Adding an entry

Are you ready to post to your blog? Log into ExpressionEngine and click the Publish tab. What you see is the default blog entry page.

You can customize or even add more fields if you need to by visiting the tools located in the Admin tab and following the instructions in the User Guide.

To post to your blog, follow these steps:

Title your blog entry.

This is the only required field in the blog posting.

You can leave the URL Title field blank. ExpressionEngine generates the URL title, which is used in the full address of the blog entry, based on the information in the Title field.

Write a short summary of the entry.

Use the summary to pique your readers' interest and get them to read more. Many bloggers don't bother with a summary. Other bloggers display the summary only on the first page of their blog and make readers click to get the full post.

Fill in the following fields:

• Body: Contains the bulk of your blog posting. In most cases you won't go on and fill in the Extended field, but put all of your entry in the Body field.

Your blog posting reflects the spacing you use in the Body field. Want to skip a line and start a new paragraph? Use the Enter key as you do in a word processor; there's no need to insert spacing using HTML tags.

• Extended: This field is for occasions when you have an extra-long blog entry and don't want the entire posting to display on the home page of your blog. Text that you place in the Extended field is only visible to users who click the permalink. The best way to get a feel for this field is to go ahead and try it!

• Trackbacks: Use this field to include a Trackback URL from someone else's blog you're citing in your posting. When you publish your entry, ExpressionEngine uses the Trackback information to notify that blog publisher that you've referred to their blog. I cover Trackbacks in more detail in Chapter 11. You don't have to use Trackbacks, but they are an easy way to create links from other blogs without lots of work on your part.

• Entry Status: Determines whether content is visible on your blog or only entered into the production system. Set your entry status to Open, and your entry is published to your blog when you submit it. Choose Closed, and ExpressionEngine saves the entry so that you can come back to it later.

• Author: Normally this field reflects the name of the person who is currently logged into the system. It is most useful for blogs with multiple authors.

• Date: Determines what date and time you use to publish this entry. Set the date and time to a point in the future, and ExpressionEngine holds your entry off the blog until then.

The date and time are generated the moment you begin your posting, so if you want it to go live right away, you don't need to make any changes at all.

• Expiration Date: Tells ExpressionEngine when to remove a posting from the blog. Most bloggers only do this in rare instances, and there is no need to set a date if you don't want your post to ever expire.

• Comment Expiration Date: Set the date to remove comments from the blog at some point in the future. Again, this is rarely done. Comments are usually allowed to live on the blog forever, and you don't need to set any expiration date at all.

4. Under Options, make some choices about the behavior of this blog entry.

Sticky entries always stay at the top of a group of blog postings and are useful for announcements you want to make sure everyone sees. Note: You can turn off comments for individual blog entries here. In Figure 6-8, I choose to allow comments in this blog posting.

Figure 6-8:

You can choose whether to permit comments in each of your blog posts.

Figure 6-8:

You can choose whether to permit comments in each of your blog posts.

When you publish your blog entry, ExpressionEngine gives you the choice to ping, or notify, blog aggregation sites that you've posted something new to your blog. You can select which sites to ping in the Sites to Ping section before you publish your post. See Chapter 11 for more information about pinging sites.

5. Select a category for this posting.

ExpressionEngine's default installation provides three categories to choose from: Blogging, News, and Personal. When you customize EE, you can change or delete these categories, or add more. Select any of these to place this posting into a category.

6. Jump back up to the top of the page, and click the Submit button.

You've just published your first blog entry! Don't forget to see how it looks on the blog by clicking the My Weblog link at the top of your ExpressionEngine window. In Figure 6-9, you can see the entry I just created on the Buzz Marketing with Blogs blog.

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