I’ve been experimenting with WordPress post formats for a couple of months now and finding them quite fun. When a theme supports post formats, it provides additional styling options for different kinds of content. You may have noticed some of those styles with the quotes, asides and status posts that have started showing up here at the Gazette. The most used post formats are:
- text – the standard format for all WordPress posts. This is the default post format.
- quote – gives your blockquotes more presence.
- link – provides a quick way to share an interesting link with a short note.
- photo – is intended to display a single photo/image.
- video – displays a video.
Other possible post formats include photo gallery, audio, chat, status and aside.
In order to take advantage of these goodies, you’ll need a theme that supports some or all of them. I’m currently using the Button theme here at the Gazette which supports all of these formats. I have also used the Penscratch theme which just supports the basic ones. Although some older themes – especially the free ones – do not yet support these formats, this is quickly changing. If a theme has been updated recently, check to see if post formats were added.
Once you find a theme supporting post formats, your can take advantage of the new design options these themes provide to add more depth to your blog. Here are some ideas:
- Nothing says a quotation has to come from some famous person. Use it to share a favorite saying from a parent or relative.
- Start a conversation around a link to an interesting article in much the same way you do on Facebook. WordPress has updated its commenting system and it now supports features like carrying on conversations with other commentors or just liking a post.
- Keynote and PowerPoint slideshows can be quickly exported to video and posted on your blog. Check the [Project Ideas section](https://moultriecreek.us/gazette/category/projects/) for ideas.
- Use photos with enticing captions to capture your family’s interest.
Take advantage of post formats to turn your blog into the digital equivalent of a scrapbook. Kicking the design elements up a notch makes your site more attractive to your family. Use the design to catch their eye and your stories to keep their interest. National Geographic has been doing that – very successfully – for more than a century.
When reviewing themes to see which post formats they support and how they style them, view the theme’s demo to get a look at the styling used for the various elements. In the example below, you see the fonts, sizes and colors for text and headings in this theme. Scroll through the demo pages to see how elements such as blockquotes, tables and forms are styled.
Many themes only display the basic elements in their demo. The attention to detail displayed in the demo is generally a good way to determine the quality of the theme.
This theme has several pages demonstrating many of the style options available. It has also included instructions on how to set up some of their custom-styled elements – such as pull-quotes. Very nice.
Taking advantage of post formats will require a bit more work while building your post, but the results will be worth the effort – especially if it captures and keeps your family’s interest.