A page is the basic unit from which most sites are created. Examples include:
- a home page
- an “about us” page
- a page listing all of your news/blog posts
Under WordPress Basics > Creating Content you learned how to create a new page.
Now we’ll talk about editing and deleting pages.
Editing an existing page
- Once you’re logged in, click the Pages menu option on the left. This takes you to a list of all pages:
- If you want, use the filter links at the top left to filter the list by date, category, or publication status (to list only Published, Draft, or Trash):
- If you want, use the search box in the upper right to find pages by their content:
- If you’d like to see more pages at once, click Screen Options at the upper right and increase the Number of items per page:
- Once you find the page you want to edit, either click its title or hover your cursor over its name and then click Edit in the mini-menu that appears:
Welcome to the WordPress editor page:
The editor itself acts much like any other word processing tool. It’s discussed in more detail elsewhere in this manual, but fortunately it’s pretty intuitive.
Once you’ve made your changes, click the blue Update button in the upper right to save them:
Your page’s “slug”
Most WordPress sites make use of something called a slug in the address for each post or page. Take this example of the permalink (permanent link) for a WordPress page:
In the above permalink the slug is “capital campaign”.
WordPress generates the slug and permalink based on the title you enter for your page. You can see the slug just below the title:
Before you publish your page…
…you can edit the slug by editing the title. Each time you Save Draft, the permalink under the title will be updated.
You can also change the slug it to be different from the title by clicking the Edit button to the right of the Permalink. You might want to do this, for example, if your post or page has an extremely long title and you’d like a shorter slug and permalink, or if you’d like it to include certain key words that people are likely to search for.
After you publish your page…
…you should not change the slug if at all possible.
Why? Because once you publish a page, any links that you or other people have made to that page will break if you edit the slug (thereby changing the permalink).
For example, if we changed the slug “capital-campaign” to “capital-campaign-news”, everyone in the world who has linked to or bookmarked the “capital-campaign” permalink will get a Page Not Found error. Search engines will also get confused.
But sometimes you have to change a page’s slug after publishing. In that case you can use a plugin to redirect the old address (URL) to the new address.
The page editor includes a Page Attributes box to the right of the main editor. This is most often used to define a page’s parent or template.
One page may be the parent of another. For example, you might have an About menu item with several items beneath it: Mission, History, Staff, etc. In this example, the About page is a parent of the Mission page.
You can define these parent/child page relationships by editing a child page and choosing the correct parent from the Parent drop-down.
In many cases, doing this is just for your own organizational purposes. If you have may pages, and if you group them logically, the list of pages will be easier to understand when you’re administering the site.
Some older (or more basic) themes also use these parent/child relationships to define the website’s menu. But today it’s far more common—and easier—to manage your menu with the menu editor.
(The Order field in the Page Attributes box is left over from this older form of menu management.)
Many WordPress themes support specialized page formats for various pages. For example, it’s common for the Home page to have a different format than most pages within the site. For a theme supporting multiple formats, you should find them listed in the Template drop-down.
Deleting a page
You can delete a page from the page listing: hover your cursor over the page’s name, then click Trash in the menu that pops up below the title:
Or you can edit the page and click Move to Trash in the Publish box, right next to the Update button:
Changing a page’s name
It’s fine to change your pages’ names. But a page’s name is defined in more than one place.
In some cases you might only need to do step #1 below. But you might need to look in as many as four places to completely change a page’s name.
- The page’s title. When you go to Pages > All Pages on the WordPress menu, you’ll see that every page has a title. You can edit the page title by clicking either Edit or Quick Edit from the list of all pages.
- The page’s text. Sometimes doing #1 above will change the name that appears at the top of the page for visitors. But for some pages, the name that appears at the top of the page is actually text entered in the page’s content. You can edit this name the same way that you would edit any other text on the page.
- The menu entry. Normally doing #1 will change the page’s name in the menu as well. But sometimes—if you’ve customized the menu item’s title—you need to manually edit the menu entry. This is described in more detail at Managing Menus > Edit menus > Changing a menu item’s title.
- The page’s slug (address). Let’s say your page is named “About”. When you create the page, its address will default to something like http://ghi.wisc.edu/about. In this example, “about” is the page’s “slug”. If you change the page name from “About” to “Contact”, its address will still be http://ghi.wisc.edu/about. If you want, you can edit the slug to match the new page title… but that’s sometimes a very bad idea. For information on editing the slug, see Types of Content > Pages > Your page’s “slug”. Be sure to read the warning in that section: you should never change a page’s slug lightly.