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This installment of Start with a Theme shows how to set up a video blog using WordPress and three different free themes that result in three different looks for your site. Series author Morten Rand-Hendriksen explains how to get up and running quickly with Twenty Twelve, Origami, and Sundance, and reviews the benefits and drawbacks of all three themes as they apply to video content in particular. Learn how to add video from services such as YouTube and Vimeo, enhance the visibility of your posts, add a video slider, and more.
The true power of Sundance as a video blog theme lies in a hidden feature on the front page. If you set up your post correctly, you'll get a cool video slider on the top of the front page that allows the visitor to cycle through the videos you choose to display. Let's see how that works. Right now on the front page, there is no video slider, but we can activate it by just changing some settings. So I'll go to my Dashboard and to my post. And now I want this first post here to appear in the video slider.
To do that, I need to go into the post and then I need to change some settings. First, I want to change the Post Format to Video. Then I need to make these posts sticky. I do that by going to Visibility, click Edit, and then select Stick this post to the front page. Now when I Update the post, you'll see that when reload my front page, the post appears here at the top. We have the video and then some of the texts and the More Tag, and we'll also have the title of the video with a link directly to that post and some text on the side here.
Now that we see what it looks like, we can start experimenting with it. For example, this text here on the right-hand side under the title is actually the excerpt of the post. So if I go back to the post and go to Screen Options and select Excerpt, I can scroll down and change the excerpt for the post. You'll notice that the excerpt text is different from the main text, and it can be. When I update the post and reload my page, you'll see that now the video displays with the content underneath and then the excerpt displays here on the side.
Now this excerpt will only display here on the side and also when you share the post out on the Internet. So it's a way of controlling the message that's being sent out. The final thing you need to notice is that, yes, the text appears underneath the video, that's because the way this slider works is it just grabs the content of the post and displays it here. So if I were to go in to the post, go to the text section and remove the More Tag and Update it and then reload the page, you'll see that the video slider will appear with all the text underneath, and that does not look good.
So when we're using Sundance, you have to move your More Tag. If you have text in your post, you need to move the More Tag to directly under the link to your video, update the post, and now when you reload it, you get the video with a nice more link underneath it, and then you get the title for the post and the excerpt. You'll also notice that the video because it's in the slider no longer appears here in the list underneath.
And if I add more videos to it, so I'll go back to All Posts, and this time I'll use the Quick Edit to do it I'll add the next video here, I can go and Make the post sticky, and I'll change the Post Format to Video and click Update. I can reload the front page, and now we have two videos, meaning you can see that there are two videos down here. You can navigate between them, and you can also use these arrows to navigate between the two videos.
This slider takes as many as ten videos and they're posted based on date, meaning as you add more videos, the older ones will fall out on the back end. If you don't want to display a video any more, all you have to do is uncheck the sticky option. So let's say I don't want the first video to appear, I can go to Quick Edit, uncheck the Make this post sticky option and update the post, and then I'll add a couple of other videos instead. So I'll check these four videos, go to Edit under Bulk Actions, click Apply, and then set the format to Video and set Sticky to Sticky, click Update, reload the front page, and now we have five videos.
We can navigate between them, and when you scroll down you see that that post An Introduction to Adobe Creative Cloud appears at the top, because it's no longer sticky. Now you see why Sundance is called Sundance. It's a theme build for video blogs, and it puts the videos front and center right where they should be.
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