How to use sticky posts

The sticky post in context.

By default, “sticky” posts in WordPress look just like any other post, but they’re pinned to the top of your site. We’ve developed a special presentation for sticky posts in the Argo themes, setting them off from other posts in your main content well. But there are special requirements to making these sticky posts look good. Read on …

Stick the post to the top by selecting this checkbox.

To stick a post to the top …

In the “Publish” module on your post editing page, click on “Edit” next to “Visibility: Public.” Then make sure the checkbox that says “Stick this post to the front page” is selected.

Sticky posts should always have a featured image.

This is what happens if your sticky post lacks a featured image or excerpt. Don't do this.

If you don’t specify a featured image for your sticky post, it will leave a big gaping hole in the post presentation. Even if you aren’t planning to feature the post, choose a featured image so it doesn’t look funny.

Sticky posts must also have an excerpt of 35 words or fewer.

This post has no excerpt. Don't do this either.

This is unique, so pay careful attention. Nowhere else in the platform do we use the “Excerpt” field, available on the “Add New Post” and “Edit Post” screens in WordPress. If you’re making your post sticky, make sure to write a compelling excerpt of 35 words or fewer in that field. (If you don’t see the Excerpt field on your post editing page, click on “Screen Options” at the upper-right hand corner of the page, and make sure the “Excerpt” checkbox is selected to display.)

Nota bene that if you exceed 35 words in that Excerpt field, it won’t display at all. We value brevity.

With an excerpt and a featured image, this post is looking good. Let's make it part of a series to give it the maximum flair.

Make your sticky post part of a series to link it with other related coverage.

Specifying a series name in the “Features” box on your post editing screen will link your sticky post to any other posts in that series. This looks fantastic. Chances are if your post is big enough to keep it in front of users, you’ve done some prior coverage on the theme, right? (Or if it’s a breaking story, you’re sticking the main post because new developments are rolling in and you don’t want the big post scrolling out of view.) Use this feature to tie multiple posts together.

Now that's beautiful.

Other important things to note:

  • Use sticky posts sparingly. You risk sending away regular users when they come to your site and find yesterday’s story on top. If the story’s big enough, use this. If you dropped a big post just before the weekend that you still want to have some presence on Monday, be my guest. But don’t routinely stick posts just because you like them.
  • Only one sticky post at a time. If you try to make two posts sticky, the earlier sticky post will merely become unstuck.
  • Only stick a post after other posts start to push it down. Don’t automatically stick your post when you’ve got a big story that you know you want to keep at the top of your site. If you give your big post a dramatic presentation of its own, with a big photo, pull quote, and other special production, that will get lost in this sticky post style. Wait till the post starts to drift down the page, then mark it as sticky.

Comments are closed.