This Quick Start Guide is aimed at the new user who has just installed the plugin for the first time, and is designed to help you get the plugin up and running as quickly as possible.
90 second configuration starts here…
When first installed, the plugin is pre-configured with default settings designed to get you up and running very quickly. It is suggested that you start with the default Settings, and follow the STEP by STEP instructions below. Once the gallery is working, feel free to dive back into the DCG Settings page to customise the DCG to fit your particular requirements.
STEP 1 – Integrating the DCG in your theme
Before doing anything else you need to integrate the DCG in your theme using either the DCG Widget or the DCG Template Tag.
Assuming your theme has widget areas on your home page, using the DCG Widget is the simplest method to use as no coding is required. Go to Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets and drag the DCG Widget to an appropriate widget area. You can then add a title (optional) and even some “after” text which will display below the DCG.
DCG Template Tag
Alternatively, you can use the template tag in a theme template, like this:
<php dynamic_content_gallery(); ?>
Make sure that you do not place this code within the main Loop or within a WP_Query loop in your template file. This code must be outside of the Loop.
For more information about using the Template Tag, check out this tutorial:
Configuration Guide – How to choose the correct theme template when adding the plugin code.
STEP 2 – Gallery Method
Go to the DCG Settings Page > Gallery Method tab. To keep things simple, go with the default One Category Gallery Method option in the Settings page, as this is the easiest to set up.
Select a category which has posts with Featured images, then select the number of posts to display.
STEP 3 – Save your Settings
Click the Save button, and then check the front end of your site to confirm that the DCG is displaying properly and is rotating through the images.
That’s it! You should now have a functioning DCG on your site. The rest of this Quick Start Guide looks at additional key things you should know, to help you get the best out of the plugin.
Image Management settings
In the Settings page, leave the Image file management settings on Auto. “Auto” means that the plugin will search for the first image attachment in your Posts/Pages, therefore make sure you have attached at least one image to the relevant Posts/Pages.
Bear in mind that the DCG doesn’t resize images. Therefore, your image attachments need to be at the correct size when uploaded.
Add images and descriptions to your Posts
This section is only relevant if you selected Full URL or Partial URL in the Image file management settings. (Those upgrading from an earlier version of the plugin may find the following useful.)
Go to each Post (Dashboard>Posts>Edit>post) and locate the Dynamic Content Gallery Metabox which is displayed in the right-hand column of the Edit screen, and add the Image URL and Description as follows:
Enter the full URL to the image you want to associate with the Post in the Image URL field in the DCG Metabox. See Configuration Guide – How to use the Media Uploader to get the custom field image URLs for an easy way of uploading and finding the images’ full URL.
You can also enter a Description (which is displayed in the gallery’s Slide Pane) here, add an External link (if you want the image to link to somewhere else other than the Post/Page it is associated with), and even Exclude this Post from the gallery (useful if you use the One Category Gallery Method and don’t want a particular recent post to show in the gallery).
The DCG Metabox also allows you to set a Sort Order for the images when using the ID Method for populating the gallery. (The Sort Order option needs to be enabled in the plugin’s Settings page first, before the option will be visible in the DCG Metabox.)
Auto Slide Pane Descriptions
Slide Pane Descriptions can be configured in three ways – Manual, Auto or None. Select the one that suits you best:
- Manual: Enter your own text in the DCG Metabox Slide Pane Description field.
- Auto: Automatically pulls the description from your Post/Page content. The length of the description and the text for the “More” link can be configured in the Settings page.
- None: No text, apart from the Post/Page title, will be displayed in the gallery’s Slide Pane.
Configure the Load Scripts options
Go to the Settings page and configure the Load Scripts options. Your selection here depends on the template file which contains the plugin’s template tag.
See Configuration Guide – How to configure the Load Scripts options for more info.
Assuming you have followed these steps, the gallery should now have a basic configuration and be fully functional. If it isn’t, re-visit the above steps or start again, this time using the Configuration Guide (which contains a much more detailed explanation and description of the various plugin options).
For in-depth information about the plugin’s Settings visit the Documentation page. Additionally, the Configuration Guide takes you through the key configuration Settings in more detail, step-by-step, ideal for learning more about the plugin’s various Settings.