Lately, I’ve seen a number of bloggers complaining about difficulties composing posts and inserting photos. Now, it could be that I’m magically immune to all that stuff, but I’m not a big believer in magic. I’ve had my shares of glitches when it comes to composing posts.
That said, 97.46% of the time, I experience little to no problems, or at least not the problems that people complain about. I attribute that fact in no small part to the process I use.
Ergo, as my way of contributing to the mental well-being of the population in general and bloggers in particular, I thought I would explain the Disperser Process™® for composing and publishing posts that contain amazing photos accompanied by even more amazing writing.
What qualifies me to give advice? Well, it could be that on average my posts contain a gazillion photos (the number one complaint I receive after people voice numerous other complaints against me).
For instance, just two posts ago I inserted 70+ photos into one post. Yes, that’s less than a gazillion but to hear my readers complain, that’s what it seems like to them. And, that’s not even one of my long posts.
Before I continue, a few disclaimers . . . I’m using a PC. An honest-to-goodness tower with a proper monitor, a full-size keyboard, and a mouse. That means I have no idea how — or even if — this works on an Apple device.
I do have a phone and occasionally compose on it (like on my Alaska Cruise) using the Android app. If you click on the link, you’ll see a post with — and this is a technical term — a crapload of photos. All of the photos were captured and edited on my now-defunct Samsung Note II, a phone that at the time was over four years old.
So, here’s the thing. The app sucks. But then, phones usually suck for doing anything beyond posting photos of your lunch. People who have kids, dogs, or a social life also seem to make extensive use of it, but my preferred mode of operation is to capture the photos and transfer them to the (proper and honest-to-goodness) PC.
Obviously, given the long posts with photos from the Alaska cruise, the app is usable if not optimal. I suggest saving often or even composing the text in a word program and then pasting into the post and then inserting photos in the appropriate places. That’s not how I did those posts, but then I like to live dangerously. Or, I have above-average skills in writing long and convoluted posts full of photos.
If you are going to use the phone, here’s what I suggest: upload all the photos you intend to use in the post to your WordPress Media Library before you start editing stuff. When you’re editing, it’s then easy to pick the photos from the library instead of searching for them on your phone.
OK, on to the Disperser Process™®. Wait! . . . some of you are going to have the following reaction:
“Waah! That’s too complicated! Takes too long! It’s too much work!”
Stop reading right here and go do something else.
For those who keep reading, understand that all I’m doing is documenting how I compose posts so that I don’t lose stuff and that my links work and that I don’t get mad because things don’t work. If you are happy with your process, stop reading right here and go do something else.
Text links — readers might note that I make use of text links. That means a group of words that — when clicked — will take you to a (usually) appropriate link. So, the first step is to highlight the text and then click on the symbol for the link. Like so:
You will note some text underlined in red. That’s just my grammar checker telling me that “photos” should be “photo” . . . it’s wrong, of course, because it doesn’t recognize the word “gazillion” and so it thinks photos should be singular. But, I digress.
When you click on the symbol for the link, this pop-up menu pops up (that’s why they call them pop-up menus):
That’s where you paste the appropriate link. If you are done, just hit enter and that’s it.
However, if you are me, you want to have the link open in a new tab. That’s a personal preference of mine. It used to be that you could set that once and the Editor would remember. Now, you need to set it every time (thanks, WordPress engineers).
That means you want to click on the gear symbol (almost everywhere, the spoked wheel, or gear, stands for “settings”) and you get this menu.
This is what used to open up when you clicked on the link symbol on the top menu. Thanks to WordPress “improving” the editor, now it takes three clicks to get here. They probably hired someone that used to work for a federal union.
Anyway, you click on the “Open link in new tab” box and then click “Update” (blue box). Quick side note. It may seem I’m writing this for dummies, but some people have little expertise with menus and navigating stuff, so I want to show all the steps as opposed to risk leaving anyone frustrated.
Now, should you want to edit the link, click on it again and you get this menu:
See the pencil mark? That stands for “Edit”. By the way, if you want to get rid of the link, click the broken link. Clever, no? Anyway, if you click on the Edit icon, you get the edit link pop-up menu I show above.
So, that’s how you add and edit links. I think it’s nice to add links when mentioning stuff that might not be familiar to everyone. If the reader is interested, they click on the link and quickly read the pertinent information.
The reason I chose to open a new tab is that some people will often close a tab after they’re done reading it as opposed to hitting the “Back” arrow to return to the post. If they close the tab they are reading, they close the post as well. This way, when they close the tab, there’s no chance they will accidentally close the post they are reading; just the tab with the link they clicked.
If that’s too confusing, don’t worry about it.
Photos with links — like I said, I post a lot of photos. I have a system for organizing all the photos of an individual post in a subdirectory on my hard drive and that directory is open as I post stuff so that I can grab photos on the fly.
So, to bring in the first photo of this post, I did this:
I think everyone should be familiar with the above, but like I said; just in case. When you click the “Add Media” you get this menu. The next graphic shows the Windows folder with the photos next to the “Add Media” menu.
Once you drag the file over, it comes in checked and you have a few options. One of them is what to link the image to.
This is where — if you want the photo to open to the original file when clicked — you choose “Media File”. Note also the size option. I always use full size. If I want to make the photos smaller, I make them smaller in my editor outside of WordPress. The reason is that WordPress sucks when it comes to photos. If they resize your photos, they’re not going to do a good job.
Side note: on my post I usually have a note that says you can click on the photos for a larger version. That’s because even though I bring in large photos, the theme I use can only show a maximum width of 640 pixels. In the case above, I actually brought in a 640 pixel-wide photo so clicking on it won’t show a bigger photo. Clicking on any of the other graphics in this post will open a larger version of them because the screen captures are wider than 640 pixels.
This next screen capture shows the photo inline with the text. Clicking on it will bring up a local pop-up menu. That menu has a few options and one of them is the edit symbol:
That will open this menu:
Here, you can do a lot. You can change the size of the displayed file (don’t), you can change what link the photo links to, you can choose to add a border (which I did on these screen captures to distinguish them from the body of the post), and — my favorite — you can signal you want it open in a new tab. You can also add a caption, change the alignment, and do a few other things. You can also edit the photo but — and I can’t stress this enough — I avoid this because WordPress sucks when it comes to images.
The “Link To” menu has a few other options:
When you have finished, hit “Update” and the menu will close.
Now, those of you who opted to use the new “improved” editor will see something different when editing a photo you bring in. You will see this menu:
Notice you can’t choose to open in a new tab. That’s because WordPress designers and architects have little-to-no-regard for users.
If you are using that editor (I advise against it) close that menu and get back to the edit screen. Click on the photo again, but instead of hitting the “Edit” icon, click the “Link Icon” on the bar menu on top.
That will bring up this next menu:
Click the box to open in new tab and then click the “Add Link” box. I don’t know where the border option sits in the new “improved” editor and since I don’t use it, I didn’t go looking for it.
Did I mention I don’t like the new “improved” editor?
“Tell us, oh wise Disperser, how might we too use the traditional editor!!”
Well, since you asked nicely (and have two exclamation marks) . . . start by going to your dashboard. It will open to the new “improved” dashboard, the one that sucks. What you want is the traditional dashboard. On the left side column, at the bottom, click on “WP Admin”.
What you will get is this menu here (looks like the one above, but with a black background and a few more options).
OK . . . from here on, I’ll tell you how I do it, but you can just hit “Add New” and start composing a new post using the old editor.
Here’s what I do. Since I like consistency and have lots of stuff I include at the bottom of each post, I have a permanent draft saved. That draft has the format I like and all the stuff I usually add at the bottom. So, I begin by clicking on “Posts” and then clicking “Copy Post”.
When you click on “Copy Post” a menu will open up that looks like this (only with your posts listed).
Note the post “Seed – April 2017” . . . that is a perpetual draft and the seed for every post I write. It has the April 2017 date because that’s the last time I made a change to it. I added the disclaimer about people not feeling bad for me because if it sounds as if I am asking for sympathy, I’m really not.
When I click on that post, it copies it into a new post and brings up the traditional editor.
I don’t always use the Seed post. If I’m doing a series of post on the same theme or subject, I will copy the last post I did and just change the relevant parts of the body and add new photos.
Regardless what you copy, the first thing you should do is CHANGE THE TITLE and SAVE. This will preserve the original post (in my case, the seed post). If you don’t change the title, the link to the post will have the same name as the post you copied plus the number 2 added to the name. Not a huge problem, but annoying. Plus, the title might not make sense for the new post.
Look, it sounds complicated, but if you copy a post, the first thing you want to do is give it a new title.
So, why do I use a seed post? Well, people who have followed me since 2010 might have noticed something. I’ve never changed my theme. I like consistency, and I like consistency with my posts. Here’s what my seed post looks like:
The body of the post has about thirty one-word lines. The word is “awe” and it’s the color that I want my text to be (usually a dark blue but I changed it for this post).
Those lines used to be fully justified but now they are left justified. That’s because WordPress designers removed the full justify toggle and it’s a pain to find. I went to left justified for all the text.
Each word is a potential paragraph or a photo. Meaning, I don’t hit “Enter” because it gives me a new paragraph but it also changes the text color. So, each new paragraph begins with me overwriting the “awe”. When I get close to running out of “awe” lines (as I often do) I highlight a bunch of them and copy them. When I’m done wiring, I delete any unused lines.
Next, there is a section I haven’t used for a while; it used to be where I inserted the doodles, something I’ll start again soon. Since I don’t currently use it, I delete those lines.
Next, a section discouraging people from reblogging or copying my stuff. It doesn’t have the force of law behind it and I can’t hunt people down (I sold all my guns when I moved and plus the summabirch government frowns on that kind of thing) but I do put a curse on all them who would abuse my content. If you, the reader, want to share my post, I prefer you share a link to it as opposed to reblogging it.
Next, why I don’t accept rewards, a link to a post about subscriptions and “likes”, and then a Freshly Pressed ward (so far, it’s worked like a charm). There is another disclaimer but the screen is not tall enough to capture it all. However, you can just scroll down and read the same thing at the bottom of this post.
And that, dear readers, is how I compose posts. This particular method ensures me the least amount of pain associated with bringing you the amazing — dare I say, awesome — words and photos I offer up completely free of charge save for the hours of your time that it takes to read my posts.
One word of caution (well, many words) . . . WordPress is constantly looking for ways to piss long-time users off. I can’t guarantee the traditional editor will always be available or usable. As it is, they keep removing and changing stuff trying to break it or to at least make it as annoying as the new editor. My plan is to use it as long as I can and if they mess it up to where it sucks as much as the new editor, I will likely get my own website. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website. Could be they also torture small mammals.
Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so. I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards. I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way. That would mean something to me.
If you wish to know more, please read below.
About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”: Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff
Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.
. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.
Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.