WordPress Wednesday:: Sidebar Plugins

I’m back to my usual blogging schedule and that means today is WordPress Wednesday!

I took a break from WordPress Wednesday during the holidays (there was just too much fun holiday stuff to blog about instead).  But today I’m back on track and showing you a few more fun plugins.

Wordpress Wednesday

Last time I showed you how to create your own favicon using a plugin. Today, I’m going to show you a few plugins I use on my site to generate some of the fun widgets/features on my sidebar.

The first two are the subscribe by email feature and search feature.

Sidebar Plugins:: Email and Search

Both of these are generated from plugins.

You’ll need to go to your ‘Widget’ tab (under Appearance).

Sidebar Widgets

For subscribe by email, for me the plugin is called Genesis-eNews and Updates (might be titled differently for you based on your theme).

Sidebar Widgets:: Subscribe by Email

It should already be pre-loaded under your widget options. If not, you’ll go about searching and running it like I showed you with the favicon plugin.

Once you find the widget, just drag and drop the box into the space you want it to appear on your sidebar.

Sidebar Plugin:: Genesis eNews

In order to set up the subscribe by email feature, you first need to have a feed burner set up. You can do this by going to feedburner.google.com.

Just enter your blog address into the below field and follow the steps. Once that’s set up, you’ll enter in your feed burner name that you created into the box that says ‘Google/Feedburner ID’ in the widget.

Feedburner

You can also customize what you want the button text to be next to the box readers will enter their email addresses. For me, it says ‘Go.’

{Sidenote: you can also customize the color of the box that appears on your blog that lists the # of subscribers you have. You can customize this by logging into your feedburner account}.

The next plugin/widget feature I have on my sidebar is the ‘Search’ option. This allows readers to type in a key word and search for posts related to that key word on my blog.

Sidebar Plugin:: Search Widget

This widget should also be pre-loaded and can be found in the widget section.

Just drag and drop the widget that says ‘Search’ into the space under your primary sidebar that you want it to appear on your blog.

Sidebar Plugin:: Search Widget

Another feature on my sidebar is the ‘Tag Cloud.’ This generates a list of key words/categories based on previous posts. When you write your post, you have the option to select certain categories that the post falls under. This is another way to help readers find topics/posts they are interested in.

Sidebar Widget:: Tag Cloud

The plugin that generates this is called ‘Tag Cloud’ (pretty simple, huh?). You have the option within the widget to change the ‘Taxonomy’ or the way the words appear/are organized. For every post you can select categories or manually type in tags. Depending on which taxonomy option you select will determine which key words appear.

For me, the categories that I created are the key words that appear in my tag cloud.

Sidebar Plugin:: Tag Cloud

Sometimes people like to be able to see past blog posts based on times of year or months. Featuring a blog archive with a running list of posts from the year or years past is another way to help people find posts they are interested in.

Sidebar Plugin:: Blog Archives

This is also generated from a plugin. Find the plugin titled ‘Archives’ and drag and drop it where you want it to appear. You have the option to customize it to appear as a drop down for people to select the month they are looking for or to show a running list with number of posts per month.

Sidebar Plugin:: Blog Archives

These are all pretty basic/easy plugins but all help to enhance the functionality of your blog.

Next week I’ll show you how to generate the Facebook Like Box and Instagram Feed that appear on my sidebar.

If you missed any of the previous WordPress Wednesday posts, here’s a running list of what we’ve covered so far::

-WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

-Securing a domain name

-Hosting

-Setting up your header and navigation bar

-Setting up your sidebar

-Creating a favicon

-Sidebar Plugins

-Installing Facebook like box and Instagram widget

-Installing Social Sharing bar

-How to add a ‘Pin It’ button to posts

-How to generate related post thumbnails

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