Page/Post Settings Sidebar

The Post/Page Sidebar (also called Document Settings) is part of the WordPress Editor on pages and posts. Located on the right side of the Editor screen, this panel is used to customize key aspects of the content being published. 

New in WordPress 5.6: The tab is now labeled Post, Page or whatever Custom Post Type is used. Previously, it said Document. In the remainder of this article we will refer to it as Post unless there are page or custom post type specific settings. 

How to open Page/Post Settings

In the upper-right corner of the WordPress Editor, select the gear icon. This toggles the sidebar. Within the sidebar, the left tab features the settings for the entire Page or Post you’re working on. The right tab is focused on the individual Block selected.

Themes and plugins may alter which settings appear in your sidebar. 

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Status & Visibility

This is applicable for posts & pages

Screenshot of the Status and Visibility Section.


When published, this determines if the post or page is:

  • Public – visible to everyone 
  • Private – only visible to site admins and editors
  • Password Protected – Only those with the password will see the post. You choose the password.


Immediately is chosen by default. 

Click on immediately to backdate the post or change it to a date in the future. That will schedule the post to publish at a different time.

To change the date or time, use the calendar.  

  • Click to select.
  • Click the right or left arrows to select other months in the past or the future.
  • Click the desired day to select it
  • Navigate with the keyboard

↵ Enter key:  Select the date in focus.

←/→ Arrow keys  Move backward (left) or forward (right) by one day.

↑/↓ Arrow Keys  Move backward (up) or forward (down) by one week.

PgUp/PgDn Move backward (PgUp) or forward (PgDn) by one month.

Home/End Go to the first (home) or last (end) day of a week.

Post Format (certain themes)

In some themes, like Twenty Twenty, there is a dropdown menu for Post Format. A Post Format is used by a theme for presenting posts in a certain style. Refer to your theme’s documentation for how each Post Format will show up on your site.

Stick to the top of the blog

A Sticky Post is the post placed at the top of the front page of Posts.

Pending review

The pending review checkmark indicates the post is ready for someone to look at it. This is marked in the list of posts as Pending and will also show up in a filter for Pending posts.

Move to trash

Once the post or page is saved for the first time as a draft, pending, scheduled or published, a new button will appear called Move to trash. 

Once an item is placed into the trash, it remains there for 30 days (by default), then is permanently deleted. 

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This is applicable for posts & pages.

Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your post or page. These are used to link to the post in another blog, email or on a social network. 

View Post/Page

The link here is the URL of the story when it’s published. You have to save the post or page before editing part of the URL.

URL Slug (once you click in Save Draft)

Once the post or page is saved as a draft, edit the end of the URL (called the URL Slug) here.

Depending on your Permalink settings, this will edit the end of your URL. For example:[slug]

The URL slug is automatically filled in as a URL-friendly version of your post/page title.

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This section only applies to Posts

Each post in WordPress is filed under one or more Categories. This aids in navigation and allows posts to group with others of similar content.

Category selection

A list of your categories will show up with checkboxes. Add your post to one or more categories. 

Primary category

Depending on your Permalinks settings, you may have a dropdown to select the primary category. This will determine which category will show up in the URL. 

Add New Category 

Quickly add a new category within a post by filling out the two fields and clicking the Add New Category box.

Parent Category

Each Category may be assigned to a Category Parent, allowing you to set up a hierarchy within the Category structure.

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Only posts can have tags.

Each post in WordPress can be filed under one or more Tags. This aids in navigation and allows posts to be grouped with others of similar content. Unlike Categories, this is not required for posts. 

Add New Tag

Type in the box to add a new Tag. They are usually lowercase and one word.

When finished typing the Tag name, separate with a comma or press the Enter key

Previously-used Tags will autofill as you begin to type them. 

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This is applicable for posts and pages

Featured Images (also sometimes called Post Thumbnails) are used in different ways depending on the theme. Many themes use this image to represent the post on the homepage. 

Set Featured Image

To set the Featured Image, drag an image from your computer and drop it in the gray box.

Another way is to click Set featured image, which opens a section where you upload a new image, or select an image from your Media Library. 

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This optional section is only applicable to posts. It is a space for you to write a summary of the post. Depending on the theme, this may appear in different places such as the homepage, search results or the archive page. 

If the Excerpt is empty, WordPress automatically creates an Excerpt using the first 55 words of the Post.

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This section is applicable to posts and pages.

Allow comments

This will turn on comments on the Post or Page.

Allow pingbacks & trackbacks (Posts only)

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Page Attributes

This is only applies to pages

This section sets Page parents pages, templates, and changes the order of your Pages.

Parent Page

Similar to category parents on a Post, this allows a hierarchy for Pages. 


This sets the order in which your Pages are displayed in the Page Admin screen.

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You can change which sections appear in the sidebar of the WordPress Editor:

  1. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner.
  2. Choose Preferences at the end of the list.
  3. Open the Panels sub-menu.
  4. Turning off a specific panel will hide the sections from the sidebar. 
Image showing panel settings in the Options > Preferences menu.

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  • Updated 2021-02-22
    • Updated Preferences section ahead of WP 5.7 release.
  • Created 2020-11-26

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