Tray Post Slider (TPS) started as a single client’s request, but I think it’ll be useful to many site owners as I turned it into a very customizable section.
I’m proud of TPS because it provides these benefits:
- Able to select any type of posts
- Advanced post information crafting
- Looks great on large and small screen widths
- Maximizes display of each post’s Featured Image
- Slider coloring and styling customizations
- Makes dynamic slider creation very easy
TPS is easy to use. The hardest part about any dynamic post display is keeping consistency with Featured Images (and custom fields, if used). That part of using the slider is best solved by creating and following post publishing guidelines, and I hope to help you improve your site’s images.
Customizing Your Site’s Upload Sizes and Cropping
It’s hard enough to find just the right Featured Image for each post, and once you find it, it may be tall, wide, or square.
Defining your Featured Image upload guidelines (even just for yourself if you’re the only author) can significantly improve the aesthetics of your blog over time as all the Featured Images look great together in a blog loop, like my Tray Post Slider section.
Regardless of the the perfect image’s shape when you find it, you’ll want to prep it to meet your guidelines.
The initial upload is most important. For example, if your guidelines require a minimum size of 1000 x 500 and you find the perfect image at 300 x 150, then it’s not the perfect image.
You can, however, crop a really tall but large image (1000 x 4000) to become a wide image (1000 x 500, width twice as long as height) if needed. Doing this prior to upload will make all your images look great together since you’ll want to base your WordPress image sizing settings on your ideal image upload dimensions.
You probably already know that WordPress automatically generates multiple variations of each image you upload.
For example, if you upload a 2000 x 800 image, WordPress might create a 1200 x 480 version without a hard crop and a 500 x 500 version with a hard crop.
The Simple Image Sizes plugin makes it easy to add a new image size (e.g. 1000 x 600) and to edit the settings for existing image sizes (remove the 500 x 500 version’s hard crop).
Generate New Image Sizes for Existing Images
If you add a new image size, know that it’ll only apply to future uploads. If you want to make sure all your existing images have the additional image sizes created, you’ll want to regenerate thumbnails. The Simple Image Sizes plugin or the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin makes this a simple, one-time task.
Never Forget Your Featured Image Dimensions
One of my favorite tips for sites that have Featured Image guidelines is displaying a reminder of the perfect dimensions right where you set the Featured Image.
Hopefully you found these tips beneficial.
Feel free to leave a comment if this was helpful or if you have any follow-up questions or suggestions of your own to share.