Writing & Editing

Posts »Post Formats

Learn how to make your gallery, video, audio, and other post types pop by using post formats. 

If your theme supports post formats, you can easily take your blog from this:

2013 no formats

To this:

2013 formats

That’s the same blog with the same content — the only difference is post formats!

To use post formats:

  1. Head over to your WordPress.com homepage.
  2. Click the New Post button.
  3. Choose Photo, Video, Quote, or Link.
  4. Add some content and publish! Depending on your theme, you’ll see some stylistic differences between this post and your posts with the default Text format.

What do post formats look like?

The appearance of post formats varies based on which theme you are using.

Note that not all themes support post formats. Here are those that do.

For example, here’s how an Image post appears in a number of themes (click to enlarge):

Each theme does its own thing to highlight this image post: Ryu shows the image above the post title (as opposed to below it) and chooses a background color that highlights the image. Flounder adds a bright green background and an image icon. Sorbet also adds an icon – pastel-colored – and Spun keeps all decoration at a minimum to really focus on the image itself.

As you can see, there’s quite a bit of variety in the way themes employ post formats. If you want to preview how a certain theme will handle formats before switching to it, you can check out the theme’s Live Demo from the Theme Showcase.

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Getting started with post formats

The quickest way to try this out is to head over to your New Post screen, and choose any of the following options:

New post

  • Text is the default post format, your everyday blog post. You can also add video, images, galleries, and whatever else you would like to a regular Text post.
  • Photo is intended for single image posts — a quick snap of lunch or your cat.
  • Video is for, well, videos.
  • Quote highlights your blockquoted text in a bolder way than standard posts typically do, so use this to highlight that inspirational saying.
  • Link is for those days when you just want to share a link to a fantastic article you read and a couple of thoughts on it.

In addition to these options, there might be additional post formats available in your dashboard (see Editing Post Formats below), such as:

  • Aside for brief snippets of text that aren’t quite whole blog posts, such as quick thoughts and anecdotes.
  • Gallery for (you guessed it) galleries.
  • Status for a quick update about what you are doing right now.
  • Audio for your favorite tunes or podcasts.
  • Chat to highlight memorable conversations you have with friends, both on- and offline.

What if you love the look of your theme’s Video post format, but you want to use it to highlight a gallery? Go for it! There are no rules here, only guidelines.

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Editing post formats

Let’s say you create your Image post, and then you decide that you wanted to make that particular post a Gallery. How do you change its post format?

First, head over to the classic dashboard and go to Posts→All Posts. If you’ve been using post formats, you’ll notice some icons next to your post titles:

post-format-icons

These icons show you at a glance which posts are formatted, and which format is applied. When you edit an individual post, you’ll see a Format module:

format module

There, you can select a different post format, and update your post to apply it.

If you do not see the Format module, check that you have it enabled in your Screen Options. If you don’t see the Format option there, then you are likely using a theme that does not use post formats.

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More Information

Want more inspiration and advice for how to use post formats? Check out these articles:

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