How To

This page contains how-to tips for editors of this site.


We are using the WordPress plugin Smart Slider 3, a professional quality carousel tool that has a lot of options and features. A link to the Smart Slider 3 dashboard can be found on the admin panel. By using this dashboard, we can define any number of carousels (also known as slideshows) which can each contain any number of slides.

Managing Carousels

While the plugin allows us to create multiple carousels, only one is active on the site. This is the front page carousel, which has the title “AG Front April 2018”, and was launched in April 2018 with 5 slides. Any other carousels we create are for test/preview purposes only. The active carousel is embedded directly into our WordPress template using its slideshow ID, which is #2. We can also test new slides using preview mode while editing the active carousel, so there is not necessarily any reason to create other carousels. No changes to the active carousel are made until you hit “Save”. Once you hit “Save” on the active carousel, all changes will be live.

Carousels can be imported and exported, and this is very useful. If you are about to change a carousel but may want to revert it, you can export the current carousel using the export button on the Smart Slider dashboard. This saves a copy that can be easily restored using the import button.

Creating Slides

Smart Slider 3 allows two types of slides: image and HTML.

Image slide: the entire slide is a single image, created with an external graphics program like Photoshop. The entire image is clickable to a single link.

HTML slide: the slide is created within the Smart Slider 3 dashboard using a built-in toolkit that allows images, shapes, colors and text fields to be added to a canvas. An HTML slide can contain any number of links. The whole slide itself is not clickable, but individual elements on the slide are.

For our current site, we are only using image slides for the sake of simplicity. However, we are able to use the HTML slide tool if we ever discover a need. It is possible to mix HTML slides and image slides in a single slideshow.

To create an image slide, use an external graphics program. The image must be exactly 1200×500 pixels (that is, 1200 width, 500 height). To add a slide to the active carousel, select the active carousel in the Smart Slider dashboard and hit “New Slide”. This will allow you to upload an image, which you will notice brings you to the same image upload screen that is used for uploading any other kinds of images.

Once you select an image, click on “Settings” and add the link for the slide clickthrough location. Also, always change “Target” to “Blank” to ensure that the clickthrough link opens in a new tab. (The default target value is “Self”, which will not open in a new tab).

There may be slides that do not have a clickthrough location. This can be accomplished by simply not adding a value to “Link”.

You can manage the order of slides within a carousel by moving slides around within the tool.

Hit “Save” when done and the new slideshow will be live on the front page.

Other Smart Slider features

Because Smart Slider 3 is designed for advanced use, there are many other features we can experiment with. Feel free to experiment, but you may want to create a new carousel in order to do so. There are many Smart Slider 3 documentation pages and videos available to explain all the features.


The “Who Was Allen Ginsberg” content that appears on the front page of the site is a single WordPress Page that can be edited directly. (NOTE: please be aware of the difference between a WordPress Post and a WordPress Page. They appear similar, but a Post will be published to the front page of the site, and therefore will be visible. A Page is “published” but the link doesn’t appear anywhere on the public site. (This instructions page is itself an example of a page. You have to know where it is to find it, and otherwise cannot click to it anywhere on the site).

To edit the “Who Was Allen Ginsberg?” text on the front page, simply navigate to “Pages” on the WordPress dashboard, and then find the page titled “Who Was Allen Ginsberg?”. Edit and save this page as you would any other WordPress content. Since this content has many links, it’s probably a good idea to use “Text” mode rather than “Visual” mode. As soon as you hit save, the changes you entered will be visible on the front page of the site.


“Video of the Week” is also maintained as a Page with title “Video of the Week”. Assuming that you are adding a YouTube link, simply get the embed code from the YouTube video and paste it directly into this page in Text mode, replacing the current embed code.