I know, I know, technical posts and math are never welcome on a Monday, but I think some bloggers might appreciate this post. If you aren’t in that group, skip to the gallery and enjoy the photos.
Last week, as I was preparing to publish my first post as the Thursday Door Dude (as John Howell commented), I was looking for a few ways to make the experience easier for contributors and my regular readers. I learned a few things about WordPress and the Block Editor in the process, and I thought I’d share them with you today.
When Norm Frampton was hosting Thursday Doors, he used a title that could be guessed in advance. Norm is more disciplined than I am. If I attempted to do that, I’d slip up every other week and title my posts ‘Vacation Doors’ or something and your link wouldn’t work. I decided that, for the contributors who want to include a link so they have a Pingback visible before they have a chance to comment, I could publish my link in a sidebar widget the day before my post is published. The link won’t work until my post is published, but you can include it whenever you like. This requires a simple three-step process:
- Schedule my post in advance.
- Copy the URL (URLs are not visible until a post is scheduled or published, but they do not change once the post is scheduled)
- Paste the URL into a sidebar widget whose visibility is controlled.
OK, I said it requires three things, but that third thing is a doozy. If you use a sidebar on your blog, you can control where it appears in the list (drag it up and down) and also when it appears. I want the link for Thursday Doors to be easy to find. I also want the badge for the We Are The World Blogfest to be easy to find but I don’t have to choose. They can occupy the same space, just not at the same time.
Each sidebar widget has a “Visibility” control. You can “Show” or “Hide” a widget base on what Category it’s in, the Author, a Tag, the Date, the Page it’s on or it’s Taxonomy (which makes me shudder because I used to have to define that term for people…please don’t ask). I set the WATWB badge to show, when the category is ‘WATWB’ and I set the Thursday Doors link to appear when the categories are One-Liner Wednesday or Thursday Doors. So, if the post is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, neither widget is visible.
The next bit gets into the weeds a bit. I am trying to avoid any weeds above knee high, but I hope you’ll bear with me.
I realize a few things about participation in Thursday Doors, blogging and reading blogs. One is that we don’t always have a lot of time. The other is that some people, me included, like to read the comments other people leave. For Thursday Doors, reading comments is essential since that’s how people share their doors. But what if you just want to leave a comment about my doors or you want to leave your link and come back later? Do you really want to scroll and scroll and scroll? At the time I was writing this post, there were 134 comments. Good news for Thursday Doors, but yikes!
You will now notice this Block under my gallery on my Thursday Doors post:
Please note: I am skipping 238 technical words and three technical screen shots when I say that I discovered the fact that the string “LEAVE A REPLY” above the new comment form is formatted the same way as an “Anchor” that WordPress can link to. OK, I lied. I’m including one of those technical screen shots – I just can’t resist.
Last on the list is a Block Editor technique that some of you might have missed. It’s actually a feature that was available in the Classic Editor, but it’s not as obvious. I posted this tip as a comment in Maggie Wilson’s blog; perhaps it bears repeating. If you want to change the size or justification of an Image block in the block editor:
- Select the block by clicking on it.
- Drag any one of the four “handles” to change the size of the image. The image will scale proportionately regardless of what handle you choose. You can also find the more familiar Image Settings in the right-hand tool bar of the Block Editor if you have that tool bar visible while editing your post.
- Click on the justification menu in the Image Block toolbar and select center.
That’s it for today. If you have any questions about these (or any other) features, feel free to ask in a comment or reach out to me via email. I am not always able to help, but I am always willing to try. Now, A train leaves Philadelphia heading to Chicago at 80 miles per hour…
If you clicked on “skip to the gallery” you got here because this is an anchor point.