Customising WordPress 2: Plug – ins.

WordPress Importer.

Over the period of the module, I have been making more changes to my blog and adding posts. As I am currently running my university blog through I added the notes from the Digital Media lectures here first. Therefore I had to import them onto my new blog linked to my website.

Initially, this involved exporting my blog posts which is easily achievable through Tools > Export. This allows you to select the particular blog posts you need and converts them into an XML file.


On my new blog, I then went to the WordPress dashbord and clicked on Tools > Import. There is then the option to select a number of systems in order to important particular files and I used the WordPress system. This is followed with the description of how it works and a button to install.




The WordPress Importer plug-in installed successfully therefore I went to activate it, however this led to this error message.


“Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2014/02. Is its parent directory writable by the server?” To try and overcome this problem, I manually created the folders in my FTP programme. However this did not resolve the issue. In order for me fix this error, the writing permissions on the WordPress folder had to be altered. Following this, I was able to import my blog posts.


As part of this module, we have been working in research groups for certain tasks in order to create a group response and share with others. By adding the links plug-in to my blog, I am able to add easily accessible links to the participants my research group so those who view my blog can navigate to theres. In order to do this, I searched for ‘link manager’ under the plug-ins page, installed and activated. By doing so, this has now added the links tab to the menu on the left.



I then went into the links tab and created a number of new links to the people in my research group.


This simply involved entering the name and the URL. Create new link, enter name and URL. I also changed the target to _blank so the page opens up in a new tab. For these links to appear, I had to make some alterations to my widgets in order for it to appear on the Home page and each separate post.

Contact Form.

I thought this would be an interesting plug-in to use as it makes it easier for people to get in touch – if they are interested in a post and have questions or feedback, they can quickly and easily fill in a contact form. It also makes it easier for myself to get back to them.



I installed and activated the Contact Form plug-in.



This provided me with a code which I then copied and pasted into a new page.



As you can see from this print screen, a link to the contact page now appears on the right on every page of my blog so it is easily accessible. It also shows the simple layout and required information needed in order to fill out the form.


As a requirement of the module we need to have galleries of our sets of images from Work, Rest and Play. In order for this to appear on my blog, I installed and activated the NextGEN Gallery.




I opened up Manage Galleries and went to add a new gallery named ‘Work’ in order to contain my images for my response.



However this came up with the error message ‘Directory wp-content/gallery/ didn’t exist. Please create first the main gallery folder!’ I recognised this problem from when I previously tried to activate the WordPress Importer plug-in, therefore I went into my FTP programme and created the folder manually. However the same problem still persisted therefore the permissions of the folder had to be altered and thankfully this solved the problem. This meant I could create the Work folder and upload my images.



I was then able to customise the work gallery appropriately. Here I changed the description of the album and created a new page for it to appear on.



I also changed the titles of each of my images within the gallery.



I repeated the same steps for my ‘Rest’ gallery, adding the photos and creating a new page for them to appear on.



This is the appearance of one of my gallery pages, and as you can see to the right there is a menu where you can access the different pages. As my response for Play is a video, I simply created another page and embedded the video into it. This is also accessible from the menu to the right. I am really pleased with how NextGEN Gallery works, I was a bit apprehensive after hearing problems that others had been having, and despite my first little hiccup which was simply resolved I was able to create my galleries and appropriate pages fairly easily.


Following installing these plug-ins, I made some changes to my widgets to determine what is accessible from the blog pages. I only made a small few changes to tidy up the appearance and add access to the different categories and links.



I removed Archives and Meta from the right sidebar, and added Categories and Links – these now appear at the bottom of each singular blog post. I kept recent posts so it is easy to navigate between each one without always having to return to the home page, as well as recent comments so viewers can see what other people have thought of the posts. I also added Categories and Links to homepage posts so that they also appear at the bottom of the home page.


~ by victoriasimkissphotography on March 3, 2014.

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