Ask for Help!

ASK FOR HELP! Click this link to post a WordPress question and get a quick answer. You can also look at some of the previous questions and answers as well. Need step-by-step instructions? Peruse the list below.

Tip of the Week: Resizing Images in WP 3.9

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 5.18.54 AMYou have lots of resizing options with the new version of WordPress.

1. The first option is to click on the image you’ve placed in your post’s edit window then click on the little pencil icon. In this window you can select from 4 options in the Size pull-down menu: Thumbnail, Medium, Full Size or Custom.

2. If you select Custom, you can enter the size you want assuming it is smaller than the original.

3. You can also click on Edit Original and scale the image from the original size.

4. You can edit a WordPress image from the Medial Library. Just click on Edit under the image in the library then click on Edit Image under the large image version that appears.

5. The final way to resize an image is to click on it in the post or page edit window and drag the bottom right corner toward the center (or away from the center if you want to enlarge it to not more than the original size).

Adding Images in WordPress 3.9

Red Harley Davidson

Red Harley Davidson

One helpful improvement in the newest version of WordPress is how images are added to posts and pages. In previous versions, you needed to add them to your media library first. With WordPress 3.9, you can drag and drop images right to your post. Here’s how:

METHOD 1

1. Place the cursor where you’d like the image to appear.
2. Shrink your window a bit to see the image you would like to add (having it on the desktop is convenient) and drag and drop the image to your post edit window. You’ll see the image appear in your media library.
3. In the lower right of the library, select an image size then click insert into Post.
4.  If necessary, re-size the images by clicking and dragging the bottom right-hand corner of the image.

METHOD 2

You can also create a gallery right in your Media Library:
1. Place the cursor in your post where you’d like to have the Gallery appear.
2. Click on the Add Media button above the tool bar.
3. Click on Create Gallery at the top left.
4. Select any of the uploaded images you want to include in your gallery by clicking on them.
5. Click on Create a New Gallery at the bottom right and then click on Insert into Post. All the images will now appear in your post edit window.
6. If you are satisfied, click Publish and  you are done.

New Jimmy Smith 3.9

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 3.57.20 PMWordPress was just updated on all Bethel sites and the new version is named after jazz musician Jimmy Smith. A common name for a very slick update. Here are the highlights:

There are three new improvements about which you’ll want to know:

Improved visual editing

There is no longer a “W” folder in the tool bar because you can now paste into your post or page from your word processor without wasting time to clean up messy styling. (Yeah, we’re talking about you, Microsoft Word.)

Edit images easily

With quicker access to crop and rotation tools, it’s now much easier to edit your images while editing posts. You can also scale images directly in the editor to find just the right fit. Simply drag a corner toward the middle of the image.

Drag and drop your images

Uploading your images is easier than ever. Just grab them from your desktop and drop them in the editor. This takes the steps of opening your media library, clicking on Upload, finding the file and uploading it.

The new WordPress is singing a sweet tune. Thanks Jimmy!

What’s Behind Screen Options

At the top right of your WordPress Dashboard you’ll see a tab called Screen Options. Clicking on the tab brings up a list of options that can enhance your Dashboard use.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 5.26.48 PM

 

 

Checked boxes are options that are active. Try checking some options that are not currently active. For example, checking the Author box shows a pull-down menu of all the authors for your site. If you share a WordPress site, you can be a ghost writer by selecting another author or administrator’s name. This is particularly helpful in a school setting where the building principal might have a secretary or teacher post content that needs to be attributed to the principal.

Most of the options are not mission critical so you can uncheck those boxes to clean up your Dashboard. Important Options are Categories, Excerpt, Theme Options and, for those of you using Subscribe2, the Subscribe2 Notification Overide.

 

Tip of the Week: Setting Image Sizes

WordPress has three default sizes for images you place on a page or post:

Thumbnail
Medium
Large

You also have the option of setting the image to it’s full original size. You can, however, change those default sizes. This is helpful because you can set the large size to the width of your site’s center column, medium size to an image you might wrap with text in a post or page and thumbnails for preview or head shot images.

Of course you can always modify the size once you’ve uploaded it, but it makes things simpler when the defaults match the parameters of your site. Here’s how to change the defaults:

1. Login to your site and go to the Dashboard.
2. Click on Settings at the far left then Media under that.
3. You’ll see this screen where you can set your new sizes. You can make the dimensions a square (500 x 500) even if the image you upload is a rectangle. WordPress is smart enough to know the largest dimension of the new image and adjust the other dimension accordingly to maintain the proportions:
imagesizesI’ve set the large image for this site to 750 x 750 which is about the width of my content area. Remember that the images you already have uploaded will retain the old settings. Only the new uploads will reflect the new sizes.

Tip of the Week: Using a Search Widget

searchLots of WordPress sites have a Search Widget in a sidebar. So what’s the benefit of a search function? The Search Widget allows users to search for any content on your site including posts, pages and categories. When you drag the Search Widget to your sidebar, you’ll be prompted to give the Widget a title like “Search the Site” or “Can’t find it?”.

When users enter a word or phrase and click “Search”, they will be taken to a page or list of posts that contain that word or phrase. As your site becomes larger and more complex, the Search Widget becomes a great tool.

Need something more? WordPress has several advanced Search Widgets as well. Comment below to have an advanced Search Widget added to the list of Bethel Widgets.

 

The Magic of wp-admin

magicIf you have ever struggled to find the login window for your site, typing “wp-admin” at the end of your URL will take you there:

http://blogs.bethel.k12.or.us/jjones/wp-admin

Be sure to add the “/” before and after your user name. If you are viewing any Bethel staff blog, you can type:

http://blogs.bethel.k12.or.us/wp-admin

and it will bring up the login window that will log you into the Bethel WordPress system. You’ll see the WordPress menu bar at the top. Click on My Sites and scroll down to the name of your site to see your Dashboard.

Tip of the Week: HTML Code Part 2

Okay, you saw how easy it was to plop a picture in a sidebar. Text is even easier. Let’s say you want to add something like this:

Big Book Sale Wednesday!
Follow this link to sign up for this week’s Book Sale drawing. You could win an iPad!
Book Sale Drawing

Using the post editor, you can underline, make text bold, and make the font a bit larger. You can also add a link without writing a speck of HTML coding. Once you like what you’ve created, click on the Text tab to see the HTML code that WordPress created:

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong> Big Book Sale Wednesday!
</strong></span>Follow this link to sign up for this week’s Book Sale drawing. You could win an iPad!
<a href=”http://www.bethel.k12.or.us/clearlake”>Book Sale Drawing</a>

As we did in the last post, copy that HTML code and go to the Dashboard > Appearance and >Widgets. Drag a Text Widget to the Primary or Secondary Widget area. Paste in the HTML code. But before you save it, make sure to check the box “Automatically add paragraphs”. Save your widget and view your site. Your HTML code will look something like this on your front page:

booksale3

Tip of the Week: Easy HTML Code

salvador2

Create HTML code using the Post Editor.

Wait! Don’t stop reading! This isn’t as nerdy as it sounds.

Twenty years ago anything you saw on the Internet was created by someone who knew how to write computer code. That has changed to the point where you can create anything on the Internet without lifting a code finger. Well, almost anything. There are a few places where knowing a bit of code can be helpful and one of those places is WordPress.

I don’t like to write code because, well, I don’t know squat about code and I’m not very good at what I do know. But there are a few niches in WordPress where writing code comes in handy.  I have a free program called Compose that helps me create needed code, but you still have to have an inkling about what you are doing. But there is a much easier way to create code in WordPress without having any coding skills. Perfect for me. Here’s how.

Let’s say you want to put a picture of your handsome mug in the left-hand sidebar of your WordPress site. To do that you’ll need to add a widget then create the HTML code in that widget to show the image. Follow these 5 steps to accomplish the same thing without knowing a lick about coding:

This is assuming you know how to upload an image to WordPress. If not, read through Adding Images in WordPress.

1. Go to your Dashboard and go to Posts > Add New. You are going to create a new post but not really post it. You’ll see why in a minute.

2. Put the cursor in the post window and click on the Add Media button just at the top left of your WordPress post window and upload an image (or select an existing image).

3. If the image is large. drag the bottom right-hand corner of the image toward the upper left-hand corner to shrink it to the width of your sidebar (about 150 pixels). *If you want to resize it to the exact size of 150 pixels wide, click on Edit just below the image after you upload the image, then click on Edit Image(upper right) and enter the width of 150 in the left hand box. Click on Scale then on Update.  Now you are ready to copy the HTML code you’ve created and paste it into the sidebar widget.

4. Click on ‘Text” in the upper right-hand corner of your post window and you’ll see all the HTML code that WordPress created for you without you lifting a finger. Highlight and copy all the code text and then delete the post.

5. Finally, go to Appearance > Widgets in your Dashboard and click on the little triangle next to Primary Widget Area (or Secondary Widget if you have two sidebars). Drag a Text Widget to that sidebar. Paste the code you copied into the Widget area and save it at the bottom of the widget. View your front page and, voila, you have “written” computer code!

WordPress 3.8 is Here!

ectoplasmAll Bethel School District WordPress sites have been upgraded to version 3.8. Although there aren’t a lot of dramatic changes with 3.8, the Dashboard has had a real makeover. You’ll find the Dashboard has a much more intuitive look and feel with new color schemes, better fonts and a more dramatic contrast.

You can even customize the color of your Dashboard. You have a choice of nine different color schemes. You can select a new scheme by logging in and clicking on “Your Profile” under “Users” at the far left of the Dashboard. Give Ectoplasm a try or maybe you’d favor Ocean or Sunrise.

WordPress 3.8 gives users a better experience with tablets and phones. No matter how your users are viewing your site, WordPress will format to match screen size and resolution.

The new WordPress default theme, 2014, is the most elegant yet. It provides a magazine-like experience for users and is very customizable.

Widgets have also gotten a new look with a compact layout and easier ways to edit. You can now just tap a Widget to add it to a sidebar, header or footer.

Have questions about version 3.8 or anything WordPress, just post a comment below.