Why You Should Update WordPress To Version 4.8 “Evans”

You should always update WordPress. This is not just for the creative enhancement but the security as well.  WordPress has released version 4.8 “Evans”, named after jazz pianist Bill Evans. There are several dynamic updates that improve how you use WordPress and streamlines creativity.

Improvements include:

  • New widgets (images, audio, video and rich text)
  • Dashboard section for upcoming WordPress events and more
  • Link improvements

New WordPress Widgets

Ever wanted to insert a bio image, audio clip or video in the sidebar but had to either install JetPack or another plugin for what should be a simple feature? WordPress now comes prepackaged so that you can add any of these and the ability to add rich text content. There is no more need to change any settings or install plugins.

Image Widget

Update WordPress Image WidgetThe new image widget allows the simple addition of any image. The widget uses the media library. This means there is no need to look up a URL of an existing media image beforehand.

Audio Widget

Update WordPress Audio WidgetLike the image widget, the new audio widget allows you to insert an audio file that does not require any setup. The audio file will even play directly from the sidebar so visitors can stream the media without leaving the current page or your website.

Video Widget

Update WordPress Video WidgetThe new video widget continues to provide the ability to embed media into the sidebar just like the image and audio widgets do. Insert a file from your media library or stream a URL from YouTube or another video streaming site. And yes, the video does play in the sidebar just like the audio widget.

Text Widget

Update WordPress Text WidgetWordPress has replaced the previous text widget with an updated, rich text editor. With the rich text editor widget you are now able to add simple, but desired visual content changes as well as HTML.

Dashboard Update

The dashboard within WordPress will now let you add a section to stay up to date with the latest WordPress events in your area. WordPress has always been a community driven project and now they have incorporated this directly in the dashboard by providing you with information on Meetups and WordCamp related events.

Link Improvements

Updating links within a post is at times annoying when the editor includes more than just the desired words into the link. For some, this was never an issue, but for those who use WordPress on a daily basis will love this little enhancement which no longer slows down the creative flow.

Update WordPress

WordPress has added several other improvements behind the scenes. Whether you are a developer, editor or contributor all will benefit from these changes. You can read about the complete updates over at WordPress.

Not sure how to Update WordPress? We are here to help answer your questions.

How to insert Google Maps on your website

Adding a single map or multiple locations is a great way to fully utilize your website.   The following steps will provide instructions to establish a map for your website.

Single Location

First, go to Google Maps.
Enter the address and then click search to bring up the location.
Click “Share or Embed Map”

google-maps-share
In the box that will appear shortly after, select “Embed Map” at the top.
Choose the size of the map you desire.
An HMTL embed code will appear in the field to the right, copy that code and paste it into the source code of your website.

google-maps-embed-example

Multiple Locations

If you have several locations that you would like to pinpoint on your map, google maps does have the options to make this happen.  The following steps will provide instructions to establish a map with multiple locations using Google’s Map Engine.

Sign in to your Google account or create one.
Go to the Map Engine and select “Create a new map”.
Select the “Untitled Map” option to list your title and description of your new map.

google-map-engine-example

Using the search field, enter the address or search for your first location.
Once the location pops up, click “Add to map”.

google-map-engine-location-example

Continue to add additional locations in the same way.
When you are done click “Share”.

google-map-engine-location-list

Under the option for “Who has access” click “Change…”
Select the first option for Public and then Save. You can then click Done to close the share window.
Click the menu icon to the right of the title.

google-map-engine-menu-example

Select “Embed on my site”.
Copy and paste the embed code to your website.

How to Resize an Image using PIXLR

Intro.

Two of the biggest problems with images are that the file size can often exceed the upload size or the image is too big for the space.  These issues can be easily resolved with the free online tool PIXLR.

pixlr

 Using the PIXLR Photo Resizing Editor

  1. Open the PIXLR Editor.
  2. Click “File” in the top left corner.
  3. Click “Open Image from computer” and browse to the photo that you want to edit. It will open automatically in your screen.

How to Resize an Image

From the top black navigation bar, Click “Image” > “Image Size”.   The constraint proportions box will be checked by default to automatically calculate your images height and width proportions.   It’s best to leave the constraint proportions box on to avoid a dis-proportioned image.

Pixlr one

The height and width proportions can be changed manually by typing in a unit figure for height and width.  For most large Image that needs to be downsized, 800 pixels wide is a good average for larger images.   The height will automatically scale with the width and click “ok” to resize your image.

 

How to Resize your Canvas

The canvas is the amount of working space you have to work with your photo.  Selecting Image Canvas size will allow you to change your canvas dimensions.  The Anchor option allows you to select where the starting point will be when trying to resize the photo.

1 pixlr

The canvas layer can be colored in by the paint bucket which is located by the layer option on the right side.

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Cropping Your Image

The secondary Tool bar provides the options on what size your Cropping box will be.  By drawing a crop box on the image and hitting the return button your canvas will automatically crop to your set specifications.

 pixlr 3

 

How to Save your New Images

From the top black navigation bar, Click “File” > “Save”.  Renaming the photo is optional.  Leave the format setting on JPEG and lower the quality to 45 (this is adequate for web files).  You can save wherever you want on your computer.

4 pixlr

If you added layers or always need to go back and crop your image to an exact size, save your image as a PXD (layered Pixlr Image) template.  This will save all of your layers and allow for continuous updates.

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