Content Creators Rejoice, Benny Has Arrived

While editing in WordPress have you ever wished your text options tool bar would stay put.  Well guess what… WordPress 4.0 brings some of the features you wish you had but maybe never realized it.

Benny is all about under the hood with more much needed adjustments to the wordpress editing experience for us creators.


Benny Goodman was an American Jazz Swing musician.  For a little historical reference:

[box type=”info”] WordPress core developers share a love of jazz music, and since WordPress 1.0 all major releases are named in honor of jazz musicians they admire.[/box]

I already enjoy the wordpress editing experience as it is but now that they’re really brining more focused improvements to the content creation interface it’s starting to blow my mind.

Here A List of the Major Changes You’ll Notice:

  • Editor & Publishing Options Stays Put!
  • Live Editor Preview for Embedded Media (like Youtube Videos)
  • Enhanced Media Library Management Experience

The changes they made to the Editor Publishing Toolbar so it would stay put was much needed.  Nuff Said.

The Media library was pretty awesome already but they must have a new UI design team over there because they’ve been hitting home runs with so many of the interface tweaks they’ve made in the past few updates.

If you’ll recall the Smith Update from this past April gave us that cool “drag to resize” feature for images in the visual editor.  Everyone has been waiting for that since forever. But the mosaic gallery preview in the visual editor never worked.  I don’t know why.  I’m sure they’ll get that right some day.  Could be because that’s a feature of Jetpack and not core wordpress.

These tweak are very UI centered and for the content creators at that, relieving us of small frustrations while we’re caught up typing like fiends & building our masterpieces (or disasters).

A Note for Website Administrators:

My biggest concern.  Code Bloat.  While all the new features are cool, I have concerns about new features just piling on adding additional stress to my servers.

  • Admins Get A Completely Re-Designed Plugin Browser & Gallery Interface.  A Much Needed Overhaul!

I haven’t updated all the sites on my networks because I’m waiting for a few plugins to have official compatability posted for the new version but I’m very excited to really start working with Benny.

Grrr.. come on!  update the plugins already.

Easily Publishing Videos On Your Website

It’s quite easy to embed video on your website.  Getting it on your website is one thing, getting people to actually watch your video is a whole new challenge.

One of the key things you can do to increase the number of views your video gets is by uploading the video to YouTube.  YouTube is a place where people already are so that greatly increases the likelihood of your video actually being seen.

Another advantage is that you can easily share your video through a link or an video embed right on your website.

The benefits of serving your video through YouTube are numerous but one of the key advantages is that your video will be optimized no matter what kind of device the website visitor is on.  If you’re trying to upload a video file to the back-end of your website and just put that video file link into a page or use some widget or HTML to display the actual video it will probably work most of the time because modern devices are smart.

But let’s do a quick thought experiment and consider a  mobile user.

Let’s be imaginative and assume the video file is only 13mb large.  That video might need to be completely downloaded, the whole 13MB file, to the users mobile device before playing, it might significantly increase the amount of time your site takes to load and consider the mobile data usage the user suffers in downloading an entire video they might not even watch.

YouTube takes advantage of video streaming so all that is delivered is what the user requests and it’s optimized for whichever device your website visitor is on, desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Here are tons of great resources online to get you started with a YouTube Account.  I enjoy the videos of David Walsh:

After you create your youtube account and establsih yourself with a few videos think about setting up a custom YouTube Channel URL or “Vanity URL” for your YouTube Channel.

You can find out how to setup your youtube channel custom URL right here.

Understanding Feature Images

“A featured image represent the contents, mood, or theme of a post or page.  Posts and pages can have a single featured image, which many themes and tools can use to enhance the presentation of your site.”

The feature image you choose for your article might just be the one thing that entices your visitor to click, read and find out more about what you have to say, your products or services, so choose carefully.

The official definition is actually pretty good. Your feature image should be representative of your content, tell a story if possible, or at least catch the viewers attention within the context of your content.

I always invite you to find out more about feature images by checking out the official wordpress documentation online!

Official WordPress Help


Uploading Photos To Your Website

Everyone who is just starting out their own website asks this question, “Will I be able to easily upload and publish photos to my website”.

Absolutely!  Here’s a quick video that goes over several of the methods you can use to upload single images to your website.

Be sure to check out the lesson on uploading & Creating Beautiful  Photo Galleries too!

The Power of the Publishing Panel

The power of the publishing panel inside the wordpress content management system is often an overlooked gem of your brand’s or businesses workflow.  I this unobtrusive little space you’ll find tools to save your work as a draft, something I encourage you to do often, as well as access the revisions of those saves.

The real publication power comes into play once you hit the scheduling options.  Being able to schedule my posts has been a valuable ability over the years because the moments I spend writing aren’t always the best moments to publish that material, let’s say it’s really late at night.

I want that post to go up on my website and get distributed to social networks like facebook and twitter at a time when I know they’re most likely to be seen.  I always end up scheduling the post, even if it’s just for the next day.

[box type=”info”]

Just Save As Draft

Use The Publish Button Carefully! If you’ve got social sharing options configured like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn, the post will be broadcast to all your social channels.

It’s best to just save your post as a draft until you’ve got it perfect for publication. [/box]

Adding Beautiful Photo Galleries

Going beyond inserting a single image into the articles you publish on your website, you can also insert beautiful photo galleries and arrange those in a variety of ways.

You can even no so far as to display all your images as circles.  It only takes a few clicks and you’re not stuck with the results either. As I demonstrate in the video, once you create a gallery you can easily change the format to make your article just perfect.

The official documentation has some great examples and screenshots of the different gallery types!  I encourage you to check it out here!