Making SlideShare Shine in WordPress
When you have a website, being social is kind of mandatory nowadays. Social media rules all and if you haven’t started tweeting, liking, and pinning yet, you’re well behind the curve.
An underutilized social resource is SlideShare, a site dedicated to allowing users to create compelling slideshows with just a few clicks that can then be shared across the Internet with ease. It’s a really useful tool, especially for those in industries who find themselves needing to explain complicated subjects over and over again.
Today I’m going to talk about how to best utilize SlideShare slideshows on your WordPress site. I’ll touch on the manual approach but the primary focus here will be on the various plugins you can use to accomplish the task.
Adding SlideShare presentations to your site is actually very easy to accomplish manually. This is all thanks to the fact that SlideShare had the forethought to create a WordPress-specific embed shortcode.
With just one line of code, you can embed a fully-functional SlideShare presentation viewer that looks great in your posts and can be utilized directly on your social networks and even in email. We actually have a post about the manual embedding process, so you might want to check that out when you get a chance.
Embedding Slideshows with Plugins
There are quite a few plugins you can use to embed slideshows directly into your site. While there is some functionality overlap here, you’ll find that many of these plugins offer unique features that might be worth exploring individually.
Yoast has a long-running reputation of creating solid plugins, which is why I had to include the company’s SlideShare for WordPress by Yoast plugin on this list. It makes it super simple to embed SlideShare presentations into your posts and pages, with minimal fuss required.
It works by utilizing oEmbed, which allows you to paste the URL of your presentation on its own line within a post and it’ll appear embedded once published. It also includes an embed shortcode for added convenience. It doesn’t get much simpler than this.
Now this plugin kind of sidesteps your need for SlideShare altogether but it’s still totally relevant in my opinion because it lets you create and host presentations on your own site to share in any way you wish. HTML5 Slideshow Presentations includes a presentation template that’s based on html5slides and is best used on the latest browser incarnations.
There are several different slide types included in this plugin. Include a title or don’t. Add segue slides. Add animated child elements, and so forth. You pretty much have total flexibility here. Several layout options are also available. Select from widescreen, faux widescreen, or standard. You can also opt to include a logo on the bottom right of the slide if you want.
Presenting your slideshow is just as easy as creating it. All you need to do is create a dedicated page for it in WordPress then select the presentation from a drop down menu the plugin adds in your post editor. You can use keyboard shortcuts for flipping through the presentation and of course you can enable social sharing to expand your content’s reach.
Creating media files like slideshows can take a lot of time. It makes sense then why some would want to monetize the effort. The Sell Media File plugin allows you to quickly and conveniently add a “Buy” button next to each media file you embed into your posts and pages.
Setup is relatively painless. You just need to input some pertinent details about yourself including your PayPal email, currency code, default price for each item, button text or image, and the URL you want customers to be directed to following a purchase.
Once you’re done with that, you just use the provided shortcode to include the Buy button along with your embedded media file. It works with SlideShare, of course, but many other sites as well like YouTube, DailyMotion, Instagram, Photobucket, and Vimeo so you have plenty of options for making moolah.
This is another plugin that allows you to sidestep the use of large scale social sites and instead keep all of the focus (and traffic) on yours. It effectively makes the content hosted on your site social.
It works by adding SEO notes to each bit of content or media you place onto your site. So each presentation slide can be SEO optimized for the greatest organic search impact. It also allows you to embed your content directly on your site and provides site visitors with the ability to point every backlink straight back to your content—not to third party social sites.
Additionally, seoslides allows for social sharing from within the embedded content.
A paid version of this plugin is available as well. The Pro license gets you even more features including slide management, a Canvas-based slide editor, free art and resources, unlimited embeds at seoslid.es, branding control, the ability to embed presentations in places other than your website, and priority support from the seoslides team. It’ll set you back $200 for a yearly subscription but you may find it worth it if presentations are a vital component of your online presence.
If you want to add a bit more style to your embedded SlideShare presentations, you can do so with the Toggle Media plugin. It works by adding animations to your content so that once clicked, your text or image opens up with an animated toggle effect.
To make everything work as it should, you just need to customize the provided shortcode to enable the toggle effect on the appropriate element of the content. Toggle Media works with all sorts of media services including SlideShare, SoundCloud, Flickr, Imgur, SmugMug, and WordPress.tv. Again, it’s a plugin that keeps your options open.
If you want a quick way to use responsive iframe embeds on your site, Iframely Responsive Embeds is a good plugin choice to consider. It works with over 1,500 sites, which means you don’t have to go hunting down the embed codes for content—you can just insert the URL to that content and be done with it. It’ll automatically detect these URLs and change them to the embed codes.
It works just like oEmbeds but has the added benefit of producing embedded content that’s responsive most of the time. That means it’ll resize depending on the size of the viewport in your browser window. You need to be using a responsive theme for this to be truly effective, however.
Iframely currently works with sites like SlideShare, Storify, YouTube, Google+, and Facebook. And you can use it in a number of ways. You can set up the plugin to detect links that you manually shorten through iframe.ly only. Or you can let the plugin detect every link that you post on its own line within the [iframely] short code to be read as embeddable.
Note: If you post a link on its own link without the Iframely shortcode, it will be read by oEmbeds and processed in the default manner WordPress handles media embedding.
If you want to expand the social reach of your BuddyPress presence, you can easily do so with the Bebop plugin. Once installed, this plugin allows you to connect your BuddyPress profile with social sites like SlideShare, YouTube, and Vimeo for easy embedding.
It’s basically a tool for those who like to curate or aggregate content. It helps to automate the process by taking content from these social sites and integrating them directly into your BuddyPress timeline. You can even pull over the RSS feed from your WordPress site if you want.
Now, just because Bebop helps to automate content curation doesn’t mean you don’t have any control over the process. Quite the contrary. You can be very selective as to what content does or doesn’t appear in your activity stream. Which is good if you want to custom tailor the content you aggregate for a specific audience.
And here’s a nifty fact for you: Bebop was developed by the a JISC-funded Open Educational Resources project at the University of Lincoln and is currently used there to help staff and students curate content on their personal BuddyPress profiles. Nifty, huh?
A premium plugin you might want to check out is PopupPress. It works by letting you create and insert content in a popup window without detracting from the overall design and look of your site.
You can put just about any type of content in these popups to solicit engagement from your visitors. For instance, you can embed standard text, images, a gallery, video or audio files, or PDFs. Plus, you can embed content from media sites like SlideShare. The popups themselves can be used to display a wide number of things from advertisements to contact forms to alerts to product images.
As a SlideShare user, you might want to embed a slideshow about a particular product you’re selling that offers more in-depth information. This can be really effective at attracting user attention and potentially increasing conversions.
Other features of PopupPress include a slider and a lightbox. It also has multiple execution methods. So, the popup can be triggered by a click, mouseover, on page load, or when leaving the site. It includes a basic stats system too for keeping tabs on the number of views your popups have received, too.
You can expect to pay $17 for a regular license of PopupPress and $85 for the extended license.
The last plugin I’ll talk about here today is another premium offering that makes embedding content from a multitude of sources a snap. It’s called Content Embedding jQuery Plugin and it works by adding a simple media widget to your WordPress site for embedding from several sites.
Supported services include SlideShare, of course, along with YouTube, DailyMotion, Metacafe, Scribd, Vimeo, and others. If you paste a URL into your post or page from a supported service, this plugin will detect it and automatically replace the URL with the embed link. As you can imagine, this can be a real timesaver since you don’t have to go searching for those embed links anymore.
This simple plugin costs $8 for the regular license and $40 for the extended license.
Adding SlideShare slideshows into your WordPress posts or pages isn’t all that complicated, especially when you have the right tools on hand. Most of the above plugins work with multiple media services but most importantly, they all allow you to embed slideshows wherever you want on your site with minimal fuss.
Now I’m curious: do you use any of these plugins in your daily site operations? If you’re an avid SlideShare user, what’s your preferred method for embedding your presentations? Is there a plugin you love that I missed here? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments.
Image source: Sylvain Kalache.
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