Category: Blogs

Information About Michigan Tech Blogs.

Image Sizes in Blog Posts

Adding images to your blog posts help break up the content, makes them visually appealing, and enhances your storytelling. By using keywords in the image filenames you can also help boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Alternative text should always be included and captions are highly recommended, unless the reader can already understand the image content based on surrounding text.

Sizing Images

WordPress has a few size options available when you are adding your image. The sizes listed are the maximum size and may be reduced to fit the space available on various devices and will also vary based on the layout of sidebars on your blog site.

  • Thumbnail: 150 px by 150 px (square)
  • Medium: 300 px by 200 px (wide or tall)
  • Large: 1024 px by 680 px (wide or tall)
  • Full Size: the original size of your image

For original images larger than the Large size you should avoid using the Full Size option. The image will not display any bigger, but the Full Size image will slow down the webpage loading speed.

The system will not scale or stretch any images to be larger than their original size. If your original image dimensions fall below one of the listed maximum sizes, that option will not be available for you to insert.

Vertical Images

Vertical images work well for portraits of people or tall structures. Due to the length of the images on the page, the medium version is the optimal size for these images. A thumbnail could also be used. The large option should generally be avoided, because it takes up so much space.

Two students sitting at a conference table studying.
This is the thumbnail version of a vertical image.
Two students sitting at a conference table studying.
This is the medium version of a vertical image.
Two students sitting at a conference table studying.
This is the large version of a vertical image. This option should not generally be used because it takes up so much space.

Horizontal Images

Horizontal images can be used to simulate the layout of a CMSvwebpage by inserting the image without a caption at the top of your post. They can also be used for non-portrait images throughout the body of your post. A good rule of thumb for horizontal images is to insert the largest size available, except Full Size if it is larger than the Large option.

A view of campus from across the waterway.
This is the thumbnail version of a horizontal image.
A view of campus from across the waterway.
This is the medium version of a horizontal image.
A view of campus from across the waterway.
This is the large version of a horizontal image.

Images Smaller Than 150×150

When your image is smaller than the thumbnail dimensions of 150 px square, you will only be able to insert the Full Size image. Notice that a caption may not work so well for an image that is extremely small!

insert snippet icon
This is the full size version of a tiny image.

ALT Tags on Images in Blog Posts

ALT tags (also known as alternative text, ALT text, or image descriptions) are an important factor in making your webpages accessible. This is also true for images used in your blog posts. Michigan Tech’s Accessible Technology Training Resources provides a training resource and guidelines for image ALT tags.

When uploading a new image to the Media Library, selecting an existing image from the library, or editing an image in the library or within a post, look for the “Alternative Text” or “Alt Text” field in the image details. Enter your text in that field.

Insert Media window with Alt Text field circled.
This screen appears when selecting an existing photo or adding a new photo to the Media Library.

This text is saved with the image and reused when that image is inserted into additional posts.

Image Details window with Alternative Text field circled.
This screen appears when editing an image already in a post.

This text is not saved with the image and only used for the instance of the image you are editing.

Department News Blog Tips

Department blogs are a great way to push out your department-specific news to your website and keep your website fresh.

A number of departments routinely repost Tech Today announcements and that is great. Because Tech Today is meant for internal traffic only, we welcome users to repost that content without any reference or link to Tech Today. This will better serve our users by keeping them on external-facing websites and will save them a click. You should avoid using “from Tech Today” or “Read More at Tech Today.” Since Tech Today is internal, you don’t need to link back to it to avoid plagiarism.

Also, you are encouraged to remember these tips when creating blog posts:

  • Post often, the more people see your blog change the more they will come back and read again.
  • Try to use images as much as possible, whether a faculty image or something to do with the text. Remember to add ALT text to all images.
  • Use captions on photos to add more description.
  • Link any event mentioned in the blog post to the event on the University Event Calendar (Hint: you should be adding your events to the calendar too!)
  • Link any Michigan Tech faculty mentioned in the post to their faculty page on your departmental website.
  • Link keywords to your program pages or other important pages on your website.
  • Break up bigger paragraphs into smaller ones, use headings and bullets, and highlight keywords using bold text to make it easier to read online.
  • Use blockquotes into your posts as a visual way to break up large amounts of text.
  • Use categories and add tags to your posts.

Check out an example of a blog post from the School of Business and Economics that incorporates these principles.

Thank you to Heather Powers, CSA Digital Specialist, for passing on these tips!

Blog User Roles

When a user is given access to a blog there are a number of roles to choose from. You should give the user the lowest level role for the functions they need to carry out. The following information will help define what the capabilities are for each role.

The lowest level user available is a Subscriber. This role is not used in any of our blog sites.

The first option would be Contributor. This is a person who might provide some content to various posts. They can only add a new post, put some content (text, not images) in the post, and delete their own posts. Once another user publishes their post for them, they cannot make any changes. This role is less commonly used on campus than Author.

An Author can create, edit, delete, and publish their own posts. They can also upload images and other files to be used in their posts and edit their post once it has been published. This would be a person that has full access to creating, publishing, and editing their own posts.

The Editor role has the additional capabilities of creating, editing, seeing, and deleting private posts, managing other people’s posts, and managing categories. Does your new user need to be able to manage other’s posts?

Administrators have additional site management permissions. Most importantly, they can manage users and various site options like layout and menus. This user can manipulate many things ont he blog site and should be limited to the few main staff members who oversee the blog.

Please Attribute Sources to Migrated Content in Blogs

Attention web liaisons: if you copy existing content into your department’s blog from a web page or another source, please ensure that you have given credit to the author(s) by adding a byline. This policy applies to content that is authored by any member of the campus community (except for Tech Today), including individuals within your department, not only content that originates outside of the University. Plagiarism charges may be filed if credit is not given where it is due.

Thank you.

– UMC Web Team

Note: This was originally posted on October 4th, 2012.