1. Can a missionary post letters and photos to LDS Mission Blogs while serving on a mission?
  2. Do I have privileges to make any changes/additions to the blog or am I limited in what I can do?
  3. Can I change the banner at the top of the blog to a custom one I have?
  4. Can I add a hit counter at the bottom of my blog pages?
  5. Is there a limit to the amount of storage space for the blog?
  6. Do you have any suggestions for adding photos to the blog?

1. Can a missionary post letters and photos to LDS Mission Blogs while serving on a mission? Answer:  No.  A parent, friend, or other relative will need to have access in order to update a missionary’s blog.

2. Do I have privileges to make any changes/additions to the blog or am I limited in what I can do? Answer:  Blog owners are limited to writing and managing blog posts and pages, adding photos, adding widgets, and certain blog settings.  Blog owners cannot modify existing themes or the PHP code behind the blog.

3. Can I change the banner at the top of the blog to a custom one I have? Answer:  No, but if you make arrangements with the site admin, he may be able to modify your theme with a custom banner. Use the contact form to contact the site admin.

4. Can I add a hit counter at the bottom of my blog pages? Answer:  Yes.  To add a counter at the bottom of your page, you need to sign up for a free account at http://gostats.com/ Once you have an account set up and are logged into it at gostats.com, go to “My Sites”, then “Get Counter Code”, then click on “Custom”.  Within the Javascript code shown there will be a line something like, “<script type=”text/javascript”>_gos=’c2.gostats.com’;_goa=123456;”  Copy the number after “goa” (this is your site number) and remember the number after “gos=’c#” (c# is the server id).  In the example given the goa number is “123456”, and the gos number is “c2”.  Next login to your ldsmissionblogs site and under “Settings” you will find a menu called “GoStats”, click on this menu and fill in the site id and server id for your site.  Click the “Update Options” button.  You site should now display a counter at the bottom of each of your pages.

5. Is there a limit to the amount of storage space for the blog? Answer:  Blogs are currently limited to 30 Mb.  This means you should make sure to reduce the file sizes of photos you upload to the blog.  It is not necessary to upload large, high resolution photos to the blog.  You can shrink them using the “export” feature of programs like Picasa (a free application from Google), or you can use the feature built into Windows which shrinks photos for emails.  To use this feature you select the photos you want to shrink, right-click on them and choose “send to” -> “mail recipient”. You will then be prompted with the option to “make all my pictures smaller” or “keep the original sizes”, select the first option (usually the default).  You should then have an email window open (either Outlook, Outlook Express, or some other depending on what your default email program is on your computer).  You can then choose to “Save Attachments” under the “File” menu.  Save the photos and make note of where they are saved to, then use these smaller photos to upload to the blog.

6. Do you have any suggestions for adding or displaying photos to the blog? Answer:  For uploading photos I recommend a special plugin called “Gallery”.  This plugin can be activated on your blog by going to the “Plugins” menu and activating the NextGEN Gallery.  Once activated you will see a menu option at the top of your admin page called “Gallery”.  You can use this to upload photos to “galleries”.  To display a gallery in your blog just add the text “gallery=#” enclosed in square brackets [ ] (without the quotes) where # is the gallery number.  The plugin will then display your photos giving the viewer different options to view the photos (like slideshow mode).

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