This is where you save your work or submit it for review.
- Status: Indicates whether the post is a draft, is pending review or has been published.
- Visibility: Sets whether a post is public or private. All posts on this site should be public.
- Everything you need to publish articles to the News + Resources website.
- Post date: If set to “Immediately” then the post will display on the site as soon as it is published. Otherwise, schedule the post to publish on a specific date and time, or “backdate” it so it appears it was published earlier. The post date is also important because posts are generally displayed by their publish date, in descending order (i.e. newest to oldest).
- Readability / SEO: There’s no need to worry about these settings. Our editorial team pays attention to these for grammar and search engine optimization purposes.
To submit a draft for review, please set the post status to “Pending Review” and the Foursquare Communications team will be automatically notified. Just make sure to click the “Save Draft” button instead of the “Publish” button to change the status.
6. Various post settings
These settings provide additional control of the post, from how it is categorized to how it is translated, among other settings we’ll cover in later sections.
Adding categories and tags
Use the Categories setting in the right sidebar of the editor to categorize a post. Categories are used to group posts that are topically related. Please choose from the existing categories instead of creating a new category. The existing categories are intentional and used to help make the site’s search feature more useful.
Tags are a lot like categories but are used to group posts that are more closely related than categories. For example, we have a category called News. We might categorize a post with News, then tag it with “Foursquare Missions International” so that the post not only shows up with other News posts but also with any post on the site that is related to FMI. In other words, tags allow us to get more granular with how we organize and display posts.
Like Categories, please choose from the existing set of tags.
Changing the post URL
WordPress calls the URL of a post a permalink. For example, the permalink of this post is:
Everything after https://resources.foursquare.org/ is known as the slug. By default, WordPress will use the post title as the post slug but we can change that if we want it to be something shorter or perhaps easier to read or remember.
The post permalink is displayed directly below the post title in the WordPress editor. Click the “Edit” button to change the post slug, then click “Save” to save the change. Please note that you still need to save your draft in order for the change to be reflected.
Images are used in a few different ways in posts:
- A featured image: This is displayed as the main image of a post on the homepage and anywhere else a list of posts is displayed. These should be sized at 490×290 pixels.
- A banner image: This is a stylized background used in the post banner; this is NOT REQUIRED. These should be sized at 2000 by 1080 pixels if you choose to include one.
- Content images: Images that are displayed in the post content. Sizing at 490×290 pixels is best for these as well, but these are a bit more flexible.
Use the Featured image setting to select the post’s featured image. You can upload a new image, or use an existing image from the Media Library. Any image you upload from this setting will be saved in the Media Library for you to reuse in other posts if needed.
The featured image can be automatically embedded at the top of the post by enabling the “Inject Featured Image” option in the Display Options settings located in the right sidebar of the post editor.
Add a banner image in the Banner Settings located in the right sidebar of the post editor.
Please make sure that the post title is still legible with the image you use when previewing your work. An image should be dark enough for black text to be read against it. If the post title is illegible, use the Overlay setting to add a dark or light layer between the post title and banner image, depending on whether the image is too light or dark.
Need to display an image directly in the content? Remember that the featured image can be injected at the top automatically with the “Inject Featured Image” option noted above. Otherwise, you can click the “Add Media” button above the post content field to upload an image to the Media Library or select an existing one.
Image best practices
There are a few things to consider when adding images to a post:
- Use a good format. JPG, PNG, and GIF files are supported.
- Use small files. Try to keep images lower than 100KB. ImageOptim is a free app that helps reduce file sizes.
- Use alt text. When uploading an image, WordPress allows you to describe the image in an Alt Text field. This is what is announced to unsighted users who rely on a screen-reader and is important for the overall accessibility of the site.
- Use a caption. Similar to alt text, WordPress allows y0u to add a caption that is displayed below the image when it is added to the post content.
- Have a clear subject. Images should have a clear focal point that conveys the subject of the image.
By default, you are the author of a post you create. You can re-assign a post to a different author using the Author setting. Simply choose from the dropdown of existing authors, save the post, and the selected individual is set as the post author.
Please note that if you change authors, you will no longer have access to edit or manage the post. You will need to reach out to the Foursquare Communications team to regain access.
The National Hispanic District is the only district where Spanish is the primary language; English versions can also be added by toggling the language switcher. All other district posts are written and submitted in English, but can also submit Spanish versions of the same entry.
To submit a Spanish post, switch to Spanish mode in WordPress before writing content. The language switcher is located at the very top of the screen when you are logged into WordPress.
Submitting a post for review
First off, make sure you save your work often! It’s rare that we lose work for any reason, but there’s nothing worse than accidentally closing the WordPress editing screen before you’re done. WordPress automatically saves your work periodically, but it’s still best to click the “Save Draft” button in the Publish settings to prevent accidents.
Once you are ready to have your post reviewed by the Foursquare Communications team, change the Status of the post to “Pending Review” in the Publish settings That displays a “Save as Pending” button at the top of the Publish settings that, when clicked, submits your post. The Foursquare Communications team is automatically notified and will take it from there — no more action is needed!