WordPress 2.9 Video Tour

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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.

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

Further reading:

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

Further reading:

Gallery Shortcode – via WordPress Codex

Video Embedding

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?

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Posted by , at Graph Paper Press

Thad is the founder of Theme.Works and Graph Paper Press. Previously, he produced online multimedia and documentary projects for USA Today including the inauguration of President Barack Obama and many others. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Abby.

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39 thoughts on “WordPress 2.9 Video Tour”

  1. hi – i am working on a blog that i intend to embed video from youtube frequently. i followed this tutorial and it worked great. but is there anyway to have the videos show on the homepage? sorry if there is an obvious answer – i am a newbie!

    1. Hi Kristin

      It really depends on what theme you are using. Some themes don’t show the post “content” but rather, only show the post “excerpt”. You could look into changing all iterations of:

      <?php the_excerpt(); ?>

      with

      <?php the_content(); ?>

      But in the end, that might not lead to the best design.

  2. hi – i am working on a blog that i intend to embed video from youtube frequently. i followed this tutorial and it worked great. but is there anyway to have the videos show on the homepage? sorry if there is an obvious answer – i am a newbie!

    1. Hi Kristin

      It really depends on what theme you are using. Some themes don’t show the post “content” but rather, only show the post “excerpt”. You could look into changing all iterations of:

      <?php the_excerpt(); ?>

      with

      <?php the_content(); ?>

      But in the end, that might not lead to the best design.

  3. Hi guys! Thanks for brilliant Work-a-holic theme!

    However I find it weird that comments are not correctly handled in the theme. I use a fresh installation of WordPress 2.9.1 and Work-a-holic 2.0. In the Blog section I clearly see, that a post has comments, but the comment link opens up just a post with no comments and no comment form (aka ‘Leave a Reply’)!

  4. Hi guys! Thanks for brilliant Work-a-holic theme!

    However I find it weird that comments are not correctly handled in the theme. I use a fresh installation of WordPress 2.9.1 and Work-a-holic 2.0. In the Blog section I clearly see, that a post has comments, but the comment link opens up just a post with no comments and no comment form (aka ‘Leave a Reply’)!

  5. Dear Thad,

    Is it possible to use either Shadowbox or Lightbox or any any other similar plugin on for example the theme Fullscreen?
    My friend told me he had tried but it didnt work with your themes? Is that true?

    Warmest regards

    1. Hi Mike

      It sure is. Shadowbox can be tricky to work with, because you have to run it in stand alone mode. We prefer Fancybox, and it works right outta the box with our themes.

      Hope that helps,

      Thad

      1. Hello, will it be possible to use Fancybox or similar to launch VIMEO videos directly from the HOMEPAGE without going to the posts? Many thanks. RJ

  6. Dear Thad,

    Is it possible to use either Shadowbox or Lightbox or any any other similar plugin on for example the theme Fullscreen?
    My friend told me he had tried but it didnt work with your themes? Is that true?

    Warmest regards

    1. Hi Mike

      It sure is. Shadowbox can be tricky to work with, because you have to run it in stand alone mode. We prefer Fancybox, and it works right outta the box with our themes.

      Hope that helps,

      Thad

  7. So I’ve been using Modularity Lite – a pre-2.9 version – , and I was wondering how to consistently get post thumbnails. If you look at my site, http://www.modelun.ca, there are post thumbnails on all the old ones (where I manually added pictures after I realized that the thumbnails occured) but on the three most recent it just won’t give a thumbnail. This is really bugging me.

    Is there any way to upgrade the theme without losing my customizations, or is there a way to make Modularity just do what it was doing before?

  8. So I’ve been using Modularity Lite – a pre-2.9 version – , and I was wondering how to consistently get post thumbnails. If you look at my site, http://www.modelun.ca, there are post thumbnails on all the old ones (where I manually added pictures after I realized that the thumbnails occured) but on the three most recent it just won’t give a thumbnail. This is really bugging me.

    Is there any way to upgrade the theme without losing my customizations, or is there a way to make Modularity just do what it was doing before?

  9. Hi Thad,

    I’m working with F8 Static.

    What I’m trying to do is…

    When you click thumbnail at Home, lightbox will display a post so that you don’t have to leave Home to read a post and I want the text part of each post to be displayed within the lightbox. I installed the Fancybox plug-in to see if it works but lightbox itself didn’t even work never mind including texts in it. Perhaps there’s some code I need to change…

    Could you help me on this?

  10. Hi Thad,

    I’m working with F8 Static.

    What I’m trying to do is…

    When you click thumbnail at Home, lightbox will display a post so that you don’t have to leave Home to read a post and I want the text part of each post to be displayed within the lightbox. I installed the Fancybox plug-in to see if it works but lightbox itself didn’t even work never mind including texts in it. Perhaps there’s some code I need to change…

    Could you help me on this?

  11. How about wordpress 3.1 there is no thumbnail post option. So Full screen theme is not functional in WP 3.1 version?

    Is tehere a solution, or just need to use wP 2.9 to solve it?

    Regards
    Seko

    1. Hi Seko,

      Did you ever figure out whether fullscreen works with WP 3.1?? I havent been able to get my homepage to generate thumbnails and its driving me crazy!

      Best,
      Jeremy

      1. Hey Seko & Jeremy,

        Did either of you figure this issue out? I am running WP 3.1. I can add images to the upper thumbs at 320×320 but when the posts get bumped into the lower thumbs 160×160 the images are stretched and pixilated despite being a smaller image?

        Andrew

  12. @Renkli – I was just working on this and it’s now called featured image instead of “Post Thumbnail” it’s called “Featured Image”

  13. Whenever i klick “Use as thumbnail” it always adds the original image and not my cropped image! Can somebody help me?

  14. Is there a way to change the post order in Fullscreen? I tried Postmash Custom but can’t get it to work. Thanks.

  15. Hello, will it be possible to use Fancybox or similar to launch VIMEO videos directly from the HOMEPAGE without going to the posts? Many thanks. RJ

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