How to Add a User Interface for Post Formats in WordPress 3.5

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Post formats were introduced in WordPress 3.1 to offer micro-blogging functionality in WordPress. Despite it being there, most beginners have no clue on how to use it. Reason: Because it is not as prominent as it is in on Tumblr. WordPress has a user interface to publish a post in different format however the tiny radio button meta box can use improvement. Alex King, a well-known WordPress Developer and plugin author, along with his team at CrowdFavorite, has worked on providing a solution to this. He developed a user interface for post formats to include in his own projects and was kind enough to release that code to the community. In this article, we will show you how to add UI for Post Formats in WordPress 3.5 using the Post Formats UI tool.

What is Post Formats?

Post format offer a method of styling a specific post differently. By using this feature, you can specify the display “format” of a specific post. This feature expands the micro-blogging aspect of WordPress by adding formats like videos, links, images, audios, quotes, statuses, etc (very similar to Tumblr).

Post formats are dependent on your theme, so you may or may not see these in your WordPress dashboard. The default user interface provided by WordPress to select a post format while writing a post looks like this:

Post Formats Radio Button User Interface

Installing Post Formats UI

Go to Post Formats UI project on GitHub. Click on the zip button to download the files in the repository.

Download Post Formats UI plugin from GitHub

Go to Plugins » Add New » Upload in WordPress admin area. Press the Choose file button and select the zip file you have downloaded. Press the Install Now button. Once the plugin is uploaded successfully, click on Activate Plugin link.

How Post Formats UI Works

Once it is activated, the plugin modifies your post edit area by adding the available post formats as tabs on top. Now if can switch between writing a post, quote, aside or gallery. Clicking on the tab for a different post format adjusts rest of the post edit area for that particular post format. For example, clicking on Status will hide the Post Title field or clicking on Gallery will show an Upload Images button on top.

User Interface for Post Format Quote

User Interface for Post Format Link

We feel that post formats are usually ignored by the beginner level users mainly because it is out of their sight. A box with radio button doesn’t really encourage them to use post formats. Adding a nice user interface will encourage users to ask for better support of post formats in their themes. Developers will also feel more inclined and motivated towards building themes that support a variety of formats. This is why the core team is planning on including this in WordPress 3.6. Do you think that adding the post format user-interface is a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.

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