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Help! Speaking of Finding Photos Do You Have a Search Box?

On your website, that is! And is it usable? Can anyone find anything on your site?

Becky B is coming up with her new squares challenge on April 1st – NO FOOLING! One of my friends, the Eternal Traveler, is already gearing up for the new challenge – BRIGHT. Step One – find the picture! YIKES!

Let’s see, what did I call it? Where did I put it?

sunset wheat harvest Elderwood 
Sunset beauty

My question is how do you find photos that might already work? Or better yet, how do OTHER PEOPLE find YOUR entries into Becky’s challenge (or anyone else’s, for that matter)?

Do you have a search box widget on your home page? On every page? On the back page where all your posts are listed? On your media files?

How do you use categories? When I first started blogging one of those email super blogger types that no one has ever heard of told me I had too many categories. So I spent hours deciding which ones to eliminate. Now. I’m back to using a lot of categories. What do you do?


Help Lisa and me write my next post. Leave your comments in the box!

If you want blogging tips on several subjects you can search my search box. Also check out this great post I found by searching on Hugh Robert’s blog about Reblogging.

91 replies »

    • I hear you, Lisa. Those are my two best folders. I have a folder for each year, then month inside of that, I have my WP folder mostly for photo challenges right now, one for each challenge and within that, each week (or however often they run.) It has helped me immensely!


  1. Your Search Bar worked – I typed in Woodlake Rose Garden and it popped right up. Great Before photos of your area. I need to send you photos of what it looks like now. I pulled Johnson Grass out from around your roses yesterday – We are making progress. Thanks so much for what you started!!! We miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sally. I can’t wait to see it. We leased a car yesterday so Vince could have one and so we can more safely transport our ebikes. I may drive out by myself now in April. I can’t wait to see the roses. Can you let me know as soon as you think they are in full bloom. I am so anxious to come see them! ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Great topic. I have issues with finding photographs as well. I’m better at it with Lightroom’s amazing catalog that allows me to integrate information with file structure naming.
    Unfortunately, I’m not careful about naming my photos when posting them, so it’s hard for me to find and reuse a particular photo, often I end up uploading the same photo for a blog post when I am sure I used the photo before.

    On searching and categories, I’m a lot more organized. For my readers, I have the Search tool right up front in the right margin near the top. As a travel blogger, mostly United States, it is easy to catalog by state or country name. I also have some photography categories referenced since a geographic region may not be appropriate for the specific post topic. I also use tags for specific terms in the text when appropriate. Finally, I have a category called “But I Digress…” where I put everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great post, and the discussion afterwards so very helpful. Brilliant – thank you so much for following this up. I would like my search button to be at the top as well as bottom, but can’t seem to do that with current theme easily. However I am now thinking of adding the widget again to side menu so it is at top.

    and you are so right on categories. I find them so useful for creating menus, but whilst like Jo I do have a category list visible, the fact categories and tags are at the end of every post does help ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. I have a search box at the top of every page, next to the menu. I don’t think I ever use it myself so it will be for others to say how useful it is ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe when I’ve been blogging much longer I will find it helpful. I do use categories, which I sub-divide as follows:
    Destinations (organised by continent / country / and sometimes broken down further)
    Themes, including landscape, eco-tourism, food & drink, wildlife (again sometimes broken down further e.g. wildlife has a sub-category of birds)
    Photography, with sub-divisions of different styles of gallery (by place or by theme) and all the photography challenges listed separately so fellow-bloggers can, I hope, find them

    Whenever I create a new category I also add it to my menu, so I don’t also put them in my sidebar but I do have a tag cloud there. I did a very small and informal survey among Facebook friends who blog, as I was considering getting rid of the sidebar, but the feedback seemed to be that people do use them to navigate the site. I’m in two minds however and will be interested if your posts trigger a pros and cons debate on sidebars!

    When I want to find things myself I do it one of two ways. If I’m looking for a complete post I use my own menu as I usually know how I will have categorised it. However as I add more posts and each category has more within it, that will become cumbersome I guess. I may start to use my search box then! If I’m looking for a photo I use the search function within the media library. I try to make sure that I give each photo a title that will facilitate this – for instance, I always include the place name in the title even if I don’t want it in the caption.

    As to the number of categories, the advice I read is that you shouldn’t have more than 15 categories and tags in total as WP tends associate large numbers of both with spammers and won’t include the post in Reader searches etc. I have no idea if that’s correct but for the present it’s advice I follow ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • By the way, I see that someone else has included a screen shot of their menu, which is interesting. I would do the same but I’ve never been able to work out how to include an image in a comment on WP!!


          • Sarah, so many things don’t work as seamlessly on a self-hosted blog that you come to appreciate in a blog. Not that dot com is perfect because they constantly make changes and improvements that the users don’t always find helpful. In a self hosted blog, the improvements come mostly from plug-ins, which you have to keep updating when you get a notification. If you don’t things quit functioning correctly because the company that created the plug-in makes the old version unfunctional. After a while, your entire website can freeze up because the plug-ins don’t work. I didn’t find that the host services changed things so radically. As long as you update your plug-ins constantly, your blog should function well. is both – the functionality of all your plug-ins and the hosting service. But you give up some autonomy and choice. I liked the functionality of JetPack from, You can keep that software, but it doesn’t work as well. I hope this helps.

            Liked by 1 person

          • So is this blog a dot. com Marsha? I always understood that if you were on WordPress. com your url would have to include that? Yours is fully customised. And I read so many articles when starting that all said go with .org for its superior functionality, as did several friends. Would you say the opposite is true???

            Liked by 1 person

          • I pay $99 per year for the Premium service through which takes out the in your address. You can pay more and run a full business through dot com. I don’t need that. But this is MUCH easier than dot org for me. For someone who is a technology whiz and enjoys experimenting with different plug-ins, I guess dot org might have advantages, but I constantly needed help from a web designer to answer blogging questions in addition to technology help from the hosting service. It was a nightmare and much more expensive. I just wanted to have fun blogging.


        • This is cool. I’m on my way out in a few minutes, but I definitely want to check this out. Maybe we could create an index page of all our blogging tips to post as a page, kind of like Cee does with her Love of Challenges pages. Just a thought. There are several people writing tips, and we could integrate the best of those posts.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s a nice thought, but since WordPress is constantly changing its platform, many of the posts soon become out of date. It would mean having to constantly update posts (which I’m slowly in the process of doing). I’ve had one big change by WordPress on my blog this week, which I thought was just a trial, but it’s here to stay.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, I was referring to the new navigation centre that is being rolled out to all WordPress users. It doesn’t have a WP-Admin button, but I’m finding it a lot easier to use. I talked to WordPress yesterday about it because there are a couple of things missing from it (such as no longer being able to mark comments as not spam). They’ve also removed the link to the old Classic editor on the Posts page, although I’ve been using the block editor for a few years now, so that doesn’t affect me.

            Here’s what they told me –

            Liked by 1 person

    • ooh are they saying 15 in total for both tags and categories – yikes. I have way more than 15 because of the tags! I thought that only related to categories – off to research

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re correct in what you say about tags and categories, Toonsarah. This is what WordPress say about both –

      You can add as many tags as you like to a post. However, the Reader will filter out posts using more than 15 tags and categories (combined) as an anti-spam measure.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carol do you put the hashtag in the body of the post, in the title, in the tags, in categories, or in the alt text, all of the above, none of them. ? There are potentially tons of places to include it. Any or all would be helpful. Thanks for helpful tip, Carol. ๐Ÿ™‚


        • Thanks, Carol. Good input. I know hashtags make a difference. I wonder how all that works. I guess it’s like electricity. As long as we know how to flip the switch to turn on the lights we’re good, right? Hashtags galore. The more the merrier. Hugh suggested that we put them in the title as well. I’m going off to bed now. Hope you are off to a great start to a wonderful week. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I just moved my search box to the top of my pages. It still appears at the bottom of my home page which I can’t change because of my theme. All other pages, including my blog page, the search is at the top of my sidebar. For instance, I sometimes want to put a link into a new post from a past post because something triggers a subject. I want to reference that past blog for any new followers who haven’t seen it (if they choose to click on the link).

    I begin my search outside of WP via a new tab in Chrome. I go to my blog and search my own blog. It is easy to put the topic or keyword into search. It will bring up all posts from newest to oldest for that search. I can then go through until I find the post, click on the post and copy the URL, paste it into the link for the new post.

    I now have an old post get new attention. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • You get an A+ on your whole website. It is so easy to search on your website. I go there at least three or four times a week even if I don’t check in because I’m looking for information on one of your challenge topics or something else on For the Love of Challenges. Very easy to find things!


  6. I use categories but the idea of a search widget is new to me.I will have to look into that. To search my photos in media I click on My Site then select WP Admin then Media and put in the date . I usually have an idea of when I used the photos and it is much , much faster than scrolling down through years of photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Search function is so useful, many themes seem to add it automatically for you in your menus or footers, but if not do look to add one if you have side-menus and footers. So useful ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh help! You know I’m rubbish at this ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ’• I used to use Categories but when I changed to a paying site I lost my sidebar. Or should I say I coveted the space more and eliminated it, along with footers. I do have a search on the front page just under the Header but I doubt anyone uses it. Hopeless! Don’t take any tips from me ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so funny, Jo. I think the one at the top is fine. Even if your categories don’t show on your page (which I think is way to much busyness) the function still works when someone searches on your site. You might be surprised at what people look at on your site. So one question, do you still have and pay for it, or and have an outside service like Bluehost or Go Daddy or some service like that?


  8. Hi Marsha, I have a photography category on my blog, which has 5 sub-categories – Daily Squares, Lens Artist Photo challenge, Wordless Wednesday, Sunday Stills, and Thursday Doors. So if anybody wanted to look at my Daily Squares posts, they would choose that category to see a list of posts. Here’s a screenshot of the categories I mentioned.

    Yes, I have the search bar widget on my blog, so it shows on every page of my blog because it’s on the widget bar. I recommend that every blogger has a search bar on their blog for several reasons. I’ve written posts about it.

    And yes, categorising your blog posts is vital. I liken blogs not have categorised posts as walking into a library to look for a certain book and finding that none of the books has been put into categories. You have to search the whole library for that book on the six wives of Henry VIII, instead of just looking in the history section for it. How many people would bother?

    When looking for photos for certain challenges, I use the search bar in the WordPress media library to look for suitable photos because I label my photos when I add them to the library. It seems to work well.

    Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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