Become an Author

Want to contribute to the Sterling Adventures blog?
Simple, register and blog!

Registration
Use the Feedback link to request a user account. You’ll be sent login details by e-mail.

Avatars
An avatar is an icon used to represent a person in cyberspace… To create an avatar for use across all WordPress blogs use the Gravatar service (to create a Globally Recognised Avatar), or send the image you want to use to the Sterling Adventures webmaster to have a local avatar created for you.

Posting Instructions
It might seem daunting at first, but you’ll soon find it easy. Here are the steps to post:

  1. Login,
  2. Write your post,
  3. Set the categories and optionally add tags to your post,
  4. Upload media (pictures, video, etc.),
  5. Insert media into your post,
  6. Set up the excerpt,
  7. Optional stuff… (Date, Country) and
  8. Publish.

1. Login
Login using the Log in item in the blog’s sidebar. You’ll be presented with the WordPress login form, enter your username and password (both are case sensitive). Click the Remember Me item to stayed logged in (which also makes commenting on posts easier).

If you are already logged in, you will see a dark menu bar across the top of all the blog pages. Either click the Sterling Adventures item to go to the administration area, or use the various direct links once you have become familiar with the administration menu bar.
Once in the administration area you’ll notice it has a different look from the main site – a standard WordPress look – but you’ll soon get used to it.
From here you can write your post. You can also edit posts you have written perviously.

You can get back to the main site at any point by clicking Sterling Adventures at the top left of any administration page.

2. Write Your Post
Simply click Add New under the menu or click Post under the + New menu at the top of the page, then start off by entering the title and text of your post.

In the HTML editor have a play with the quick-tag buttons to style your post. For example you can create numbered lists (ol), bullets (ul), make text bold or italicised, create links etc. Just play about, then select Save Draft before previewing the page with Preview.

In the Visual editor the buttons and editor work much like a simple word processor.

There’s a neat glossary feature to help readers understand specific terms; each sport has it’s own language, help readers understand with this simple shortcode:

[glossary "definition"]term[/glossary]

3. Categories
Check the Categories that apply to your post. Categories are supposed to classify the sports, activities, etc. so there will typically be only one or possibly a few associated with each post. However, to help readers search the blog each post can be tagged with multiple Tags. Therefore, optionally, set as many tags that you may want people to find your posts by, for example locations, animals, memorable events, people, foods, etc.

4. Upload Media (Pictures, Video, etc.)
This is a crucial step if you want to illustrate your posting. Click the Upload/Insert icon. Drag the pictures you want to upload from your computer directly to the area highlighted Drop files here. Or click the Select Files button to find the files you want to upload.

When the media has uploaded you may enter a Title, Caption, and Description – although these are not required. Click Show right of the image thumbnail to see these options.

Hints:

  • Try to upload scaled images (i.e. not the full 2Mb+ files straight from your camera) if you can, it’ll be much quicker. But don’t worry if you can’t, scaled and thumbnail versions that are the right size for the blog’s pages are automatically created for you.
  • Videos should always be compressed before uploading. Aim for a few Mb to allow people to view your videos easily with common broadband speeds. Or use YouTube embedding described below.
  • You may upload more than one file at a time.

Now you can select the media to add to your post, from the Gallery tab…

5. Insert Media into Your Post
Select (Show) the media you want to insert from the: Gallery tab (media associated with this post) or the Media Library tab (all available media). Once selected, you’ll see some choices of how the media can be used.

Make the these choices for thumbnail images:

  1. Choose an option beneath the Link URL field. Choose None in most cases, this gives no link. For thumbnails sometimes the Attachment Post URL option is worthwhile as this will allow readers to see the image full size when they click on the thumbnail.
  2. Choose Thumbnail for the Size.

Make these choices for pictures used in the main post text:

  1. Choose None beneath the Link URL field.
  2. Choose your Alignment, probably Center.
  3. Choose a Size – aim for a width of approximately 600 pixels. If your upload wasn’t already scaled the Medium size will be the right choice.

Use the Insert into Post button to insert the media into the post text. Notice that it will insert where your cursor is positioned in the text.

Note that the Use as featured image link may be clicked to set an image as the thumbnail used to represent the post on the blog’s main index page. There’s more help about managing your post’s featured image here.

Make these choices for video clips:

  1. Enter this code in to your post:

    [video url="MOVIE_URL" width="WIDTH" height="HEIGHT"]

  2. Now either, select the MOVIE_URL in that code and use the Insert into Post button on the media popup (e.g. from the Gallery tab) to insert the media’s URL. There are no other choices to make on the popup.
  3. Or, replace MOVIE_URL with something like:

    http://www.sterling-adventures.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/yyyy/mm/THE_MOVIE.avi

  4. Be careful to preserve the aspect ratio when setting the WIDTH and HEIGHT. As for images, aim for a width of about 600 pixels with a maximum of 620 pixels.

Make these choices for MP3 audio files:

  1. Similarly to video, you need not make any choices for audio, just use the Insert into Post button to insert the media’s URL into the text.
  2. Here is the simple markup code to add for audio:

    [audio url="MP3_URL"]

    Replace MP3_URL with something like:

    http://www.sterling-adventures.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/yyyy/mm/THE_AUDIO.mp3

    You should be able to use the text inserted in step 1.

Hints:

  • The maximum width of an image should be 620 pixels. Or, with the code for full page width pictures (see next point), is 700 pixels.
  • To have an image across the full page width (make sure the image is the right size though; width is exactly 700 pixels), simply copy & paste this code into the post text:

    <div style="margin-left: -40px;"><img src='THE_IMAGE' ... /></div>

    You have to select a picture to replace THE_IMAGE. Easiest, just wrap the <img ... > from the Insert into Post step above and delete any other code.

  • Movies can be massive files! Therefore it is essential to scale them before uploading, a size of 480 x 320 pixels is good with mono sound and MP4 compression. Aim for about 2Mb. A few 100k is achievable with the correct MP4 settings…
  • You can also embed YouTube clips using [youtube url="URL"], replacing URL with the URL for the clip. The URL should be the one that is meant for embedding – YouTube provide a Sharing button to create this.

6. Set the Excerpt Text
Excerpts are automatic with one or two simple steps.

  1. The first few sentences of the main text will automatically be used as the Excerpt. However, this can be a little too long for a good teaser. So, optionally, there are two ways to make it shorter or more teasing…
    • Use the more button (HTML editor or Visual editor ) to set the point within the body text where the Excerpt should end. Just click this button with your cursor at the point in the body text where you want the Excerpt to stop. It will insert <!-- more -->.
    • Hand-craft a teaser in the Excerpt box.
  2. Use the link next to the Insert into Post button, Use as featured image, when uploading images to automatically set the thumbnail for this post. When you get back to the Add New Post page you’ll notice the Featured Image box also shows that thumbnail.

There’s a post that gives more detail here.

7. Optional Stuff
Here are a couple of other things you may want to do, all are optional…

  • Set the date of your post (suggest to the date of your adventure) by clicking on Edit next to the Publish item top right. This defaults to Publish immediately, so if you are quick about posting your adventures you’ll be able to accept the default.
    Note that posts can be scheduled for posting by entering a date in the future.
  • Set a country for your adventure. Under the Location section, select the Country from the drop down list. For example, Australia.
  • You may also provide a Latitude and Longitude (decimal values please) to have the adventure location displayed using Google mapping. There is a more detailed post that gives details of providing location details here.
  • A number of posts may be grouped into a Series by choosing a series in the Post Series box.

8. Publish to the WWW!
Go on, just click that Publish button!
You can also Save Draft of your work and come back later to complete it.