Proper use of imagery can be crucial for attracting attention to your article, keeping readers engaged, and illustrating key points.
WordPress (which is used as the backend to WessexScene.co.uk) has a good built-in image manager, which should help you properly lay out images in your article. This is a quick guide to inserting images from your hard drive to your post, as well as a few tips on finding images effectively and legally.
Uploading and inserting an image into a post
- Click on the “Add an Image” icon above the toolbar. This will bring up the media manager panel.
- Make sure the “From Computer” tab is selected, then click on “Select Files”. Navigate and select the file you wish to upload.
- Once you have selected a file, fill in the details highlighted below:
- Title: This should be a simple description of the image. This is used for blind people/search engines that are looking at the image. It is also displayed if the image is used in a gallery (see below).
- Alignment: How should the image be aligned with respect to the text? Select None if you don’t want text to wrap around. Selecting Left, Centre or Right will cause it to “float” (ie: no longer be in line with the text) and the text will wrap around it. Experiment with this and remember to always preview an article before you publish!
- Size: Often, images uploaded to WordPress will be too big, so it can automatically be resized. Experiment with these to see what it looks like by previewing the article before you publish. If you try and add an image wider than the content area (currently 630 pixels), then WordPress will automatically resize it (and the image will be a link to the full-sized image).
- Insert into Post: Click this when you have finished configuring the image. This will, unsurprisingly, place the image in the post.
- Use as featured image: All articles need to have a featured image – this should be striking, attractive and generally illustrative of the article’s content. When you’re uploading an image that you also want to be the featured image, click this button before you Insert into Post. You can also set it in the panel in the bottom-right corner when writing an article.
If you need to change any of these settings, select the image in the editor, and click on Edit Image (shown left). You can also delete an image by clicking on the Delete Image button next to it.
Where do I find images?
Since the website is online, it is important that the images are legal, ie: aren’t copyright-protected. This means you can’t just use images you find off Google Images. Remember to save images to your hard drive and upload to WordPress – do not Add Image From URL. This will annoy the person hosting the image, and they could delete the image/change the image to something inappropriate.
The best way to avoid this is to take advantage in-house graphics. There are plenty of keen Southampton students who will create custom imagery for you – enquire in the Wessex Scene Imagery Facebook Group or email the Image Editor.
Sometimes this isn’t feasible – you may need graphics for an article which isn’t based in Southampton, or may be working on a strict deadline. In this case, you will have to scour the web for royalty-free images. There are several resources for this:
There are several websites that offer stock photography for free (you usually have to sign up for an account first):
- sxc.hu – this one seems to have the greatest range and quality
- Free Range Stock
Photos from Flickr
You can search for copyright-free images on Flickr using Advanced Search and specifying Creative-Commons licensed images. This means they will be free for you to use.
How to add a gallery to a post
If your article is very visual and showing off a lot of images, it may be worthwhile to set them up as a gallery. This means the user can temporarily bring up the gallery on top of the article and flick through the pictures. Setting up galleries is a little bit fiddly:
- If your article contains any images that you don’t want to show in the gallery, then you need to upload these separately. To do that:
- Click on the Media > Add New button in the left sidebar.
- Follow the instructions there as you would do normally.
- Once it’s uploaded, go to your article, click Add Image (see right) then select the Media Library tab, and insert the picture from there (see below).
- Upload all the images you want in your gallery in the normal way (by uploading via. Add Image, see above) but don’t click Insert into Post. The images should now appear in the Gallery tab.
- Type [gallery] where you want the gallery to appear. Click on Save Draft and this will magically morph into a placeholder image. If you click preview, it should display as a gallery.