Knowledgebase:
Managing Messages
Posted by Michelle Mabuti, Last modified by Michelle Mabuti on 13 June 2018 01:14 PM

What is a Message?

Messages are the cornerstone of Series Engine, and the main attraction for users visiting your media pages. Each Message can contain both video and audio content.

Using a church for an example, the staff might post a new Message to a Series every week containing a video version of the Message, an audio recording of the Message, and a video clip of the worship service that's displayed in the "Alternate Media" tab.

Creating a New Message

To create a new Message, navigate to Series Engine > Series Engine. At the top of the page, select "Add New" to the right of the page title.

Use the provided form to input the details of your new Message:

General Information

  • Title (required) - The title of your Message.
  • Speaker (required) - The speaker/author/performer of your Message.
  • Date (required) - The date your message was first publicly available.
  • Description - An optional description of the Message. This will be displayed in the "Details" section of your public Series Engine media browser.
  • Audio URL - The URL to the MP3 file for an audio version of your Message. Depending on your WordPress upload limit (currently 80.00 MB), you may be able to upload the file directly with the WordPress media browser. The same MP3 is used for the Series Engine media browser and any podcasts you create.
  • Video Embed Code - The embed code from Vimeo, YouTube or another video hosting company will go here. Choose a large size for your embeds by default; Series Engine will automatically adjust the size for different devices with its responsive stylesheet.
  • Video URL - If you would like to use a self-hosted video, enter the full file path to a video file here. For best results across a wide range of devices, use .mp4 files. If your PHP upload limit is high enough (set by your web host), you may be able to upload and use video clips from WordPress's native media browser. Note: If both a video embed code and video url are present, the video embed code will be displayed instead of the self-hosted clip.
  • Add to Series - For best results, each Message should be associated with at least one Series. You can learn more about Series here.
  • Primary Series - If a Message is associated with multiple Series, choose the primary one here. In instances where only one Series association in shown (like podcasts), Series Engine will pull in info for the primary Series.
  • Associate with Topics - You can associate your Message with as few or as many Topics as you like. You can read more about Topics here.

Advanced Settings

  • Alternate Date - If your Message was made available at another time or venue, you can list the alternate date here. It will show up beside the original date in the related messages list of the Series Engine media browser.
  • Message Thumbnail - Provide the URL to (or upload) a graphic to be displayed alongside of the audio version of your Messages. This will override any graphic you may have assigned to the Series the Message is associated with. According to your current settings, the graphic should be sized to 1000px wide wide. You can also select the "Series Engine Graphic" Size during the upload process to have the image automatically resized for you.
  • Additional Video - Some users may have an additional video clip that supports the main video media for the Message (think trailers, announcements, supplemental materials, etc). Change this setting to "Yes" to pull in an additional video clip using the settings below.
  • Label - The title of the tab displaying the alternate video clip in the Series Engine media browser.
  • Additional Embed Code - The embed code from Vimeo, YouTube or another video hosting company will go here. Choose a large size for your embeds by default; Series Engine will automatically adjust the size for different devices with its responsive stylesheet.
  • Additional Video URL - If you would like to use a self-hosted video for the additional video clip, enter the full file path to a video file here. For best results across a wide range of devices, use .mp4 files. If your PHP upload limit is high enough (set by your web host), you may be able to upload and use video clips from WordPress's native media browser. Note: If both an additional video embed code and additional video url are present, the additional video embed code will be displayed instead of the self-hosted clip.
  • Permalink Comments - Enable or disable comments on your permalink Message pages. Comments will not appear in other views throughout Series Engine.

Scripture References

Series Engine allows you to attach an unlimited number of scripture references to each Message. If a Message has scripture messsages associated with it, Bible.com links to these references will be visible in the Message's "Details" section in the Series Engine media browser. If a scripture reference is marked as a "focus passage," the reference will also be shown alongside of the Message information in Related Message lists, and the Message will be associated with the chosen Book of the Bible for search in the "Browse Books" search menu.

  • Start Verse - Choose the book of the bible, the chapter, and the starting verse.
  • End Verse - Choose the ending verse. If left the same as the starting verse, your reference will link to just one verse. If different than the starting verse, your reference will link to the chosen passage. Please note that all scripture references must be from the same chapter (it's a limitation of bible.com links!).
  • Translation - Choose from a list of supported Bible translations. Each scripture reference can have a different translation if you wish.
  • Focus Passage? - If a scriptured reference is marked as a "focus passage," the reference will also be shown alongside of the message information in related message lists, and the message will be associated with the chosen book of the bible for search in the "Browse Books" search menu. You can have as many focus passages as you like.
  • Editing, Reordering and Deleting References - Use the sort column to drag-and-drop your scripture references in the desired order. Click on the title of the scripture reference to edit its details. Click the red "Delete" link to permanently remove the scripture reference from the Message.

Podcast Settings

  • Audio Length - The length of the audio message in minutes and seconds. Series Engine will automatically generate this value for you for most MP3s. (ex: 31:22)
  • Audio URL - The URL to the MP3 file for an audio version of your Message. Depending on your WordPress upload limit (currently 80.00 MB), you may be able to upload the file directly with the WordPress media browser. The same MP3 is used for the Series Engine media browser and any podcasts you create.
  • Audio File Size - The length of the MP3 file (specified above) in bytes. Series Engine will automatically generate this value for you for most MP3s. You can also find this by right clicking and choosing "Get Info" on a Mac, or choosing "Properties" in Windows.
  • Video Length - The length of the video message in minutes and seconds. (ex: 31:22)
  • Video URL - The URL to the video file you're supplying for any video podcasts. Since these files are far too large to upload with WordPress, you'll need to manually upload the video file into a publicly available location on your web server. You can find information on formatting your video files on Apple's site.
  • Video File Size - The length of the video file (specified above) in bytes. Series Engine will automatically generate this value for you for most files. You can also find this by right clicking and choosing "Get Info" on a Mac, or choosing "Properties" in Windows.
  • Podcast Image - If you would like a unique image to be displayed with this Message in your podcast feeds (overriding the Series image, if the Message is associated with one), you can provide the image here. Podcast images must be at least 1400x1400 and no greater than 3000x3000.

Attach Link/Download

Series Engine allows you to attach an unlimited number of related links or downloads to each of your Messages (ex: links for event registration, study guide downloads, etc). If a Message has links or downloads associated with it, links to these items will be visible in a new box at the top of the Message's "Details" section in the Series Engine media browser.

  • Name - Give your link/download a title. If you're posting a download, its a good idea to include the file type in parenthesis. Ex: Study Guide (PDF)
  • Link/File URL - Provide a URL for your link or file download. You can also upload files and insert a link using WordPress's file upload tool (depending on your WordPress upload limit). If you need to link to large downloads like audio or video, you'll need to upload the files elsewhere and manually enter the URL.
  • Open File in New Window? - Choose whether you want the file link to open in the same window, or a new one.
  • Featured? - If you would like a file to be displayed in your Related Messages lists throughout the plugin, you can set it as "Featured." Only one file can be featured per message. Featured files will still be displayed alongside of other Message files in the Message "details" section.
  • Editing, Reordering and Deleting Items - Use the sort column to drag-and-drop your links and downloads in the desired order. Click on the name of the link/download to edit its details. Click the red "Delete" link to permanently remove the link/download from the Message (this will NOT delete the file itself from WordPress or another server).

When you're finished, click "Add New Message" at the bottom of the page.

Editing an Existing Message

To edit an existing Message, navigate to Series Engine > Series Engine. Find the title of the Message you would like to edit, and click on it to be taken to the edit screen.

Use the provided form to update the details of your Message:

General Information

  • Title (required) - The title of your Message.
  • Speaker (required) - The speaker/author/performer of your Message.
  • Date (required) - The date your message was first publicly available.
  • Description - An optional description of the Message. This will be displayed in the "Details" section of your public Series Engine media browser.
  • Audio URL - The URL to the MP3 file for an audio version of your Message. Depending on your WordPress upload limit (currently 80.00 MB), you may be able to upload the file directly with the WordPress media browser. The same MP3 is used for the Series Engine media browser and any podcasts you create.
  • Video Embed Code - The embed code from Vimeo, YouTube or another video hosting company will go here. Choose a large size for your embeds by default; Series Engine will automatically adjust the size for different devices with its responsive stylesheet.
  • Video URL - If you would like to use a self-hosted video, enter the full file path to a video file here. For best results across a wide range of devices, use .mp4 files. If your PHP upload limit is high enough (set by your web host), you may be able to upload and use video clips from WordPress's native media browser. Note: If both a video embed code and video url are present, the video embed code will be displayed instead of the self-hosted clip.
  • Add to Series - For best results, each Message should be associated with at least one Series. You can learn more about Series here.
  • Primary Series - If a Message is associated with multiple Series, choose the primary one here. In instances where only one Series association in shown (like podcasts), Series Engine will pull in info for the primary Series.
  • Associate with Topics - You can associate your Message with as few or as many Topics as you like. You can read more about Topics here.

Advanced Settings

  • Alternate Date - If your Message was made available at another time or venue, you can list the alternate date here. It will show up beside the original date in the related messages list of the Series Engine media browser.
  • Message Thumbnail - Provide the URL to (or upload) a graphic to be displayed alongside of the audio version of your Messages. This will override any graphic you may have assigned to the Series the Message is associated with. According to your current settings, the graphic should be sized to 1000px wide wide. You can also select the "Series Engine Graphic" Size during the upload process to have the image automatically resized for you.
  • Additional Video - Some users may have an additional video clip that supports the main video media for the Message (think trailers, announcements, supplemental materials, etc). Change this setting to "Yes" to pull in an additional video clip using the settings below.
  • Label - The title of the tab displaying the alternate video clip in the Series Engine media browser.
  • Alternate Embed Code - The embed code from Vimeo, YouTube or another video hosting company will go here. Choose a large size for your embeds by default; Series Engine will automatically adjust the size for different devices with its responsive stylesheet.
  • Additional Video URL - If you would like to use a self-hosted video for the additional video clip, enter the full file path to a video file here. For best results across a wide range of devices, use .mp4 files. If your PHP upload limit is high enough (set by your web host), you may be able to upload and use video clips from WordPress's native media browser. Note: If both an additional video embed code and additional video url are present, the additional video embed code will be displayed instead of the self-hosted clip.
  • Adjust Permalink - Adjust the way your title appears in the permalink for this Message. If you change the permalink, the previous permalink will stop working immediately.
  • Permalink Comments - Enable or disable comments on your permalink Message pages. Comments will not appear in other views throughout Series Engine.

Scripture References

Series Engine allows you to attach an unlimited number of scripture references to each Message. If a Message has scripture messsages associated with it, Bible.com links to these references will be visible in the Message's "Details" section in the Series Engine media browser. If a scripture reference is marked as a "focus passage," the reference will also be shown alongside of the Message information in Related Message lists, and the Message will be associated with the chosen Book of the Bible for search in the "Browse Books" search menu.

  • Start Verse - Choose the book of the bible, the chapter, and the starting verse.
  • End Verse - Choose the ending verse. If left the same as the starting verse, your reference will link to just one verse. If different than the starting verse, your reference will link to the chosen passage. Please note that all scripture references must be from the same chapter (it's a limitation of bible.com links!).
  • Translation - Choose from a list of supported Bible translations. Each scripture reference can have a different translation if you wish.
  • Focus Passage? - If a scriptured reference is marked as a "focus passage," the reference will also be shown alongside of the message information in related message lists, and the message will be associated with the chosen book of the bible for search in the "Browse Books" search menu. You can have as many focus passages as you like.
  • Editing, Reordering and Deleting References - Use the sort column to drag-and-drop your scripture references in the desired order. Click on the title of the scripture reference to edit its details. Click the red "Delete" link to permanently remove the scripture reference from the Message.

Podcast Settings

  • Audio Length - The length of the audio message in minutes and seconds. Series Engine will automatically generate this value for you for most MP3s. (ex: 31:22)
  • Audio URL - The URL to the MP3 file for an audio version of your Message. Depending on your WordPress upload limit (currently 80.00 MB), you may be able to upload the file directly with the WordPress media browser. The same MP3 is used for the Series Engine media browser and any podcasts you create.
  • Audio File Size - The length of the MP3 file (specified above) in bytes. Series Engine will automatically generate this value for you for most MP3s. You can also find this by right clicking and choosing "Get Info" on a Mac, or choosing "Properties" in Windows.
  • Video Length - The length of the video message in minutes and seconds. (ex: 31:22)
  • Video URL - The URL to the video file you're supplying for any video podcasts. Since these files are far too large to upload with WordPress, you'll need to manually upload the video file into a publicly available location on your web server. You can find information on formatting your video files on Apple's site.
  • Video File Size - The length of the video file (specified above) in bytes. Series Engine will automatically generate this value for you for most files. You can also find this by right clicking and choosing "Get Info" on a Mac, or choosing "Properties" in Windows.
  • Podcast Image - If you would like a unique image to be displayed with this Message in your podcast feeds (overriding the Series image, if the Message is associated with one), you can provide the image here. Podcast images must be at least 1400x1400 and no greater than 3000x3000.

Attach Link/Download

Series Engine allows you to attach an unlimited number of related links or downloads to each of your Messages (ex: links for event registration, study guide downloads, etc). If a Message has links or downloads associated with it, links to these items will be visible in a new box at the top of the Message's "Details" section in the Series Engine media browser.

  • Name - Give your link/download a title. If you're posting a download, its a good idea to include the file type in parenthesis. Ex: Study Guide (PDF)
  • Link/File URL - Provide a URL for your link or file download. You can also upload files and insert a link using WordPress's file upload tool (depending on your WordPress upload limit). If you need to link to large downloads like audio or video, you'll need to upload the files elsewhere and manually enter the URL.
  • Open File in New Window? - Choose whether you want the file link to open in the same window, or a new one.
  • Featured? - If you would like a file to be displayed in your Related Messages lists throughout the plugin, you can set it as "Featured." Only one file can be featured per message. Featured files will still be displayed alongside of other Message files in the Message "details" section.
  • Editing, Reordering and Deleting Items - Use the sort column to drag-and-drop your links and downloads in the desired order. Click on the name of the link/download to edit its details. Click the red "Delete" link to permanently remove the link/download from the Message (this will NOT delete the file itself from WordPress or another server).

When you're finished, click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page.

Tracking Message View Counts

If you have provied self-hosted audio and/or video for your Message, Series Engine will track view counts for each type of media. You'll see the current view count alongside of the Message on the admin Messages page. Hover your mouse over the view count number to view a breakdown of views by media type. Please note: alternate video views are not included in the main view count.

If you host your video files with another provider and use embed codes with Series Engine, please visit your video provider's website for stats.

The stats above also don't include tracking of views from your podcast. If you would like view counts from those sources, considering pairing your Series Engine podcast feeds with a service like Feedburner.

Deleting a Message

To delete a Message, navigate to Series Engine > Series Engine. From this list, find the Message you would like to delete, and click the red "Delete" link on the right side of the row.

Please note: Deleting a Message will not delete the associated Topics or Series, nor will it removed any supporting media you uploaded through WordPress (images, MP3's etc). If you need to remove those files from your WordPress install, you'll need to manually remove them using WordPress's media browser.