- – - – - – - – the original post on WordPress 2.5 (below) is now irrelevant with the go-live of WordPress 2.7 – - – - – - – -
This is one of the best features of WordPress – it’s convenient so check it out.
Keep a Post on Top? – WordPress has finally included this feature called Sticky Posts!
Follow the Sticky Posts link to learn about the easy way to do what we showed you the old school workaround several months ago. The new ‘Stick this post to the front page’ works great. You can stick multiple posts to the front as well. They will be arranged in the order that you Stick them, not the order they were first published. Maybe a little admin control on ordering the Sticks will come in the future. Hope this helps.
Old School Sticky Method
Ever wanted to keep an important post at the top of your main WordPress.com blog page? It is possible.
To do so, follow these steps:
- Check the date/time of the post that is on top (usually your latest post unless you know this trick and have used it). but last night we published a post
- Select the Edit link where you can select the Publish date
- Set a date/time that is prior to the post you want to keep on top
- Hit Publish
- Check your page to see where your new post is on the page
You can use this trick to publish a post anywhere, not just on top. If you want to keep your last two posts on top, just select a date/time prior to those two posts. We learned this by mistake but it works like a charm. WordPress or some open source guru would be smart to make an easy to use widget or plug in to manage ordering of posts.
Modifying Images in a Post
You may not have noticed but WordPress has changed how images already in your post are modified. Previously there was a little image icon on the editor toolbar. That has been replaced by Edit & Delete icons that are viewable by selecting an image in your post (must be in Edit mode). Simply click on a posted image and look for the icons in the top left corner – Edit and Delete. This will open a pop-up window. See screen shots.
In the Edit window, you’ll be able to change some basic settings like increasing/decreasing the size by a set percentage or select the Advanced Settings tab. There you will be able to modify everything from the Title, Caption, Height/Width, Original Size, Link info, CSS Style, Alignment, Border Size, Horizontal and Vertical Space, Styles, Target, Source, and more – notice the scroll bar on the right. Make your changes, scroll to the bottom of the pop-up window and hit Update to ensure your changes are made.
Add a Poll to your blog posts or sidebar
Great new feature. Not sure when WordPress released this but it we added a poll in the sidebar and it seems to work very well.
WordPress has detailed instructions here. All you need to do is open a PollDaddy account. The only thing missing from the WP instructions is that if you choose to add the poll to your sidebar, make sure you choose a poll format specifically for sidebars or it won’t fit on your page and your page design will be obstructed to viewers. There are many options on the PollDaddy page as well – like multiple languages and setting an expiration date – be sure to review them all (language, format, show results, etc.).
The only downside – there is a link to polldaddy that’s somewhat intrusive. Hey, free poll = free advertising for them, a trade-off many won’t mind. Also need to log in to pdaddy to view results.
Publish on Future Date/Time
The capability to publish immediately or at a designated date and time in the future can be very useful. If you have lots of posts in draft mode and want to stagger the publishing of your posts for a later date or time (while your at work, etc.), here’s how:
- Select Write to begin a new post
- Write your post, add tags, add categories, update slug, add trackbacks (more on these challenges below), and proofread
- Select Edit next to calendar icon and Publish Immediately text (mid page, on right)
- Set the Date and Time you want your post to be published
- If you’re like us and haven’t figured out how to configure the time display yet, here’s an easy way to use it. To publish two hours from the current time, just add two to the first box (if it currently reads 14, change it to 16); do the same for any changes in minutes in the second box.
- Select Publish and check back later to view your awesome, auto-post
- If you don’t select Publish your post will stay in draft mode and will not publish at the future date/time you’ve selected; if you hit Publish you’ll see a number in the “Scheduled” queue (see image below)
Full Screen Edit Mode
- This is just convenient since the new layout is really cramped and small
- Just click the monitor icon to get a bigger view of your post editor, click again to return
Another little feature we like is being able to see how many drafts are in queue, with easy access to Drafts with one click. Select the “Manage” link, under Manage Posts, you’ll see links to All Posts, Published (# of published posts), and Drafts (# of drafts). Much easier than choosing a drop-down option and hitting search.
Noticed this several times but didn’t investigate until today. If you type slowly you’ll notice it. Type a few letters into the Tags form field. For example type the letters “bl”. You’ll notice WordPress suggests words that begin with “bl”. It doesn’t seem real user friendly because you actually have to use your mouse to select one of the suggested tags that seemingly come from your own tag collection. The user forum probably has more on this feature.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by trying to add a table to your posts to align multiple images, the gallery is your friend. Upload the images you want to group together within your post, go to the Gallery tab, and select Insert gallery to post. WordPress basically creates a three-column table and adds the selected images in as many rows as needed. Let’s say you had nine Time magazine covers you wanted to display in a post. Rather than insert one image at a time and trying to align neatly, you could upload all the images and insert the gallery. See example here (opens in new window then scroll to end of post).
Gallery Images in the Order you want
We wrote this several months ago: “It could be improved by allowing the user to arrange the images in any order, and also creating multiple gallery’s within a post, or just…well, let’s just say expanding gallery options would be nice.” Good news – WordPress implemented one of our recommendations. You can now add an Order number to your images so when you insert them via a Gallery they will be ordered accordingly. When you upload an image there is a field entitled Order where you can modify the order number. Galleries appear to 3 images wide, at least in our template. 1-3 in the top row, 4-6 in the next row, and so on. Try it.
This still sucks though – Just noticed today if you have a gallery inserted, and decide to add a new picture elsewhere in the post, it automatically shows up in the gallery and in your post gallery even if you didn’t intend for that to happen. Seems to be another gallery issue that needs tweaking.
Possibly Related Posts (prp’s) – this was brand new
Our initial reaction to the new “possibly related posts” (prp’s) feature was, “who put this %$# on our post”. Not sure about you, call us selfish, but we don’t want to drive traffic to other sites (i.e., away from our site) even if other blogs are sending traffic to us. We’re just not that big yet. After a week or so, it’s clear these links do nothing to add hits to our blog.
The good news is WordPress puts your related links at the top of the list, and if you don’t like the idea, the prp’s are not shown on the main blog page, only when the full post is viewed. There is an easy way to remove these prp’s. Simply go to your Dashboard, Design, and then to Extras and check the “Hide related links…” Then click the Update Extras button. If you don’t like Snap Shots, here is where you eliminate them by unchecking the first box.
The bad news, if one of your readers clicks a link on another blog, they might not come back so you’ve lost a reader who may think they are still on your blog. Also, if you don’t give, you don’t get. Meaning if you don’t allow prp’s on your blog, your posts won’t show up as prp’s on other blogs according to the check box comment. Not very flexible.
What might be more appropriate is an option to only link to related posts within your own blog or within your blogroll. Hopefully WordPress will take feedback on this and modify it. It would be nice if they announced these features somehow as well.
Global Admin Bar – even though this is ‘everywhere’ and includes a Stats link – it still requires at least two clicks to get to your Stats, and that’s provided you only have one blog. If you have more than one then you will also have to Switch to the blog you want to see stats on. Minimum of 3 clicks is not user friendly.
Features we do not like
Consider this our wish list. We’ll update it as we think of…wishes.
- search – would like to see a search box from anywhere within the dashboard so we can search posts (published or drafts) at any time from anywhere rather than going to the Manage page
- blog stats – again, this should be available from any dashboard screen for those stat junkies – in fact, a nav design that rendered all key links visible from any page would be great, either as a top nav or side bar nav
- category selections – they are too far out of sight that you don’t even know they are there, possibly forgetting to add them; annoying at first, but you get used to it (put it back on the side, or in columns rather than a scrolling list) – just noticed the All, and Most Used buttons today – this helps but not enough
- tags – they have to be typed yet categories are selected from a list, why? we use the same tags regularly and hate having to type them every time…
- post slug – hidden in an unintelligible Edit link (once you know where it is, right under the post title, it’s not too bad…you get used to it after a while)
- the elimination of the Save and Continue Editing feature so now your are permanently stuck in Edit mode, especially when you’ve saved and try to go to another page and it asks you if you’re sure…annoying (put those buttons back) – this was fixed but now you have posts that somehow get a new time stamp and you have to compare them…equally annoying)
- removal of the View and Edit buttons from each post in the Manage panel (actually this feature is there but again it’s not obvious, you have to select the Published link in the status column)
- Time display is confusing and configuring it even more so (add a location selection that can automatically select the time zone, or a logical description that correlates UTC to location)
- This one may be rare, but it’s happened to us a few times. If you copy & paste directly from a source with html using div or span it may alter your style sheet for the worse, changing colors and pushing your sidebar way down below. Easy to fix, delete the html span command, but annoying.
- comments – when will there be easy hyper linking in the Comments – don’t want no stinkin plugins…just convenience – if it’s there someone tell us how
- Like to see: summations at the bottom of each blog stat (i.e., Total Referrals, Total Clicks, etc.)
- If Show/Hide Kitchen Sink is selected, remember we like to see it, it’s very annoying to have to click it every time – in fact, make it a setting on/off OR allow user to customize what should show at all times
- Inability to keep a post on top – this is critical when you have a hot story and want it to be the first post on your site but as you post new stories it gets buried. Should be able to keep one post on top or position at least the top two or three posts. Partially addressed via Sticky Posts! – not sure if you can do more than one Sticky or just one…will check it out soon
- nitpicking but the Add Image and Add Video icons could look more like symbols of images and videos
- would like to be able to resize video displays (youtube, google, etc.) – sometimes they are just too big
So yeah, we’re not real thrilled but we’re adapting, and hopefully this helps some of you adapt and enjoy this little feature we find quite helpful (even though Lorelle burst our bubble and informed us what we thought was new, was only new to us, not to WP).
Remember, your blog allows you to exercise your freedom of speech…stand up for that right, never let it be taken away.
Filed under: Education, Media, Music, Poll, Uncategorized, Video Tagged: | Blog Tips, Blogging, Computers, Edit Images, Gallery, How To, Howto, Life, Polldaddy, Polls, Publish, Publish Date, Search, Sticky, Tags, Technology, Wishlist, Wordpress 2.7, Wordpress Feature, Wordpress Tips