WordPress 2.9 delivers a handful of new features that cater specifically to those who demand total creative control over image handling. If you are a photographer, videographer, artist or serious online publisher, you need to familiarize yourself with these new features, which include easy selection of post thumbnails, the ability to crop and rotate images, include & exclude images from galleries, and dead simple video embedding. Below is an overview of these four new features, including video tutorials and useful links for further reading.
The Post Thumbnail
There is now a unified way of handling post thumbnails in WordPress. Hallelujah! Over the last few years, I’ve tinkered with dozens of different ways of handling post thumbnails to create “magazine” and “portfolio” themes. From custom fields to custom scripts, all of these techniques proved to be either inflexible or unintuitive in my opinion. Despite a few shortcomings, the new post thumbnail function is a much needed feature that simplifies the process of choosing which image becomes your post thumbnail.
Important note: This feature must be enabled on your theme to work. Below is a list of our themes that support this new feature. You can download these themes from your member page. We plan to update the remaining themes, including the Monochrome series, later this week.
- Modfolio (version 2.5)
- Modslider (version 2.5)
- On Assignment (version 2.5)
- Workaholic Pro (version 2.5)
- Workaholic (version 2.0)
- Fullscreen (version 2.0)
- F8 (version 2.5)
- F8 Remixed (version 2.5)
- F8 Lite (version 2.0)
- F8 Static (version 2.0, updated and revamped with new homepage layout)
- Berlin (version 2.0, updated and revamped with new homepage layout)
- Gridline (version 2.0)
- High Def (version 2.5)
- Deadwood (version 2.0)
If you have switched themes recently or uploaded images with incorrect dimensions, you will likely need to “regenerate” your thumbnails to the new dimensions. To do this, you need the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.
Video: How to use the post thumbnail feature
- Post thumbnail information for developers – via Mark Jaquith
- Ultimate guide for post thumbnail – via WPEngineer.com
Crop, Rotate, Flip
About 90% of the time, automated image crops generated by computer scripts deliver surprisingly acceptable results. But if you have ever had a beautiful portrait becomes an odd neck-to-torso photo, you certainly know the limitations of automated image cropping. This all changes in WordPress 2.9 with the new cropping, rotating and flipping tools.
Video: How to use the crop tool in WordPress 2.9
Include & Exclude images from galleries
Until now, every image that you uploaded into a WordPress post would be thrown into the gallery. To remove the image from the gallery, you had to delete the photo. With WordPress 2.9, you can now choose images to include or exclude from each post gallery. Please note that include and exclude cannot be used together.
Video: How to include & exclude images in WordPress 2.9 galleries
Gallery Shortcode – via WordPress Codex
Embedding video and images from third party sites like YouTube, Flickr or Vimeo into a WordPress post can be a pain. Unless you use custom fields or another similar approach, more times than not, you video code would become a big garbled up mess in the write post panel. WordPress 2.9 now uses the new oEmbed API to simplify video embedding. Now, you can merely paste the link to the YouTube or Vimeo video into the post, and WordPress will generate the embed code for the video on the fly. I am using it on this post to embed all of the Vimeo videos. Pretty neat, eh?
Video: How to Add Videos to WordPress 2.9
Suggestions for core WordPress developers
Here are a few suggestions that I hope core WordPress contributors consider for an upcoming WordPress release:
- Integrate image editing with the Piknic API.
- Add include/exclude photo gallery checkboxes. Memorizing attachment ID’s gets old.
- More buttons, fewer text links in the Add Media user interface.
- Dynamically generated post thumbnails.
- Ability to use oEmbed in custom fields for improved data/content-type separation.
What improvements would you like to see in future versions of WordPress in terms of image handling?