Spruce Up Your Side Bar in WordPress

BLOGGING TIPSSome times I feel like I am behind the times with all the neat WordPress things, and some times I feel just right. I changed that today with a neat widget I found!  But when I saw the neat widget called Gallery, I had to try it. And you should too!

We all love pictures, and the Gallery is a neat way to show off all of our best photographs, our funny dog pics, or even the crafts we make!

BLOG TIP NO 4Simply head on over to your Dashboard, Appearance, then Widgets, and drag the widget called Gallery over to your Main Sidebar.  (I would drag it somewhere near the top of your sidebar so everyone can see it and they don’t need to scroll down your page to find it)

Once you find a good place for your Gallery on your sidebar, then you have the option to add a Title.  Next, you select or choose the photographs that you want to add to your Gallery from your WordPress Media Files.  (for now, you can select just a few photographs to see what the gallery does first, then you can go back to it and add more photo’s later)

The other options for the Gallery are to chose if you want the photo’s to show up in the order you selected them, or in Random order.  The next feature to choose is the Style for your Gallery.  You have the following options:  Tiles, Square Tiles, Circles, or Slideshow.  (currently, mine is in the slideshow style)

That’s it!  Just remember to click Save before you leave that page!  Now go view your WordPress home page to see what it looks like.  If you don’t like a certain style (ie: slideshow), then go back to your dashboard, then to appearance, then widgets, and open your Gallery widget and select another style, then click save.  It’s was fun playing with this and I had to show you all in case you did not know about this WordPress feature.

So, what do you think?  Pretty neat, eh!

Just in case you missed my other blogging tips, you can read them here:
TIP No. 1:  How to Add Tickers to your blog
Tip No. 2:  How to Create an Animated GIF
Tip No. 3:  How to add a Watermark to your photographs

How To Add A Watermark To Your Photographs

BLOGGING TIPSDON’T STEAL THAT!  “That’s Mine”.  It happens every day. Someone steals your photograph and uses it as their own.  Shame on you!  Being a photographer, you work hard. You strive to get the best shot. You slave sometimes over your computer to tweak it until it is perfect.  It takes hours, some times days.  You take pride in the work that you do and above all, you don’t want someone to just swoop in and steal your work.  It happens.  We’re not happy with it.  But there is a way that you can safeguard your photographs on your blog or your website.  Simply, place a Watermark on each and every photograph you take and upload to your blog, otherwise, you are leaving yourself wide open to the possibility of someone stealing it.  That’s the last thing you want to happen after all the work you put into taking a great photo, right?

BLOG TIP NO 3HOW TO ADD A WATERMARK TO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS:

Head on over to PicMonkey and click on Create A Collage.  Let’s get started!

 

 

STEP 1: Click on Create A Collage

STEP 1 CREATE A COLLAGE

STEP 2: A collage of three panels opens

STEP 2 COLLAGE OPENS UP

STEP 3:  Hover mouse in corner of one of the three collage boxes.

Click the “X” to remove one of the three cells.  Now you have 2 cells.

Click the “X” again in the 2nd box until you only have 1 cell left.

STEP 3 CLICK TO REMOVE CELL

STEP 4:  Now that you have only one panel showing, click on the Background button (which looks like a paint pad).  Check the box for a “Transparent Background”

STEP 6 CLICK TRANSPARENT BACKGROUND

STEP 7 TRANSPARENT

STEP 5:  Click Save.  Name your file.  Save your file as a PNG, not a JPG.

STEP 9 SAVE AS A PNG

STEP 6:  After you have saved your test watermark to your computer, go back to PicMonkey and click on Edit Photo.  Open up your test watermark with the transparent background.

STEP 10 EDIT PHOTO

STEP 7:  This is where you will begin to create your Watermark design.  Click on the “P” for Text.

STEP 11 CLICK THE P FOR TEXT

STEP 8:  This is the fun part!  In PicMonkey, you have lots of free fonts to play with, so have fun.  Click to Add Text.  A text box opens.  Type what you want for your watermark.  Hint:  You can add more than one text box too for your watermark with different fonts too!  (for my example, I used two text boxes with two different fonts)

STEP 12 ADD TEXT

STEP 9:  View what your watermark will look like.  If you don’t like it, you can change it at this point.

STEP 13 CREATE YOUR WATERMARK

STEP 10:  Crop your Watermark.  Click on the Crop button and crop around your Watermark as close as you can without damaging your text.

STEP 14 CROP WATERMARK

STEP 11:  Once you have cropped your Watermark (as shown above in my example), you need to Save it again, and make sure you save it as a PNG and not a JPG.  Your Watermark is now ready to be used on any of your photographs.  (Note:  You can use this new Watermark over and over again)

STEP 12:  Open a Photograph that you want to add your Watermark to.  (Hi Nikita!)

STEP 16 OPEN PHOTOSTEP 13:  Click on Overlays

STEP 15 OPEN PHOTO ADD OVERLAY

STEP 14:  Click on Add your Own Overlay, which is going to be the Watermark file you just created.

STEP 17 ADD YOUR OWN OVERLAY

STEP 15:  Your new Watermark will now pop up on top of your photograph.    You can resize your Watermark just by dragging the sides of the box around the Watermark.  Place your Watermark where you want on your photograph.  Make sure it the the size you want, and you’re done!  Now, just  save your photograph and you have now locked in your Watermark on your photograph permanently.

STEP 18 DRAG SIDES OF WATERMARK TO RESIZE

Here is the finished photograph with its new Watermark!

NIKITA LOOKING UP

You will not have to go through all of the steps above to add a Watermark to a photograph.  I know what you are thinking, phew!  Once you have created your Watermark & have saved it, all you will need to do is open PicMonkey, edit photo, click on add overlay (which will be your Watermark) and place your Watermark where you want it on your photo.  Save photo.

I just wanted to be as detailed as I could to give you the dirt on how to create a Watermark for your photographs.  It is important to protect your work.  It is important to protect what is yours.  It is important to stop others from stealing from you and using your photographs as their own.  It ends here.  Now, get going and protect what is yours!  You will thank me later.

And, as always, if you get stuck in any of these steps, let me know and I will be more than happy to assist you!

If you missed the first two blog tips, here they are:
TIP No. 1:  How to Add Tickers to your blog
Tip No. 2:  How to Create an Animated GIF

 

Let’s Get Animated

BLOGGING TIPSContinuing on with scouring the “information highway” or web for interesting things that you can do to spice up your blog, I went on a searching safari for how to animate your photo’s, or How to Create an Animated GIF.

It’s a real jungle out there and you could get lost in all the websites that provide tutorial assistance, but I found a website that was self-explanatory and easy to use.

BLOG TIP N0 2HOW TO CREATE AN ANIMATED GIF FOR YOUR BLOG:

The website is called Picasion and you can create an animated GIF in just a few minutes, or faster than you can finish a cup of coffee.

First, take a sip of coffee, and head on over to Picasion.  The first thing that you need to do is to upload your photographs.  As you can see, it shows that you can upload three photographs, but you can upload more than that.  Select your images from your computer.  Choose the size of your GIF.  (for the sample that I created, I used the “normal” setting)  Then, choose the speed.  (once again, I chose the “normal” setting)  Click “Create Animation”.  As you can see from below, I created a simple Animated GIF from four photographs of Bella and it turned out great!  This definitely adds a little spice to the blog!  I can see a lot of great uses for this already, for example, I can illustrate how our little seedlings are growing by grouping a few photographs together as the Animated GIF flips through the photographs!

gif animatorspicasion.com gif animators

In just a minute you will see your very first Animated GIF, congratulations on a job well done!  But wait….. you still need to get it on your blog post.  Don’t fret, as that part is easy too.  If you are looking at your finished animated GIF right now on Picasion, then you will see that there is a lot of “HTML Code” listed right below your GIF, highlight and copy the code for HTML Code for Blog/Website.

Now, just head on over to your WordPress Dashboard, and create a new post.  When you are to the point in your blog post that you would like to add your Animated GIF, click on the “Text” tab and paste the code you just copied, then click back to the visual tab.  You will now be able to see your Animated GIF live in action on your blog post!  And if you want to check it out before hitting the publish button, click Preview first, and if it’s ok, click Publish.

NOTE:  While testing this process, I found that your animated GIF looked better if your photographs were in succession.

If you create your own Animated GIF from this tutorial, let us know!  Good luck and have fun and keep checking back for more blogging tips!

If you missed Blog Tip #1: How To Add Tickers To Your Blog

How To Add Tickers To Your Blog

BLOGGING TIPSEveryone blogs for different reasons.  For fun, for their pets, family life, gardening tips, photography, fashion, and some blog to earn extra money.  For whatever the reason you blog, we all want the traffic to our blogs, we want followers, we love “likes”, and we love comments.

Trying to find neat things to enhance our blog is hard.  Most of us don’t have the time to do extensive research on blogging, so I decided to do the research for you!  Every week, I will try my best to find some unique blog enhancements that you can use on your blog.

BLOG TIP NO 1First up, I found a great website for adding tickers to your blog.  You can add a ticker for a birthday, anniversary, days to a holiday, pet birthday, days to an event, and much more.  Daisy Path is where you can find all of these awesome tickers for your blog.

I have added a few “tickers” to the sidebar of my blog to show you what they look like.  I have added one for Nikita and one for Bella, one for Nikitaland’s Anniversary, and since we love Halloween, I added one to count down the days until Halloween.  When you find the type of ticker you want to use on Daisy Path, you have a choice of a mini (or small) or large ticker.  The size you choose all depends on the width of your blogs sidebar.  (the ones that I used were the mini ones)

Once you have found the type of ticker you want to use, enter in the data of your event, and in the last step, all you need to do is select “WordPress” and Daisy Path gives you the HTML code.  Just copy the code, and head on over to your WordPress Dashboard and select appearance, then widget, select Text Widget, drag the text widget box to your sidebar and paste the HTML code into the box, click save.  Now go check out your blog to see what it looks like.  If you don’t like it, you can always delete it!

Create one today!  Perhaps you can add one to count down the days until your next vacation!  Have fun!