In the last post, I talked about using text widgets to add links to services like Tumblr & Overdrive to your website. This time, we’ll see how to use some of the widgets built into Jetpack to add Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to your site. First, you need to make sure that your Jetpack plugin is connected. If you log onto your Dashboard and see this—
—it is not connected. But it’s easy to fix. Just click the Connect Jetpack button. You’ll then go to a screen that allows you to enter your WordPress username and password. This is not the same username and password that you use to access your site. If you don’t already have a WordPress username, you should click Need an Account? and create one. After all that’s done, enter your credentials to connect Jetpack. Once you do, you can go to Appearance—>Widgets and see a much longer list of options.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, weather widgets, and more are all right here. All that you need to do is hover over the widget you want, click on your mouse, and drag the widget over to the right while keeping your mouse button pressed down. If you’ve played Solitaire on a computer, it’s pretty much the same motion you use to move cards around. The animated image below shows you how to move the Facebook widget over. We scroll down to Facebook, click it, drag it, and put it where it needs to go. I chose to put this widget at the top of the list. Once it’s there, a new box opens up that allows me to enter the URL of the Facebook page to which I want to connect.
As always, if something is giving you problems or you can’t find the right widget for what you want to do, please give me a call or send me an email! Thanks for reading!
Widgets are an easy way to alter your website and can link to other places where you might be posting your content, like Facebook or Twitter. Most of the time, there are a few steps involved in using widgets, but it’s generally not that difficult to add them to your page. In many cases, social networks like Tumblr and Pinterest will provide instructions and code for using their widgets (which might also be called “buttons” or “portlets” or “badges”). Let’s look at Tumblr as an example—it’s one of the easiest to use.
This is Tumblr’s “Buttons” page. To generate your button, you simply pick what you want your button to do, then choose your placement and color. A string of code is generated, which you’ll need to highlight and copy. Now go back to your website’s Dashboard and click on Appearance —> Widgets.
You’ll see a long list of options in alphabetical order, but for this widget, you’ll want to scroll down to Text.
Click on Text and you’ll see a list of areas where you can place your widget. Mostly, you’ll want to keep it in the Primary Widget Area. When you click on that, a new Text Widget area will open up on your right side. It looks like this:
I paste the code that I copied earlier into the Content Box, then click Save at the bottom. The end result on my website looks like this:
I now have a Tumblr button on my site and my readers can share my page directly to their Tumblr sites. It’s not a one-step process, but it gets easier with some practice. Prior posts on this blog outline how to create widgets for Overdrive and Overdrive Kids. I’ll cover Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest, which act a bit differently, in the next post. Thanks for reading!
Now that we’re offering a kids-only OverDrive collection you might want to have a link in your sidebar with the relevant graphic. You can do this by adding a new text widget to your sidebar and pasting in the following code:
<img src="http://libraries.ne.gov/projectblog/files/2014/08/Overdrive-Kids-Teens-eReading-Graphic-200x200.jpg" alt="Check out OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks!" />
This will get you the following graphic which when clicked will send patrons over to the OverDrive Kids site where they can check out eBooks and audio books from participating libraries.
If your library uses Pinterest, you now have three new widgets available for including your Pinterest content in your site’s sidebar.
You can find all three of them under Appearance|Widgets.
I’ve received several questions from libraries looking to put a link to OverDrive in their sidebars using an OverDrive graphic. You can do this by adding a new text widget to your sidebar and pasting in the following code:
<img src="http://libraries.ne.gov/projectblog/files/2011/11/OverdriveGraphic.gif" alt="Check out OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks!" />
This will get you the following graphic which when clicked will send patrons over to the OverDrive site where they can check out eBooks and audio books from participating libraries.
A few months ago Schuyler Public Library requested a way to have their patrons get translated versions of the library’s Web site. Well, several tested plugins later and the migration to WordPress 3.0 I’ve finally got something running and stable.
Introducing the Google Translate Widget. Just find it in your collection of Widgets and drop it in your sidebar. You users will then have a dropdown list of dozens of available languages to translate your site into.
I did test some other plugins that allowed you as the site owner to choose which languages were available instead of such a long list, but there were too many stability issues for any of them to be usable in our setup.
As always, if you’re looking for a feature for you site just let me know and I’ll do what I can for you.
(I’ve not actually installed this widget on this blog because I just can’t install every widget that we add to the system. Hence, just a screenshot of this one. Please keep in mind that it will look different in your theme.)