If you are a Facebook user, you will know how a link will be previewed when you add it to your own status. Similar to these Facebook link previews, content cards use Open Graph meta tags to grab the title, description, as well as associated image about the link you have inserted into a WordPress post.
Generally speaking, these content cards can enrich the ordinary web links efficiently, granting them with some SEO-friendly attachments. Therefore, it will to some extent be helpful for you to add WordPress links as content cards by referring to this step-by-step guide.
Install the Content Cards Plugin
To walk you through the whole process, we have selected the plugin named as Content Cards from the WordPress plugin directory. Being lightweight, this plugin can help you embed any web link as a beautiful content card in WordPress.
Before using it, the first thing you need to do is logging in your admin area. Then, navigate to the “Plugins” > “Add New” item on the sidebar menu of your dashboard, search for the plugin, and download it to the WordPress site of your own.
Change the Plugin Settings
Once you have initialized the plugin, hover your mouse to the “Settings” option on the dashboard and click the “Content Cards” item in the menu that it opens up to enter the plugin settings page.
As the screen capture below presents, there are multiple options available for you to define how the plugin will work on your site. Since the option “oEmbed White List” is bound up with the inserting of content cards, we will detail its configuration in the next step.
When it comes to the other options, we have made the following list to provide some guidance as well as suggestions for brevity purpose. You can check them one by one in a careful manner.
- Snippet Skin – Currently, the plugin provides two default skins, including “Default” and “Default Dark”. Since both skins can offer a minimal structural styling, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Also, you can make some customization by overwriting the skin templates.
- Link Target – If you want to open the links in a new tab, tick the target box. If not, simply leave it blank.
- Update Interval – This option is provided to define how often the plugin will check for the changes in your site’s Open Graph data to update the content cards. Now you can set the frequency as “Hourly”, “Every 2 Hours”, “Every 6 Hours”, “Daily”, and “Twice Daily”.
- Placeholder Image – In normal cases, the plugin uses the searched image related to the link you’ve added as the featured image of the content card. For those links having no Open Graph datum, you can upload a placeholder image here for the plugin to use in content cards.
- Cache Images – By default, the feature image of a content card is displayed directly from the link you have shared and it not saved on your WordPress site. By checking this option, you can cache the image to your media library.
- Word Limit – The static word limit option is offered to size the length of the words that you want to display on a content card. Change it to a high or low value by your own needs.
After you are done with all the settings above, remember to click the “Save Changes” button right on the page footer to make the plugin work in the way you like.
Add Content Cards to WordPress Posts
Having changed the plugin settings, now, let’s move to see how to add contents cards in the coming sections. At present, the plugin provides a total of two ways to achieve this, namely, shortcode and oEmbed.
Firstly, you can add a content card to the post contents by inserting a shortcode like [contentcards url=”http://whatswp.com”]. The shortcode, as you can see, contains the link to the site or article that you want to show with a content card. Also, the plugin allows you to insert the shortcode via a button labeled as “CC” in the visual editor’s toolbar of WordPress.
Secondly, as we’ve mentioned before, there is an option named as “oEmbed White List” in the plugin settings page. In this section, displayed as below, you can paste the domain name of a particular website that you frequently add content cards to.
By white-listing the website (s), you can save yourself a lot of work because you only need to embed a plaintext link in the post editing page and the plugin will automatically replace it with a beautifully formed content card.
To sum up, the two ways mentioned above can help you add content cards to your WordPress site in a simple and fast manner. Therefore, you can choose the one based on your actual preferences and needs. After that, you can visit your site to see the content cards in action like the following example.