Or “Frequently Asked Questions”.



“Plugin”? What is this “Plugin” of which you speak?

Plugins are little bits of software and what-have-you which add one or more extra features to WordPress. The working plugins that Valpo can access include:(Hold down the CTRL key to open these links in a new tab or window)

  • Akismet – filters out spam in your posts’ comments. (site)
  • Easy Tube – makes it easy to embed YouTube vidoes in your posts. (site)
  • podPress – lets you include audio files in your posts. (site)
  • WP-Syntax – lets you put programming code in a post without WordPress messing with it. (site)
  • Email Users – lets you email groups of users all at once (site)
  • You Can Javascript – gets rid of some of WordPress’s problems with Javascript (and PHP, ASP, etc.). (site)

How do I enable, manage, or learn more about a plugin?

You’re looking for the Plugin Management page, which only one of your blog’s administrators(could include you!) can work with. You can find through the following steps:

  1. Find your blog. If you don’t know the URL, you might find it in the Valpo Blog Directory.
  2. In your blog’s sidebar (or elsewhere), find the header that says ‘Meta’, and click the login link below it.
  3. Now you’re at the WordPress ‘Dashboard’, which is perhaps a reference to cars. Look at the sidebar menu, and click the ‘Plugins’ button.

Some plugins, like Akismet, add an extra ‘plugin settings’ item to the menu that drops down from the Plugins button (click the little arrow that appears next to the button).

How do I put YouTube videos into my posts?

You use Easy Tube! You can activate it from the Plugin Management page (see above). Unlike podPress,Easy Tube doesn’t require file locations or filling in forms. If you want to put a YouTube video in your post, you insert this tag:[*youtube:URL*] (Remove the * symbols.)

URL is the URL of the YouTube video as it appears in your address bar.

For further information and options, visit the creator’s explanation.

Is there a way to display audio files (like podcast episodes) in my posts?

Yup! It’s called podPress. You can activate it from the Plugin Management page (see above).Once it’s activated, make a new post in your blog, and you’ll find a section called ‘Podcasting’ at the way bottom of the screen. You can use this new Podcasting section to add uploaded audio files to your post.

Wondering how to upload audio files in the first place? Just scroll down a bit.

Visit the podPress site to learn more about it.


How do I upload files to my blog?

Well, you’ve got a couple options.

  1. When you write or edit a post, above the editor you’ll probably see a small row of icons and the words ‘Add Media’. Click on the icons, and a neat application
    will run that lets you upload new files, manipulate existing ones, and include them in your post.
  2. You can also click the Media -> Add New buttons in the sidebar. This will let you upload new files and manipulate existing ones, but not include them in the post.

Due to a pernicious configuration of our copy of WordPress, you cannot upload files larger than ~8 MB. This mostly matters for audio files; in the most common MP3 format, 8 MB translates to ~10 minutes of audio. If you have a longer file — but not an hours-long mammoth — I recommend splitting it apart with an audio editor like Audacity (site) or Garage Band (comes with some Macs). Once it’s split, you can upload the pieces and display them in one post.

How do I get at the files once I’ve uploaded them?

There are two methods:

  1. Click the ‘Media’ link in the Dashboard’s sidebar.
  2. When you write a new post or edit an existing one, look above the editor, at the little icons beside the phrase ‘Add Media’. Click on one of the icons. Then, in the little sub-window that will pop up, click the tab that says ‘Media Gallery’.

I tried to upload my file, but it just said: “This file is too big. Your php.ini upload_max_filesize is 131457280.” Why must you mock me?!

Please don’t be offended! I do want to get this upload_max_filesize thing raised, but apparently it is integral to the system and totally immutable.If you want to post a continuous piece to your blog and having it be larger than ~8 MG (the max upload size), you’ll have to use an audio editing program like Audacity to slice it into small enough pieces, then upload each piece separately.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Podcasting / Audio Files

When I put a sound file in my post, what should I put as the file’s “Location”?

It depends. If this is a sound file (which you have permission to use) from another site, then just use as the address of the sound file itself. The URL you’re looking for will end in one of the extensions for sound files, like .mp3, .wav, .midi, etc.If this is a sound file that you just have on your computer, you’ll need to upload it to your WordPress blog (see ‘How do I upload files?’). Then, browse your uploaded files (see ‘How do I get at the files once I’ve uploaded them?’) and click the icon for the sound file you want. The thing called the ‘File URL’ is what you want.

What should I do? The sound file I uploaded doesn’t play all the way / at all!

If your sound file only plays part of the way, check the original on your computer and make sure it’s not cut off or corrupted. Then try re-uploading the file.NOTE: This does not cover sound files you link to from other sites. If they play fine on their home site but only partially on yours, they may have some kind of protection or unusual formatting.

If your sound file doesn’t play at all, first make sure you’ve given podPress the right Location (scroll up a bit to see how), then try those first two steps.

What should I tell people who want to download my audio file?

When you put audio files in your post, right beneath the audio player (assuming you’re using the default player), you’ll have a ‘download’ link. You can just click on it, let a new page open up that loads the audio file, and then save the page (it will save as an audio file).Or you could right-click the link and select ‘Save Link As…’, which skips the middle-man and doesn’t ask you to move away from the blog.

Depending on the browser, the option to ‘Save Link As…’ will be:

  • Firefox – ‘Save Link As…’
  • Chrome – ‘Save link as…’
  • Safari – ‘Download Linked File As…’
  • Internet Explorer – ‘Save Target As…’

Web Design

What is this ‘Web Design’, and how can I learn it?

Normally, WordPress uses the programming language HTML to express what you type into the ‘New Post’ editor. Now, HTML is nice, but it can’t do too much; by ‘Web Design’, I mean using other languages along with HTML in order to make a post into something really friggin’ sweet.The languages I’m talking about include:

  • PHP
  • CSS
  • Javascript

I’ll be referring to anything written in these languages as ‘code’.

To learn how to use all these bojangles, I recommend www.w3schools.com

Why does my code vanish when I save or update?

To guard against malicious programs ‘n such, when you save or update a post, WordPress automatically deletes part or all of your PHP, CSS and Javascript code (as well as a few of the more powerful bits of HTML itself).

  • For PHP code, it deletes everything, even the starting and ending tags.
  • For CSS and Javascript, it only deletes the start and end tags (usually), so your code displays like a paragraph.

To stop . . . most . . . of this, go to your blog’s Plugin manager and activate the plugin called ‘You Can Javascript’. (homepage.)

(For a more formal list of what is forbidden, check out this part of the WordPress Codex)

My Javascript! It does not work! Why oh why oh why?!

  1. Are you using single-quotes in your JavaScript? Use double-quotes (“”), or escaped double quotes (\”\”), instead.
  2. Have you included the character ‘>’ anywhere within your JavaScript? If so, WordPress has assumed everything after that character is not Javascript. See below for the solution.
  3. If neither of these is the problems, you’ve probably just written faulty Javascript. Sorry to break it to you.

Getting around the ‘>’ symbol can be tricky. Let’s say you want to use Javascript to create a short HTML paragraph:

print("*p>Hey! That's right!*/p>")

(I have to use *s instead of ‘<‘s).

After the opening script tag, WordPress will assume that any ‘>’ symbol is actually the close bracket for a script tag, and think that you are done writing JavaScript. To compensate:

tagMesh = ">*script type=\"text/javascript\">"
closeTag = tagMesh.charAt(0)
print("*p"+closeTag+"Hey! That's right!*/p"+closeTag)

(I have to use *s instead of ‘<‘s).

In this way, immediately after I close the javascript by using the ‘>’ symbol, I reopen it again with another script tag. And since it’s in quotes, Javascript ignores it. Finally, I used the .chartAt(0) function to extract the ‘>’ character from that big mesh. Now, whenever I need to type ‘>’, I just type ‘+closeTag’ instead.

I am trying to display a bit of HTML using WordPress’s ‘code’ tag, but it’s all screwy! What’s gone wrong?

In the other answers, when I have a code block like this –*a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/">BBC World News*/a>

– I say: “I have to use *s instead of ‘<‘s”. Well, you have to do that too.

The reason: WordPress will actually try to execute your HTML tags, even though you’re writing inside the special code tag. In this case, it would have tried to create a hyperlink inside of the code tags, which would have mucked things up. It makes me sigh.

I am trying to make a hyperlink, and it is written perfectly! Why won’t it work?!

Are you using the ‘&’ symbol? It would appear like this:

*a href="http://www.e.com/?p1=yes&p2=no">

(I have to use *s in place of ‘<‘s)WordPress adds the string ‘amp;’ whenever it finds the ‘&’ character. (You can use your browser’s ‘View Source Code’ feature to see it.) This works fine for WordPress’s own machinations, but the hyperlink tag cannot take it. To solve this, either don’t use hyperlinks with the ‘&’ character in them, or use www.tinyurl.com to get aliases. For instance, TinyUrl turns




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