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ERA404 News Article: CropRefine WordPress Plugin

ERA404 CropRefine WordPress Plugin


Happy 4/04! When an article is published in WordPress, it could likely appear across several of the internal templates, besides just the single post page. For example, you may see "Recent Articles" on the home page sidebar or footer, "Related Articles" at the bottom of other posts, and "Search Results" may show excerpts with thumbnails to help readers to quickly find relevant results. These other applications of featured images not only direct readers to the freshest content, but they also notify search indexers of changes to a WordPress sitemap. This boosts the credibility of the site and its author by showing that the site is maintained and current, and offering cross-links to promote relevance.

Why CropRefine?

When content creators select a featured image for these articles, WordPress’s media manager is suitably adept at uploading the image and preparing several sizes for placement into the various templates. When the theme is built, the designer and developer pre-set these image sizes. WordPress quickly scales each uploaded image to serve only as large of an image as is needed--whether it be a thumbnail in a sidebar or a full-page poster. Typically, you have two options: crop or resize (and sometimes distort) to the new dimensions.

CropRefine: Overcoming WordPress Media Manager's Limitations

But site owners that wished to have greater control have suffered this limitation of the media manager: There was no tool provided to refine how the image was to be cropped.

How It Works

CropRefine Media Manager Button

CropRefine is the latest WordPress plugin byERA404, developed to solve this shortcoming by giving the control back to the more graphically inclined content creator. It extends the native media manager by adding a new button below each uploaded image called "Refine".

CropRefine: Re-Crop

Clicking this button presents a toolbox for reviewing each of the prepared image sizes for that asset, and providing an interface for adjusting each. There are two options, currently: re-crop, and replace.

CropRefine: Re-crop Image

Re-crop allows the site owner to choose which section of the originally uploaded image to be used for that particular image size. If it’s a thumbnail that’s being refined, they are now able to zero-in on the most iconic piece of the larger image, one that best represents the image at a smaller size. Once this crop has been personalized, it will replace all instances of that size image in whichever template it’s used on the site.

CropRefine: Replace

Replace is used when a new crop isn’t personalized enough for that image size, but an author wishes to upload a new image altogether, to be used in its place. In these circumstances, a quick-upload field is provided to replace that image size, but leave the other sizes unchanged.
After all of the sizes have been refined, users can efficiently hover to review the changes that were made. Future releases of the CropRefine plugin will provide an iterative rollback feature, to restore earlier crops and uploads for each image that’s been refined.



ERA404 WordPress Plugins

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ERA404 has been working with WordPress since its beginnings. We recognized this potential not only by tech-savvy contributive network and platform flexibility, but judged purely by prospect inquiry alone. The awareness of WordPress’s ease of use and diverse application has paved the way for it to be the preferred platform for site upgrades and new builds, alike.
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For the last decade, era404 has been developing comprehensive Content Management Systems (CMS) for clients seeking the ability to easily and regularly manage their own site content, without developer intervention or maintenance contracts. Over the past five years, however, our recommendations have leaned more and more toward WordPress, the free, open-source blogging system that has competed against Google’s BloggerSquareSpace andMoveable Type. In fact, era404 even retired our own home-grownera404 CMS product, which couldn’t compete with the thousands of free, user-submitted enhancement plug-ins and templates from the WordPress development community.
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