Disable Comments on Pages

I’ve gotten quite a few comments on regular pages recently. I recommend going through all your separate pages and disabling comments. This will help to funnel patrons to the real contact form on your website. Here’s how to disable comments on pages:

1. From the Dashboard, go to Pages- Edit pages
2. From the Edit screen, scroll all the way down and uncheck the box that says “Allow Comments”
3. Publish the Update
4. Repeat this process on all pages.
5. At the end, click through all pages on your regular website to make sure the update took effect.

Please also make sure to do this at the bottom of the “Contact Us” page. Now your patrons should only have one place to submit feedback or questions.

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Creating Non-Public Pages

Did you know that you can store your library’s staff schedule online without making it visible to the public? This way your staff can check a direct website link from anywhere for a refresher of the weekly schedule.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Create and publish a page with the schedule info.
  2. Copy the “permalink” address under the title of the page
  3. Go to Appearance- Menu
  4. Make sure the newly created page is removed from the menu
  5. Save the menu changes

Since the page is not visible in the navigation menu, patrons don’t know the content exists and will not be able to access the page. To send your staff the direct link, paste the Permalink you copied into an email to your staff. Now you have the option to just update that page when you do scheduling.

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Recommended Website Content

There’s a lot you can put on a website, but here are a few pieces of information library patrons commonly look for on a website:

About Us:
1. Tell your story!
2. What makes your library unique?
3. Do you have a mission statement?
4. How do you contribute to the community?
5. Who are the people behind the library?

Contact Us:
1. Include direct email & phone number
2. Include Address/ physical location
3. Use a simple contact form

Services
1. What does your library offer to patrons?
2. What kind of materials do you circulate?
3. Do you have local collections?
4. Do you have a computer lab?
5. Direct links to digital services

Library Policies
1. Include material loan policies online
2. Damaged material policy
3. Computer conduct policies
4. Frequently asked questions

Have a good holiday weekend!

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Recurring Events in Calendar

Some of you may have noticed that some of the old calendars don’t support recurring events anymore. If you don’t want to manually add events one at a time, switch your calendar over to the Events Manager. In the Dashboard it will be the “Events” icon that looks like a shield.

This new calendar will support recurring events and has more functionality to add widgets with event listings of calendars. Here’s some more info about using Events Manager.

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WordPress Training Options

Hello all!

If you’re new to WordPress or just haven’t logged in for a while, feel free to request a one-on-one WordPress training with Amanda Sweet. They can be done over the phone so you don’t have to worry about travel.

The Online Training section of the Nebraska Libraries on the Web site has also been updated with a more up to date resource selection.

WordPress training is great for a refresher session or to brainstorm new and different content ideas for your website. Feel free to send a quick email if you have any questions!

Amanda Sweet
(402) 471-3106
amanda.sweet@nebraska.gov

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Updated PDF Embedder

Hello all,

My name is Amanda and I started as the new Technology Innovation Librarian back in January. I learned a lot of cool things since I started and am now working on updating WordPress more. On that note, I just added a new PDF Embedder plugin. This means that when you upload a PDF to your website, you now have the option to display the PDF on the full page section. Here’s how to do it:

1. Login to your dashboard and go to “Pages”
2. Open the page where you want to insert the pdf.
3. Click “Add Media” and upload the pdf
4. It should automatically embed on the page after you click “Publish”

I hope everyone has a good Memorial Day weekend!

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RSS feeds for your site

Hi, everyone, I’ve had a question about RSS feed options, so I thought that I’d pass along that information via this blog post.  Some of our themes automatically include “RSS feed” icons that let your visitors quickly view all of your posts or subscribe to your upcoming content.  If your theme doesn’t have that feature, you still have options for adding RSS to your site.  Just go to Appearance -> Widgets in your Dashboard and look for RSS Links (Jetpack).  You’ll want to be cautious here, since there’s another widget just called RSS that’s a little more complicated.  Once you click on RSS Links (Jetpack), you’ll be asked where you’d like to put the widget.

When one of your visitors clicks on the RSS link, he or she will have the opportunity to subscribe to your content.  So, instead of going to your site directly, new posts will appear directly in their browser.  If you’d like to see how it looks on the user side, please click this link to view the RSS feed for all of the sites on Nebraska Libraries on the Web.

As always, if you have any questions or requests for your site, please get in touch!

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One more way to save space

If you’ve noticed your site running more slowly or seen your storage space creeping closer to 100%, there is another easy remedy.  On your dashboard, go to the Media section, then click Library.  By default, you should see all the media items (images) that are active on your site.  But clicking the drop-down menu and changing “All media items” to “Unattached” will show you only images that aren’t currently being used on your pages or posts.  These might be duplicate images that were mistakenly uploaded or items that you’ve used in the past.

Unattached Images

But even though they’re not visible to your visitors, they’re still taking up space on your site.  Deleting these unneeded images is one of the easiest ways to regain storage space and boost your site’s speed.

 

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WordPress updated

Our network has been updated to WordPress 4.4.2.  Please let me know if you experience any strange or unexpected behavior on your site.

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Managing Your Storage Space

Some of you might have noticed something that looks like this when you view your Dashboard:

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You’re (hopefully) not at 100% space used, but you might be getting closer to it if your site has lots of large images or other media files.  WordPress will add the red X icon to alert you that your remaining storage is getting rather low.  Fortunately, there are ways to easily adjust the amount of space consumed.  If you’re adding photos to your site directly from a digital camera or smartphone, you might check your settings and lower the image quality.  Most devices automatically save pictures at the highest possible resolution—that’s great if you took photos of a family vacation and want every detail of Niagara Falls, but it’s usually not necessary for some of the smaller images that will appear on your website.  Alternately, you can use free programs like Irfanview to reduce the size of your images before you upload them.

For existing images, it’s not a bad idea to check file sizes and use WordPress’s built-in image editor.  Just go to Media on your Dashboard and you’ll see a list of your existing files.  Clicking each one brings up details about the image.  Click the image below to see a larger version of it.

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On the right, you’ll see File Size and Dimensions.   To give you an idea about dimensions, our sample image above is 1,456 × 883 at full size.  If an image seems to be too big, you can click the Edit Image button at the bottom, then use the Scale tool to shrink it down a bit.  If you see a number that’s larger than around 2000 on either side, the image can definitely be scaled down without a noticeable drop in quality.

Other potential problem areas are duplicate photos or older media that you’re not longer using on your site.  If you’re seeing more than one instance of a particular image in your Media section, it might be a good idea to delete those duplicates and save that storage space for new photos.  Similarly, if you have older photos that you’re not currently using, you might delete those from your Media library.  Just be sure to save them to your computer first, if you think you might use them again someday!

If you’d like any assistance regarding storage on your site (or any other issue), please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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