Uploading Images in WordPress.com

Posted on July 15, 2009


Uploading images in WordPress.com is a simple matter, but a lot of the instructions out there including my own do not apply to the current (see datestamp) setup so I’m making a new post to outline the new system.

First, update your copy of Flash. Even if you don’t end up using the Flash Uploader (more on that later) you probably need to do this; there are some versions out there which totally do not work with this system, and those incompatibilities will completely prevent you from uploading.

Now look on the Add New Post page: you’ll see the title bar, with the Permalink under it, and below that the large box for your actual post. Between the two you’ll see “Upload/Insert” and a row of buttons. Those buttons are, in order:

  1. for uploading images and other media which can be added without the Space or Video upgrades
  2. for video, only works with the paid video upgrade available on your Upgrades page
  3. for music, only works with the paid space upgrade
  4. for other media, and I cannot imagine what that would be. Perhaps science will discover the answer?
  5. for polls, from Polldaddy. Yes, you can use this for free.

Now, #1 works for several kinds of media: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, pdf, doc, docx, pptx, ppt, and odt, whatever that is. Oh, Open Office. Gotcha. Images of all accepted kinds (note: no bmp. yes, really) will display right on the page; other file types will show up as text links with their titles, downloadable, not displayed in the blog. If you want to display a PDF right in your blog, convert it to a png first and upload and insert that.

The process is two-step: uploading and inserting, as you clever people already figured from the Upload/Insert line up there, didn’t you?

Click on the icon and wait while your screen greys out and then suddenly the white Upload box clicks into being. You’ll see:

Add media files from your computer

Allowed file types: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, ppt, odt, pptx, docx.

[______________] Upload Cancel

You are using the Browser uploader. Try the Flash uploader instead.

That’s the Browser Uploader. That’s what I’m going to cover, because the Flash Uploader doesn’t really do that much more, and it’s much glitchier. You’ll see that the box has a tabbed header and you can choose to add image from a URL (hotlink) instead; it also has a tab to insert from the Media Library, but since you don’t have anything IN your media library yet, ignore that.

So, click in the upload box, and pick an image from your computer. Once you’ve chosen it, you must hit Upload. WordPress is real literal, yo. The pop-up will think for a bit and then you’ll see your image with boxes to fill in for the caption/alt text and description. Fill these in with things that directly describe your image, which will help you rank decently in image searches. There is also a link box, where you can select to link the image to None (ie the image isn’t clickable to anything), Link to File, which will make it clickable to a full-size version of itself, or Link to Page, which will display the image in a page on your blog. If you’ve used an image from another site, put the URL of the specific page in there to give credit where credit is due.

When all the boxes have been filled out to your satisfaction, click Insert in Post if you want the image by itself in a specific place. If you’re uploading a lot of images and want a gallery instead, just upload it and save it; go on and upload your other images the same way. At the end, you can use the Gallery code to insert all images associated with that post in one fell swoop following these instructions.

You’ll see a greyish frame with rounded corners encapsulating your Caption. If that doesn’t work for you, you can click to the HTML tab and edit out the square-bracketed Caption code around your image and then click back to Visual and format the image as you like.

You can click and drag the corners of an image to shrink it or increase its size, or you can edit the HTML if you’re handy like that, OR you can look at the image in the Add New Post box in the Visual editor and hover your cursor over it; a mountain icon will pop up in the top left-hand corner. Click on that and you get a ton of options which are too self-explanatory to, you know, explain. If you click on the Advanced tab, you can scroll to the very bottom where there’s an option to have the link attached to the image Open in New Window, and I recommend you select that; who wants to kick people off their own blogs.

So you’ll see, if you’re clever, that images offer a lot in SEO terms because of all the text “hanging off” them in the code, and in their ability to connect you with the community by giving you another opportunity to link to another website somewhere out there. So try never to do a post without an image.

Oops. Here:

Me at lamecamp

Me at lamecamp

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