Placing Images Side by Side in WordPress

In the short time since I started blogging, I have encountered several moments when I wanted to place images side by side but was not able to. It would seem like a simple enough task, but WordPress tends to push the second image down to its own space.

Based on the articles I have looked at on this issue, I discovered that the secret to placing images side by side in WordPress is a combination of alignment and image size. The images need to have either left or right alignment and must be small enough in size so that they fit on the same line. For easy-to-follow instructions, I recommend reading “Images >> Image Alignment” in the Support section of WordPress. It helped me to place the following two pictures of my graphic design work together on the same line. The first image has left alignment, and the second one has right alignment. If you know HTML coding, you can make more specific changes to the alignment and spacing in the text editor.

 

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WordPress Reader Page Access Problems

Last week I could not access my Reader page. I received a notice that my browser needed to be upgraded, so I did that and still could not look around at the other WordPress blogs through the Reader. Finally, I came across this WordPress forum page and found the help I needed. One of the posts includes a helpful checklist of things to do in addition to upgrading the browser. I thought I would share this information because other people might be having the same problem too.

Sidebar: A Simple Way to Add a Contact Page to Your Free WordPress Blog

Part of the reason I did not publish my previous post called “More Online Portfolio Info” right away was because I had to figure out how to add a contact page to my online portfolio. When I did an online search about this topic, I discovered various plug-in contact forms mixed in with numerous how-to articles and videos. These plug-ins are designed for people who have custom WordPress blogs. I was getting a little worried. What about the rest of us who have free WordPress blogs? Is it possible for us to add a contact page to our blogs?

The answer is yes. Here is a list of resources that helped me to add a contact page to my WordPress online portfolio and to this blog. The procedure is simple, but don’t be alarmed if your form seems incomplete and/or contains your own contact information. The forum posts I have included in this resource list will calm your fears.

“Contact Forms” (WordPress.com blog post)
“Can’t insert ‘contact form’!”  (WordPress.com forum post)
“Why do I show up myself in my own contact form?”  (WordPress.com forum post)

More Online Portfolio Info

Illustration by Arlene G.

I was looking for articles about online portfolios on Tuesday, and I came across “Creating an Online Graphic Design Portfolio” by David Airey. In this article, he discusses common online portfolio mistakes graphic designers make and shares mistake checklists made by other designers.

I think pointing out these common mistakes is helpful, but you have to consider these errors in light of your own personal situation. For example, I agree that having a portfolio with nothing but thumbnails is a mistake, but I have to keep in mind that I have space limitations on the amount of photos I can post on my online portfolio. Right now my online portfolio has a limit of 3 GB for media items (photos, video, etc.) unless I pay for more file storage space. I would like to make all of the images on my portfolio large, but I am concerned that will take up too much memory. In order to save space, I tend to compromise and use a combination of thumbnails, medium size images, and a few large images.

I decided to correct the mistake of not having a contact form on my portfolio site, but I did it mainly out of curiosity. I have mixed feelings about working with people online. While telecommuting has some advantages, it also has some serious drawbacks. It requires placing a lot of trust in someone you do not know very well and will most likely never meet, and collecting payment from clients in another state or country is difficult if they are unwilling to pay.  Although I have not completely ruled out working with people in a telecommuting relationship, I think I am more comfortable working with people in my local area. I like the possibility of meeting a client in person. However, I am not really worrying about attracting national and international clients. Hardly anyone visits my online portfolio except for prospective employers that I contact in response to job ads.

I am not so sure that the absence of a resume/CV is a mistake for everyone. What if you have little or no experience doing graphic design work for others? Won’t the resume/CV emphasize your lack of experience? Perhaps it is better to describe your graphic design experience briefly in the “bio” or “about” section of your website. I think Seth Godin has some good ideas about what to do in place of a resume, but they require a lot of work and time to accomplish.

I am glad I read this article because it contains advice from people who are also graphic designers. This article also reminds me that my online portfolio is definitely a work in progress, especially as I transition from doing student work to doing professional work. Getting advice is great, but you really have to experiment and see what works for you.

What I Did Since Spring Break

I know it has been awhile since I wrote my last post. My final project for my GCOM 360 class has been completed and graded. (I plan to post an entire page about my final project.) I finished the final two classes I needed to graduate with an AS degree in Graphic Communication from Sacramento City College. I have also put together an online portfolio of my graphic design work on WordPress: http://imaginenewdesignsportfolio.wordpress.com/. In addition, I have been trying to find work without much success.

In short, I have been busy, and I am still busy. However, after noticing how many people have visited this site for information about WordPress and online portfolio information, I would like to try to write posts about these topics again as well as other graphic design topics. I have come across a number of articles and resources that aspiring graphic designers might find helpful to read, and I would like to share them with you. I will see what I can do.

Spring Break

A Picture Summary of My Spring Break So Far

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Not this . . .                                  But this

I am supposed to be on vacation now, but my mind is still at work trying to figure out what to do for my GCOM 360 final project. For this assignment, I am supposed to design my own custom website or mobile app user interface. I can create any type of website I would like to.

This is a brainstorming list of things going through my head as I try to narrow down a theme and purpose for my custom website.

1. While I should think about what I would like to do, I also have to think about what I can actually do. I do not know very much HTML code at this point, and I am not sure how much I will be able to teach myself in the next few weeks. I have to plan on a home page and at least two subpages with limited functionality at best. What kind of website would look best under these circumstances?

2. I would like to try out a few specific techniques for button development and text effects. What theme would allow me to do this?

3. I think I am leaning toward a website designed for someone else than one designed for myself. I am more comfortable designing projects for other people even if they are not real clients. I am not sure if the five weeks left in this semester is enough time for a personal website. I do not want to rush doing something important to me like a personal portfolio website.

4. I would like to choose a theme that’s fun! While I liked redesigning the Sacramento Public Library website, I felt I had to be conservative and restrained in my design approach so that I would not scare off or confuse the library users. I know I still have to consider my audience for this design project, but I think I have a little freedom to work with a theme that is a little unconventional or unusual. I want to enjoy this freedom.

Well, my brainstorm is over for now. The dark clouds of uncertainty have parted but only slightly. I will keep you posted about what I end up doing.

Picture Credits:
Word Holiday In Sand by Petr Kratochvil

Help by Kosta Kostov

A Starting Point for Creating an Online Portfolio

Internet Browsing by Petr Kratochvil
 

As I get closer to finishing my graphic design coursework at Sacramento City College, I have become more interested in putting together an online portfolio of my work. I have learned from teachers, other students, and job postings that an online portfolio is vital to your graphic design career. Employers want an online link to your work, and some of them won’t even consider your application without one.

I have put off creating an online portfolio mainly because I did not know how. My specialty is print design, not web design. I thought I would have to be a web developer in order to create my own website. I am so glad to find out that this is not the case.

Although WordPress is well-known for its blogging sites, it works well for online portfolios too. WordPress offers a number of portfolio themes. While some of the premium ones cost money, others are free. Dustin Betonio provides a helpful overview of these themes in his recent Tripwire Magazine article called “60+ Excellent WordPress Portfolio Themes.” In addition to the themes, Betonio provides some links about building an online portfolio and some additional WordPress resources.

Can you guess what I will be doing this summer?