Creating your own WordPress Blog Post

Pixlr image editing online steps

Okay, so you’ve got your gleaming new website and you want to add a WordPress blog post or product.

If you’ve had us COG media design your website we’ll have created rules and templates to make you’re life easy…. Honest. We would have set up the frame work for how images are used on your site so it always looks its best. We appreciate now everyone has the Adobe packages we use to create your site so we’ve created a crib sheet to help you on your way.

Before you get to post.

When taking images you’re going to use on your website it always good practise to shoot landscape not portrait. This will allow the images to work well on desktop browsers. But mobiles view sites vertically I hear you say. This is true but our thinking is you can still have you image on the screen and text or information abo9ut the image. The web site development system we use handles images intelligently, which is where are next nugget of advice comes in to play.  When you’re taking you’re photos try and keep you focal point in the centre of the image. so if you have a picture of a product, staff member or award.

landscape not portrait


Affordable Photo Editing

As we mentioned we get that not everyone will have access to the industry leading Photoshop from Adobe so we have a FREE to use online tool. Pixlr is a web based image editing platform with will have your images blog ready in no time. When we create your WordPress site you’ll get a Photoshop PSD file with branding options included which can be imported into Pixlr.

When we produce a  WordPress template for your website, a set of rules to allow a continuity across the look and feel will be put in place. This could not be more important than with blog posts and product images. For the purpose of this blog we use 1200 x 500 pixels.

 

Step 1

If you dont have Photoshop head over to Pixlr X. Follow this link and you’ll be ready to go. https://pixlr.com/x/#editor. You’ll be presented with the welcome screen. Press the open image button and load up the Photoshop PSD or file you want to work on. 

 

Step 2

We are going to continue using our Photoshop PSD file you would have been sent through for a blog featured image.  The demo file we have produced has branding in it as a layer with transparency. Great for keeping that corporate look across all your blog posts.

 

Step 3

Your are now ready to add your image that will be used to promote your blog post. Use the add element / image option the the left hand side of the page. 

 

Step 4

Ignore all the extras being offered to you and go for the add media option, We’re not going to teach you to suck eggs on how to find and load your images. 

 

Step 5

When you import an new element into any package it will usually end up as the top later. As we only have one layer it doesn’t have much of a choice. 

 

Step 6

Firstly we need to get the branding showing on the image (if you are going down this route. Pixlr is no different to Photoshop in ordering the layers. Simply click and hold the mouse button down and drag the image underneath the branding layer. 

Step 06 Pixlr drag image layer down
Step 06 Pixlr drag image layer down part 2

 

Step 7

This is where you get to be artistic. As you should NEVER use photos straight from your camera as they will be far to big for the browser. But more importantly will rank poorly with Google when it comes to your search listing. The bigger the file the longer it will take to download. Lesson over back to the point in hand… Click the zoom out button to get you out 20% 

Step 07 Pixlr Zoom out

 

Step 8

Once you zoomed out you will be able to see handles that will you resize and rotate or image to the desired position. Click and hold the mouse button an any of the corner handles and drag away. Pixlr have made it easy for you to lock the aspect ratio so your image will not distort by holding down the shift key on your keyboard.

Step 08 Pixlr resize your image

 

Step 9

If you need to fine tune your image to get a horizon level or add a bit of flare to your featured image.

Step 09 Pixlr rotate your image

 

Step 10

When your masterpiece is ready you can save the file ready for the next important step to keeping Google and your hosting company happy. As the adage goes, size is important and in this case the smaller the better.

You will have a couple of option at this stage which we can throw some light on. There is a new kid on the block when it comes to images on the web. WebP is a impressive image format and one you may not have come across before. it supports solid images like jpegs and images with transparency like PNG all in one format. Sounds great but not all browsers supports them. Prime example is if you are running a older Mac that wont allow you to update for safari browser you will not be able to view WebP images… That is a decision you will ned to make. All its not lost as we can help with the reduction of the file size with another free to use website. So for our featured image we are going to use the Jpeg options with a medium amount of compress. Your image should still look good at a reasonable file size.

Step 10 Pixlr save your image

Mobility Brand and Website update

Mobility Brand and Website update

After the even if we say so ourselves “sterling job” we did for sister company BATHlifts.net the guys at Relax Mobility tasked us with their brand and website update. Drawing on the look and theme from the Bathlifts website the user expectance was a simple process. So it was on to the logo and colour scheme to set the brand rules for the website update.

Keeping the same font across the both brands with a colour change for the Relax Mobility logo we added an avatar this time which was incorporated into the text of the logo. With recline a major part of all the products a reclined chair element became the X of relax. The client was unsure at first but was the logo was dropped in on the website header and marking materials the penny dropped and the logo was put to bed.

Relax Mobility Logo

When’s a shop not a shop

Because of the nature of the products sold by Relax Mobility customers would require a home visit from one of their sales team to run thru the options, designs and fabrics available for both beds and chairs. With demo units and fabric books even Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen would be proud of customers can pick some funky colour schemes and bespoke finishes so their mobility furniture doesn’t have to have that care home look, perfect for the younger customer. To all the website to still function as a eCommerce site we had all the forward facing products listed as portfolios instead of products. This would allow the customers to read up and view all the benefits of the rise and recline products and then using the call to actions book and in home free visit. 

Once a bed or chair had been selected the sales team can log into the site to gain access to the eCommerce part of the site. With all the variations and various discount structures all at the click of a dropdown and selection from a plethora of options and upgrades and accessories. A payment gateway allows for deposits and payments in full to be and with order forms and VAT handovers all being printed out onsite. Siting down with Mark to get an understand for the sales journey for both the client and sales person allowed us to work out the best and simplest route to market.

Need brand and website update?

COG media can help you get your company web site designed and start selling to the world. Contact our web design team today and get our offer on website hosting! 


    Website Design The devils in the detail

    online shop website design
    In the world of website design one thing that will aid the development process is content and information… the two important things in website development is content, information and imagery… the three most important, you get the idea. Steamed Studio’s online store will be selling steam bent wooden mirrors, lightshades and lamps initially with a number of new products already in development. Running along side the online shop an informative blog with information not only about products and wealth of articles on the wood they use, the environmental impact of deforestation and the history of wood in the world of design. It was a pleasure when our latest client came to us arm to the hilt with pds’s, logos, word documents, a drobox full of images and months worth of blog post content. After an initial phone call and getting Gary from Steamed Studio confident with our design process and agreeing in on a time scale and budget. Our first meeting Gary was enlightening. In true craftsman style Gary had page after page of A0 paper with layouts, photo of image placement and menu styles. Before Gary had left the websites holding page was up and style for the ecommerce side of the sites had been confirmed. I wish more sites could be like this. Steamed Studio used a professional photographer to get product images in both a clean and lifestyle format. This is perfect for creating image galleries for customers to get a great idea of what the product looks like.

    So you want a ecommerce site designed

    COG media can help you get your company web site designed and start selling to the world. Contact our web design team today and get our offer on website hosting! 


      SAF new shirt launch photoshoot

      SAF FIFA22 EA Sports Players Location Photo Shoot

      Gearing up for the launch of the new EA Sports FIFA22 game release the guys a SAF all got together at the new SAF offices at the Snetterton. Traveling in for all over the UK and flying in from Denmark all the player donned their their newly delivered SAF 2022 season shirts for their profile shots for ES Sports. Gary pulled out all the stops to with some nice ideas for light effects for shots along side the formal shots required by EA Sports.

      SAF FIFA22 new shirt drone and smoke bomb
      Callum gave team team which we took outside and fired the drone up with a smoke bomb thrown in for good measure… Lets face it all good photoshoots need a smoke bomb.

      Norwich Smokehouse Takeaway Brand

      Norwich Smokehouse

      Continuing our design services for the owner of Award Winning Take Thai we were pleased to be asked to come up with the branding for Andy’s new venture… A smokehouse takeaway called Norwich Smokehouse

      Its all about the brand

      Andy was after a strong and simple logo design which could developed to allow for expansion in the future. With no avatar or imagery and simple colour scheme of black, white and vibrant orange for the logo, clean text based concepts were designed trying a few font variations. With a couple of logo candidates in the bag, mock-ups of signage on the new premises proved the logo would stand out to passing traffic. While we were at it Andy had us try out different styles and colour schemes for the shop exterior. This proved that less is defiantly more allowing the sticking orange of the logo to do all the talking.

       

      Inside and Out Design

      With a clean canvas and a massive shop space for the new takeaway Andy had big plans to modify the interior to suit his needs better. So it was off to the shop to get a few photos and get an idea of what could be done to the space. With time against us instead of measuring up and creating a 3D environment Andy sat with us as we build up walls and themed up the shop area to reflect the nature of the food he’s be selling.

      Norwich Smokehouse Interior Before Norwich Smokehouse Interior Mockup
      Norwich Smokehouse Interior After

       

       

      Normal service had been resumed

      With a stop gap menu used for a soft launch we were back on the case producing the menu for Andy. With a lot more space to play with we had a bit of fun with the initial designs incorporating with wood theme used in the shop . This spread in the social media content. New menu animations were used to showcase new dishes and tweaks to the launch dishes.

       

       

      Off site support

       

      Expanding the services we supply to Andy we’ve now added EPOS programming. The system Norwich Smokehouse have gone for is powerful but not the easiest to populate so we stepped up to the plate (forgive the pun) and took on the editing and additions to the growing menu. When the restaurant was getting ready to open, doors were open and all the trades were in and out so it wasn’t the warmest work places. So harnessing the power of remote access through TeamViewer we could make all the changes we needed in the comfort and warmth of our studio. 

      Norwich Smokehouse EPOS

      Your van made perfect

      Make Your Van Perfect

      Your van made perfect

      Proof the social media is a great marketing tool was our latest 3D project. Eastbourne… yes Eastbourne based plant supplier Athelas Plants got in touch after seeing our 3D Van wrap for MN Landscapes. Our Pinterest post detailing the 3D project to create a set on images that looked like the sides and rear had been removed from the vehicle caught Matts eye.

      Athelas Plants are not strangers to the world of 3D as suppliers to the BBC programme “Your Garden Made Perfect”  suppling plants for a number of episodes.  Not having their van at the start of the project we went on the hunt for good images of the van to start modelling  the basic shell of of the project.

      Athelas Plants Van 3D Wrap Concept

      Working with what imagery we could source and the 3D van internals created we could set about adding the the plants. Firstly we got wish list of plants Matt wanted to see on the back on the van.  To keep the budget as low as we could 3D libraries were used to get some of the plants. 

      Athelas Plants Van 3D Wrap With Plants

      The feedback came in proving we’re designers not horticulturists. With the house plants removed and the focus turn entirely towards the plants and not fancy pots. Slowly the van started to fill the some exotic plants and terracotta pots and of course we had to slip the COG media 3D logo in somewhere. With more flowers creeping in the scene was becoming more and more colourful. Next the statement trees were added with sticking yellows and reds… The scene was close to being finished. 

      Finally with the all the pots and planets placed and fine tuned to fit round wheel arches and fixtures and fittings we could turn our attention to the rear doors. A new thing to think about was the large framework around each door and the join in the middle. It was soon very clear that our big and clear sign that worked perfectly for the sides would not work for the rear of the van.

      Athelas Plants 3D Van Rear Doors Concept Mockup

      With a new layout worked on and a square version of the sign dropped in it was time for the renders to start. It was the first major job for our new render machine. An intel i9 wit 32 threads at our disposal they were all pushed to the limit with over 8 million polygons in the project. With lot of the surfaces were reflective and different levels of opacity it was clear that this would not be an over night render. With the first render set off and one crash under its belt a new approach was necessary.  Splitting the render into sections was the answer. 

      Athelas Plants 3D Render Times

      Need a 3d something designed

      COG media can help you get your thingamy bob designed and animated and rendered.  Contact our web design team today and get our offer on website hosting! 


        Christmas comes early for COG media

        Galton Blackiston and Godwick Turkeys Video Shoot

        “Evening Martyn… What are you up to tomorrow morning…” That was the call that made Christmas come early for COG media. One of the marketing companies we work closely will had a rush job for us. Firstly the brief was to film local chef Galton Blackiston at his home preparing and cooking a Christmas lunch from scratch.  Rob from Godwick Turkeys called on Galton to give tips and tricks of the trade for a perfect Christmas lunch… Hopefully with out all the stress. After a bit of juggling and kit prep we were ready for the task in hand.

        Galton took us from unboxing of a Godwick Turkey through prepping the bird to getting it into the oven. While the Turkey was cooking away we moved to filming the accompaniments and stuffing. Watching Galton make his stuffing with some simple and tasty ingredients inspired me to try it out this Christmas. Watch the video and have ago yourself.

        With the kitchen filling with some amazing smells mouths were soon watering with the promise of tasting the final results. Eventually the Turkey, stuffing and veg all ready Galton, Rob and our team sat down for a Christmas lunch in November… and very tasty it was to0!

        eSports players Photoshoot for SAF Team

        SAF EA Sports Players Norwich Photo Shoot
        There’s nothing like a last minute job and the eSports players photoshoot for newly rebranded SAF.gg was certainly that. With 48hrs to sort locations and get everyone in the same room at the same time was a big ask. Working with GH Photography a studio space and lighting was inplace and a hand full of lifestyle locations were scouted. Both eSports players were pretty much on time and soon the profile and supporting photos were underway. Firstly pulling the best from the team mates, swag and winning poses were worked to out and in the bag. Sporting SAF official merchandise and team shirts SAF MD Callum was pleased as his two young players relaxed in front of the camera.

        Outdoor Lifestyle Photo Shoot

        With all the play profiles sorted to EA Sports guidelines it was on to the lifestyle part of the shoot. Working the the tight deadline and player availability meant an evening shot was the only option. Just to throw a spanner in the works the perfect weather took a turn literally as we were leaning the studio. But rain did not stop play. With flashes and lights all in their rain proof covers we hit Norwich fully prepared. Urban and architecturally impressive locations were selected and the boys embraced the task at hand. In addition the rain added to the drama of some of the location and if anything added to the look and feel of the final images. With Callum happy with the evenings shoot it was back to the studio and time to process the selected photographs. Working late into the night and early the next morning the final photos were all processed and sent off to the client so they could fire them over to EA… All head of the deadline.  

        So you want a web site designed

        COG media can help you get your company web site designed and start promoting to the world. Contact our web design team today and get our offer on website hosting!