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Quick Fixes to Images in Your Posts

Here, we’ve compiled several common scenarios — and simple fixes — when creating photo posts.

Image by Josep Ma. Rosell (CC BY 2.0)

Are you new to inserting images in your posts? Here’s a roundup of quick fixes:

Display a bigger image

Isn’t it unfortunate when you read a post with great photography — but the images are too small? The blogger might ask you to “click the image to see a bigger version,” too. This isn’t necessarily a no-no, but it’s an extra step for your reader to view your photos. Plus, with all the sophisticated themes out there that display full-width images beautifully, there may be a better way to showcase your images.

For a list of resources on images, check out this support page.

When you’re editing an image to insert into a post, you can set the size in the Attachment Display Settings section:

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 3.02.41 PM

Be sure to experiment with and preview the sizes of your images. Oftentimes, a tiny image — set to “Thumbnail” — could be displayed bigger. For example, here’s a post with a thumbnail-sized photo, on the Ryu theme:

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 3.13.36 PM

You don’t want your reader to squint to see the details of a snapshot, do you? Let’s see what this post looks like when the image’s size is set to “Large” instead:

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 3.14.13 PM

Here, the photograph takes center stage: it’s big enough, takes up an appropriate amount of space on the page, and there’s no clicking required. Each theme displays images differently — and some even have distinct styling for an image post format — so don’t be afraid to play around and see what your options are.

Experiment with the alignment setting

When you insert an image into a post, you have the option to display it to the left or right of your prose (“wrapping” your text around it), or opt not to use this effect (“None”). You can also simply center your image on the page, as shown in the Oxford post above, which offers a clean look.

You can set these options in the Attachment Display Settings section under “Alignment”:

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 3.48.12 PM

Aligning your images left and right works well with image sizes set to “Medium,” but be sure to experiment in your own posts, and use the arrows along the borders of your images to shrink and enlarge them within your Visual Editor.

I personally like inserting medium-sized images throughout longform posts, alternating between left and right placement, which creates both variety and visual consistency on the page:

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 4.00.35 PM

Alternatively, for posts with less text, you can center your image and set the size to “Large,” as in the Oxford post example above.

Also, consider the alignment of your photos especially if you have a left or right sidebar (or both). If your theme has a right sidebar with widgets, you might balance your site with left-aligned images in your posts and pages.

Consider the compositions of your images, too — if you’re inserting a portrait of yourself on your About page, for instance, pay attention to how it interacts with the rest of the page. Check out these two options:

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 4.22.28 PM

Both About pages use the same photo, with a left-aligned image in the left version and a right-aligned image in the right version. But the compositions are different, and you might be drawn to one over the other. I prefer the one on the left, as the empty red space feels placed in just the right spot. But some of you may prefer the right layout — the fact that the woman’s head tilts up, toward the “About Me” heading, is also a nice visual touch.

Simply put: experiment with the alignment setting!

Create clean, appropriate captions

While they say a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s generally good practice to include captions with your images so your readers know what they’re looking at. When editing an image in your Media Library, you can drop in a caption in the Attachment Details section:

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 3.08.34 PM

A caption provides more information, but should be succinct: one or two lines maximum. If you’re creating a travel post, for example, include details like the location, year, and subject(s), but leave longer, more narrative descriptions for the post itself. Don’t type an entire paragraph in the caption field, as shown below. Captions that are too long can look messy on the page:

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 3.24.39 PM

Furthermore, if you’re inserting links in your captions, avoid pasting entire URLs. You can use HTML in caption fields, so use it to create clean copy. So, typing this…

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 4.46.00 PM

…will create linked text, shown on the left below, which looks much better than the caption with the URL on the right:

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 4.51.01 PM

Balance text and image

In point two, we considered the left, right, and centered alignment of an image. Here, step back and think about the ultimate placement of your photo on the page. Is it appropriate right at the top, underneath the post title and above your opening line? Does it belong at the very bottom, to close out your piece?

Or, perhaps it’s best in the middle of your post — as a tool to break up your text and offer a moment of pause between part one and part two, or one big idea and the next:

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 4.02.01 PM

Train your eye to look at your post critically in preview mode before publishing it. Does the post feel bottom-heavy with an image at the end? Does a particular section of the post need a splash of color or breathing space?

Use a photograph as a visual divider: landscape-oriented (horizontal) images work well, as does stock and abstract photography, which you can find on these photo sites.

 If you have additional tips to share, let us know in the comments.

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  1. I’m always conscious of the need to provide attribution for the pictures I use. Is it sufficient to provide a link to the source as suggested here or should I also provide a source in text at the end of my post?

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    1. Is it sufficient to provide a link to the source as suggested here or should I also provide a source in text at the end of my post?

      Feel free to follow examples on this blog, The Daily Post (ie, scroll up to the top of this post, and look in the header image, just under the post title and excerpt). We include attribution and links to the original image, photographer/source, and Creative Commons license within the image’s caption.

      Some people include this information in other places, like the beginning or end of a post, as you mention.

      Personally, I like to include the attribution information as close to the image itself (hence, the caption).

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    1. Hi there — that looks like a tiled gallery, which is one of the types of galleries you can create.

      To create this kind of gallery, when you’re creating or editing a post, you need to click “Add Media” and then click “Create Gallery” to get started. From there, you’ll either drag photos into the dashboard, or select existing ones from your Media Library.

      The steps are here:

      http://en.support.wordpress.com/images/gallery/#adding-a-gallery-or-slideshow

      When you get to step 8 — “Choose how you want the gallery to be displayed in the Gallery Settings area” — you’ll select “Tiled Mosaic” as the Type of gallery.

      Three related resources:

      http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/gallery-types/

      http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/galleries/

      http://en.support.wordpress.com/images/gallery/#gallery-styles

      Hope that helps and gets you started!

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  2. I’m brand new to WordPress. Can anybody help me with a few queries I have?

    1. When somebody interacts with me (favourites a post etc) how do I find the profile of that person
    2. Is there any way to search WordPress as a whole for pages/blogs/accounts?
    3. How do I view a persons entire site rather than just an individual blog that shows up on my feed as I follow them

    I’m using the app for iPhone and it doesn’t seem to user friendly… Or maybe I’m being stupid:) Any answers will define which of those statements is more accurate. Thanks!

    And ease feel free to read my blogs or follow… I only have one so far (like I said, brand new) but will be posting regular about many different topics.

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  3. Thanks for the tips. The other day I was wondering if a link could be placed in a caption. I wanted to credit the photographer who took my portrait and link to her site. For some reason I didn’t try it and just wrote the credit at the bottom of the post. Now I know it’s possible! I think I’ll go edit my post and see how it looks with the credit in the caption.

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  4. Nice clear article, thanks Cheri. If you would like your images to still be accessible to the vision impaired be sure to fill in the “alt text” box. That way no-one misses out ;)

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