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Inserting images in WordPress versus TypePad

One of the biggest differences between TypePad and WordPress is how to insert images in post. As a long-term TypePad user I am really confused by this.

Just like WordPress, TypePad too has an easy “insert image” button/icon in the composer toolbar. But what happens when  you click this button  in WordPress is very different from TypePad. In this post I will try to explain the differences as best I can.  As it turns out, WordPress does have some tricks up the sleeve that TypePad has not. TypePad on the other, seems more straightforward and intuitive for the inexperienced blogger. Which one is better I leave up to you to decide.

Inserting images in TypePad

In TypePad, after clicking, a window pops up and you can select in image from your computer. The next step is to set the image width, full size, scaled to column width, preset or custom size. I like that. WordPress only gives you the option of “full size”, “thumbnail” and “medium”, but how do I know how large a medium size image is? In this respect, TypePad is better.The third step is to set text wrapping, and whether you would like the image to open in a separate pop-up window. Finally you have the option of saving this as the default, saving time the next time around. I like to have all my thumbnails the same size, because I think it makes my blog look nice, so I really enjoy this default setting option. All this is done in one operation in one window. In WordPress you need multiple windows for this.

Then, after the image has been inserted, clicking the image brings up an image properties editor, where you can change the text flow, padding and border, add a description and display the static URL for the image. In my opinion that really is all you need for images in blogs. Two windows.

Inserting images in WordPress

WordPress involves a lot more steps to achieve the same things that TyePad does with only two windows.

First, locate the insert image icon/button on your composer toolbar.

In the next step, a window pops up. If you have Flash installed it will look like below after you have selected and uploaded your image. You do not make choices as to image size or anything before uploading, that comes next, as in the image below.

If you look carefully, you will see three tabs, Choose File, Gallery and Media Library. I will deal with these in detail in a post later, but for now, let’s just say that the Gallery function allows you to upload more than one picture at once and insert into your post as a gallery. That is very nice for photo blogs. The Media Library function will allow you to browse all images and files that you have previously uploaded into your blog. That too will be a topic in one of my next posts this week.

One interesting thing about WordPress is image captions. With this you can display an image caption, not below the image as I expected, but on lower part of the image, as you can see below.

This is a caption example.

This also where you align the window for text-wrapping, and where you set the image size, as in Thumbnail, Medium and Full Size. Regardless of size, if you do NOT want the image to appear in a separate window, set the Link URL to “None”. I am not sure what the difference between FileURL and Post URL actually means?

But there’s no place to set the exact size of the thumbnail like in TypePad. Well, that comes next, after the image has been inserted. You need to click the inserted image, which brings up the image editor icon, where you can choose to Edit or Delete the image.

Now you have two tabs, Edit Image and Advanced Settings. You need to go to Advanced Setting to set your exact thumbnail size. In Edit Image, you can basically do the same editing as you did before inserting, that is aligning and/or add a caption. In addition you can now scale your image, if you think it is too big for your post. That could be useful, especially for users not thinking about images in pixels like I do, so you can scale your images from 140% to 60% size. That is a neat function.

The Advanced Settings is where you set the image size, add some border or some padding (vertical and horizontal space). Adding padding is important because that will give you some air between your image and your text, which otherwise will be placed like glued to your image and that doesn’t look nice. I haven’t been able to test the Advanced Link Settings yet, so I will leave that for a later post.

What WordPress has over TypePad is the ability to add captions. TypePad, on the other hand, can apply the image settings as default, so there is less work next time around. I personally find that the image insertion and editing takes longer time in WordPress than in TypePad, but WordPress also has more functionality so it seems, albeit is also is more cumbersome, at least from my point of view.

Oh, I should add that you CAN set the thumbnail size for inserting an image in WordPress, but it’s a fixed maximum size. You can find it in Settings > Media on your dashboard.

Conclusion

In conclusion, inserting and editing images in TypePad is distinctively different from that in WordPress. My choice would be TypePad.

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