Tag Archives: wordpress.com

Adding Forms to WordPress.com posts

A relatively new feature on WordPress.com are forms. You have been able to add a poll to a post for some time via the Polldaddy button but now you can add a form to post using the last button on the media bar (next to the polldaddy button) above the text input box:

Add media buttons

The obvious form to create would be a contact form to collect readers details but as you can add many different sections they can be used to collect lots of different sorts of information:

This is clearly adding functionality similar to Google Forms and Survey Monkey and although it is not as functional as these other forms (e.g. no multiple choice boxes) it is a nice start and could be an excellent solution for straight forward form especially as it is so easy to add in to a blog post.

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Creating Social Badge Widgets for a Hosted WordPress.com Blog

I was recently asked about my small collection of social badges on the top of my blog in the sidebar. These are created by the excellent WordPress plugin SocialGrid:

socialgrid

The question related to how to get a similar grid for blogs which are hosted on WordPress.com like the ‘Training Blog’ you are reading. Although essentially the same software, as I host my own WordPress blog, I can add plugins like SocialGrid but on a WordPress.com hosted blog you can not install plugins. You only have the options of the widgets available. You can add your own code to a widget via the basic but very flexible ‘Text Widget’ although it will not allow javascript which many of the social sites use to create collections of badges. However it does allow you to write your own HTML code (the language of web pages) so I thought I would have a go at recreating my SocialGrid style badges in a HTML table for WordPress.com even using the same great social media icons which are freely available (feel free to leave them a donation).

I have a few WordPress.com sites but used this one I set up for some WordPress.com training courses put on by OutserveWeb the web training company I work for. The end result looked like this and I have put the code below if it helps anyone.

wpsocialbadgers

Change the links and the image urls of course and copy the code into the text widget and drag to your sidebar, images can be uploaded directly through the Media options in your WordPress.com blog. It should be relatively easy to change the grid from 2 x 4 or use other or different size icons.

HTML code:

<table> 
<tbody> 
<tr> 
<td><a href="http://twitter.com/outserveweb"> 
<img class="aligncenter size-full" title="twitter" src="https://outtraining.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/twitter_32.png" alt="twitter" width="32" height="32" /></a></td> 
<td><a href="http://facebook.com/outserveweb">
<img class="aligncenter size-full" title="facebook" src="https://outtraining.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/facebook_32.png" alt="" width="32" height="32" /></a></td> 
<td><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/company/outserve-limited">
<img class="aligncenter size-full" title="linkedin" src="https://outtraining.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/linkedin_32.png" alt="linkedin icon" width="32" height="32" /></a></td> 
<td><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/outserveweb">
<img class="aligncenter size-full" title="Youtube icon" src="https://outtraining.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/youtube_32.png" alt="Youtube" width="32" height="32" /></a></td> 
</tr> 
<tr> 
<td><a href="http://www.delicious.com/philoakley">
<img class="alignnone size-full" title="delicious" src="https://outtraining.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/delicious_32.png" alt="delicious" width="32" height="32" /></a></td> 
<td><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oakleyfamily">
<img class="alignnone size-full" title="flickr" src="https://outtraining.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/flickr_32.png" alt="flickr" width="32" height="32" /></a></td> 
<td><a href="http://www.google.com/profiles/philip.oakley">
<img src="https://outtraining.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/google_32.png" alt="google icon" title="google icon" width="32" height="32" class="size-full" /></a></td> 
<td><a href="https://outtraining.wordpress.com">
<img class="alignnone size-full" title="friend" src="https://outtraining.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/rss_32.png" alt="rss icon" width="32" height="32" /></a></td> 
</tr> 
</tbody> 
</table>

BTW if you want to show code in your blog post as above on WordPress.com you will need to use the sourcecode tags otherwise it with be see as HTML and translated by the Web Browser

Embed Audio, Images and Video Media in a WordPress.com

Long lists of text posts are not attractive and are thought not to entice a reader so it is recommended to embed media into a post even if it is just a related (however loosely) picture. From the upload/insert bar (above the main toolbar) you can upload:

Upload/insert

Images

image credit

A picture can be very effective in making a post more eye catching even if the image only has an indirect link to what the post is about. If you are short of good images they can be purchased relatively cheaply from Stockphoto sites like istockphoto or alternatively you can use the creative commons images from Flickrnormally without cost except attribution to the owner (best to check all licenses before using especially if you are using commercially)

Video

If you have video files then these can be uploaded and embedded in a post if you have paid for the video upgrade but far more popular is embedding a video which is being hosted on another site such as youtube.

The URL (web address) of the video can be entered directly into the upload Video>’From URL’ tab (Below)

upload video

Then the Video will display and can be viewed on your blog:

Audio

Audio can be embedded by adding the tag to a hosted  mp3 file  which would result in an embedded audio file which can be played on the site like this:

Polls

As well as embedding the above media you can also embed polldaddy polls. See this post.

The WYSIWYG editor in WordPress.com

When entering a new post for WordPress.com on the website you will be using their WYSIWYG editor with a main row of icons. Some of the icons will be familiar to you is you are used to using word processors . The main buttons are explained in order below

WYSIWYG editor

Bold

Italics

Strike through

  • Bulleted
  1. Numbered

Blockquote – normally used for text quoted from a person or  website

Formatted Left

Centred

Formatted Right

Link to another site or page  e.g. bbc.co.uk

Break the link  – bbc.co.uk

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