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Post Formats in WordPress

Including the post formats in your WordPress theme allows you to designate a different content display and styling for certain types of designated posts. Unlike custom post types, you can’t create different post formats because WordPress has already assigned them for you — it’s up to you which post format, if any, you want to use in your theme. You can use one or all of them, depending on your needs.

Hopefully, this doesn’t sound too confusing. Here are examples of the post formats that are currently designated in WordPress:

  • Aside: This format is a very short post to share a random thought or idea. Typically, an Aside is shared without a post title or category/tag designations. An Aside is simply a random, one-off thought shared on your blog, but is not a full post.

  • Audio: The Audio post format is for sharing audio files, or podcasts. Usually, Audio posts have very little text included and instead include items, such as a built-in audio player, that visitors can click and listen to audio files from.

  • Chat: This post format is a transcript of an online chat conversation that can be formatted to look just like a chat or instant messaging window.

  • Gallery: This is a gallery of images in which you can click each image to access a larger version. Often these post formats don’t contain text and display only a gallery (but they may have a title).

  • Image: This post format is used for displaying one image, such as in a photo blog. The image may, or may not, have text or a caption to go along with the post.

  • Link: Use this to display a quick post that provides a link that you want to share with your readers. These post formats often contain a title and sometimes a short bit of text that describes the link you’re sharing.

  • Quote: Display a quotation on your blog with this post format. Often, users include the quotation along with a byline for its source.

  • Status: This provides a short status update, usually limited to 140 characters or less (think Twitter!).

  • Video: This format allows you to display a video, usually embedded within a handy video player (á la YouTube), so your readers can simply click to play the video without leaving your site.

  • Standard: This displays your blog posts in the default manner, meaning it’s just an ordinary blog post without special formats applied to it.

You can find a good, real-world example of post formats at lisasabin-wilson.com. The site separates the formats chosen through the use of individual post styling to designate the different formats.

If your site needs a different type of post format than is currently available, consider adding it as a custom post type instead.

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