WordPress Basics: Setting the Date, Author, and other Post Options

Note: This article continues a series of tutorials covering the very basics of using WordPress.

Now that we are comfortable logging in, publishing a post, and saving and editing posts, it is time to look at a few other useful posting options. In this tutorial, we explain how to set and change the post date, post author, and several other useful post options.

Setting/changing the post date and time

By default, the date & time associated with a post is the same as the date & time when the post was originally published. To change the default date & time to something different, follow these steps:

1. Login and locate your post
Login to the WP admin area and navigate to the post for which you wish to change the date & time. This may either be a new post that you are going to create, or a post that you have either saved as a draft or published to your blog. For additional help locating previously created posts, go here. For additional help writing & publishing a new post, go here.
2. Open the Post Timestamp subpanel
Once you have your post displayed in the "Write Post" panel, look to the right-hand side of the screen and locate the "Post Timestamp" subpanel (see example). If this subpanel is closed, open it be clicking its plus (" + ") symbol. For future reference, the subpanel closes when you click the minus (" – ") symbol.
3. Check the Edit Timestamp option
Within the Post Timestamp subpanel, put a check in the "Edit timestamp" option box. This is very important — no changes will be made to the date and/or time unless this option is selected.
4. Change the date and/or time
Next, use the dropdown menu to change the month, and edit the numerical fields to change the day, year, and time, respectively. It is important to emulate the date & time format of the preexisting values. The time values must be in military format.
5. Save the changes
Finally, after you have entered the desired date & time, save the changes by clicking either "Save" (to save and exit), "Save and Continue Editing" (to save and continue working), or "Publish" (to publish an unpublished post).

Setting/changing the post Author

To set and change the name Author of the post, you must have at least two Authors associated/registered with your blog. You also must have sufficient privileges to make such changes. So, if you meet these stringent requirements, follow these steps to change the Author of a post:

1. Login and locate your post
Login to the WP admin area and navigate to the post for which you wish to change the Author. This may either be a new post that you are going to create, or a post that you have either saved as a draft or published to your blog. For additional help locating previously created posts, go here. For additional help writing & publishing a new post, go here.
2. Open the Post Author subpanel
Once you have your post displayed in the "Write Post" panel, look to the right-hand side of the screen and locate the "Post Author" subpanel (see example). If this subpanel is closed, open it be clicking its plus (" + ") symbol. For future reference, the subpanel closes when you click the minus (" – ") symbol.
3. Select the Author
Within the Post Author subpanel, use the dropdown menu to select the Author to which you wish to attribute the post.
4. Save the changes
Finally, after you have selected the correct Author, save the changes by clicking either "Save" (to save and exit), "Save and Continue Editing" (to save and continue working), or "Publish" (to publish an unpublished post).

Other options available for posts

Next, we introduce several other post subpanels available from within the "Write Post" editing area. Specifically, we will look at the "Discussion", "Password-Protect Post", and "Post Slug" option subpanels. The goal here, in this basic tutorial, is to familiarize yourself with these post options. Then, with a general awareness of their presence and function, you will be equipped to seek out more in-depth information as needed. So, without further ado..

1. The Discussion subpanel
The "Discussion" subpanel (see example) provides post authors the ability to enable or disable post comments and pings. WordPress treats these items separately, thus providing greater control over user feedback. If your blog provides a comment form for your posts, or if you provide a guestbook for your visitors, disabling the "Allow Comments" option will replace these features with an automatically generated message for your users that says something to effect of "Comments have been disabled for this post", depending on which theme your blog is using.
2. The Password-Protect Post subpanel
The "The Password-Protect Post" subpanel (see example) enables you to restrict the viewing of the post by requiring a password. The subpanel consists of a single text input field, into which any alphanumeric password may be entered. After a password is entered and the post is saved, the post will display a message indicating that it is password-protected, and that access requires entering the correct password via the provided input field.
3. The Post Slug subpanel
With a name like that, you want to be careful. The "Post Slug" subpanel (see example) enables the post author to customize the URL of the post when permalinks are enabled. The post slug is essentially the same as the post title but with only alphanumeric characters. It is advisable that you do not modify the post slug of any posts until you know what you are doing.

Next up in the WordPress Basics series, Uploading and Displaying Images via the WP Admin »

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