One of the easiest ways to spruce up your page and make your images more distinct is WordPress’s Gallery feature. It allows you to embed thumbnails with captions directly into your posts or create a moving slideshow of images, all without entering code. Just click the Add Media button as you normally would to add an image. You’ll see a popup and Insert Media will be checked by default.  Click on Create Gallery instead and then select your images.  You’ll see small preview thumbnails appear at the bottom.

Create Gallery

The next screen will allow you to change the number of columns used for your thumbnails or change your image type to a slideshow.

Gallery 2

Below is an example of a gallery in the “thumbnail grid” style with three columns:

And this is an example of a slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged | Leave a comment

Facebook and social networks

Your users connect with you in many different ways.  Some might start at your website, some might go straight to your Facebook or Twitter, but it’s easy to make sure that all of them can reach the same content.  No matter which “door” they choose, they all lead to your library.

You can always add links in your posts, so if you mention something about your library’s Facebook page, it’s a great idea to go ahead and add that link to Facebook.  That way, your patron can see what you mean with one click.  If you’d like a refresher on the process, this video offers a solid explanation.

You can also link your website and your social network (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), so that your content goes to multiple places all at the same time.  This happens via the Jetpack plugin on your site.  You might need to re-connect Jetpack if you don’t have an existing connection (this post will give you details on that).  Once Jetpack is connected, click on Jetpack in the menu on your Dashboard.  You’ll see a group of options, but we’ll focus on Sharing in the second row.  Click the Configure button and you’ll see this:


Just click Connect beside the network on which you’d like to share your content.  You’ll have a “sharing” setting in future posts, so you can turn it off if you don’t want a particular post going out to those social networks.  Please see this post for a video that demonstrates the process.

You can also allow your readers to share your posts on their own social network accounts.  In that same area of Jetpack, you’ll see a section called “Sharing Buttons” with a number of social networks represented.  Just click and drag the ones that you’d like to activate into the box below and your future posts will include those buttons.  Click here to see how it works.

Once you’ve chosen your services, scroll down the page to select which of your posts will have sharing enabled.  Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes when you’re done!

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Finding images

I’ve enjoyed reading your posts this week!  It’s great to see how Nebraska libraries are using your websites to promote programming, provide reader’s advisory, or just share information with your users.  Incidentally, if you’d like to see what other libraries are doing, it’s easy to do so with this RSS feed (created by Michael Sauers).

castleEven when you’ve written the most amazing post, you sometimes feel that it needs something else.  Pictures can add a lot to your page, but locating images that are freely available can sometimes be tough.  Thankfully, there are a few Internet resources that can assist!

One of my go-to websites is Creative Commons Search.  Just type what you want to find & select a source to search: Google Images and Flickr for pictures, YouTube for video, & more.  You’ll want to open the actual page that hosts your content & check the attribution requirements.  Some creators allow you to use their stuff as long as you give them credit.  Some don’t even require that!

Compfight is a similar site that searches Flickr for available images.  You should be aware that, like a lot of search engines, it puts advertiser content at the top of the page, so look below the line if you’re specifically interested in the free stuff.

 Of course, we can’t forget about Google Images.  A basic search includes both copyrighted and freely-available images, but you can click “Search Tools” and get a new menu that includes “Usage Rights”.  Again, you should definitely check the originating page and verify that the image really is freely available before using it.  Google can make mistakes!

Oh, and please remember not to copy and paste images into your posts.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged | Leave a comment

Using Screen Options

Screen OptionsIf you’re like me and prefer a distraction-free environment when you’re writing, you might want to get to know the Screen Options feature in WordPress.  The menu resides at the top right corner of your Dashboard and allows you to add or remove elements from your screen.  Don’t need to see WordPress news?  Remove it with a single click.  Can’t find something that’s ordinarily present?  Check Screen Options and see if the option has been unchecked.

In the image to the right, I’ve hidden the QuickDraft and WordPress News sections from my screen.  If I want to bring them back, I’ll simply click Screen Options to expand the menu and then check them again.  The options vary depending upon which section you’re viewing, so give it a try and see what you can find!

Posted in WordPress | Tagged | Leave a comment

Are your post still going to Facebook and Twitter?

JetpackQuite a while back I installed Jetpack which allowed interested sites to have their posts automatically post to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter via the Publicize function. In the past week I’ve had two libraries report that this no longer seems to be working for them. In both cases, the connection between Jetpack and has been lost.

So, if this is a feature that you previously set up, please make sure that it’s still working. You can do this by checking to see if your most recent post was sent to your social media site(s). If not, log into your dashboard and select Jetpack from the menu. If you see a large green area at the top of the page telling you to “Connect to Get Started” this means your connection has been lost and needs to be reestablished.

The Setting Up Jetpack and Publicize videos will walk you through the steps needed to get you up and running again. You will need your account login information to get this to work. (There is no need to sign up for another account.)

If you also were using the Statistics and/or Subscription services from Jetpack, you may need to set those up again too.

Posted in WordPress | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Settings: Writing (WP4.x)

Posted in Training | Leave a comment

Settings: Reading (WP4.x)

Posted in Training | Leave a comment

Settings: Permalinks (WP4.x)

Posted in Training | Leave a comment

Settings: Media (WP4.x)

Posted in Training | Leave a comment

Settings: General (WP4.x)

Posted in Training | Leave a comment