Monthly Archives July 2016

9 Hidden Features in the WordPress Media Library Only Power Users Know

9 Hidden Features in the WordPress Media Library Only Power Users Know

Discovered amazing article written by Tom Ewer of wpmudev! Solid resources & tips here. READ BELOW!

https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-media-library-hidden-features/
Published on September 12, 2015

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Can use as FREE image compression tool
  • Create central repository of all images for project
  • Quick editing tools for work on the road (vs using Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, etc.)
  • Using FREE downML – Download Media Library plugin and you’ll be able
    to download a zip file of your entire library!

9 Hidden Features in the WordPress Media Library Only Power Users Know

The WordPress media library can do a lot more than just store your media files. It is a powerful tool that covers all of your media management needs and more, and I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about it.

In this article, I’ll explain how you can leverage your library to its full potential – discussing everything from image uploading to image compression and uploading limits to the effects of cropping.

I’ll also cover media management in WordPress and image editing using the library. Finally, I’ll present you with techniques on how you can organize and download your entire library without having to use an FTP client.

Let’s get cracking!

The WordPress Media Library.
The WordPress Media Library.

An Introduction to the Media Library

The WordPress Media Library is essentially a directory of every single media file that has been uploaded to your site (whether it is ultimately published or not).

Media files include images, videos, audio and even documents. Regardless of where you upload the media to your site, it will show up in the library from where you can view, edit and manage it.

You can also integrate various plugins with your library to kick it up a notch. It’s flexible, portable and customizable. Its advances in recent versions of WordPress have made it one of the most polished features in the world’s most popular content management system.

How to View and Search Your Media Library

You can access the library by clicking Media in the sidebar. You have two viewing options: grid (shown above) and list:

The media library list view.
The media library list view.

WordPress also enables you to filter and search for images by file type, date uploaded and keyword:

Media Library search and filter functionality

How to Change the Media Library Upload Limit

If you’ve ever attempted to upload large media files, you may have come across an error message along the following lines:

The uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize directive in php.ini

Fortunately, this problem can be solved relatively easily.

But before we proceed, it’s sensible to note that upload limits are there for a reason. Unless you’re uploading a video or audio file (most people will tend to host these on specialized external services), there should be no reason for your media files to exceed your upload limit. Files that take a long time to upload will take a long time to download (which will of course negatively affect the user experience), not to mention the strain put on your server.

Disclaimer aside, Jenni McKinnon wrote a comprehensive piece on increasing the media file upload limit. Check it out if you’re technically minded, but if not, a decent alternative is the free Increase Max Upload Filesize plugin.

How to Enable Image Compression for Uploaded Media Files

Image file size is important for a number of reasons, and fortunately, it is possible to compress images with little to no noticeable difference.

You can read my complete guide to image optimization, but for the purposes of this post, the key step you should take is to install WP Smush. (Oh, and don’t forget to check out the even better premium version, which leaves the competition in the dirt!)

Once installed, this plugin will simply do the job for you – no further work necessary.

How to Disable WordPress’ Default JPEG Compression

Awesome penguins

By default, WordPress compresses JPEG images to 90% of their original compression level. In case you’re wondering, the photo on the left shows the difference.

You’ll struggle to spot it, which is probably why the core developers saw fit to include this feature.

However, you can encounter problems when integrating additional compression solutions (such as WP Smush); your double-compressed photos can start looking pretty messy.

Fortunately, there is a way around the enforced compression. Just follow Raelene Wilson’s simple guide, or download the super simple Disable JPEG Compression plugin.

How to Prevent Duplicate Image Files

Whenever you upload an image file to WordPress, is likely to duplicate it into multiple sizes. This can be highly useful if you, for example, would like to display image thumbnails and link to larger versions. However, for most people, those extra image files represent nothing other than a waste of space.

And if you’re anything like me (read: anal-retentive), all of those redundant files will bug the hell out of you.

Let’s start by checking out the different image size that WordPress wants to create by navigating to Settings > Media:

Media settings

The solution to this issue is simple and as old as time itself. Well, actually Timothy Bowers handled it back in 2011. Seems like a long time ago, right?

Just change the width and high numbers to 0 and WordPress will stop producing those pesky extra image files.

While you’re at it, if you’ve got a huge archive of redundant images, use the free Image Cleanup plugin to eradicate them in just a few clicks:

Image Cleanup
2222 images! I’ve got some cleaning up to do…

How to Edit Images Within WordPress

My general advice would be that you edit your images before you upload them, but if you’re here I’m going to assume that you’re interested in editing image files within WordPress.

Well, you’re in luck, because for a content management system, WordPress offers pretty damn sophisticated image editing functionality. Just click the Edit button within the Media Library and you’ll be presented with a screen something like this:

Image editing screen

You’re able to rotate, flip, scale and crop any image in your Media Library, as well as add a caption, alt text, description, and change the filename. You can apply the changes to all sizes of the same image if you’d like by clicking the “All image sizes” radio button under Thumbnail Settings.

The rotate, flip and undo/redo tools are all self-explanatory, so let’s focus on cropping and resizing.

Cropping an Image

Using WordPress you can crop images in multiple ways. The simplest way is exactly how you do it on any other image editing tool: Drag the selection box to choose how you’d like the image to be cropped.

The other way involves one extra step but ensures that the aspect ratio of the image stays intact. Enter the values for your preferred aspect ratio, press the shift key and adjust the selection box.

The third way to crop an image using WordPress’ inbuilt tool is by manually entering the dimensions of the selection box. The dimensions must be entered in pixels. If your pixel estimation game is strong, you can use this last method to crop images.

Does all of the above leave you a little confused? Don’t worry – WordPress has really handy tooltips to help you along the way. Whenever you’re at a loss, just hit one of the blue question marks for more information:

Editing tool tips

Scaling an Image

Scaling images in WordPress is a lot simpler than cropping and resizing them manually. All you have to do is enter either a new width or height (the other will adjust to keep the ratio correct) and click Scale. Yes, it really is that simple.

The only downside of scaling is that you can only scale down. Scaling up would ruin the pixel density. If you accidently scale your image down to a miniscule size then instead of re-uploading it, press the Undo button and have a go at it again.

How to Download Your WordPress Media Library

Have you ever felt the need to download your entire media library? It may be because you have an excellent collection that you want to have backed up on your system or simply because you need the media files for distribution.

With a bit of googling you’ll find some techniques involving FTP clients. But for WordPress development dummies (don’t worry – I’m one of them) we have an easier way to download the entire Media Library. Just download the free downML – Download Media Library plugin and you’ll be able to download a zip file of your entire library!

Note that, depending upon the size of your Media Library, using this plugin could lead to a timeout. You may need to discuss how to best utilize this plugin with your hosting provider.

Do you use the Media Library on a regular basis? In your opinion, what are some other must-knows about media management? Let us know in the comments below.

Read More »

Guide to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Guide to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Metrics for Return on investment + Return on Engagement.

In the past 3-4 years, marketing has evolved exponentially beyond hits, visitors and referral traffic. (Note, if you don’t know what these terms are, click here to see “guide to website visitor tracking.”). Today, a successful marketer needs to be aware and gather intelligence from multiple business units to truly get the full picture.

Return on Investment (ROI) is permanently engrained in the brains of all marketers and sales mavens. The term Return on Engagement (ROE) surfaced to help measure investment of time and the return from inbound marketing, outbound marketing, lead generation, social media and other online marketing tactics. Both are equally important, and both have a place in a marketing intelligence report to upper management.

KPIs are the Key Performance Indicators that represent your company’s digital footprint & online success.

Below is our TOP TEN list of KPIs we track.

1. Sales Revenue

To determine how effective your inbound marketing campaigns are performing, you must understand how much revenue your inbound marketing campaign has brought in. Gaining access to your sales revenue reports will give you a thorough understanding of what activities are working and see the differences between inbound and outbound marketing & sales.

2. Cost Per Lead

Understanding what your cost is to acquire a customer will give you a true measurement of your online success. Being able to differentiate between your inbound and outbound marketing and being able to determine which ads, emails, marketing automation or PR campaigns led to the lead will give you an informed outlook. When determining the true cost, don’t forget to include relevant costs including technology/software, CRM platforms, advertising, marketing distribution and overhead.

3. Customer Value

Keeping tabs on your customers is a natural part of any good customer retention cycle (and winback program). Managing outreach programs to current customers on a monthly and/or quarterly basis helps measure happiness, solicit satisfaction and find feedback.  Plan out your touch points carefully and strategically. In the Buyers-focused sales cycle, building rapport and nurturing relationships is key.

4. Inbound Marketing ROI

Measuring the success of advertising spend against sales will absolutely help you determine if you want to continue said advertising campaign. Return on investment means more than just measuring budgets, it is about determining which marketing functions and activities are working and, with some proper forecasting, should dictate future opportunities.

5. Traffic-to-Lead Ratio

Website traffic is one key factor in measuring differences between organic vs paid traffic, social media driven vs referral traffic, and backlinks vs SEO-based campaigns. By tracking traffic-to-lead ratio, one can see the relationship between a low ratio and missing or bad on-page SEO content or where bad campaigns are leading people to the wrong places. With a good strategist behind you and focus on conversion rate optimization, you can control the situation and CHANGE your website text, layout, UI design, forms, theme, etc.

6. Lead-to-Customer Ratio

Do you know how well your sales team is performing? We as marketers have to find ways to attribute sales success to our campaigns. Measuring qualified vs accepted leads will help track what business a rep would have gotten already (repeat business, walk-in traffic or past referral) versus genuine NEW lead (landing page, social media form conversion, etc.). Real campaigns are measured in real time and have REAL sales measurement tools in process to track and follow. You can go old school with good team communication and an Excel spreadsheet or via daily/weekly production meetings or you can deploy CRM software that all are inputting into the central repository. Interpreting that data – you as a marketing professional have to step up!

7. Landing Page Conversion Rates

As a WordPress maven, we’ve been preaching about utilizing landing pages and A/B testing to determine what content is leading your Calls to action – Your CTAs). It’s one thing to get a beautiful landing page and it’s another to design it to leapfrog ahead of your competitors or to meet the UI tastes & preferences of your intended audience.

Measuring the conversion rate will help you find out what landing pages are successful and which ones are underperforming. Form there, you can do A/B testing to see how changes affect sales. From redesign to copywriting to applying advertising methodologies (celebrity endorsement, testimonials, reviews, awards, etc.), managing is key to improving foot traffic and manipulating your lead ratio.

8. Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is your website’s natural “resting face” in search and how people naturally find you when searching without an actual inbound marketing campaign, pay-per-click ad, referral article, etc. In other words, no SEO-induced or paid online marketing tactical traffic, but just good old fashioned word of mouth or I stumbled on you. Every site wants to achieve this status. How we monitor, manage and maintain this MUST be part of your long-term SEO strategy/PR game.

9. Social Media Traffic (and Conversion Rates)

Having a strategic social media platform is vital in today’s marketing. Every client we consultant, we make sure to educate on the direct relationship with the DNA of our intended customer(s) and matching social media tools that reach those individuals or groups. For the author, Linkedin plus Pulse plus Slideshare have been proven tools. Whereas the average artist or retail outlet, Facebook plus Pinterest plus Instagram plus Twitter have been invaluable tools. The goal is to determine what your Return on Engagement (ROE) is. We do this through tracking referral traffic from social media, tracking social media channel lead conversions and through ASKING customers how they found us! At times there are opportunities to source that referral.

10. Mobile Traffic, Leads, and Conversion Rates

Optimizing your website for mobile is key. In fact, every new website we design, we START with designing in mobile and tablet view and FIGHT focusing just on desktop/laptop perspectives. Nearly 60-70% of foot traffic for most websites are first from a mobile device. Optimizing for this is no longer an option; it’s a priority.

Google Analytics, Statcounter and other website traffic tools all offer mobile vs desktop statistics. Marketing must have the finger on the pulse of tracking bounce rates from mobile devices, conversion rates, traffic per device/browser, errors and dead links, etc.  If you know what content isn’t working, you can improve the copy/content and user experience/design, which, with proper SEO and optimization work, will help with future mobile conversions.

FREE SEO AUDIT

What’s My SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

Read More »