Thank you for your interest in becoming a blogger for The Park Fanatics! This post will help you understand how we process our blog posts for our website. If you are familiar with WordPress then this will be a pretty simple refresher course. We mainly wanted to create this for people who are not as familiar with the WordPress platform. If you are familiar with WordPress, Skip to the bottom to our final checklist. This explains things that pertain to our website theme and layout. Lets get started, shall we?
This is our home page. Scroll to the very bottom right to access our “Blogger Portal.” Alternatively, you can type www.parkfanatic.com/wp-admin into the address bar.
Type in your username and password here to log in. This will take you to your WordPress Dashboard as seen below:
ADDING A BLOG POST
The WordPress Dashboard is your home for all things blogging. Head over to the side bar and click “Posts.” This shows all of our blog posts and podcasts. Almost everything we add to ParkFanatic.com is through the Posts tab. You may look through them to see how they are formatted. This can be quite helpful if you need help figuring out an issue with formatting. Now, let’s try adding a new blog post. Click “Add New” at the top of the “Posts” page
This is an empty blog post. Add your Title and start typing out your text. Do not add your images yet. Instead, type place markers for each image that you can replace later. SAVE FREQUENTLY. WordPress saves automatically in case your browser closes, but click “Save Draft” to create a draft that you can revert back to in case of an emergency. If you royally mess up a blog post, you can reload from a previous draft, saving you a lot of time. After you type out your post, It should look something like this:
Now that you have typed out your text post, save your work and get your images ready. This includes resizing, editing, and correcting the orientation of your photos. After they are ready, we need to add them to our “Media Library.” The easiest way to add images is to click “Add Media” at the top of the blog post editing page. You can also add images through the sidebar. Click “Media” on the sidebar, then click “Add New”
Next, select the “Upload Files” tab and then click “Select files.” Select your picture files and open them. DO NOT CLICK ADD TO POST. We will add the images to your blog post one at a time. Once they are uploaded, close the Media Library.
Now that your images are uploaded to the Media Library, you can add them into your blog post anywhere you’d like. Highlight the image marker that you’ve placed in your text post and then click “Add Media” again. Select the image you’d like and insert it into your post.
Go through your post and replace each image placeholder. Next we will resize the images to the correct size. There are two ways to resize your image. First, select the photo you would like to edit. You can either:
- Select the node on the corner of the image and drag it to the appropriate size. I recommend around 500 to 700 px on the longest side of the image. NOTE: When you resize images this way, they appear blurry in the WordPress editor. They will appear just fine when published. If you would like to preview the final result, click the “Preview Changes” button on the top right sidebar.
- Select the Edit tab on top of the image. This will give you a wide arrange of options to edit your photo.
- NOTE: In the edit tab, make sure the “Link To” option is set to “Media File” on EVERY IMAGE.
- Note: This does not change the actual file size, only the way its displayed. If you have excessively large files, you should resize them beforehand.
ADDING GALLERIES TO YOUR POSTS
If you have 2 or more photos that you would like to display, you can display them in a gallery. This makes your images much easier to navigate once published. Start off by clicking the “Add Media” button again, then click “Create Gallery”
You will then be able to choose the amount columns you would like in your gallery. I suggest 3 columns whenever possible. Change the image size to Medium. MAKE SURE to change the “Link To” option to MEDIA FILE. This is very important to make the gallery display properly. Then click Insert Gallery.
And here is the result:
Whoops, I chose a portrait and two landscapes. That looks kind of funny, doesn’t it? Keep this in mind when choosing your photos.
ADDING OTHER MEDIA
You can also add Youtube videos and audio to your posts if you would like. Simply embed the youtube link on the post for it to display on your page. So this:
displays as this:
You can also add audio if you would like. Simply drag the audio file from your computer into your post for it to display as a playable file. Keep in mind if it is copyrighted material!
FORMATTING YOUR POST
After you have added all of your text and media, you may have to tweak your post for it to display how you would like. This includes adding headings, checking for unnecessary gaps, and final touches on photos. Also take this time to double check your spelling and grammar.
Adding a heading is simple. Type the text where you would like to display your header, then highlight the text. Select a header option from the dropdown menu.
Oops, notice how there is a gap above this text? That shouldn’t be there. While editing a post in WordPress, it can be hard to see little things like this. Make sure to check your work using the “Preview Changes” button on the right hand sidebar. Find and fix any gaps and formatting issues before publishing.
FINAL PROOFING CHECKLIST
After all of this, there are a few, final things that you need to check before you click “Publish.” These only pertain to Parkfanatic.com. If you are using this resource for something else then check your work, since this mostly pertains to our appearance and theme.
- Hide Featured Image. Change this to YES.
- Select your thumbnail image. The image you want as your thumbnail must be the first picture on your post or specifically uploaded as the “Featured Image” in the Themify Custom Panel (find this at the bottom of page)
- Link all images to “Media File”. On every image, click the edit button and make sure the “Link To” option is set to “Media File.” This ensures that those reading on mobile can zoom in to see the details on photos. This is very important.
- All media must be centered. Do not put text next to images. It displays horribly on mobile.
- Categorize your blog post in the “Travel Blogs” category. Find this on the right hand sidebar.
- Did you check your work with the “Preview Changes” button?
- Click Publish!
FINAL STEP – CHECK HOW YOUR POST DISPLAYS ON MOBILE BROWSERS
Now that you have published your final draft on ParkFanatic.com, Take a moment to check your post on a mobile device. Sometimes a post will look great on a web browser, but the formatting will look funky on mobile. Check your work and make any final adjustments. Don’t forget to update your post if you change anything!