How to Use the WordPress Media Manager Gallery

As of December 2012 and the release of WordPress Version 3.5, the new Media Manager has changed the way photo galleries are created. If you are new to WordPress, or have been using one of the photo gallery plugins and themes, then this post might help you use the built-in WordPress Media Manager to display photographs on your site.

Place your cursor at the point on your post or page where you want the photo galley to appear, and follow the following easy steps:

  1. Click on the Add Media button on the left, just above the Editor quick menu bar.
  2. Click on Create Gallery
  3. Click on the image you want to add
  4. Under Attachment Details fill in the following fields:
    • Title
    • Caption
    • Alt Text
    • Description
  5. Add as many photos from your media library into the gallery as required, repeating 3 and 4 above for each
  6. Click on Create a new gallery
  7. At the Edit Gallery screen drag the images into the required order.
  8. Under Gallery Settings Select the number of columns of thumbnails to display
  9. Click on Insert Gallery to finish.

You can then preview or publish your gallery of photographs in the usual way. If you decide that you need to add more photographs to the gallery, or change the order the pictures display, follow the following steps:

  1. Edit the post containing the gallery.
  2. Click on Visual editor tab, if not already selected.
  3. Click on the gallery you want to edit
  4. Click on the top left icon in the gallery (a camera picture)
  5. To add new images click on Add to Galley and proceed as before.
  6. Reorder or make any other required changes then click on Update Gallery.

That is it! All you need to do to use the new Media Manager to display photographs on your WordPress site.

For more information about using the built-in WordPress Media Manager, including a video of inserting a gallery then click here to visit How to Insert a WordPress Photo Gallery into Your Blog

Top 10 WordPress Plugins

When we get asked “What are the Top 10 WordPress Plugins?”, it is sometimes a challenge to limit the list because there are so many out there. The ones which we are currently finding the most useful are (in alphabetical order):

  1. Breadcrumb NavXT
  2. Broken Link Checker
  3. CMS Tree Page View
  4. Contact Form 7
  5. Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin
  6. Types – Complete Solution for Custom Fields and Types
  7. Viper’s Video Quicktags
  8. WordPress Database Backup
  9. WP-PageNavi
  10. WP-Table Reloaded

The details of our Top 10 WordPress Plugins are listed below, together with links to further information. Each is given a TechCo Rating, which is an indication of the level of use which we would expect to see.

TechCo Rating:

  • Basic – Every site must have a plugin like this.
  • Intermediate – Most sites should use this plugin
  • Advanced – Plugin could provide functionality to make the site special.
  • Admin – Plugin provides administrators with tools not seen by the public.

Breadcrumb NavXT
TechCo Rating: Intermediate
Breadcrumb trails are a good supplementary navigation system that aid in site usability, and can provide SEO benefits. This plugin adds a breadcrumb navigation showing the visitor’s path to their current location. These represent the page hierarchy leading to the current page.

For details on how to use Breadcrumb NavXT plugin visit Breadcrumb NavXT.

Broken Link Checker
TechCo Rating: Admin
This useful WordPress plugin checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the Admin dashboard if any are found.

Among other things it will detect missing images and files, and links to deleted YouTube videos. New and modified entries are checked immediately, while the plugin periodically checks links in posts, pages, comments, custom fields and the blogroll. If any problems are found you get a notification on the Dashboard.

You can run a full site scan from scratch by Settings, Link Checker, Advanced and then click on Recheck All Pages. You might get a surprise if you add this plugin to a mature WordPress site!

For more information on the Broken Link Checker plugin visit the Broken Link Checker site.

CMS Tree Page View
TechCo Rating: Admin
This plugin is for admin use only, and adds a CMS-like tree view of all pages on the site. You can use the tree view to edit, view, add and search pages, while drag and drop allows you to rearrange page order.

To find out more about CMS Tree Page View visit the CMS Tree Page View site.

Contact Form 7
TechCo Rating: Intermediate
Not just another contact form plugin, Contact Form 7 is simple and flexible. It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail, and allows you to manage multiple contact forms. In addition, it supports many features including AJAX submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and file uploading.

To find out more about Contact Form 7 visit the Contact Form 7 site.

Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin
TechCo Rating: Advanced
This plugin can be useful for managing permalinks without losing existing SEO to the page, or for sites converted to WordPress. It allows you to redirect Pages, Posts or Custom Post Types to another location quickly, for internal or external URLs.

The options available are extensive, so for more information on how to use the Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin visit the Quick Page Post Redirect plugin site.

Types – Complete Solution for Custom Fields and Types
TechCo Rating: Advanced
This is a useful plugin if you need to create custom fields, custom post types, or a custom taxonomy to your website through the WordPress admin screen instead of adding PHP code to your theme. For PHP developers, Types provides a comprehensive PHP API and documentation.

To find out more about the Types plugin, check out the Types User Guide

Viper’s Video Quicktags
TechCo Rating: Intermediate
Easily embed videos from various video websites such as YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo into your posts. Since version 2.9, WordPress has featured native easy embeds. However this plugin offers more customization than the default options. It will work alongside the easy embed code, and you can opt to use either embed method.

For more information about Viper’s Video Quicktags, visit the Viper’s Video Quicktags site

WP DB Backup – WordPress Database Backup
TechCo Rating: Basic
Everyone should have a regular backup of their WordPress database, and this plugin provides on-demand and scheduled backups. To configure your backup go to Tools, Backup, and backup your WordPress database.
To install this plugin search for “WP DB Backup” Keyword on the Install Plugins page.

To find out more about WP DB Backup

TechCo Rating: Advanced
This is a handy plugin if you want to replace the old Older posts and Newer posts links with some more advanced paging navigation.

This plugin provides the wp_pagenavi() template tag which generates fancy pagination links. See the installation instructions for using it in your theme.

To ind out more about WP-PageNavi, visit WP-PageNavi site

WP-Table Reloaded
TechCo Rating: Intermediate
This plugin allows you to create and easily manage tables in the admin-area of WordPress. However it has been superseded by the TablePress plugin, which at time of writing stands at 0.9-RC

You can still download WP-Table Reloaded, but if you are starting a new project, we recommend waiting for the full release of TablePress.

For more information on the table plugin see TablePress replaces WP-Table Reloaded from the plugin author.

Well, that is our current stab at the Top 10 WordPress Plugins. This list may change in a few months as trends and available plugins, so is not fixed in stone. In future we will offer deeper insight into some of these plugins a give examples of how they can be used.

Best Police Social Media practice across Europe

Have you been watching the rate of uptake in new media changing rapidly as each new form emerges? Have you heard of new uses for social media and wondered if your organization could also benefit? Do you feel that you need some guidelines in adapting your policies to cope with the widespread use of social media? Perhaps now is the right time to take a look at the way police forces across Europe have adapted to the phenomenon of social media

First some facts about the growth of social media:

  • It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners.
  • Terrestrial TV took 13 years to reach 50 million users.
  • The Internet took four years to reach 50 million users.
  • In less than nine months, Facebook added 100 million users.

In the 2012 document by COMPOSITE Project titled Best Practice in Police Social Media Adaptation, the document describes the best practice of European police forces in adapting social media. According to Russell Webster in a blog post, the report’s findings are of particular interest to a British audience because they are based on different approaches to social media across Europe bolstered by an additional focus on the UK because of the riots study.

The researchers identified nine key themes:

  1. Social media as a source of criminal information
  2. Having a voice in social media
  3. Social media to push information
  4. Social media to leverage the Wisdom of the Crowd
  5. Social media to interact with the public
  6. Social media for community policing
  7. Social media to show the human side of policing
  8. Social media to support police IT infrastructure
  9. Social media for efficient policing

If you want to find out more, see the article titled Best Police Social Media practice across Europe by Russell Webster

Featured Blog Making Movies by Giacomo Sardelli

This months featured WordPress Blog is Making Movies, the blog of Giacomo Sardelli, the person behind the viral video Further Up Yonder, which has been on local and global news. For those who have not yet seen the video, it explores the idea of different nations and cultures all living together on the International Space Station (ISS), exploring the edge of our world.

Making Movies uses the Twenty Eleven Child theme, a child theme based on the 2011 theme for WordPress, and caters for both English and Italian readers so may not be to everyone’s taste both style wise and for content. However, it does show the incredible versatility of WordPress.

Among the plugins in use are Jetpack, SEO Facebook Comments and Twenty Eleven Theme Extensions. You can find out more about the details via the following links:

This site is well worth a visit if you are interested in movie making or editing and the viral video is a must see, as it is a classic stop frame compilation using images from the Science and Analysis Laboratory from NASA. We recommend a visit to Making Movies, so follow the link below and watch the video, then check out Giacomo Sardelli’s blog.

Get A Marketing Boost Using Linkedin

Can you visualize using Linkedin in your marketing, but not yet seen how to fit it into your campaign? Have you heard about the potential benefits Linkedin, but not yet joined the chorus? Do you feel that Linkedin is under rated, but are not sure how to build on the platform?

Linkedin has a bit of a reputation of being the social media underdog. But for business marketing, there’s a huge opportunity. As with all social media marketing, there are a few things you need to know

  • LinkedIn is great for networking; if you want to be discovered, put yourself where people are looking.
  • Make sure your profile describes your interests and activities. You want people like you to find you, so make sure they know what you do. A good profile will help you appear in keyword searches too.
  • Be consistent and use your LinkedIn profile to link to your business website or blog, so that people know what you do professionally.
  • Social media can help to build your image, so ensure that your websites, blogs, comments, profiles and tags contribute to your online business brand.
  • Maintaining an online brand as part of your marketing strategy requires sustained effort so be in it for the long haul.

If you are serious about your online marketing strategy, and want to use Linkedin to build a following around your brand, here is a check list of twelve things you need to do:

  1. Update your Linkedin Profile to include your brand message.
  2. Connect with others to build up your network.
  3. Join as many groups in your niche as you can.
  4. Post quality content to your groups.
  5. Participate in discussions to give back to the group.
  6. Answer questions in LinkedIn Answers area.
  7. Integrate your LinkedIn account with Twitter.
  8. Link to LinkedIn from Facebook and other social media.
  9. Let people know that you have viewed their profile
  10. Add the Linkedin share plugin on your websites and blogs
  11. Set a regular time slot to review and contribute LinkedIn content and stick to it.
  12. Consider using LinkedIn Ads

If you are dedicated to marketing using Linkedin, why not start a Linkedin Group for each of your products and start building a following around your brand. Like all social media, the secret is to post to it frequently so that it is always fresh and current.

If you can, make a habit of sharing an interesting piece of content every day, to build up your presence. This can take less than 15 minutes per day and you should consider that time as an investment in your personal online brand. Time on LinkedIn well spent!

Why not get a marketing boost by integrating Linkedin into your business strategy?

Have You Updated WordPress?

Unbelievable as it may seem, there are plenty of WordPress users who do not upgrade their installations to the latest version when they are released. This post should encourage every WordPress site administrator to Update WordPress as soon as possible.

There may be a number of reasons why you might want to upgrade WordPress, including:

  • A security fix has been released
  • Some useful new functionality has become available
  • You have seen a message at the top of your Dashboard telling you that a new release is available

The latest version of WordPress (3.4.1 at time of writing) comes with an impressive array of improvements including embedded Tweets, custom header from Media Library, and performance boosts under the hood, and of course all the latest security patches to ensure that your Blog is as secure as it can be.

Twitter Embeds
This is a great new feature which allows you to share Tweets with style. You can now embed individual tweets in posts, so that you can make a feature of a reference to another author or micro-blogger, or just highlight one of your own. Great for your personal marketing!

It includes action links that allow readers to reply to, retweet, and favorite the tweet, all without leaving your site. To use the feature, all you have to do is paste a tweet URL on its own line. When you save the post, it will look something like this:

This works with URLs from some other sites, too. For more, see the Codex article on Embeds.

Choose from Media Library
This useful feature of Custom Headers allows you to choose header images from your media library to customize your theme, rather than having to upload the same custom header image every time you check out a new theme.

Live Theme Previews
It is now possible to try out new themes and update the header and background before the theme is activated. This removes the panic to update those details as soon as you activate a new theme. Please note that this feature is only available for installed themes.

You can also use the live preview mode to customize your current theme by using the Customize link on the Themes screen.

Flexible Header Image Sizes
If your theme supports the feature, you can now decide for yourself how tall or wide your custom header image should be. From now on, themes will provide a recommended image size for custom headers rather than a fixed requirement.

Please note that not all current themes will support this feature, so contact your theme designer and ask them for the latest version of your theme.

Performance Boosts
Among the Performance Boosts available in the latest release of WordPress are the following:

  • Faster WP_Query – Post queries have been optimized to improve performance, especially for sites with large databases.
  • Faster Translations – The number of strings loaded in the WordPress front end has been greatly reduced, resulting in faster front page load times for localized installations. Also provides better support for East Asian languages, right-to-left languages, theme translations, and more.
  • Themes API – Key procedures in WordPress (WP_Theme, wp_get_themes(), wp_get_theme()) are faster, uses less memory, and makes use of persistent caching.

For more information about WordPress see WordPress Codex – Updating WordPress

Max Rebo Band Website Live

The featured Blog this week is Max Rebo Band Website, which is a WordPress site using the default Twenty Eleven 1.2 theme. Kudos to Rich Pegler, the band’s drummer and webmaster, who has set this great site up from scratch. This just shows you the flexibility of WordPress out of the box, and the Max Rebo Website is a good place to see what is possible.

Max Rebo are a great four piece band, based in the area around Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, who are described as the best covers band this side of the galaxy. You may have guessed from the band name, and other Star Wars references that there is a theme to the website. May the Force be with you; this is the band you are looking for! Along with the usual band Biog, Events Discussion Board and Shop, there is a Media section where you can hear and download some of the original tracks penned by Max Rebo, as well as some of their great covers.

Once you have visited the site, you may be wondering how Rich has managed to achieve all the features, just using standard WordPress plugins. Along with Mingle Forum, ShareThis, Status Press Widget, Widget Twitter VJCK, WPaudio and WP Photo Album Plus the site uses:

  • Events Manager, which is an Event registration and booking management plugin for WordPress. Allows recurring events and shows locations, with links to google maps.
  • Flash MP3 Player JW2.3, a user friendly MP3 Player widget which you can add to your sidebar. You edit the playlist through the intuitive options page.
  • GRAND Flash Album Gallery provides a comprehensive interface for managing photos and images through a set of admin pages,
    with a very professional feel.

A great band from the southwest, with an interesting WordPress implementation. Click here to visit the Max Rebo Band Website

How to change your Email Address on LinkedIn

A fellow linkedIn colleague recently asked me How do I change my Email Address on LinkedIn. As this is not the first time we have been asked this, then there are likely more people out there who would like to know to make this simple change. The good news is that linkedIn recognize that people need to change their email address from time to time, or even have multiple email addresses, and have made it quick and easy. In fact LinkedIn recommend you add at least one personal address and one work address.

How to change your Email Address on LinkedIn
To add a new email address, when logged in to your LinkedIn account, take the following simple steps:

  • Under your name at the top right of the page click on Settings
  • In the right text column click on Email Addresses
  • Next to Primary Email, click on Change
  • Add your new email address in the email address field, and click Add email address

After adding the new address, go to the email account and click the link in the confirmation email. Add as many addresses as you’d like, and just follow the instruction for each account. Once an email address is validated, you can choose it to be you primary address by selecting it from the list and clicking on Make Primary.

If you are not yet a linkedIn member and are wondering what this is all about, Click here to Join LinkedIn Today

Google Data Protection Audit Report Published

Have you ever seen the the ICO auditers? If your company was to receive a call from them, how well do think you would fare?

This week the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published an Executive Summary of its Data Protection Audit Report on Google, following the revelation that Google were inadvertently collecting wi-fi signals while mapping the country. According to their website, the ICO carries out consensual audits with data controllers to assess their processing of personal information.

Last year the ICO became aware that that Google Street View vehicles, which had been adapted to collect publicly available wi-fi radio signals, had mistakenly collected a limited amount of payload data, likely to include a very limited quantity of emails, URLs and passwords. Google agreed to facilitate a consensual audit by the ICO.

The framework that was included in the audit scope is as follows:

Framework: Google will conduct an internal assessment and provide a confidential written report (“Privacy Report”) to the Commissioner. This Privacy Report will analyze Google’s implementation of the privacy process changes it outlined on October 22, 2010 as it applies to Google’s UK operations. The Information Commissioner’s Office may then validate the Privacy Report’s accuracy and findings via an in-person meeting to review the Privacy Report at Google’s U.S. headquarters or at the offices of Google’s UK subsidiary. Google shall provide the Privacy Report to the Commissioner before such meeting.

Google has responded to the ICO report citing that the findings provided “reasonable assurance that Google have implemented the privacy process changes outlined in the Undertaking.” This was posted on the European Public policy Blog by Alma Whitten, Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, whose appointment was announced on 22 October 2010.

While there are a few areas for improvement noted in the executive summary, there are none that would warrant the description of Earth shattering proportions. We would consider that any company that had been subject to a consensual audit by the Information Commissioner’s Office would be quite satisfied with the report. Knowing how good Google are at marketing, they will probably want to make capital out of it too.

Before we leap to judge Google, it is worth pointing out that in UK, the Data Protection Act 1998 requires every data controller who is processing personal information in an automated form to notify the ICO, unless they are exempt. Failure to notify is a criminal offense, and entries have to be renewed annually. If you are required to notify but don’t renew your registration, you are committing a criminal offense. Do you need to register?

If your company was to receive a visit from the Information Commissioner’s auditors, even with nine months notice like Google, how well do think you would fare? How many pieces of personal data has your company inadvertently collected over the years, and are still retaining for no legitimate purpose? Perhaps it would be worth a visit to the ICO website to find out if you need to do something now?

For more on the story:

Happy 10th Birthday to Wikipedia

According to popular culture, and Wikipedia, it is ten years today since Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger set up a wiki to help with a problem they were having with their current project, an online encyclopedia called Nupedia. Today the Wikipedia site has become one of the best sources of information on the Internet, and often tops the list of sites returned in the Google search results.

On the 9th September 2007 the English version of Wikipedia passed the two million-article mark which makes it the largest encyclopedia ever assembled. Nupedia servers were taken down permanently in 2003, and its text was incorporated into Wikipedia.

Invented in the mid-90s by Ward Cunningham, a wiki is social media at its most radical. It is built on the basic assumption that people care, and so edit the pages they care about. You don’t need permission to add, alter, or delete text, and when you are done, you don’t need permission to publish.

Wikipedia was formally launched on January 15, 2001, as a single English-language edition at Ten years later it has become the largest encyclopedia ever assembled and the most popular general reference work on the Internet. Happy 10th Birthday Wikipedia!

If you havent yet visited Wikipedia check it out now at