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Creating blog posts

You can do this either inside Umbraco using the Rich Text Editor (YinyMCE) as you would with a normal page or by using the browser and "a-new" link and the online "Markdown" editor. The Markdown editor is also available inside Umbraco so you can choose to create all your blog posts in Markdown for consistency, although this is unnecessary.

Getting things organised

Note: You will need to understand the difference between containers, categories and tags and their effect on the blog display and menus in the various themes available. Confusingly, some themes use Tags or Categories to organise content but call them something different such as “Label”. Choose your theme and establish what is shown so you can plan how to Tag and Categorise content.

Containers

Articulate allows you to create multiple containers (like folders) into which you can place the blog posts. These containers are not suitable for organising posts as only posts in the container sorted to first position on the tree are visible in the blog menu. Blog posts in any subsequent containers are invisible on the blog so they are only suitable for archiving posts or holding work-in-progress.

Tags

Most themes show the Tag of the post as a live link allowing visitors to drill down to show only posts with that Tag.

Category

Some Themes also show Category which can be used as a secondary level of organisation.

Creating a post in Umbraco

Blog posts are kept in the blog “Archive” (or whatever you have chosen to call the first post container).

Create a post by clicking “Create” > “Articulate Rich Text” (or “Articulate Markdown” if you prefer).

Post Attributes

Note: Themes may not use the all attributes - your best approach is to create a test blog & experiment with your preferred themes to see aht is used & how.

Use this to set:

  • Name (mandatory as usual)
  • Tags – treat this as the primary level when organising your posts
  • Slug – this adds a user specified url suffix to the blog URL instead of the post name
    (think of this as a way of setting a friendlier URL)
  • Categories – treat this as the secondary level when organising posts
    (Remember! Not all themes show Categories)
  • Excerpt – appears in the blog list and RSS feed
    (If you don’t specify this Articulate will take the first section of text as an abstract.)
  • Author – an author as listed in your Authors container
    (It’s important to check the name as Articulate does not offer a pick list)
  • Published Date – you can specify this or let Articulate pick it up automatically
  • Enable Comments – if Disqus is properly configured & this is checked the blog will allow comments

Content

This is the body of the blog which either uses the simple Rich Text Editor (RTE) or the Articulate Markdown editor.

The RTE editor is the same as the standard Umbraco content editor with fewer buttons.

The Markdown editor could best be described as “quirky” – allowing you to generate Markdown codes with buttons & shortcut keys. In practice some of this code is broken so you may need to clean it up. Should you choose to use Markdown it’s probably best to understand the code so you can spot & clean up these errors:

Alternatively you can use a better online editor like editor.md and copy & paste the result into Umbraco.
(Other editors are available such as Dingus & Dillinger.)

Why use Markdown if it's such a fag?

Why do some people love Marmite? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Because you can create blog posts from the browser without involving the main Umbraco editing system and maintaining a consistent markup system means your posts will look consistent.

It's also wonderfully mind focussing - you see the structure of your post - which helps with plain English and accessibility, and the extra effort involved discourages the use of unnecessary stuff.

However you will need to learn the code.

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