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How to Easily Add an Image to Your WordPress Sidebar

Adding a Graphic to Your Sidebar Widget

Easily Add An Image to Your Sidebar Widget  We all know that images are extremely important little additions to your WordPress posts, pages and sidebar.  They create interest, allow the eyes to rest in big blocks of content, and generally create visual appeal.

And now with the extreme popularity of Pinterest, images have become even more important, and they are so easy to add to a page or post.

But if you’ve ever tried to figure out how to write the code to add an image to your sidebar, then you know how frustrating  scary this can be. It IS code after all!  And who knows, maybe you’ll take down the whole internet if you get it wrong. Right?

Well here’s a crazy simple way to do it that will leave you smiling all the way to your dashboard.

  1. Create a new post (do not publish)
  2. Change the editor from visual to HTML
  3. Upload a photo into the post
Now look at the code. You’ll notice that it starts with <a href=”http://.  This is the HTML code that will make your image visible in the sidebar.
  1. Copy the complete line of code. 
  2. Drag a text box widget to your sidebar
  3. Paste the code into the text box.
  4. Click “Save”

Now go to the front page of your WordPress site. You should now be able to see the image in your sidebar.

and?before you forget, delete the fake post you just wrote.

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9 WordPress Essentials: Part 2

9 WordPress essentials part 2WordPress Essentials Part 2:

5.  Search

Have a search function 

Having a search function on your site is a great idea. Just like in Google, visitors can use keywords to search within your site for the content they are looking for.

It’s a good idea to have this above the fold (before they have to scroll) for the visitor’s convenience so they can speedily find the content they are interested in.

Some templates have the search field built into the navigation bar and others offer you a sidebar widget.

You can go beyond just the search function and add both archives and category widgets in the sidebar. The archives widget allows your visitor to find posts of interest that are sorted by date. The category widget allows them to search your posts by the categories you write under.

PS  The words that people use to search online are important to know because their keywords have to match the keywords you use on your site.  To learn more about this, get my free report: FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL

6.  Contact information

Have a contact page

The best option for adding your contact information is to have it on its own separate page. You’ll then have a link on the navigation bar and with one click, your visitor will have all of your information (telephone, email, and/or contact form) at their fingertips.

I have also included my toll free phone number in my header (banner) on my site.

7.  Opt in form

Offer a way to keep in touch

This is a very important step as this is how you will keep in touch with your visitors. Have it front and center on your site, before the fold. Offer a valuable gift to those who subscribe. It’s a great way to let your clients and visitors know about your products, services, special offers, and upcoming sales or events.

By the way, Aweber is the best service I’ve used so far. They are more cost effective, they have all the bells and whistles, AND they don’t charge extra to see your stats (how many opens etc).  Check them out for yourself:  AWEBER

8.  Design

Keep it easy on the eyes

The design of your page should support your brand image. But it should also be simple and not distract from your goals or purpose. Sidebars allow for the containment of additional information, and provide a way to have even more information above the fold.

Colors convey a lot of information and your color choice should be a good representation of your (type of) business or the image your are trying to present.

Word of caution:

  • Rotating banners, flashing things, and similar effects should be avoided unless it’s just an affiliate site.
  • Avoid anything that slows down the loading speed of your site. (flash)
  • Avoid using a dark background and light colored font. They are almost impossible to read online

9. Community Building

Interact

Integrate social networking buttons (lots of plugins easily manage this step for you). Let people find you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Use Social Bookmarking plugins as well. These are the little icons you see after a post where people can share your content on any number of bookmarking sites.

Allow for and encourage comments. There are several plugins out there that require people to sign up for accounts and jump through other hoops to leave a comment. I don’t recommend this. Make it as simple as possible for your visitors to interact with you.

When people feel involved or able to contribute they tend to revisit a website.

What are you thoughts? Let us know in a comment.

Get my Free Keyword Research Tool and Tutorial by Clicking Here

I am a proud Aweber affiliate and will receive a commission when  anyone signs up for Aweber by clicking the link provided in this blog post.

Kathleen

Didn’t read part 1?  Click here: http://www.thesavvyva.com/9-wordpress-essentials-part-1/

 

 

WordPress Has Lots to Offer, but it Takes Time to Welcome all of its Intricacies

Caryn Kelly in a yoga pose

This is a guest post by Caryn Kelly.

When I started my blog http://MyYogaMyLife.com,  I didn’t know much about WordPress. I had to inch my way along, learning this and that before I felt really comfortable.  Thanks to my VA, Kathleen Sullivan, I was able to design a blog that both inspired and captured the true essence of what yoga means to me.  And to bring that message to all yogis out there who eventually would trip over my site and hopefully stay for a while.

While I learned about what WordPress could do for me, I faltered a lot on my journey to make my blog the perfect place for women yogis to visit. Before I became totally immersed in WordPress, I didn’t know what a widget was and therefore was afraid to even learn—or to ask for that matter—because I was afraid to feel uninformed. I think I learned what a widget was quite by accident, and I had my first WordPress “ah ha” moment.

Once I learned what widgets were and what I could do with them, boy did I have fun! I started to add and delete affiliate ads to my sidebars as if there was no tomorrow. I could spend hours creating, moving and deleting ads that complimented my site to perfection, hoping for someone to come along, click away, and be moved to purchase a product or a book that I wholeheartedly endorsed.

Today I wanted to advertise my own handmade lavender eye pillows on my blog. I didn’t quite know how to go about customizing a widget so it was really time to learn. With every nerve I had, I Googled how to add an image to a sidebar and proceeded to capture a beautiful photo of my signature eye pillow, playing with sizes until it fit perfectly into the sidebar space that WordPress allows me with the theme that I chose. Then I played some more.

I needed a “buy now” button and a shopping cart, right? Some time ago I downloaded a plugin called WP PayPal Shopping Cart but never really used it. It was just sitting there unused, so today I resurrected it and learned how it operates. Let the fun begin again!

Learning something new and exciting in WordPress was never my forte, but I decided to finally tackle the inevitable. First I created a page to proudly display my product line, adding eye pillow images and buy now buttons and making mistakes as I went along. I persevered, and finally had a page that I was proud of.  Hopefully would-be buyers will feel the same and take a gander at my lovely
lavender creations.

All I have to wait for now is for emails to start flooding in with eye pillow orders! I’ll probably have to wait a while for that, but at least I got the ball rolling and I got the word out.

WordPress has a lot to offer, but it took me some time to welcome all of its intricacies. I admit that I sometimes let my blog go by the wayside due to a full-time job and other freelance writing assignments. Today, when I resurrected my blog and started featuring my eye pillows as a means to make extra income, I became enchanted with the process. I’m sure my ratings will go up a little with the addition of a new page and two new posts that I spent time mastering. I feel newly inspired and ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead so that I can continue to build a fully-functional e-commerce site.

WordPress isn’t just a blog software. It’s much, much more than that. All you need do is learn, believe and trust that what you’re doing is the best for your blog and turn it into whatever your heart desires.

Caryn Kelly has been a legal secretary for over 28 years, and a hatha yoga teacher for the past five years. She enjoys practicing yoga, freelance writing, hiking, cooking and reading. She was born and raised in New Jersey but now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, Brian and her two cats, Tuxedo and Dusty. Visit her blog at http://www.myyogamylife.com.