Tag Archives: WordPress

Embedding Pictures from Google Photos

10/5/17 update: there is a new feature in WordPress that allows you to use your Google Photos. You must jump thru a couple of hoops to make it work. See WordPress and Google Photos

I am creating this post to test the ability of embedding photos that are hosted on Google Photos. You see, back when we had Picasa Web Albums, you could select a photo and then there was an option in the sidebar to “Embed” that photo into another website. As I recall, even back with Picasa Web Albums, I did not use that method. I would use the right-cick / copy image address (or image URL) method that still exists today.  Here is a video on how I used that method to insert photos into Google’s My Maps. 329.Adding Pictures to Custom Maps

Here, in WordPress, I can add a picture from Google Photos by opening the photo with Google Photos, right-click and “Copy Image Address.”  Then in WordPress, click the Add Media button, select Insert from URL, and paste the address. Then I resized it by dragging a corner handle.

Image embedded from Google Photos
Image embedded from Google Photos with .jpg added at end

Unless you’re me, the picture above has disappeared. I still saw it for a while because I am the owner, but apparently after some period of time, the public nature of the embedded code expires and no one else can see it. After more time – overnight – even I can’t see it now.

I am going to try the suggestion posted in this thread by Tenley H. She says to take the code copied above and paste it into a converter at GETeach.com/staticstreet to get a true permalink URL for the photo. Here goes:

Image address from Google Photos, converted by GETeach then used with WordPress Insert from URL
Image address from Google Photos, converted by GETeach then used with WordPress Insert from URL

I notice that, even after conversion, the URL still does not end in .jpg or .png. AND … this is a pain. But, if it works, it’s still better than having to set up another image hosting service.

One more try

Even the picture URL converted by GetEach, expired above and is no longer visible to anyone but me. This try I will do exactly what Tenley specifies – that is to open the picture from Google Drive (not photos) and copy the shareable link. Use Geteach to convert that link to a useable URL, and then embed that here.

Google Drive link converted by geteach.com
Google Drive link converted by geteach.com

Using Microsoft OneDrive Embed code

While I’m at it, I’m going to use a photo uploaded to Microsoft’s Onedrive. Onedrive offers a specific Embed option for photo stored there. View the photo, click the 3-dot menu and choose Embed. Now you select a size (I chose small) and copy the URL code. Then I used the same Insert photo from URL option here in WordPress.

Inserted from OneDrive photos embed code
Inserted from OneDrive photos embed code

Using Google Drive, and Editing the URL

Today I ran across this set of instructions for embedding a Google Photo – via Google Drive. The key seems to be changing public in the url to uc ..?? Makes no sense to me, but here we go:


Using Google Drive Embed code!

Found it! This looks to me like an officially condoned way of embedding a Google Photo into a web page. First make sure your Google Photos are shown in Google Drive – its a setting in Drive – then

  • open the photo and click the 3-dot menu and Sharing – set to Public.
  • 3-dot menu, open photo in new tab
  • 3-dot menu EMBED THIS!
  • This gives you iframe code, just like OneDrive.  YAY!!!

Getting Link from Google Photos

Now I’m going to try the technique outlined in this forum post.



From album that has been shared with Get Link. View single photo. Right-Click copy image address. Edit code at end to specify width and delete remaining.

Getting Photo address from Blogger

I use Blogger for my personal blog (geeksontour.blogspot.com) Since it is a Google Product I can directly get photos from Google Photos. (insert image, from Google Album Archive or from Phone) When it is published, you can then right click on the photo and copy image address, then use that address here. It works. The photo below is taken from this Blogger post. If you wanted to use this method, you would need to make a Blogger blog just to be your host for photos, I think you’d need to make it public too.

Or … I received an email from Scott who adds a little twist to this:

The key is using a Blogger blog to write the post. You see, when you insert photos from Google Photos into Blogger, the photo is given an actual URL that ends in .jpg.

So, you start a new post in Blogger, then when you are finished with it, go to the HTML view and copy everything. You can then discard the Blogger post. Then go to the WordPress blog, start a new post, click on the text view and paste it in.

You now have your images from Google Photos linked to your blog without copying them to your media files. If you change an image, it will show up as changed in your blog.

Thanks Scott!

Save your Blog! Get a Printable Copy

Get your blog printedIt’s important to understand a little bit about how the web works as it affects our personal websites and blogs. Although you see text, pictures, videos, and links all on the same page – behind the scenes, all the pieces can be ‘hosted’ on different servers. Everything on the web is ethereal, one pulled plug or broken server and things can disappear. Images are especially vulnerable. Thru the years, I’ve made blogs and web pages with different systems that have come and gone. Sometimes the text stays, but the images disappear. It’s a fact of web-life. That’s why we make so many backups!

Keep that in mind the next time you look at your blog. How do you have that backed up? If you love your blog, get a printable copy! You don’t want to see red X’s where the pictures should be!

Here’s how I do it. I use Blog2Print.com and get a .pdf file of each year of my blog. All you have to do is give the address of your blog (Blogger, WordPress or other) and list the range of dates you want. There are a couple of options to specify, like photo size and page breaks. That’s it. Click Order, enter your credit card, and you’ll get your .pdf books emailed to you.

I also like them to print a hard cover, 4 color book, but that can cost up to $100 depending on how much content I have in the year. The .pdf file of the same book is a flat $8.95. So I get a .pdf of every year and I get the hardbound books whenever I can. When I see my blog pages in a printable format, complete with text and pictures, I can breathe easy.  My life’s story is safe. Now, even if the entire Internet should crash and burn (I do worry about these things), I could show you the .pdf file instead. For example, here is 2006’s blog book

A .pdf file of one year of our blog

Do it now, before August 1

Realize that a printed book can’t show any videos, or slideshows. For that reason, I always post some regular photos on blog posts where I have videos or slideshows. I’ve been using Blogger for my blog and Picasa Web Albums, now Google Photos as the host for all my pictures. Picasa Web Albums is retiring on August 1. I’m confident (95% ?) that the pictures will still show in my blog. But …. it still seems like a pretty good time to make that backup, don’t ya think?

Blogger and Live Writer

imageGeeks on Tour teaches that Every Traveler Needs a Blog! We teach how to use Google’s Blogger program to write your blog because we think it is by far the easiest, and most reliable system out there. We’ve been keeping our travel blog on Blogger since 2003 and we are still very happy with it. Its main competitor is WordPress. We use WordPress for our entire business website (what you’re looking at right now) and it is a wonderful system, but way more complex than is necessary for a personal travel blog.

Blogger is Online

Blogger.com is entirely web-based, you don’t need any software on your computer in order to use it, just browse to Blogger.com, log in to your Google account and start blogging. Hey! You don’t even need a computer! We were teaching our Technology for Travelers seminar at an RV park last week (Thousand Trails, Peace River) and we spend, at most, 15 minutes on teaching Blogger. After showing this video: Create a Blog in 3 Steps with Blogger #036 *FREE we asked the audience, “How many of you think you can make a blog now?” Everyone in the room raised their hand, and we heard one voice from the back saying, “I just did!” Using her smartphone, and watching the video, she created a brand new blog while she was sitting in the class!  … and that happens often.

Live Writer can be used Offline

What you do need for Blogger is an Internet connection. Lots of people, especially travelers, tell us they want to write a blog post when they are offline and upload it later. The native Blogger.com has no facility for that, but there is a free software from Microsoft, called Live Writer that can. Rather, there was a free program from Microsoft. That program is now obsolete, at least for using it with Blogger blogs. Microsoft decided is was not a priority and they discontinued support and upgrades. So, when Blogger.com changed the way logins work, the Live Writer program no longer works to upload to Blogger. Oh No! Some people depended on Live Writer to the point where they really did not want to use Blogger.com’s native facility for writing their blogs.

Luckily there are some dedicated, volunteer, programmers out there willing to take over the project and Open Live Writer (OLW) was born. It was released on December 9, 2015. You can go to the link to download it. Please notice that Open Live Writer is a project by volunteer programmers, you know what volunteer means right? They’re gluttons for punishment! There have been many problems since it was first released, but it seems to be clearing up. I used the new OLW and consistently got errors trying to publish to my Blogger blog. Today, I uninstalled OLW from my computer, re-downloaded the installation file from http://openlivewriter.org/, installed that and everything is working just great.

Watch these Videos (Premium membership required)

Blogger.com is Good

Open Live Writer is Windows software, so if you have a Mac, it won’t work. There are alternatives (ScribeFire, MarsEdit, Article on Desktop Blog Editors for Mac) but I haven’t used any of them and cannot recommend. Blogger.com can be used directly from any computer, phone or tablet, and Google is updating it all the time. Blogger.com works really well with pictures in Google Photos. I can take a picture with my phone, open Blogger.com on my computer and add the picture to my blog that I just took by using the “Add Image … from Phone” option. SO quick and easy.

It appears that Google is very committed to Blogger, there are important recent updates such as HTTPS support coming to Blogspot, and Highlight the posts that matter the most.

Use them Both!

Bottom line: there is no reason why you can’t use them both. I use Blogger.com when I want to use my Google Photos that are online and not on my computer, I use Open Live Writer when I want to work offline, or I need one of the special features like making tables.

The Way We Learn

For the last year or so, I had been using the native Blogger.com for making my blog posts, so I was blissfully unaware of the problems with Live Writer. Thank you to Sharon DelRosario and her blog, Gypsy and the Mariner, for alerting us to the Open Live Writer launch, and to  Rick Doyle for – all sorts of Tech news and advice, but specifically for getting Sharon’s blog back up and running with Open Live Writer!


To enjoy full access to the Geeks On Tour Library of “How To” Videos for Blogger and other topics including the Weekly Show Notes sign-up for a membership today!

Can I use my Google Photos Pictures in my Blog?

imageIf you’re like me, you are using the amazing capabilities of Google Photos as a home to your lifetime of photos. Also, if you’re like me, you have a blog and you want to add photos to your blog posts. I’ve been getting a lot of people lately asking the question, Can I use my Google Photos pictures in my Blog?

The answer is Yes! But, the process differs depending on what you’re using for your Blog. The most common blogging platforms are Blogger.com and WordPress.com. I’ll cover each of them separately.

Using your Google Photos Pictures in your Blogger Blog

This better be simple! After all, Blogger is also made by Google. Well, even though it is easy, it’s not exactly simple because there are 6 ways that Blogger can insert pictures, and all but the last one involves Google Photos for hosting the picture. When you are creating or editing a post in a Blogger blog, you click the “Insert Image” tool to get a picture.


Then you will see several choices. I almost always use option #3.

  1. Upload: this option gets a picture from your computer (it doesn’t work on mobile devices.) It uploads that picture to a special Web Album just for that Blog. For example, if your blog is My Excellent Adventure, then you will have an album with the title My Excellent Adventure. This album is hidden from view in Google Photos, but is still visible using the Picasa Web Albums interface. www.picasaweb.google.com  When you view that album, you will also see the image Blogger logo, and a link to View Blog.
  2. From this Blog: This refers to the special Web Album for this blog. It contains all the previous pictures used in this blog that were either uploaded from your computer, or copied from your phone. I have never felt the need to add a picture that was already on my blog somewhere else, so I don’t use this option.
  3. **From Picasa Web Albums: This option gets any picture from your Google Photos library that has been collected in an Album. It is misleading that the name is from Picasa Web Albums. It does not need to be an album created by Picasa. An album created strictly with Google Photos will be available here. This is the option I use most often, because the first step in my photo process is deciding which of my photos are the best and putting them into albums. Those albums then become my source of pictures for my blog.
  4. From your phone: This does not mean directly from your phone. This assumes that you have Google Photos installed on your phone and you have the Backup and Sync turned on. If that is the case, then all the pictures you take with your phone are in your Google account, and you can use them in your blog with this option. If you do pick a photo using this option, it will be copied to the special photo album for this blog – so you need not fear it being deleted from your main photo library.
  5. From your webcam: This means to take a picture (or a video) with the camera built into the screen of your laptop. If you use this option, the picture will be stored in the Web Album for your blog.
  6. From a URL: This means that there is a picture somewhere on the Web, maybe even one that does not belong to you, and you want it to show up in your blog. URL stands for “Uniform Resource Locator” – it is simply the Internet address for any given picture. For example, I have a Facebook friend who is a great photographer. If I want to talk about him and put one of his pictures on my Blog, I can go to where he posted a picture in Facebook (he must have posted it publicly, or this won’t work) using Chrome I can right-click and Copy image URL. Now I come back to Blogger, Insert Image, From URL, and paste what you just copied. You should see the picture, then click OK.

Using your Google Photos Pictures in your WordPress Blog

imageWordPress can host your pictures directly, unlike Blogger. When you have a WordPress blog, you have a media library folder. You can use the “Add Media” button and the “Upload Files” to add a picture, from your computer to your media library. But that’s not what we’re covering here. What this article is covering is how to use a picture that is already uploaded to your Google Photos library. WordPress is not owned by Google (WHAT?!) so it doesn’t work directly with Google Photos. There may be plugins that can do this, but that’s another topic.

To insert a picture from Google Photos to a WordPress blog post:

  1. Click the button for “Add Media”
  2. Choose the option to “Insert from URL.” it’s located in the left sidebar
  3. In another Chrome browser tab, visit www.Photos.Google.com click on Collections, then click the down arrow and choose Albums. It is very important that your desired picture be located in an Album, otherwise only you will see it.
  4. Once you’ve found the album, locate the picture and click it so you are seeing just that one picture. Now right-click the picture and choose “Copy Image URL”
  5. Go back to the WordPress tab that you just left and paste the URL. Then click “Insert into post” – it’s a blue button in the lower right corner. When you do this, the picture will show up in your blog post, but it will not be taking up any space in your blog’s server structure. It is just referencing the photo in your Google Photos Library. If the picture should ever get deleted from Google Photos, or moved from the Album it is in, then the picture disappears from your blog post.

Note Aug 2016: this technique no longer works! see this post: embedding photos from Google Photos.

Do you have any other techniques for inserting pictures into Blog posts? Please leave a comment – we’d be happy to hear them.

Geeks on Tour Newsletter, December 2010

Geeks on Tour

2010 in Review

Other than a brief flight to Las Vegas for a software conference, we’ve had a quiet December in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with friends and family.  At this time of year – we like to reflect on the last 12 months.  The easiest way for us is through pictures.  Here is just a small sample of photos showing you our life this year.  Mouse over the slideshow and you will see controls to manually go thru the pictures.  You can click anywhere on the pictures to go to the full-size Picasa Web Album.  And, if you want even more details, you can go to our personal blog and click on the monthly archives.

Wow!  What a year.  We sure hope you had a good one too. 

If you’re interested in learning how to create a slideshow like the one above and embed it in your blog or website, here’s the free video on Embed a Picasa Slideshow in your Blog.  Note: it’s one of our older videos – one thing that has changed is the link on Picasa Web albums is now on the right of the screen rather than the left; click ‘Link to this Album’, then ‘Embed Slideshow.’

2011 is shaping up.  You can see our complete schedule on our website.  Here are our first scheduled appearances for the year:

  • Jan  23-30: Holiday Travel Resort, Leesburg, FL
  • Feb 2-6: FMCA SEA rally, Brooksville, FL
  • Feb 8-10: Florida Grande RV Resort Webster, FL
  • Feb 12: Brevard Geneaological Society, The Great Outdoors, Titusville, FL

Other Articles this past month
So you don’t miss out on anything, here’s a list of other articles we wrote this past month.

Our Technology of the Year for 2010

In looking back over the year, certain computer gadgets and applications stand out.  We don’t pretend to watch the entire industry (and anyone who does must have a team of 100s to help them!) – these are the products that have affected our lives and amazed us this year.

We use our new Droid phones for connecting computers to the InternetDroid

There is no question but that our new cell phones are the most life-changing device to enter our world this year.  We have the original Motorola Droid from Verizon.  They are SOO obsolete now with the Droid X, Droid 2, Droid Incredible, Droid Pro and more all coming out after we got ours. 

You really shouldn’t even call this a cell phone, many call it a ‘Smart Phone.’  I like the term coined by David Pogue – ‘App Phone.’  You see, this is a computer with thousands of applications available.  The fact that it also makes phone calls is truly secondary.  Because the Droid plays music, it replaces our satellite radio; because the Droid has built-in GPS, it replaces our Garmin, because the Droid has a camera and it is always with us, it often replaces our other cameras; because the Droid is a book reader, it replaces our Kindle; because the Droid has unlimited Internet, it replaces a data card for our computers.  The list is seemingly endless.  Our Droids have become so valuable to us that, if we had to choose between our Spouse and our Droid … it might be a close call!

We’ve written several articles on the Droid throughout the year, and we set up a special forum on our website just for Droid.

Gmail and Google Calendar

gmail-cloudsOne of the reasons that our Droids are so valuable to us is that we can read our email and watch our calendars with them.  Because we use Google’s tools, all our email and calendar items are ‘in the clouds.’  Nothing resides solely on any one device.  Gmail collects all our email from a variety of addresses, and Google calendar tracks Jim’s schedule, my schedule, and our business schedule.  This information is synchronized automatically with our laptops, and our Droid phones. 

If I want to add an item to our business calendar, I will see any appointments on Jim’s and my personal calendar.  Once I add that item, if Jim picks up his phone – or computer – or even someone else’s computer, and looks at his calendar, he will see the appointment I just made for us.

As for email, there is no way I can keep up – period!  But, the combination of Gmail and my Droid at least gives me a fighting chance.  While I’m sitting in the Dentist waiting room, or while I’m a passenger and Jim is driving, I can be browsing my inbox on my phone, and deleting any garbage I see.  When I get back to my computer and open my Gmail inbox, I am seeing the exact same inbox as on my phone – the deleted messages are in the trash.  If I need to, I can respond to email on my Droid, but I prefer the computer for that.

Here are some of our articles on Gmail.


wp-logoWordPress is a free website-maker, but it is so much more than that.  You can create anything from a simple blog type of website, to a full-featured business ecommerce site.  WordPress is the Legos of the Website builder world.  You can put together anything you want if you understand how the pieces fit together. 

I started building websites somewhere around 1999, I used Dreamweaver.  I thought maybe I would become a website designer for hire, and I did work with a few clients.  What I didn’t like was the fact that, if the client wanted anything changed, they had to get me to do it.  I believed that clients should be able to make their own changes, but teaching them how was just TOO much.  I’ve tried various techniques, but none were easy.  Until WordPress.  All new websites we’ve made this year have been using the WordPress platform.  Even our Membership Website: www.GeeksOnTour.com, we have re-created at www.GeeksOnTour.com using WordPress.  Right now both sites are active and it is probably a bit confusing, but we are committed to the path of WordPress and eventually the .com site will just forward over to the WordPress-only .TV site.

We *LOVE* WordPress!  And, we’re not alone.  According to Trends, there are approximately 640,000 websites that are built with WordPress.  If you want a website, look no further than WordPress.  We have offered one seminar on WordPress, you can download the WordPress Seminar Handout here.  We are not offering that anymore for two reasons, 1) there is already a LOT of help available for WordPress on the Web and 2) It is still too complex for most travelers’ needs.  We want to keep our focus on the simpler stuff.  The easy and fun software that help travelers plan, preserve and share their travels.  We think Blogger fits that bill much more than WordPress.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) our own websites keep us much too busy to do client work, but the fact that we are now using WordPress means that we can do so much more with our own sites.  Rather than managing our self-programmed membership system, we are now using a WordPress plugin called WishList Member.  There is a large community of businesses that use this plugin, and we can get lots of support and ideas from them.  Expect big things from our website this coming year … thanks to WordPress!

Streets and Trips Megafile

streets-megafileThis item is included in order to show that it’s not always brand-new or grand inventions that make a difference in our lives.  Sometimes it’s an old one that has just improved in a small but oh-so-useful way.  We’ve been using Microsoft’s Streets and Trips software to plan our routes ever since we started living in our RV in 2003.  And, we’ve known for many years about special data files for places like hot springs, wineries, or membership campgrounds.   Until now, finding and loading the information from those data files has just been too cumbersome to make it worthwhile. 

The folks at Microsoft took the time to compile all those data files into one ‘MegaFile’ and added some software features for displaying just the data you want.  Now, rather than taking 10 minutes to find, load, and use a particular data file, the data we want is always available and it just takes one click to show or hide it as we’re traveling down the road.  I credit this megafile with allowing us to find one of the best stops of our entire summer – Saratoga Hot Springs in Wyoming.

Discuss this in our forum.

imageWe’ve added a topic to our Forums specifically to discuss your picks for best technology of 2010.  If you’re a Geeks on Tour paid member, please visit and leave your comments.  Even non-members can view the forum to see what’s going on.


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