WordPress Gallery Example

This tech support topic about uploading photos in Tripawds Blogs led me to test the WordPress Gallery function here…

I created this thumbnail gallery using the WordPress Gallery function by uploading images from within the Post Editor, using the Add Media tab. The Gallery tab will appear within the media window after clicking “Save All Changes” (Not insert into post.)

By uploading images directly to the Media Library from the Media -> Add New tab, images do not become associated with any specific post or gallery.

And for the record, images uploaded within a specific post (i.e.; to a specific gallery) are available in the Media Library, for embedding in other posts. But the gallery itself will remain associated only to the post from which they were uploaded.

We’re still investigating various Gallery solutions for Tripawds Blogs, like the one jakesmom helped us test. But none have quite yet met all our needs, so stay tuned!

So much going on around here.

The Tripawds community has grown so much – in numbers and features – that sometimes important announcements and discussions tend to get missed. Recently the Tripawds Forums have been very busy, unfortunately, with talk of many heroic pups who have passed.

There are also lots of new Tripawds Blogs telling tales of many amazing three legged adventures.

Here are just a few recent items of interest from all over the Tripawds web site that members may find interesting…

Behind the Scenes Blog

We have a blog ring now.
Every Tripawds Blog is now linked together in a true Blogger style Ring of Blogs!

Supporters Demystified
All about Supporter Blogs and Premium Plugins.

New Easy Method for Embedding Videos
Instructions for putting movies in blog posts.
How to embed movies in forum posts.

Active Tripawds Blogs

Jake’s Life in Pictures
Beautiful Example of upcoming Flash Photo Gallery premium plugin. Stay tuned for details.

Travis Ray aka GSRNC’s Caruso
Codie Rae’s pack mate needs a furever home!

Raven is doing really well!
See his new movie in the forums.

Maggie meets new friends
Tri-pug Maggie meets Cemil

Support Tripawds while Shopping Amazon.com
Help keep René busy! 😉

Random Tripawds Blogs
Browse random Tripawds Blogs.

Tripawds Discussion Forums

Tika has left us
May our hero rest in peace. 🙁

Winter Apparel
Discussion of warmth for amputee dogs

Tags Enabled on All Forums
Assign tags ro topics for easy cross-reference.

What Can Forum Moderators Do?
Member and Moderator capabilities compared.

Welcome New Tripawds Bloggers!
Subscribe to topic for new blog announcements.

The Tripawd Dictionary
The three-legged lexicon is growing.

Playing around with themes.

Just been messing around here with a few of the more than 100 design themes available to all Tripawds Bloggers. Many themes allow custom header upload, and other customization options. Tripawds Bloggers can change their blog theme at anytime by visiting their Dashboard -> Appearance -> Themes menu.

An update of the complete theme pack we offer is in the works, and we’re thinking of adding even more robust CMS themes for Tripawds Supporters, so stay tuned for announcements. What’s a CMS you ask? Only a theme that provides a Content Management System with comprehensive configuration options.

Feel free to ask questions or provide feedback about themes in the Tripawds Technical Support Forum.

Make the Most of Free Tripawds Blogs, Part 2:

Optimize your Images for the Web

If you have signed up for a free Tripawds Blog account, you have been given 25MB of server space for uploading photos, PDF files, etc. This space can be consumed quickly with large image files.

Jerry sticks tongue out at Grand TetonsTo make the most of your free server space, pay attention to the size of files you upload and understand that anything over 150± kb is often overkill for image display in your blog. We have found that an image size of 400×300 (@ 72 dpi) works well with most blog themes.

Another option is to keep your photos hosted on an online photo sharing site like Flick’r or SnapFish. You’ll still be able to place the images here on your blog, but the actual digital file is kept on those sites instead of in your Tripawds Blog media library. This can save you from exceeding your upload space allotment.

For additional tips, read our post about how to use online photo sharing sites to make the most of your free blog.

Of course, the easiest way to avoid quickly filling your file quota is to upgrade your blog with a Tripawds Supporter subscription. This can be done at any time via the Supporter tab in your blog dashboard.

But, for all Tripawds Bloggers – either with free accounts or Supporter subscriptions – who just want to manage images with their own easy to use Media Library, we have some some tips to keep your file sizes down to a minimum.

How to Optimize Photo Sizes for the Web

Never upload an image directly from your camera to the web. Original digital photos are too big to publish online, and will use up your file size allotment quickly.

To shrink your photo file sizes down, many photo editing software applications have a push-button option that will optimize files for “web” or “e-mail” use. Windows XP and Windows Vista both have this functionality built-in. But to re-size images manually and determine their file size, follow these simple steps:

  • Launch your photo imaging software of choice.
  • Open your photo and do a “File/Save As” renaming the image so you don’t overwrite your original.
  • Crop your image to focus on the subject as desired.
  • Look for a menu option typically called “Image Size,” “Resize” or “Resample.”
  • Change your Resolution size to 72 DPI (Dots Per Inch).
  • Change your dimensions to a maximum of 640 pixels wide.
  • Click the box to “Constrain Proportions” or “Keep aspect ratio” when changing the image size. This keeps the image from getting distorted when you resize it. When this option is enabled, you just need to enter either the height or width; the other value should adjust automatically.
  • Preview the image at 100% and re-size or crop further as desired.
  • File sizes from 30 kb to a maximum of 150± kb per image will suffice and use the least space. The smaller the better when putting several files on the same page.
  • Save as a JPEG file, with medium compression if given the option.

Keep in mind that these steps apply to any image file you upload to your blog. You cannot crop or re-size images after uploading. A little arithmetic can help put things into perspective. If you upload 1 MB images – 1,000 kb – you may only be able to upload 25 photos. On the other hand, you might be able to upload 500 images at 50 kb each.

We hope this information helps you make the most of your free Tripawds Blogs account. But remember, if you don’t want to take the extra step to optimize your file sizes, just upgrade your account with Tripawds Supporter subscription, and you can have a full gigabyte of upload space! Simply visit the Supporter tab in your blog dashboard. Upgrading via your dashboard will automatically remove the banner ads from your blog too! Supporters also get plugins for embedding blog videos and much more. We’ll talk about all that soon.

Make the Most of Free Tripawds Blogs – Part 1

Use an Online Photo Sharing Site

Meeting a parapawlegic dachsund at Fort Funston in San FranciscoAll free Tripawds Blogs include 25MB of server space for uploading your three legged dog photos. Tripawds Suppporter Blogs get a full gigabyte of space among other benefits. But if you aren’t quite ready to upgrade to Supporter status yet, here is one way to make the most of your upload space quota:

First, if you don’t already have somewhere else to upload your photos, join an online photo sharing site like Flickr or SnapFish. You’ll still be able to place the images here on your blog, but the actual digital file is kept on those sites instead of within your Tripawds Blog account – saving you tons of space here. If you do this, you may never have to upgrade to Supporter Status to get more server space. Though you might consider it for the other benefits.

To place your hosted images in your blog post, do the following:

  1. Write a draft of your Tripawds Blog post.
  2. Go to your photo sharing site (where you have presumably already uploaded photos) and find the image you want to place in your blog.
  3. Place your cursor in the middle of the photo, right click and choose “Copy Image Location” to grab the image URL.
  4. Return to your Tripawds Blog post, and put your cursor where you want your image to appear then click the “Add an Image” button next to “Add media:” (Choose the first icon, a grey box with a white border.)
  5. When the pop-up “Add media files” box opens, choose the “From URL” option.
  6. Place your cursor in the “Image URL” field, and paste the image location you copied.*
  7. Give your image a descriptive Title.
  8. Add an optional caption if you want it to appear under the photo in your blog post
  9. You may also optionally set how you want your photo aligned: to the left or right of your text, centered between paragraphs, or none at all.
  10. Click the “Insert into Post” button, and re-size the image as desired by dragging it by the corner handles.

*NOTE: A small green check mark will appear next to your Image URL if it is validated as a bona fide image file location. If a red “x” appears, check to ensure the Image URL is valid, and that it is not hosted by an account that requires logging in to view it.

A note about the “Link Image To” field … Click the “Link to image” button only if you want the original larger version of your photo to load in the browser window when clicked. If you do want the original image to load when clicked, just place your cursor in the “Link Image To” field and click the “Link to Image” button. Alternatively, you can link the image to any web page by using any valid URL in this field.

Tired dog after playing with Zeus the MastiffIf you don’t like the way your photo is aligned, or want to edit its title or other advanced features, simply click within the photo, place your cursor over the top left corner, and click on the “Edit Image” icon that magically appears. A new window will appear that gives you the chance to resize and re-align the image or edit other attributes.

If all of this seems like a hassle, be sure to always minimize the size of your photo files before uploading them to your account – 25MB can fill up quickly if you’re not careful!

Or, you could just consider upgrading to be a Tripawds Supporter and not worry about any of this! Please stay tuned for more tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Free Tripawds Blogs!

Codie Rae Supports Tripawds!

We should have known Codie Rae would not stand for Biff and Gab upgrading Our Tripawd Family to be the first Tripawds Supporter blog. But after all her people have done for us here, we were stunned – and pleasantly surprised – to see Codie’s Tripawds Rule! is now an official Tripawds Supporter blog.

You see, Martha and Ralph were not only responsible for introducing Wyatt Ray Dawg to my people. They have been generous enough to contribute to Tripawds in the past, and they are planning the upcoming Northern California Tripawds Party.

So please drop by their blog to read all about the Life & Times of Codie Rae, Tripawd Girldog Extraordinaire, and leave them a gracious thank you comment for us.

You might notice how the Tripawds Rule! blog no longer has any banner ads. For details about this and other Tripawds Supporter blog enhancements, please read our Tripawds Supporter information.

Special Thanks to Biff and Gab!

Many, many thanks to new Tripawds member biffngab who just upgraded Our Tripawd Family to become the first official Tripawds Supporter blog!

The Our Tripawd Family blog shares the ongoing tails of not only one, but two tripawds – Biff and Gabby! It will now appear in the Random Supporters widget found at top left throughout the Tripawds web site.

Tripawds Supporters receive a full gigabyte of upload space for posting lots of photos too. They also get access to the WordPress plugins menu which provides enhanced features for their blogs.

And, if that’s not enough, upgrading to Supporter status will automatically remove the ads displayed on your Tripawds Blog.

Finally, Tripawds Supporters have a special widget in the Appearance menu which lets them show their Tripawd Pride with this Supporter Badge in the sidebar of their blog. All of this – and the warm fuzzy feeling you get from supporting tripawds.com – is yours for just $25 per year! We’ll be writing in more detail about supporters, widgets, plugins and more soon, so stay tuned. In the mean time, review our Tripawds Supporter details details or ask questions in the Tripawd Discussion Forums.

If you are one of our Tripawds Bloggers, consider upgrading to be a Supporter and we’ll thank you here in the Tripawds News blog too! And if you’re not yet blogging about your tripawd, sign up today! (Existing members be sure to log in first for automatic recognition.)

Growing pains persist.

Jerry Destroys Rubbermaid TubAfter working hard for months to implement WordPress MU here at tripawds.com, my people were quite excited to announce the new free Tripawds Blogs. Apparently, however, we haven’t quite worked out all the kinks … yet.

Some users may recently have noticed a slow down in website performance or the site being offline at times. While we specified a robust new server to handle the WPMU migration, we were not prepared for the mysterious processor load spikes we are currently experiencing.

What does all this technobabble mean for Tripawds? Only that we ask for your patience while we work to resolve these issues. You may continue to notice changes around here while we hunt down the gremlins.

Our primary goal is to ensure the Tripawd Discussion Forums remain fully functional and that members can continue to share their stories in the new Tripawds Blogs. Aside from that, we’ll be doing our best to optimize performance, and that might mean abandoning certain features.

If you experience trouble, please report it with as much detail as possible in the Tripawds Tech Support forum. Please bear with us and stand by for important updates. Thank you ever so much for your patience and continued support.