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Understanding the Settings: Media and Ratings

Settings for good and bad approval

© BK, The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude, via Flickr

This is the last post for the WordPress.com Settings, and now we're going to be dealing with the pages in between the ones I have already covered: Settings General; Settings Writing; Settings Reading; Settings: Discussion and Settings: Sharing.

Those were the biggies. Now I'll quickly whisk through two other pages (Media and Ratings) that a beginner blogger should be aware of, pointing out the bits you ought to know about. Don't worry, there isn't much.

Understanding the Settings: Media

As before, go to the Dashboard page (see how in Settings: General), find Settings at the bottom of the left sidebar and select Media:

Find Settings Media in Dashboard sidebar

How big do you want your images to be?

When you place an picture in a post or page, you automatically upload it into the Media Library, so you can use it again.

During this process, and before you insert the image into your post, you are given the option to choose its size:

Showing different sizes

And you can see, you can select between Thumbnail, Medium and Full Size. I always prefer Full Size for my pictures, so it's best to check this before you click on the 'Insert into post' button.

In the screen shot below, the Thumbnail maximum width is 150 pixels, and you can see in the picture above this is reflected in the size dimensions quoted for the Thumbnail - 83 x 150.

Showing different default image sizes

And the same for the Medium - 166 x 300, and the maximum Medium width is 300 pixels.

The Full Size maximum is very big at 1024 pixels. I know that the optimum width for this blog's text space is 680 pixels, so if the Settings accommodate up to 1024 pixels, this is more than enough.

If you know what you're doing, you can adjust these sizes. Otherwise, I would leave well alone.

Let's have a gallery display

Image Gallery Carousel

This is a relatively new facility. WordPress.com now offer a gallery feature with carousel. I have investigated this fully in this How To post about galleries.

Meanwhile I would leave everything as it is, unless you want your gallery's background to be white instead of black. Ticking the Tiled Galleries option will make your galleries look fabulous, learn more here!

Anyone for video?

Video player

Adding video to a WordPress.com post is fairly easy (and there will, of course, be a How To post about this later). This option is for technical bloggers, so don't worry about this.

Save changes button

And remember to click on the Save Changes button if necessary.

Understanding the Settings: Ratings

Now let's investigate the Ratings page. Pop over to the Dashboard page, search out Settings and click on Ratings:

Select Settings Ratings in the Dashboard sidebar

How do you rate your posts?

WordPress.com offers a rating system for posts, pages and comments. It is another way of gaining acknowledgement from your readers other than through comments. It's similar to the like system mentioned in Settings: Sharing.

It looks like this:

Rating stars

And there are separate options available, so first let's look at posts:

Ratings on posts

Because posts can be listed both on a blog's front page as well as on their individual pages, there have to be extra options available.

Let's experiment. If the Front Page, etc option was ticked, then the rating stars would appear on the post listing page. With the positioning set for above the blog post, this is the result:

Ratings on the front page on top

If the settings were as in the screen shot above, then the ratings would appear at the bottom of the individual's post's page like this:

Ratings on post pages at the bottom

If you want both options, then click everything!

There is a second option specifically for pages:

Ratings on pages

And a third for comments:

Ratings on comments

Which looks a bit different:

Thumbs up or down

As it is a series of thumbs up or down for approval ratings rather than graded stars.

And as usual, don't forget:

Save changes button

There are other pages in the Settings, but as a beginner blogger I wouldn't be too worried about them. Which for some of you might be a big relief!

Next post in this Settings Series will be exploring the differences and extras you will find in self-hosted WordPress.org blog Settings.

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Alice Elliott writes the Beginner Bloggers blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She specialises in simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Why not also visit her award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog to learn some more.

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  • kevin says:

    Some great tips here for beginners to wordpress and certainly some things to consider when wanting to get your look and functions right.

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