Adding News

This tool is not included on all WUSM Web Theme websites. Submit a request to WashU Medicine Marketing & Communications to include news on your site.

Your group can use the news tool for news, announcements, updates or a blog. This tool is recommended for groups with six or more news posts per year.

In the world of WordPress, posts are used for news- and blog-type content, as opposed to pages, which are used for relatively stable content like “About,” “Our Programs” or “Adding News Posts” (to use this page as an example).

News is just one type of post available with the WUSM Web Theme. Other post types include the Bios and the Events/Calendar tools.

Using the news tool offers these advantages:

  • Posts are dated; on the main news page (called the index page), they are automatically ordered by date, with most recent listed first
  • When you publish a news post, it is automatically added to the news index page and to the homepage (if you’ve opted to show news on home)
  • Posts can be assigned to categories; if you add categories, a dropdown with filters will appear on the news index page (available as of Feb. 2017)
  • With each news post, you have the option to add an article to your website or to link directly to an article on an external website

Adding news from other websites

In addition to publishing your own articles, you have the option to post news items that link to articles on other websites. This is especially useful if others write about your group, or if someone in your group writes a paper or editorial that appears in an outside publication.

Since this option allows you to link directly to the original source, you don’t have to copy the full text of someone else’s article to your website. (Doing so could violate copyright while duplicating articles on different websites, which may confuse readers.)

Whether you’re creating a full news article on your own website or linking to an article on an external website, follow the steps below.

Creating a news post

  1. Go the WordPress admin dashboard; in the left menu, click News > Add New; or, from the top ribbon, click New > News Post
  2. Enter the post title in sentence case, not title case:
    • This is written in sentence case (for posts)
    • This Is Written in Title Case (for pages)

  1. Option A: If another source authored the article (e.g., Outlook Magazine or Washington University School of Medicine):
    • Add an external link to the original article under WUSM News
    • Add the full name of the original source (e.g., St. Louis Post-Dispatch or Washington University School of Medicine) under WUSM News
    • Set the featured image and add an excerpt as described below; for the featured image, you can save and use the photo published by the original source
  1. Option B: If your group authored the article:
    • Add the author’s name (optional) under WUSM News
    • Add the full text in the text editor box, following the guide to editing pages
    • Add images to the posts’ body (optional), following the guide to adding images to a page
    • Set the featured image and add an excerpt as described below

  1. Set a featured image (optional), which appears both at the top of the news post and as a thumbnail on the main news page:
    • Click “Set featured image” in the box on the right (below Publish)
    • Use an image at least 645 x 430 pixels (w x h) and no larger than 100 KB
      The featured image for news posts is not the same size as the featured image for standard pages. They are programmed to display differently depending on the type of page/post you are creating.
      See all image sizes »
  1. Add an excerpt summarizing your post in no more than 125 characters (excerpts appear on the main news page and truncate automatically); if you leave the excerpt blank, the news page will instead show the first 20(ish) words of your post
  2. Check any and all relevant categories in the box on the right (optional)
  3. On the top right, you can either Save Draft, Preview or Publish the post:
    • Save Draft until it’s ready to publish
    • Preview the post to view without saving/publishing your changes; the preview will open in a new tab
    • Publish adds your post to the live site
  4. To schedule or back-date a post, in the “Publish” box (top-right), edit “Publish immediately” by selecting a past or future date and clicking “OK.” If you choose a future date it will automatically be published when scheduled.
  5. After publishing, check your work by clicking View News in the top ribbon; you can toggle back to edit by clicking Edit News in the top ribbon

How to categorize news posts

  1. To categorize a news post, view the post in editor mode. On the right side of the page, find the box called Categories.
  2. To add a new category, click + Add New Category, and enter the category name.

Once you’ve created a category, it’ll show up as an option for all other news posts.

You may assign one post to multiple categories by checking multiple boxes. If you’re using categories for your news posts, it’s best to assign every post to at least one category.

Editing or adding multiple categories at once

To edit or delete existing categories, click News > Categories from the WordPress dashboard, then select the category you wish to edit or delete. Deleting a category will not delete any posts; it will just remove that category from any posts for which it has been selected.

From the News > Categories page, you can also add new categories, which is especially useful if you want to add several categories at once. You only need to insert the category’s name; don’t worry about all the other fields.

Bulk categorizing posts

If you’ve already published some news posts but are new to using categories, you can bulk edit your already-published posts to assign them categories. Before you begin, make sure your categories are created and ready to go! (See tutorial above.)

  1. From the WordPress dashboard click News in the left menu; now you’ll see a list of your posts
    As a default, the News posts page will show only 20 posts at a time. To show more posts on this page, click Screen Options at the top and change the number of items per page from 20 to 500. This update will be saved to your theme user settings, so you will only have to do this once.
  2. Check the boxes to the left of all the posts you want in a specific category
  3. Find the Bulk Actions dropdown at the top of your news post list; select Edit, then Apply
  4. Now a Categories box will appear; select the category/ies you wish to assign to the selected posts
  5. Repeat steps one through four for each category

You can use this same process to un-categorize posts as well, which is particularly helpful if you have posts tagged as “uncategorized” (see note below).

Eliminating the “uncategorized” filter

When you publish a news post, WordPress automatically tags it as “uncategorized” if no other categories are checked. As a result, if you forget to categorize a post before publishing it, “uncategorized” will appear as a filter on your news page.

The good news is that since filters appear only if they are populated, you can easily solve the problem by editing the uncategorized post(s) and de-selecting that tag. You can also remove the category from multiple posts at once by bulk editing, as described above.

Just remember: Checking a different category does not de-select “uncategorized”; it must be unchecked manually.

What if I don’t want to categorize my news posts?

Then don’t. Categorizing your news posts is completely optional – an additional feature you can utilize, or not!

Displaying news on the homepage

In addition to your news page, you can choose to display your three most recent news posts on the homepage.

  1. From the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Front Page
  2. Locate the box labelled WUSM News Settings; this is where you’ll adjust how news appears on the homepage
  3. Front page section title: “News” is the default heading; however, you can delete the heading completely or use a heading better suited to your content, such as “Announcements” or “Faculty Research Updates”
  4. Show on front page: Choose a display option from the dropdown menu
    • None (default)
    • Title with excerpt (first screenshot below): No image shows
    • Image with title (second screenshot below): Requires that you set a featured image for each each post; if you don’t set a featured image, a placeholder image will appear
  5. Position: Choose where on the homepage you want News to display in relation to other content blocks. The featured image, introductory text and button are not included in the count, so numbering starts at “1.”
  6. Background color: Select the background color so that it alternates with other modules. If you don’t have any other content blocks, you’ll want to choose White since the top of the homepage is grey.

News on the homepage showing title with excerpt

News on the homepage showing image with title