Table of contents

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Introduction

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Prose.io is called "a content editor for GitHub". One thing is does really well is it gives people the ability to update their own websites, especially those who don't have the time and energy to learn how to write code. While there is plenty of great technical documentation for Prose on GitHub, there is very little documentation for people who don't code. Prose is very similar to the visual editor included in WordPress that many people use for writing blog posts. But not everybody has a WordPress website and I encourage most of my clients to steer clear of it (4 Reasons to Leave Wordpress).

This documentation is intended for those who are new to using Prose. It follows the process of publishing a new blog post from start to finish on a site powered by Jekyll.

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Create a new post

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Click the green "New File" button. A new post template will be created with some text already inside. Delete this text.

Be sure to add a title to the post

Write your post

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You can use the editor to write your post. If you have previously written your post in a Word document then you can paste your post into the editor. Be sure to check all formatting since bold, italics, numbers, and bullets will not paste nicely into the Prose editor. There are buttons on the toolbar that you can use for this formatting.

If you have a paragraph that needs special formatting (e.g. center alignment) you can wrap the paragraph in HTML with the proper class added to it. Be sure to include a space between each unique class name.

<p class="centered-text bold italic">
  Your special paragraph goes here
</p>

If you are composing your post for the first time in the Prose editor, use the "Save" button frequently. It is safe to save and commit your post as many times as you'd like. There is a separate step for publishing your post before it is live on your website.

Add an excerpt separator

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A post excerpt includes the featured image and a small preview of the post. It can be used in many places but is most commonly seen on main blog pages and in RSS feeds.

To tell Prose where the post excerpt ends copy the "more" code below into your post.

<!--more-->

Just like you had to do with the raw HTML for the featured image, you must leave a blank line above and a blank line below the excerpt separator.

Add images

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You can add images to your post in addition to the featured image. Follow the same steps for uploading your image as you did for the featured image. You can either leave the image as it is when you upload it or you can align it by replacing the stars in the different HTML examples below.

Left align:

<img class="left" src="{{site.url}}/images/**************" />

Right align:

<img class="right" src="{{site.url}}/images/**************" />

Center align:

<p class="centered-text">
<img class="centered" src="{{site.url}}/images/**************" />
</p>

Add categories and tags

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On the sidebar above the save icon there is an icon for "meta data". Click this.

You can select from a list of existing categories in your blog or you can create a new category.

You can select from a list of existing tags in your blog or you can create new tags.

If you already have a long list of categories or tags you can start typing what you are searching for and the relevant tags will appear for your clicking pleasure.

Save and publish your post

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On the sidebar click the save icon and then click commit.

After you have committed your post a settings button appears in the sidebar. Click this.

Then click "Create Draft".

In the toolbar you can now click "Draft to Post" to convert the post draft into a published post.

Save and commit one last time and your post will be published.

Note: If you have gone through these steps quickly it is very likely that you will try to publish a draft that GitHub doesn't know about yet. If you run into errors don't panic, but check out the section below.

Avoiding errors

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So you clicked save and you got a red exclamation point. No worries, just click the project name at the top of the page to return back to the project file listing.

Click the posts folder again.

Then click the post that you are trying to publish.

Or if you want to start over you can click the trash can on this page to delete your work

And you should now be able to publish the post.

Save and commit one last time.

Then navigate to your blog to check our your new post!

Note: it may take a few minutes for your website to build the new post, especially if it contains large image files. Be patient and check your email if you think something went wrong. GitHub will send you an email if there are any errors with your page builds

Questions and comments

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Is something unclear? Have a made a mistake somewhere? Do you want to use Prose.io to maintain your site?

Leave a comment below or contact me directly to get the conversation started.