Create a Table of Contents Without a Plugin (It's Easy!)
Creating long posts is good for your readers, and good for Google, but if they're not well organized, then some readers may not stick around.
A Table of Contents can organize your post, and give your readers the option of skipping ahead to a desired section of a long post rather than having to scroll to find it.
How to Create a Table of Contents
If you understand what it is you're typing, then the whole process of creating a Table of Contents seems rather simple, and you'll find yourself adding TOC's in minutes, without the use of a plugin.
So, before we get into the process of creating the Table of Contents, let's review a few basic terms:
Table of Contents - In a post, this is a series of topics, usually displayed by bulletpoints or numbers, that are associated with an anchor tag and jump link, which enables readers to "jump" ahead to a specific section of your post or page.
Anchor Tag or<a></a> - HTML that marks a destination spot for a jump link.
<a> means you are starting an anchor tag
</a> means you are ending an anchor tag
Jump Link - This is a link that is created with the help of the HTML tag, allowing readers to "jump" over content.
Because your Table of Contents will have several topics (bulletpoints, numbers, titles, etc), and you want each topic to lead to one specific point in your post, each topic will need it's own unique anchor tag.
To make them unique, you will give them a name.
An Example Table of Contents
If you wrote a long post on useful social media platforms for business marketing, and wanted to include a Table of Contents, it might look like this:
If you want this Table of Contents to be truly helpful, then you want it to be functional. You want to add links, so that your reader can click on each one and be taken directly to that section of your post.
To make it functional takes two steps:
- create the unique anchor tag
- create the link that jumps to that unique anchor tag
Now that you know the basics (yes, that's it!), you're ready to see the process in action, and can follow along to create your own Table of Contents.
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