Hello!!! Perhaps you are visiting because you’re participating in Bloggiesta this weekend! Or maybe you want to learn more about creating post templates in general. Or possibly you’re not looking for anything in particular but deep down you wonder if you can make blogging a little bit easier and streamlined. I’m hoping that today’s post will help with that.
Years and years ago when I first participated in the Readathon, I created a new post for every update. After a while of recreating the wheel I realized that I could just copy and paste a template of my post and save myself a bunch of time (you know, when that clock is ticking and you’d rather be reading than blogging). After the readathon was over, I decided to transfer this process to several of the posts that I write frequently.
Basic Template Creation – Copying HTML
The most basic way to create a template is to copy the HTML coding of a frequently used post. You want to use the HTML coding so that you can copy any images and formatting to use each time. In WordPress, select the “Text” composition option to grab the HTML coding. In Blogger use the “HTML” composition option to grab the HTML coding.
In creating templates, I only use the bare bones of what I need–this includes any images, my signature, and text that I will use for each and every post of it’s kind. I do not copy the post content as I don’t want to worry about deleting and editing the same portions of a post over and over. I can grab my post outline and go! I’ll discuss below the option to copy/clone posts.
Where Do I Save my HTML coding?
There are many options for saving your HTML coding. You can create a draft post for each template and open and copy the HTML each time you want to create this post. When I was using Blogger I used an excel document so that I could have a tab for every type of post for which I had a template. You can also use any type of HTML text editor program. Some people use Evernote to create post templates. I link to a tutorial for this in the very last section of this post.
The key is to be able to keep all of your HTML formatting so that you don’t have to duplicate it again and again. If I do have a word or two within the text that I might have to change from post to post, I highlight or bold this word so that I know to change it.
Another method that many bloggers use to recreate posts time and time again is to use a copy or clone feature. If this is you, please tell me more about this method because in all my twitter queries or searching, I was not able to find this option on WP, though I hear it exists (perhaps the Duplicate Post plug-in). I believe that this option is standard on wp.com. From what I understand, people copy over an entire post that they’ve previously published and then change the pertinent information for the new post.
Using a Plug-In to create Post Templates (WP.org)
I use Easy Content Template plug-in for WordPress.org for all of my frequently used templates. I create each template like I would an individual post–you can choose to create the title, content, and excerpt for each template and when creating a new post each of these options is available. When drafting a post that I write a lot, like the Inspiration on Monday post below, I simply load the template and can then focus only on new content. Using Easy Content Template has saved me so much time in terms of creating and formatting posts. If you use another plug-in that is similar, I would love to hear about your experience.
- Brainstorm posts that you write over and over
- Create a template for this post
- Rejoice in the ease of recreating this post next time
- Report back to me about the process you used to create your shiny new template (or if you already use templates maybe you can spruce one up, create a new one, or simply share how you use templates in your blogging). Feel free to tag me @TriniCapini on twitter if you need any troubleshooting help!
Giveaway: By participating in this mini-challenge, you will be entered for a chance to win a $15 gift card to your online bookseller of choice. You must leave a comment with the details of item 4 in the mini-challenge above to be entered. Bonus (brownie) points if you blog about your process and link it back here in your comment for others to see! You must be officially signed up for the fall Bloggiesta in order to be eligible.
Other Resources for Creating Post Templates
Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-in (by Ashley at NoseGraze) – This plug-in makes writing book reviews and keeping up with book indexing a breeze. Unfortunately it’s not a free plug-in and it can only be used for WP.com, but it was designed by a book blogger who knows all of the ins and outs of WordPress.
Post Duplicator Plug-ins for WordPress.org
Post Template Plug-ins for WordPress.org
Easy Content Template for WordPress.org (this is the plug-in I use)
How to Use Evernote as a Blogger (by Michael Hyatt)
I would love to hear if you use any of these methods of post templates or if you have another method you’d love to share!