These Secret Gallery Blocks On WordPress Are Easy To Find. How To Use Them.

There are many gallery blocks on WordPress, but did you know WordPress has added some secret gallery blocks and that you can add captions to them?

Banner for the blog post 'These Secret Gallery Blocks On WordPress Are Easy To Find. How To Use Them'
Have you found these secret Block galleries on WordPress?
Here’s how to find and use them.
  • On a draft post, click on the add a new block button (the ‘+‘ symbol) and click on ‘Patterns.’
Image highlighting the Patterns option on WordPress
Click the ‘Patterns’ option.
  • Either click on the Featured box and select Gallery or click on the Explore box. In this post, I’m using the Explore box.
Image highlighting the Featured and Explore box on WordPress
Use the Featured or Explore box to find the secret galleries
  • Select Gallery from the new list that appears.
Image highlighting the Gallery option in Patterns on WordPress
Select Gallery.
  • Select one of the galleries. In this post, I’m selecting the Large image and grid gallery.
Image highlighting the large image and grid gallery in Patterns on WordPress
Select the gallery you want to use.
  • The gallery and images are inserted into your post. Note – the images already on this block are not downloaded into your media library.
  • To change the images to your own, click on an image and select the Replace button from the image toolbar that appears.
Image highlighting the Replace button on the large image and grid gallery in Patterns on WordPress
Click the Replace button.
  • Click on the Select Image button and the button where your image is located. In this post, I’m selecting images from my Media Library.
Image highlighting the Select Image button in Patterns on WordPress
Click on Select and then on the button where your image is located
  • Select an image from your media library. Don’t forget to align the image to centre the caption. Click here to find out how to align photos and images.
Image highlighting the align button in Patterns on WordPress
Don’t forget to align your image and caption
  • Do the same for the other images in the block.
  • Captions will display provided you have added them to the photos and images in your media library.
  • Your gallery is now complete. Here’s mine.
Photo of the Welsh Valleys showing mountains, fields and clouds in the sky
The Welsh Valleys

When readers click on any photos in the gallery, any watermark or copyright information you have added will be displayed on each photo in the slideshow. Go ahead and click on one of the images in my gallery to see the watermark.

There are options available to change the background and text colours in the gallery I have used in this post. Click on the block and then on ‘Block‘ (in the top right corner of the draft page) to change them.

Other galleries available in this gallery block are –

  • Gallery
  • Organic gallery with intro text
  • Gallery with description and a button
  • Three images side-by-side gallery
  • Two images side-by-side gallery

Give them a try, and let me know how you get on by leaving me a comment.

Click here to find out why you should always watermark your photos and image.

If you have questions about these secret galleries and how to use them, leave them in the comments section.

Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Follow Hugh on social media. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Access The Blocks You Use The Most On The WordPress Block Editor

Do you struggle to find the blocks you use the most on the Block editor? With over 160 (and rising) blocks, it can be a daunting task.

Do you want an easy way to see the blocks you use the most, so you don’t have to find them?

Of course, you can use the search bar, but there is an easy way to show the blocks you use the most on WordPress.

Banner for the blog post 'How To Access The Blocks You Use The Most On The WordPress Block Editor'
Always have easy access to the blocks you use the most

Here’s how to do it.

  • On the draft page of a blog post, click on the kebab menu (located in the top right-hand corner), and on the new menu that opens, click on Preferences.
Image showing the kebab menu and 'Preferences on the Block editor on WordPress
Click on the kebab menu and then on Preferences
  • In the new window that opens, click on Blocks.
Image highlighting the Blocks button on the Preferences menu
Click on Blocks
  • Slide the ‘Show most used blocks’ button to the on position.
Image highlighting the 'Show most used blocks' button
Slide the ‘Show most used blocks’ button
  • When you click on the add a new block button (‘+’), the blocks you use the most will now be displayed at the top of the blocks library list.
Image highlighting the most used blocks on Hugh's Views And News
Most Used Blocks On the blog Hugh’s Views And News
  • Job completed.

My thanks to Jen, who blogs at WPcomMaven, for passing this information on to me.

Layout, content, settings, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

If you have questions about how to easily access the blocks you use the most on WordPress, leave them in the comments section.

Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.

Follow Hugh on social media. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Don’t Have Enough Time To Draft Blog Posts? This WordPress Feature Helps

Would you like to save some time when drafting your blog posts?

Do you participate in a daily, weekly, monthly or annual blog challenge?

Do you get frustrated with or dislike having to copy and paste from one blog post to another?

Do you have reoccurring blog posts that only need minor changes?

Banner for the blog post - 'Don't have Enough Time To Draft Blog Posts? This WordPress Feature Helps'
Blogging Tips

If you participate in weekly blog challenges or publish posts that have the same layout every month, the ‘copy post‘ feature on the Block Editor is an excellent tool. It relieves all the stress and frustration of copying and pasting and finding the time to draft blog posts.

How To Copy A Blog Post

Here’s an image that will outline some upcoming vital points.

Image showing 3 key-points on how to copy a blog post on WordPress
How To Copy A Blog Post On WordPress

1. Go to your blog’s ‘Posts’ page and find the post you want to copy. In my case, I’m copying a post I wrote for the weekly 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

2. Click the kebab menu (three vertical dots) next to the post.

3. From the dropdown menu that opens select ‘Copy Post.’

  • Open your draft folder, find the newly created blog post and make changes to it.
  • Essential changes you’ll need to make to the new post you’ve copied.
  • Title of the post
  • Content
  • Excerpt for the post
  • Other changes you may need to change.
  • Images/photos
  • Pingbacks
  • Categories
  • Tags

In some cases, such as the copied post I’ve used as an example, I didn’t need to add or change the categories or tags, so I saved myself even more time. However, I did need to update the pingbacks and images on the post.

However, overall, I saved myself time by copying an existing post and making amendments to it.

Screenshot highlighting a copied post on WordPress
Copied Post
  • Schedule or publish your post.

That’s it! You’re done and will have saved yourself some precious time and got rid of the experience of frustrations that copying and pasting often bring when drafting blog posts.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Have you used the ‘Copy Post’ feature on WordPress? Do you have any more time-saving tips when drafting blog posts? Share them with me in the comments section.

Looking for more blogging tips from Hugh? Check out these posts.

Join Hugh on social media. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Are You Using This Little Known About Block That Helps Promote Your Blog?

Of all the blogs I follow, I’ve never yet seen them using the block I’m promoting today. I wonder if you’ve used it?

Once I tell you about this block, when showcasing some of the least visited parts of your blog, you’ll want to use it too. I’ll certainly be using it a lot more to help promote some of the parts of my blog that seldom receive visitors.

Banner for the blog post Are You Using This Little Known About Block That Helps Promote Your Blog?
Have you discovered the Pages list block?

Do you feel sorry for the ‘pages’ on your blog?

If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the pages you’ve created that sit behind the scenes of every blog. Blog posts are the performers, whereas blog pages are the behind-the-scenes folk. 

What’s the difference between a blog page and a blog post?

Posts are entries listed on your blog in reverse chronological order. Think of them as articles or updates you share to offer up new content to your readers. Every time you publish a new post, a notification gets sent to your followers, and, in most cases, it appears on the WordPress Reader.

Pages are static and are not affected by date. Think of them as more permanent fixtures of your site — an About Me page, a Contact Me page, and a Home page are great examples of this. When you publish a page, your followers do not get any notifications that you’ve published it, nor does it appear on the WordPress Reader. Therefore, they rarely get viewed unless visitors to your blog click on links to them or on the menubar of your blog (where links to pages appear). 

What happens if the home page of my blog is a page? 

It should already be getting lots of views. I have the ‘about Hugh’ page of my blog set as my home page, which means it’s one of the most-visited parts of my blog.

What’s the block I’m referring to in the title of this post? 

The ‘Page list‘ block. It’s there to help bloggers promote the behind-the-scenes pages of their blogs. I’ve included one on my ‘Meet Hugh‘ page. When you add it to a post or page, it automatically pulls through links to all the pages you have on your blog.

Before I add the ‘Page list’ block to this post, please don’t be tempted to click on any of the links in the block until you’ve read the rest of the post. You’ll discover why towards the end of this post.

Here’s my pages list.

Meet Hugh – this is my blog’s ‘about me’ page. An ‘about me’ page is something every blog should have. Not sure what to put on your ‘about me’ page? My post, Why Every Blogger Should Have an About Me Page on Their Blog, gives full details.  

Contact Hugh – is a secure way for visitors to my blog to contact me without leaving personal information in the comments section of any of my posts or pages. Every blog should have a channel for visitors to contact the owner, other than via leaving a comment. My blog post, How To Create And Add A Contact Me Form To Your WordPress Blog, gives full details.

My Books – details of all my books, what they are about, where they are on sale and some reviews.

Disclaimer & GDPR: This is something every blog should display. Never think or believe it doesn’t apply to you and your blog. It does!

Tales From Under The Rainbow – The first chapter of a work-in-progress I have underway. The blogging community helped by giving me feedback on sections I published on my blog. It’s the final result. Let me know what you think if you give it a read.

The Newlyweds – a flash fiction piece that turned into a short story after participating in the weekly 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. It’s a strange tale led by prompts. If you read it, let me know what you think about it.   

Those are the six pages I have on my blog. In turn, all of them appear on the menubar of my blog. 

Can the ‘Page list’ block be improved?

Yes. When clicking on any links on the ‘Page list’ block, they don’t open in a new tab on your device. It means you lose the post you’re reading. However, you’re still on the blog you’re reading, although in a different part.

You may not want all your pages to appear in the block, so another improvement is to have the choice to select specific pages you want to appear (as happens in the ‘Blog Posts‘ block).

I’m feeding both suggestions back to WordPress.

Where should the ‘Page list’ block be used?

I recommend not clicking on any of the links on the ‘Page list’ block earlier. I’d recommend inserting the block either towards or at the end of any blog post. Readers will likely have read most of your post before clicking links and taken away from your post.

Therefore, I’m including my ‘Page list’ block again.

Have you discovered the ‘Page list’ block? Have you used it? Will you use it? Can it be improved? Tell us what pages you have on your blog.

Join Hugh on social media. Click on the links below.

Enjoyed reading this post? Check out these posts about the Block editor.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How to Create And Use A Reusable Block For Your Book On WordPress

One of the best features of the Gutenberg Block Editor is the ability to create reusable blocks.

Once you’ve created a reusable block, any amendments you make to it get implemented wherever you’ve used it. If you’ve used the block on 50 of your blog posts, the changes take place on all of them regardless of when the posts (and pages) were published.

That means there is no need to visit each and every post to make the amendments. Just think how much time that will save you.

Banner for the blog post How To Create And Use A Reusable Block For Your Book On WordPress
Reusable Blocks & Books

For authors, reusable blocks save lots of time when doing book promotions, such as offering a book as a free download or when offering a limited-time price reduction. And once the promotion is over, simply updating the reusable block takes care of all the changes all over your blog.

How Do I Create a Reusable Block For My Book?

  • Open up a new draft post.
  • Open up the ‘Media & Text‘ block. You can do this by clicking the ‘+‘ symbol in the top corner of the drafts page and inserting ‘Media & Text’ in the search bar.
Screenshot highlighting where and how to find the Image & Text block on WordPress
Media & Text Block
  • Select the Media & Text block to insert it on your post, or select one of the options available for it (e.g. text on left/media on the right).
  • Next, click on ‘Media Area‘ and upload your book cover by clicking the ‘upload‘ button. If your book cover is already in your WordPress media library, click the ‘Select Media‘ button.
Screenshot highlighting the Upload and Select Media buttons on WordPress
  • Click on the ‘Content…‘ area, and add content about your book in the ‘Content’ box.
Screenshot highlighting where to add content in the Media & Text block on WordPress
  • While adding content, don’t forget to use the toolbar on the righthand side of the page to create headings, enlarge text, etc.

Top Tip: Create and include a link in the ‘Content’ area to where people can buy your book. In my example, I’ve created a link to Amazon by making ‘Available on Amazon‘ a pingback.

I recommend you also make the whole block a link to where people can buy your book. To do this, click on the block and create a pingback (see next image).

Screenshot highlighting and showing how to make a block into a pingback on WordPress

Tip: To stop people from losing your blog when clicking on pingbacks, always ensure you turn on the ‘Open in a new tab‘ button (#4 on the above image).

How Do I Turn The Block Into A Reusable Block?

  • Click on the block and click the kebab menu (three vertical buttons) in the toolbar that appears. From the menu, select ‘Add To Reusable Blocks‘.
Screenshot highlighting and showing how to turn a block into a reusable block on WordPress
  • Give the block a name and click the ‘Save‘ button.
Screenshot showing how to name a reusable block on WordPress
  • Your reusable block is created and is now ready to be used on all your blog posts and pages.

Top Tip: Add the reusable block you’ve created for your book to the top three most viewed posts and pages of your blog. That way, even more visitors to these posts and pages will see details of your book.

How do I make amendments to reusable blocks?

  • Click the ‘+‘ sign in the top left corner of a drafts page, and select the ‘Reusable‘ tab (see next image).
  • Click on the ‘Manage Reusable Blocks‘ link at the bottom of the page (see next image).
Screenshot highlighting how to edit a reusable block on WordPress
  • Select the reusable block you want to edit.
Screenshot highlighting how to select a reusable block for editing
  • Make the amendments and click the ‘Update‘ button.
Screenshot showing how to edit a Reusable block on WordPress
  • Any amendments you have made are saved, even on the posts and pages you previously inserted the block on.

And here is the reusable block I’ve created.

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

  • Finally, don’t forget to click on the pingbacks you’ve added to your reusable block to ensure they work and take visitors to the correct page/site.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.

Follow Hugh on his other social media platforms. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Is This New WordPress Block The Best Way To Help Promote Your Blog For Free?

Every blogger should be active on at least one other social media platform besides blogging. Why? Because it’s a free way to get you, your blog and your books in front of new audiences.

Banner for the blog post 'Is This New WordPress Block The Best Way To Help Promote Your Blog For Free?'
Looking to promote your blog for free?

Unless you tell your readers what social media platforms you’re on, then they’ll probably only find you by chance. That’s why you should do all you can to promote where your readers can also find you and your books.

WordPress has made the ‘Social Icons’ widget into a block that makes it easy to advertise your social media accounts on your blog posts and pages. And, best of all, once you’ve created it, with a single click, you can add it to every blog post and page. 

The ‘Social Icons‘ block takes away the ‘probably’ and does the job perfectly.

Let’s get started. Here’s how to create your ‘Social Icons’ block. 

  • The ‘Social Icons’ block can be added to a new blog post (or one you’ve already published).
  • Click the ‘add new block button’.
  • Search for the block by adding ‘social icons’ in the search-bar.
  • Click the ‘Social Icons’ block to add it to your post.
Screenshot highlighting the three steps to find and add the 'Social Icons
Where to find the ‘Social Icons’ block
  • Next, follow the instructions on the following image to start adding social media icons to the block. I’ve also listed the instructions under the image.
Screenshot highlighting how to add social media icons to the social icons block on WordPress
Adding your social media accounts to the block
  • Click the ‘plus’ sign just above the window that shows social icons images.
  • Use the search-bar to find social icons.
  • Click on the social icons you want to add to the block.
  • For a full list of available social icons, click on ‘Browse all.’

In my case, I’ve added social icons for Twitter, WordPress, Amazon, Goodreads and Flipboard. 

Screenshot showing the social icons added to the social icons block on WordPress
Social icons on the social icons block

Useful Tip: Use the ‘link‘ icon for any social icons WordPress does not have icons for. I’ve done this for my Flipboard account.

Screenshot highlighting the 'link' icon on WordPress
No social media icon? No problem!

Note: Until you’ve linked your social media accounts to the icons, they will be ‘ghosted’ out.

  • To link your social media accounts to each icon, click on each icon and copy and paste the URL address of the relevant social media account in the bar that appears. 
Screenshot showing how to add a social media account to a social icon on WordPress
Adding your social media accounts to the social icons
  • Remember to always click the ‘Apply’ button after adding each account. 

As you add each address, the icon will no longer be ‘ghosted’ out. 

Now you’ve added and linked your social media accounts to all icons, it’s time to choose a few more features. You’ll find these on the righthand side of the screen when clicking on the ‘Social Icons’ block you’ve created. Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see and some features I’ve highlighted.

Screenshot showing the different options available on the Social Icons block on WordPress
Social icons features

The features include –

  • The style of each icon. In my case I chose the ‘Pill’ shape for the icons.
  • The option of wether a new window opens when somebody clicks on one of the icons.
  • Choice of colours for the icons

I highly recommend that you switch on the ‘Open links in new tab‘ feature so that the page your reader is on when clicking on the icons does not close down. After all, you don’t want anybody leaving your blog when clicking on one of the icons, do you?

Can the size of the social icons be changed?

Yes. Click the ‘Size’ button in the ‘social Icons’ block’s toolbar to change the size of the icons.

Screenshot highlighting where to change the size of the social icons on the social icons block on WordPress
Changing the size of your social media icons

You can also change the alignment and the items justification of the icons in the block’s toolbar. 

How to turn your ‘Social Icon’ block into a reusable block.

If you want to add your ‘Social Icons’ block with just one click onto all your blog posts (and I recommend you do), you’ll need to make the block reusable. My post How To Add A Reusable Block To A WordPress Blog Using The Gutenberg Editor gives full details on how to do this, but here’s an image that quickly outlines the details.

Screenshot that gives quick details on how create a reusable block on WordPress
Creating a reusable block

Any edits or updates you do to a reusable block are applied everywhere you’ve used the block. Therefore, if any of your social media accounts get a new URL address, all you need to do is edit the address in the reusable block. You don’t need to visit and make the changes on every blog post where the block appears. Reusable blocks are excellent for adding details of your books to blog posts especially when doing occasional special deals on them.

  • Finally, most importantly, make sure the icons in the block work and go to the correct social media accounts before using the block on your posts.

Let’s Wrap It Up

  • Social media is one of the best ways to promote your blog and books for free.
  • Use the ‘social icons’ block to promote your social media accounts and let readers know where to find you.
  • The ‘social icons’ block is easy to set up and use. Follow the guide in this post.
  • Use the ‘link’ icon to crate a button for social media platforms WordPress does not offer an icon for.
  • To stop readers leaving your blog when clicking on your ‘social Icons’ block, make sure the ‘open links in new tab’ button is switched on.
  • Turn your ‘social icons’ block into a reusable block that can be inserted on all posts and pages with just one click.
  • Any changes you make to your ‘social icons’ reusable block will be implemented wherever the block appears. No need to make the changes on every post!

And here is my ‘Social Icons’ block.

Go ahead and click on the buttons and follow me on my other social media platforms.

Are you using the ‘Social Icons’ block?

Any questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Looking for more blogging tips? Check out these recent posts from Hugh.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

New: WordPress Screen Options Button – Where, Why And How To Use It

Have you noticed the new WordPress ‘Screen Options’ button on the dashboard of your blog?

At first, it wasn’t very noticeable to me, but I now find myself using it everyday because it has some great features.

Banner for the blog post 'New: WordPress Screen Options Button - Where, Why and How To Use It
New: WordPress Screen Options Button

Where can I find the ‘Screen Options’ button?

You’ll find the ‘Screen Options‘ button in the top righthand corner of your screen when viewing ‘Posts,’ ‘Pages’, ‘Media’ or ‘Comments’ on the dashboard of your blog. Please note that It doesn’t yet seem to be available on the WordPress App.

Screenshot highlighting the Screen Options button on WordPress
Screen Options Button

I am able to see the button when using WordPress on my desktop computer, laptop, iPad and iPhone using Safari and Chrome.

What does the ‘Screen Options’ button do?

It’s a quick way to switch between the new WordPress ‘Default’ view and the old ‘Classic’ view of your blog’s dashboard.

Clicking on the button gives users two choices when viewing information on the ‘Posts’, ‘Pages’ and ‘Comments’ section on their blog’s dashboard.

Screenshot highlighting the menu under the Screen Options button on WordPress
Screen Options Menu

‘Default’ view is the one I’ve been using for the last couple of months. Here are two screenshots of what my blog’s ‘posts’ page looks like with the ‘Default’ view and the ‘Classic’ view.

Screenshot showing the Default view of blog posts on a WordPress blog
Default View
Screenshot showing the Classic view of blog posts on a WordPress blog
Classic view

Many users may recognise the old-style ‘Classic’ view. However, did you know that it now contains more options? Clicking on the ‘Screen Options’ button again will disclose the options. I’ve highlighted some of them on the following image.

Screenshot of the options for blog posts on the Classic view options
Classic option features

Not only can you choose which columns to display under ‘posts,’ but you can also choose how many of your posts you want to see on the dashboard.

If you make any chances, click the ‘Apply’ button to save them.

What does the ‘view mode’ option do?

Changing the ‘view mode’ option to ‘Extended view’ will show a little more information under your posts.

Screenshot highlighting the Extended view option on WordPress
Extended view

In my case, I was able to see the excerpt for each of my posts.

Reminder – click the ‘Apply’ button if you make any changes.

The ‘Classic’ view also has a gateway to the old Classic editor, where you can draft new blog posts. However, WordPress may remove this at any time.

Screenshot highlighting the gateway to the old Classic editor on WordPress
Gateway to the old Classic editor

Struggling with spam? Use the Classic option

As I use the Block editor, I use the ‘Default’ version. However, I use the ‘Classic’ option for specific functions that the ‘Default’ option doesn’t yet do. For example, I use the ‘Classic’ option for deleting all spam from my WordPress spam folder with just one click.

Screenshot highlighting the WordPress Empty Spam Button
Emptying Spam

Don’t allow spam to cause you any problems or to allow you to make any harsh decisions. It can easily be dealt with.

Although the ‘Default’ option offers an option to bulk delete spam, you can only delete 20 spam comments at any one time.

Screenshot highlighting the Bulk Edit button on WordPress
Bulk Edit

So using the ‘Classic’ option helps save me time when dealing with hundreds of spam comments daily.

I’ve not yet discovered a way of marking comments that end up in the spam folder by mistake as genuine (not spam) in the ‘Default’ version. So, again, I use the ‘Classic’ version for performing this task.

While using ‘Classic’ view, if at any time you want to go back to using the new ‘Default’ (WordPress.com view) option, click the button.

Screenshot highlighting the Default view (WordPress.com view) button
Default view button

The ‘Screen Options’ function may only be available with specific WordPress plans.

Let’s wrap it up

  • The new ‘Screen Options’ button can be found on the ‘Posts,’ ‘Pages’, ‘Media’ and ‘Comments’ pages of the dashboard of your WordPress blog.
  • ‘Classic’ view option has more options when viewing posts and comments.
  • Delete spam with one click when using ‘Classic’ view.
  • ‘Default’ view only allows bulk action (20 comments) when deleting spam.
  • Works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.
  • Does not work via the WordPress app.

Have you been using the new ‘Screen Options’ button? Have I missed out anything you’ve discovered it does? If you have any questions about the ‘Screen Options’ button leave them in the comments section.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post over on my column at the Carrot Ranch

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How Changing This Setting On Your WordPress Blog Will Help It Gain More Views

Do you have email subscribers to your blog? If so, every time you publish a new blog post, they get a ‘New Post’ email notification.

Banner for the blog post 'How Changing This Setting On Your WordPress Blog Will Help It Gain More Views'
How Changing This Setting On Your WordPress Blog Will Help It Gain More Views

Here’s a screenshot of an email notification I got from WordPress when blogger Sally Cronin recently published a new blog post.

Screenshot showing a new WordPress blog post notification from Sally Cronin
WordPress New Blog Post Notification

Notice how only the first part of the post is visible to me. 

To read the whole post, I have to click on its title or the ‘read more of this post‘ link (highlighted in the above image). This means I have to visit Sally’s blog to read the post, thus improving the viewing statistics on her blog.

Are there any disadvantages in displaying whole blog posts in email notifications?

Yes. WordPress has a setting available that allow users to either show the whole post or a brief summary of the post in emails. Therefore, unless the setting is changed, readers do not have to visit a blog to read a post.

If you’re an author or sell goods or services on your blog, this means your email subscribers won’t see them unless they visit your blog to leave a comment. This also means they may not be tempted to discover anything else on your blog or see any ‘Pages’ you have (such as your ‘About Me‘ page).

I get lots of email notifications from bloggers where I can read the whole post in the email, so I don’t have to visit their blog. Videos and YouTube videos don’t display in the email, thus making it look uninviting to read. Photos and other images in the email version of a blog post can also be distorted and affect the formatting of text. The result can look messy.  

Not visiting the actual post also discourages some readers from leaving comments. 

How Do I Change The Email Display Setting On WordPress?

To change the setting so your whole post does not show in the email, follow the guide below.

  • On the dashboard of your blog, click on ‘Settings‘ then on ‘Reading.’ 
Screenshot highlighting where to find Settings and Reading on the dashboard of a WordPress blog
Where to find Settings and Reading on a WordPress dashboard
  • On the ‘Reader Settings‘ page that opens, look for ‘For each post in a feed, include‘ and change the setting from ‘Full Text’ to ‘Excerpt’. 
Screenshot showing the 'For each post in a feed, include' setting on a WordPress blog
Where To Change The Email Summary Settings

Press the ‘Save Changes‘ button at the bottom of the page.

Your setting is now saved, and your new blog post email notifications will only display a brief summary of every new post you publish. This means readers have to visit your blog to read posts. 

Don’t forget that you can also write your own excerpts for your blog posts. My blog post ‘How To Use Excerpts To Get More Visitors To Read Your Blog Posts‘ gives full details.

If you don’t write your own excerpts, WordPress will use the first 55 words of your blog post as the excerpt.

Let’s Wrap It Up

  • By default, WordPress automatically shows the entire contents of new blog posts in email notifications.
  • Unless the ‘For each post in a feed, include’ setting is changed, email subscribers to your blog don’t need to visit your blog to read your posts.
  • By not visiting your blog, readers may be put off from leaving or reading comments.
  • If you sell books, services or any goods on your blog, readers won’t see them if they can read blog posts on email notifications.
  • Changing the ‘For each post in a feed, include’ setting to ‘Excerpt’, will mean your email notifications will only display a snippet of your new blog posts.
  • Changing the setting is easy to do. Follow the guide in this blog post.

Any questions about changing the ’email summary’ setting? Leave them in the comments section.

This is an updated version of a previous post I originally published in 2016. It has been updated to take into account changes on WordPress.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

5 WordPress Photo Editing Tools Available To Use On The Block Editor

Did you know that WordPress has added some basic photo editing tools to the ‘Image‘ block on the Block editor?

Some of these tools are available in the WordPress media library, but others aren’t. But what are they, and how do you use them?

Banner for the blog post 5 WordPress Photo Editing Tools Available To Use On The Block Editor
5 WordPress Photo Editing Tools Available To Use On The Block Editor

Let’s get started

First, open up a new draft post and, using the image block, add a photo or image from your WordPress media library. I’m using a picture of my dogs, Austin and Toby. 

Now let me take you through each tool and how to use them.

1. Add Text Over Image

  • Click on the ‘Add Text Over Image’ button on the image toolbar.
Screenshot showing the location of the 'Add Text Over Image' button on the Block editor
Add text over image button
  • ‘Type/To Choose A Block’ will appear on the image.
Screenshot showing where to add text on a photo on the image block on the Block editor on WordPress
Where to add text
  • Click on it and add your text.
Screenshot showing text being added to an image on the WordPress Block editor
Adding text to an image on the WordPress Block editor

But that text is in the wrong position. How do you change it?

  • Easy. Click on the ‘Change Content Position‘ button and choose where you want the text to appear. I decided bottom right. 
Screenshot showing the 'Change Content Position' button on the WordPress Block editor
Changing the position of the text on a photo

2. Toggle Full Height

  • Click on the ‘Add Text Over Image’ button on the image toolbar.
Screenshot showing the location of the 'Add Text Over Image' button on the Block editor
‘Add text over image’ button
  • Click on the ‘Toggle Full Height’ button.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Toggle Full Height' button on the WordPress Block editor
Toggle Full Height

3. Zoom In And Out On An Image

  • On the image toolbar, click on the ‘Crop‘ button.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Crop' button on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Crop’ button
  • The image gets divided into nine squares (see next image).
  • Click on the ‘Zoom‘ button (see the next image).
  • To zoom in and out on an image, move the slider button forwards and backwards (see the next image). 
  • Click the apply button to save any changes.
Screenshot showing the 'Zoom' photo editing functions on the WordPress Block editor
Zoom

4. Rotate The Image

  • On the image toolbar, click on the ‘Crop‘ button.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Crop' button on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Crop’ button
  • Click the ‘rotate‘ button to rotate the image.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Rotate' button on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Rotate’ button
  • Click the ‘apply‘ button to save any changes.

5. Change The Aspect Ratio

  • On the image toolbar, click on the ‘Crop‘ button.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Crop' button on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Crop’ button
  • Click the ‘Aspect Ratio‘ button and make your selection. There is much more choice than when you perform this task in the WordPress media library. I have chosen the ‘square‘ option (see the next image).
  • Click the ‘apply‘ button to save any changes.
Screenshot showing the position and functions of the 'Aspect Ratio' function on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Aspect Ratio’ function

All these functions are basic but will suit many users who do not want to edit their images too much.

Do you use the WordPress photo editing tools? Do you have any questions about them? Leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you. 

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Create And Add A ‘Contact Me’ Form To Your WordPress Blog

Every week, I get contacted via the ‘Contact Hugh’ button on my blog’s menu bar. If I didn’t have a way for visitors to my blog to contact me securely, I could have missed many opportunities. 

Blogging Tips From Hugh

Many of those who contact me usually ask me questions about blogging.

However, I also get people contacting me with guest posts invitations, information about my books, and even business opportunities to advertise on my blog. 

Suppose somebody can not find a secure way of contacting you. In that case, they may well pass on any opportunities they wanted to offer you to somebody else.

Don’t miss out. Have a secure way for visitors to contact you rather than leave an unsecured comment on one of your blog posts.

How To Create a ‘Contact Me’ form.

  • On the navigation bar of your WordPress blog, click on Pages and then on Add New.
#blogging #bloggingtips #WordPress
Pages
  • On the lefthand side menu of the page that opens, click on ‘Contact.’
#blogging #bloggingtips #WordPress
Contact Templates
  • There are four templates to choose from. However, most of them require you to add personal information such as your email address, home/business address and contact phone number. 
  • Unless you’re a business blogger, never share any personal information on your ‘Contact Me’ form or anywhere on your blog. Keep those details safe and away from spammers and spambots. These details include your personal email address, address, phone number and date of birth.
  • Instead, open a blank template by clicking on the ‘Blank Page‘ button located at the top of the menu.
  • Give your new page that has opened a title such as ‘Contact Me‘ (I use ‘Contact Hugh’), and click the ‘add block‘ button.
Title your page and click on the ‘add block’ icon
  • In the search bar, add ‘contact‘ and select the ‘Contact Form‘ block.
Select the ‘Contact Form’ block
  • Save and preview the form before publishing it on your blog.
  • I have also added a line above my contact form informing visitors how to contact me securely. Here’s what it looks like.
My ‘Contact Me’ page
  • I also recommend adding some tags and an excerpt to your page/contact form before publishing it. Also, decide whether or not you want visitors to the page to leave any comments. Note – not all WordPress themes allow you to add tags to pages documents.
Add tags and an excerpt to your ‘About Me’ page

Now we’ve created a ‘Contact Me’ form; it’s time to add it to your blog’s menubar.

  • On the navigation bar of your WordPress blog, click on ‘Appearance and Menus.’
#blogging #bloggingtips #WordPress
Appearance and Menus
  • Choose either an existing menu or create a new one.
Adding a button to your menu bar
  • As I already have a primary menu on my blog, I’m going to add a button for my ‘Contact Hugh’ page to it. 
  • Click on the ‘Add Items‘ button and scroll down the list of your pages and find the ‘Contact me‘ form you’ve created. Click on the ‘+‘ symbol next to it. 
Adding a button to your menu bar
  • Save your changes by clicking on the ‘Save Changes‘ button at the top of the page. 
  • Your ‘Contact Me‘ button now appears on the menubar of your blog. Here’s an image of where it appears on the menubar of my blog.
Hugh’s ‘Contact Me’ button
  • Click on the ‘Reorder‘ button to change the order of the buttons on your menubar.
Want to reorder the buttons on your menu bar? Click on the ‘reorder button
  • Don’t forget to click on the button you’ve just created to make sure it’s working.

Let’s wrap it up

  • It’s important to have a secure way for visitors to your blog to contact you. Many will not like leaving unsecured messages containing personal information and/or opportunities in the comments section of a blog post.
  • Creating and publishing a ‘Contact Me’ form on your blog is the perfect way for visitors to leave you secure messages.
  • Creating a ‘Contact Me’ form is easy to do.
  • Adding a ‘Contact Me’ button to a menu on a blog is easy to do.
  • Make sure your ‘Contact Me’ form is easy to find. The best place to put it is on the menubar of your blog.
  • Any messages sent to you via your ‘Contact Me’ form will be emailed to you by WordPress.
  • Messages can also be viewed by clicking on ‘Feedback’ (just under ‘Comments’ on the dashboard of your blog).
  • Make sure you respond to messages sent via your ‘Contact Me’ form as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t publish personal information anywhere on your blog. This includes, your personal email address, home address, phone number and date of birth. Don’t give scammers a chance of obtaining your personal information.

Does that help? Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave me a comment or contact me via the ‘Contact Hugh’ button. 

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

3 Quick And Easy Ways To Promote Your Old Blog Posts

Are there easy ways to promote your old blog posts, and should you feature them on your blog again?

Can old blog posts bring in more visitors, followers and comments?

Dig out your old blog posts.

The answer to both questions is YES.

If you’ve been regularly publishing blog posts, the archive of your blog will be a treasure trove of opportunities waiting for you to bring alive again.

Rather than leave these old blog posts idle, there are ways you can bring them back in front of your audience.

These old blog posts probably never got anywhere near as many views and comments as your recent blog posts do, but did you know that they could quickly bring you lots more views and comments?

My three quick and easy tips to bring these old blog posts alive again are easy to follow and will deliver results as soon as you implement them.

1. Display ‘related’ posts at the end of all your blog posts. 

I’m always surprised by how many WordPress bloggers don’t have this feature switched on.

If you’re using the Classic editor, did you know that there are various settings for the ‘Related posts‘ feature?

Here’s a screenshot of the related posts that featured at the end of my recent blog post How To Use Excerpts To Get More Visitors To Read Your Blog Posts

Do you have the ‘related’ posts feature switched on?

WordPress automatically chooses which of your posts to display. 

If you’re not already showing related blog posts at the end of newly published blog posts, follow this guide.

  • On the dashboard of your blog, click on Settings and Reading
Click on ‘Settings’ and ‘Reading’
  • On the Reading Settings page, look for Related Posts.
Look for ‘Related Posts’.
  • Switch on ‘Show Related Content After Posts.’
Switch on ‘Show related content after posts’.
  • Choose which settings options you want to use.
Choose which settings options you want to use.
  • At the bottom of the screen, click on the Save Changes button.
  • Future published posts will now display three related posts from your archives. 

2. The ‘Blog Posts’ Block

For those using the Gutenberg block editor, there’s a terrific block I use that allows me to choose which of my previous blog posts to promote again on newly published posts. It’s called the ‘Blog Posts‘ block, and it’s easy to use.

  • Insert the ‘Blog Posts‘ block in the place where you’d like to feature it on your upcoming new post. You’ll find the ‘Blog Posts‘ block under ‘Layout Elements.’ 
Bring old blog posts alive by using the ‘Blog Post’ block.
  • It will default to show the last three blog posts you published, but this can be changed. 
By default, the ‘Blog Posts ‘block displays your last three published blog posts
  • You can leave it as it is, or there are several settings you can switch on.
  • Today, I’m going to show you how to choose the blog posts you want to display.  
  • When you insert the block, on the righthand side of the page, a toolbar will open. Under Display Settings, look for Choose specific posts and slide the button to the ‘on’ position. 
Slide the ‘Choose Specific Posts’ button to the ‘on’ position.
  • In the ‘Posts‘ box, type in the title of a blog post you want to display. As you type, suggestions for blogs posts with the words you are using will appear. 
As you type, a list of your blog posts will appear.
  • Select the blog post you want to feature.
  • It will show as a tag in the Posts box.
  • If you’re going to add more blog posts, search for them by typing in more words in the Posts box.
Add more blog posts.
  • I recommend that you add no more than three posts. 
  • The Blog Posts block has lots of other settings, which you can read about here.

3. Add pingbacks to previous blog posts. 

If you’re not sure what a pingback is, or how to add them to blog posts, my post ‘How To Create A Pingback To A WordPress Blog‘ will help.

There’s nothing wrong with adding pingbacks and linking back to your previous blog posts.

In fact, I’d recommend that you have at least a couple of pingbacks in all your blog posts. However, you should always ensure that what you’re writing about is connected to the post you’re linking back too.

Did you know that pingbacks can be added to images, pictures and photos in all your blog posts? 

Let’s say I want to add a pingback to my blog post How To Use Excerpts To Get More Visitors To Read Your Blog Posts

Here’s the image I’m going to add to my new post, and which I want to add the pingback too. 

Blogging tips article. How to use excerpts to get more visitors to read your blog posts.
Let’s crate a pingback to this image.
  • After adding the image or photo, click on it to open up a toolbar, and click on the ‘link‘ icon.
To create a pingback, click on the ‘link’ icon
  • Search for the blog post you want to link too by typing the title of the post in the search bar. 
  • Add the post (by clicking on it).
Search for blog posts by typing in some words in the search bar.
  • Click on the small arrow to open up more settings, and slide the ‘open in a new tab‘ button to the ‘on‘ position.’ Now, when readers click on the image, the post will open up in a new window on their device.
Always ensure you switch on the ‘Open in new tab’ feature.
  • Click the ‘apply‘ button. 
Click on the ‘apply’ button.
  • Finally, add a caption informing readers to click on the image to be taken to the post. 
  • You can also create pingbacks in the caption you’ve added. 

Conclusion

  • The archives of your blog is a treasure trove of blog posts that can still bring in new visitors, comments and followers.
  • Don’t allow old blog posts to remain idle and not work for you.
  • New followers of your blog may not have read your previous blog posts. Put them in front of your new audience.
  • People who may have read your older posts are often thankful for the opportunity to read them again, especially if the post includes tips and advice.
  • Keep old blog posts up to date.
  • On the Gutenberg block editor, WordPress has made available a number of blocks that help to promote old blog posts. The ‘Blog Posts‘ block is the one featured in this post.
  • If you’re not already using the ‘Related Posts’ feature, consider switching it on.
  • Remember that you can create pingbacks to old blog posts from any images or photos included in all your future blog posts.

What about you?

  • Do you promote your old blog posts? If not, why not?
  • How do you promote your old blog posts?
  • What way(s) of promoting old blog posts has worked best for you?
  • Do you have much success when promoting old blog posts?

Join the discussion by leaving me a comment that I can respond to with more than just a ‘thank you.’

Did you enjoy reading this post? Then you may also like…

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.