Spending time developing web pages, writing posts and perfecting the placement of images and blockquotes can take a bit of time – so it is just as well that WordPress comes with several preview options.
Now, you should at least know about the post and page previews, which will allow you to check a post (and any changes you have made to an already-published post) without anyone else seeing it – but did you know that WordPress also features a theme preview and even tools to configure the theme before it is made live?
These preview options make it extremely easy to accurately and smartly edit posts, pages and to get a good look at a few themes before you make the final choice and make one permanent on your blog.
Post and Page Previews
As I write this piece, I can use the Preview button in the Add New screen for posts and pages to take a look at the article before it is submitted.
The bold type used above can be checked; the use of images and their alignment and size can be perfected. If I have employed a blockquote, this can be checked, as can the use of any shortcodes or affiliate links that I might add.
Basically, the use of the preview function – which often follows a click of Save Draft for the best results – will allow you to shape the article with accuracy and produce a professional-looking end product. While the Visual tab in the Add New screen will give a broadly WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) presentation, only viewing the content of the post dressed in your blog’s theme will offer a true glimpse of what will greet visitors when they click on the link to that post.
This isn’t the only preview tool in WordPress, however…
Theme Preview Tools
Along with being able to take a look at posts before hitting the Publish or Submit button, WordPress enables the site administrator to preview themes.
This can be accessed via Appearance > Themes, where the Live Preview option can be used to check how your website will look with the chosen theme selected (if you don’t have any alternative themes installed, use the Install Themes tab to search for some new ones).
Using this option, a window will open displaying your blog’s home page, giving you an idea of the “new look” you can achieve by activating it. Clicking links on the preview will show you individual blog posts and pages, similarly styled. To exit the preview, click the X in the top-right corner of the window!
Configuring a Previewed Theme
The majority of modern WordPress themes have an extra feature built in – the ability to make some changes to the chosen theme in the Live Preview view (this differs from theme to theme).
For instance, you might get the chance to edit the site’s title or tagline in the new theme, useful if you use a text-based title rather than an image. Similarly, choices about the front page – whether it will display posts or a static page – can be made and previewed immediately.
Other themes might offer more options, such as the ability to preview a background image or colour.
Making the Most of the WordPress Preview
Far too many blogs can be found on the web where the writer has written something and hit “publish”, not giving any thought to the layout of the finished article (not to mention spell checking, but that’s for another day!).
Similarly, it can be easy to be lulled into a false sense of security with the thrill of a new look for your blog, only to find after it has gone “live” that it doesn’t suit every post or page.
Take advantage of these native WordPress tools and make the blogosphere a more attractive and considered place!