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Better Image Management With WordPress

With the advent of sophisticated and user-friendly content management systems like WordPress, textual content has become increasingly easier to manage. The architecture of these systems aims to deliver a well-formed code foundation; this means that if you are a good writer, then your content will be just as awesome as the structure and quality of the code that runs it.

However, media handling is, by nature, not the greatest. In many cases, images are used merely to make the website look good, not to supplement the content. Little care is usually taken to make these elements as useful as their textual counterparts. They are often tacked on as an afterthought; the owner thinks, “If all of my posts have an image, surely I should find something quickly for this next one as well.”

Because the content of images cannot be parsed by search engines, making sure they are rich in meta information before publishing them is important. Here are a few ways to enrich your blog using some common sense, best practices and the power of WordPress.

Understanding And Using Images

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To get the most out of your graphic content, you’ll need to be familiar with how they work in HTML. To put an image on a page, you would add an image tag, with the appropriate attributes, like so:

[code]A mallard duck landing in the water[/code]

As you can see, the tag has three attributes that contain information about the image:

  • src is the URL source of the image file;
  • alt, or alternative, text is shown when an image can’t load (whether because of a loading error, text-only browser, etc.);
  • title is the title attribute, where you can add a short description of the image, which will pop up after hovering over the image for a second.

The src and alt attributes are both required; the HTML is invalid without them. However, HTML is not a strict language. Your post will still render just fine if you leave out the alt text, which is one of the negative aspect of loose languages: it doesn’t force best practices.

 

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