Tag Archives: images

Adding background image to WordPress site

Experimenting with WordPress backgrounds

NOTE: This post originated as an email to a friend and WordPress user

I finally got around to testing background images on one of my blogs, and as it turns out I rather like the effect. Perhaps I’ll soon follow suit with some of the other blogs. I know that you have loads of high-resolution images you could use as backgrounds for your sites.

Although the current background image — a rather blurry photo of a sky full of cirrus clouds at sunset — isn’t the highest quality photo, it should suffice at least as a test to demonstrate the visual effect of a static background image.

My monitor is currently set to a fairly high resolultion (1600px width), so I chose a 1600px-wide image as my first test background image.

View or modify the resolution settings of your monitor by right-clicking on any blank area on the desktop, then selecting Screen Resolution from the context menu.

From the WordPress Dashboard, just go to Appearance -- Background. I set this background image to Center, No Tiling, and to be Static so that the image stays in the same place even when you scroll down the page.

Here’s what it looks like:

Documentaries: How corporations, consumerism, other mechanisms work against democracy, greater good (Another Day, Another Digression)

Static images vs. dynamic images

Static images

natureWhen a static image is used, the same image will appear on a given page each time the page is viewed. The first image on this page (the image appearing beside this text) is a static image. The image presented here will be the same no matter how many times this page is reloaded into your web browser (which is hopefully either Firefox or Chrome and not Internet Explorer), simply because the HTML code references one specific image.

In this case, the image used is a series of Nature magazine covers.

Dynamic images

post-storm clouds - Brentwood Hills church  in Nashville; Frasier Photos, Aug 2012When a dynamic image is used, each time the page is loaded by the web browser, an image will be chosen at random from a folder containing several images with the same theme. As you will notice after you have reloaded this page a few times, the image will change at random — but will still relate to the subject matter. (For the purposes of this illustration, let’s say the subject matter or content of the page has to do with appealing photos of a dusk sky taken from a moving car on the way to try a McDonald’s strawberry milkshake for the very first time — a wonderful experience, BTW.)

The image that appears in this section is an example of a dynamic image.

Pros and cons

There are pros and cons to using static images, and there are pros and cons relating to the use of dynamic images. (This is a no-brainer because there are pros and cons to everything in existence!)

I will have to finish this later.

CSS testing: Rotating an image via CSS (Portrait-landscape)


NOTE: This CSS image-rotating test uses content from the post, Wonders of the Universe: BBC documentary series on cosmology, astronomy on the main brain-dump blog.

Wonders of the Universe - imagesThis post has just gotten started; now watching the first episode in its entirety after already being blown away by the first third of it as well as by watching A Cosmological Fantasia — a short film based on art and photography from BBC’s must-see Wonders Of The Universe (with music by Timo Baker).

Resources: Using CSS to rotate an image

How to quickly create photo galleries in WordPress

Photoblogging basics & techniques

LindsleyThis morning, I attended a church service – a somewhat rare event for me, actually – at Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ where Steve Garrett preaches every Sunday. I’ve known Steve since college; we both attended Lipscomb University, graduating around 1989. Lindsley Avenue is a tiny little congregation in downtown Nashville, Tennessee – at least as far as Nashville churches go; but the catch is, the old church building is a classic, beautiful, turn-of-the-century brick sanctuary which has managed to retain most of its original stained glass windows of the sort one just doesn’t see much anymore. The Lindsley Avenue church building is listed on the Nashville Historic Register.

May 15, 1984 saw several churches added to the National Register by way of a thematic resources listing, Nineteenth Century Churches of South Nashville, including St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and Rectory, Primitive Baptist Church, Elm Street Methodist Church, and the Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ. (Source: Metropolitan Nashville Historical Commission Newsletter, May 2011)

We had been discussing the design of a new website, blog, events app, and so forth, so I brought along my trusty Olympus Stylus and took a couple hundred photos.

When I returned home, I began to dread the hours of my time that would be demanded by my usual process of image editing, digital photo organization, file uploading, and finally, website implementation of these hundreds of images, despite saving lots of time by taking advantage of FastStone Photo Resizer’s impressive and efficient batch photo processing capabilities. (If my blog had any regular readers, they’d know I like to use a PHP image rotation script which displays images at random each time a given blog post is loaded into a visitor’s web browser. It’s a rather simple but very effective technique which keeps the pages and posts on my sites and blogs looking as though they’re updated quite frequently, or even daily – even though this is rarely the case.)

I wanted to find a much speedier method of posting large numbers of photos into my various WordPress blogs. I began to wonder what techniques real photographers might use when they need to post a new photo gallery to their WordPress blogs efficiently and professionally in time to meet a looming deadline. During the course of this research, I started to become personally interested in photoblogging.

The timing is just perfect; a client and partner of mine is currently growing at least two Nashville photography websites, and I have been planning to start my own photography website and perhaps also sell stock photos in order to create at least a trickle of new revenue…

What’s a photoblog?

A photoblog is different than a typical content-centric blog, which emphasizes the textual content and perhaps features only the occasional image; photoblogs focus almost entirely on images. Often, just about the only textual content within a photoblog post would be the photo captions.

Many more photoblogging basics on the way… still researching, testing… in the meantime, here are a few notable photoblogging resources

Resources: Photoblogging in general

Resources: Photoblogging with WordPress

Photo gallery scripts that work with WordPress

There are many PHP and Javascripts available that will allow you to create and manage online galleries on your WordPress site. Here are just a few that have been successfully integrated with WordPress. As of Version 2.5, WordPress has included a gallery function using the shortcode.

ANIga gallery
AWSOM Pixgallery Art/Webcomic plugin
Build Your Own CSS-based Gallery
Duh Gallery
fMoblog – Upload and display images from your cell phone.
Gallery 2 embedded in WordPress using the WPG2 Plugin
GRAND Flash Album Gallery – multi category flash skin based photo gallery with powerful admin. CodEasily.com
Lazyest Gallery Automatically includes galleries uploaded by ftp
NextGEN Gallery
PhotoJAR – Adds numerous features to the built-in WordPress gallery
PhotoSmash Galleries – User contributable galleries that add images to the WordPress Media Gallery. More info atplugin homepage
Page Flip Image Gallery – 90 day trialware–other versions require payment. GPL Version
Piwigo with PiwigoMedia to insert photos in your posts and PiwigoPress to display thumbnails in your sidebar
eSPG: enhanced Simple PHP Gallery
WordPress Include Page Plugin
w3images gallery – add an useful and costumizable Images Gallery to your WordPress
Zenphoto – +WP plugin

Resources: Lindsley Avenue Church

Free sources for great photos to use in your blog posts

Selling stock photography

Started on Sunday, November 20, 2011

FileZilla: Excellent FTP freeware

Our FTP client freeware of choice is FileZilla

logo - FileZilla FTP freeware If you need to move files back and forth between your computer and the web server, you’ll need an FTP program. FileZilla is probably the current standard for FTP freeware. There are some others (e.g., CuteFTP), but FileZilla does the job.

(If you have already installed FileZilla, you might want to check to ensure you have the latest version.)

I recommend experimenting with FileZilla enough to become comfortable with the file transfer process – setting up your FTP accounts for your websites, practicing uploading and downloading files to and from your computer and the web server, and so on.

What is FileZilla?

FileZilla is free, open source, cross-platform FTP software, consisting of two parts:

  1. FileZilla Client, and
  2. FileZilla Server.

For basic file transfer, all you need is the FileZilla Client; forget about the FileZilla Server.

FileZilla is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. As of 18 April 2011, FileZilla Client was the 7th most popular download of all time from SourceForge.net!

SourceForge is the primary home for all kinds of open source (free) software. The FileZilla project was featured as Project of the Month at SourceForge in November 2003.

What is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol – and I realize that sounds a bit technical. But don’t worry; only the first two (2) words – file transfer – really matter. File transfer is exactly what we have discussed doing in the near future, probably because we need to exchange files that are too big to send as email attachments (typically limited to 10MB or less).

Since we cannot email large files to each other, using an FTP utility is one option.

But wait! Dropbox is an easier, softer way…

I just remembered another way to accomplish the transfer of large files: Dropbox! Unless there’s some reason you would like to use FileZilla, we should accomplish our business with Dropbox; it’ll be faster and simpler.

Dropbox will create a folder on both our computers which we can share after we set it up. Files to be shared are simply dragged into the Dropbox directory; immediately thereafter, the files are available to the other party (or parties).

Dropbox could not be easier to install and set up; the Dropbox website shows you exactly what to do.

Resources: FileZilla FTP freeware, exchanging files

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If Mr. Frasier sent you to this page, it probably means you are supposed to download and install the FileZilla FTP Client.