What Should You Put In Your WordPress Sidebar

wordpress sidebars

***Disclaimer*** UPDATE: With the evolution of the internet, I have recently decided personally not to use “Sidebars” I will cover this inside of the Blitz Challenge.

Now that you know what you want your website pages to look like, it’s time to hop into your WordPress sidebar.

NOTE: If you do not plan on blogging you can skip this step. But, I don’t recommend it. There are many benefits to blogging and I’d recommend that you take advantage of what is there.

When it comes to your sidebar you will want to have a few things for sure:

  • Search Box – If your going to be blogging you will want a way for people to search for the different posts on your blog. This is a must have for any active blogs.

  • About Link or Short Bio – When you are blogging you will find that some people will find your posts before they look at the main pages on your website. So having a short bio and/or a link to your About page will let your blog readers know a little bit more about you than just being the person who wrote the blog.

  • Popular Posts – After you’ve been blogging for a while you will find that there are 4-5 posts that are really popular and you should showcase these because if the majority of your readers like a select few posts more than others then why not drive more traffic to them.

  • Recent Posts – This helps make the rabbit hole deeper. If your reader finds you via a blog post and they like what they read, they may want to read more and if you don’t have an easy way to send them to more content you may lose out on getting them as a customer.

  • Contact Information – This doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple text with your phone number, address & maybe a button to your contact page can be an easy step towards getting your visitor to becoming a lead/customer.

  • RSS Subscription – This is a way for people to get emails any time you publish a blog post. It isn’t hard to set up and is very helpful.

  • Call-to-Action – You want to have a solid call-to-action in your sidebar to get them to take a step closer towards becoming a customer. This could be a simple (Call for a FREE Estimate) or (Click here to download our White-paper on X)

  • Social Links – If you are using social links in your header you may not want to use this section for all of your social media links. Instead, you may want to use this to spotlight the top 2 or 3 social media sites you are active on the most. This will make sure you don’t overwhelm them with links but still gets them to connect with you.

Of course, there are a ton of different things that aren’t listed here that you might want to have on your sidebar. Don’t feel like you can’t be different and have something I don’t have listed here. Remember this is your website, so make it yours.

Now that you have an idea of what you want to have on your sidebar it is time to go put it together. You get to the area for your sidebar within your Dashboard by going to Appearance → Widgets

There are 2 Sidebars on this page. The default is to have a “Right Sidebar” I’d recommend that you keep it that way. Although if you like the sidebar being on the left then by all means … go right ahead. 🙂

The Right Sidebar section should already have a few widgets in it. Use this to implement what you want in your design.

How to Create Custom Facebook Frames

create a facebook frame for pages

Ever wonder how to create a custom Facebook frame? Facebook has hooked us up with a new awesome tool! But, more on that later…

Custom Facebook Frames

You’ve seen them and there is a good chance that you have used them. It may have been putting up a Texas flag over your profile picture in support of people suffering from “Hurricane Harvey”, or maybe using a purple ribbon frame on your Facebook story in support of Alzheimer’s Association.

The awesome “Facebook Camera Effects” tool that Facebook launched is awesome! You can use software like Photoshop to design your frame. But if you want it to work as a camera effect you need to realize that it is made for both landscape and portrait mode.  So you will want to make sure it is not a complete overlay or it won’t look right when it gets to anything outside of the “Facebook Profile” which is the only square use for the tool.

If you decide to use Photoshop I’d also recommend keeping a 100% transparent background (.png) for the main use.  You can do frames with your logo, taglines, quotes, and a bunch of other stuff.  Your limitations are your imagination and Facebook guidelines for the “Camera Effects Tool“.

Now, let’s look over the

Facebook Camera Effects Platform Policies

(These are copied from the main policy page for the camera effects and frame platform.)

{**Only edits in 16 policies for custom Facebook frames was for grammar.**}

  1. Complies with our Community Standards, and all applicable laws, statutes, and regulations.
  2. Complies with our guidelines in the Facebook Brand Resource and Permissions Center.
  3. Is suitable for consumption by the Facebook general user base (i.e., thirteen and above).
  4. Does not promote illegal products, services or activities, or content that is inappropriate, misleading, deceptive, or unsafe.
  5. Does not promote prescription or recreational drugs, tobacco products and related paraphernalia, unsafe supplements, weapons, ammunition or explosives.
  6. Does not promote online gambling, online real money games of skill, or online lotteries.
  7. Does not infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or proprietary rights.
  8. Does not promote adult products or services (ex: nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative).
  9. Is not shocking, sensational, disrespectful, or excessively violent.
  10. Does not contain low-resolution elements, such as illegible text.
  11. Does not discriminate against, harass, provoke, or disparage people.
  12. Does not exploit controversial political or social issues for commercial purposes.
  13. Does not include effects that block or cover most of the image.
  14. Does not portray nonexistent functionality, such as a play button.
  15. Does not include any links off Facebook, such as scannable codes or QR codes.
  16. Does not include any commercial or ad-like content, including but not limited to promotions, sweepstakes, banner ads, product placement that includes branding, and sales offers.

 

Now that we have covered that it is time to create a custom Facebook frame …

How to Make a Custom Facebook Frame 

Before we start making the frame let’s look at the “Creative Specs” & “Recommendations” for the frames & camera effects. (Specs & Recommendations from Facebook Help.)

Creative Spects

  • Use an image editor to create the elements of your frame. Each element must have a transparent background.
  • Upload your elements as separate PNG files.
  • The max file size is 1mb.
  • Art should be 100% original.

Recommendations

  • Keep it simple. Position your art around the edges to frame the photograph.
  • Place text or graphics at the bottom and/or top of the page, rather than in the middle.

 

How to Create a Custom Facebook Frame in 5 Steps

  1. Research
  2. Create
  3. Design
  4. Submit
  5. Promote Use & Enjoy

 

Research – When you are starting out you need to do some research.

Do the research, especially if you are putting this frame together for your business. The first thing you need to look at is the frames your friends/followers are using.  If what you design isn’t something people would use, you’re wasting your time.  Look into colors, layouts, interests and things like that. When you move forward you should have an idea as to what you are wanting to create.

Create – This is where you will create the different elements of your frame.

You can do this with Photoshop or whatever other software you wish.  You can create a full piece or many pieces. Keep in mind that you will have the designer/studio for your frame in the next step. So all you will be doing is focusing on creating the elements you want to use in your facebook frame. Don’t forget that each element needs to be a .png file with a 100% transparent background.

Design – Designing your custom Facebook frame with the “Facebook Frame Studio“.

This is the fun part! Actually laying out the design for your frame! Once you are logged into the Facebook Frame Studio you will be able to upload your elements.

Submit – Submitting your Facebook frame for use by users of Facebook Camera.

Submitting your custom Facebook frame is easy as clicking “Submit” once you finish designing your frame inside the “Facebook Frame Studio”.

Promote, Use & Enjoy – Once your frame has been approved you need to promote, use and enjoy!

It’s not easy to grow a brand when you create something for marketing and never use it.  It’s like spending hours building a successful Instagram account & not using the account.  So if you are the face of your business … use the frame for your own personal profile.  Use your custom frame on your Facebook page.

Create a Custom Facebook Frame Video Tutorial

I am working on some things to get a tutorial together in video form.  I plan to have the video up within the next week or so.  Please check back to see the video and any other updates here.

 

Last Updated: September 17, 2017

 

 

How To Install The FREE WordPress Theme | GeneratePress

free wordpress theme

Installing your WordPress theme is very easy. Once you login you go to install your theme by ..

Dashboard > Appearance > Theme > Add New

Once you are on the Add New WordPress Theme Page all you need to do is search for your desired theme.

how to add generate wordpress theme

GeneratePress is the WordPress Theme we are going to be using. Once you Search for the theme, simply install & activate. When you hover over the theme thumbnail you will see a “Preview” (Don’t worry about this, we are going to customize the entire site so this won’t matter) and then you will see an “Install” button. Click on “Install” and once it installs that same button will turn into an “Activate” button. Click on “Activate”. That is it!

Now, you need to delete all of the other default WordPress themes.

From the “Themes” page, hover over the other themes and click on “Theme Details” then in the bottom right corner of the theme popup click on “Delete”

You will get a popup asking for you to confirm. Click “OK”. Repeat until GeneratePress is the only theme left.

Secure Your WordPress With An SSL Certificate | How To…

how to install an SSL Certificate

If you are building your own website, I cannot stress enough how important this step is. Before we go through the steps to get our SSL Certificate I want to go over some info with you.

Netscape began using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) in 1994 as a means of sending sensitive data over the web.

Before the introduction of SSL it was difficult to ensure privacy over the web in online transactions & data collection via online forms. There was a general distrust of the ability to conduct online transactions and a fear that an individual’s credit card & other personal information could be picked up by a third party and used for unauthorized purchases.

What makes SSL unique is an encryption technique that sends credit card and other personal data through the web. This encryption technique makes the information totally useless to anyone who does not have decoding abilities. If a third party were to intercept the information it would be useless to them.

The use of SSL Digital Certificates also provides a unique level of trust because a certificate verifies the users’ authenticity. This is an important step in instilling trust in potential customers. Many savvy internet users will avoid websites entirely if they do not use SSL.

Without the proper use of SSL, information such as credit card numbers, third parties with less than positive motivations could obtain passwords and personal identification numbers.

A 128-bit key that is harder to break and typically protects personal account information than the 40-bit key. If your name and address is all that is being protected a 40-bit key may be used; the higher bit the key, the greater level of encryption. Most financial institutions only use 128-but keys for the security of their client’s data.

As an online marketer, you will likely be asking your visitors for personal data. Don’t be surprised if your potential customer determines their willingness to do business with you based on the security of your website. Many customers will look for the SSL symbol and will move along if they don’t find it. SSL use can also be recognized by a green padlock symbol in the address bar of your browser window. If the symbol is unlocked then SSL is not in use on the site.

SSL should be enacted on pages requiring a password or might contain personal data most clients would like to keep private. Some sites will place SSL on some pages and forget other pages that are equally as sensitive. For the sake of your personal experience with e commerce, you should implement SSL protocol.

Now that we have covered the basics of what an SSL is, let’s go buy one & get it set up!

You can purchase your SSL via HostYak by going to http://www.hostyak.com/products/ssl

The package you need is a Standard SSL. This is going to run you $39.99/year. We will get back to HostYak in a little bit.

In order to activate this, we are going to get inside of our InMotion cPanel & under the “Security” panel you need to click on “SSL/TLS”.

The first thing we are going to do is to delete all current SSLs that may come with your hosting.

You will see 4 sections. Private Keys, Certificate Signing Requests(This also is referred to as CSR, Certificates & Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)

Start by clicking on “Manage SSL sites.” under the fourth option.

Under the “Manage Installed SSL Websites” section if you see a certificate you will want to click on “Uninstall”

manage installed ssl certificates

Once you finish that you need to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Return to SSL Manager or you can click on the cPanel at the top and go back to the SSL/TLS section again.

The next thing you are going to need to do is to click on “Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests.”

On this page you will need to fill in your information.

Do not worry about the Key section you can skip over that. (Just in case it should say Generate a new 2,048 bit key.)

In the domains section you need to put your domain like this → testedurl.com

Enter your city, state, country, company, email, passphrase(this should be something you can remember – think of this as another password) & a description then click on Generate.

Once you get that you will have your “Encoded Certificate Signing Request

generate certificate signing request

You need to copy the entire thing and past in into a notepad or somewhere where you can keep it and know it’s secure:

—–BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST—–
Copy All Of The Crazy Stuff Here Too
—–End CERTIFICATE REQUEST—–

Be sure to ONLY COPY ENCODED CERTIFICATE SIGNING REQUEST

Ok, now we need to go back to HostYak. Once you login, you will want to make sure you are on the “My Products” page. Under SSL Certificates, click on “Set up” for the SSL you want to install. (If you only have one then you should only have one.)

That is where you will need to paste your CSR from InMotion. Be sure to agree to the terms and conditions then click on “Request Certificate” This process can take between 10-15 minutes. (It’s time for a break! :P)

Now that we’ve given it some time to issue the certificate if you should see a screen that has a massive download button.

download ssl certificate

If you click on Download, it will download the certificate that we need to install on InMotion. All you need to do on the next page is to set the server to Apache.

You then will need to “Unzip” the file. (If you are on a PC I recommend using 7-Zip. I’ve used it for a few months and love it. PS. It is FREE!) (If you are on a mac you should be able to double click on the zip file to unzip it.)

When you unzip the file it will have a file that is a .crt inside of the folder. We are going to use this file next so be sure to have it in a location you can find on your computer.

Now, if you go back in your InMotion cPanel and go back to the SSL/TLS section you need to click on “Generate, view, upload, or delete SSL certificates.” under “Certificates (CRT)”

The next thing that we’re going to is delete the “- Self Signed -”certificates that are on your server. This is easy, all you need to do (if you have a “- Self Signed -” certificate) is click on delete. It will take you to another page asking if you are sure … click delete again.

If you go back to the SSL Certificates (CRT) page you will need to click on “Choose File” and then fill out your description and click on Upload Certificate.

installing a HostYak SSL Certificate

Once you do that you should get a success message:

The certificate for the domain “yourwebsitename.com” has been saved.

Moving forward everything that you do with your website should be done via https://

If you don’t know what that means and you are just following along, don’t worry. Just keep following the steps and you will be fine.

***If you find that you are not getting the green padlock showing that your website is secure, you may want to use WhyNoPadlock.com to see what the issue is.

How To Change Your Domain Name Servers

how to change your domain name servers

If you used the free domain when signing up for your hosting you can skip this step. If you used HostYak then you will need to set your nameservers. This will tell the browsers what host to look at for your website files so when they go to your domain, they see your website.

In order to do this, you need to sign in to your HostYak account. Once you sign in you need to get to the “My Products” page and in the “Domains” section, click on Manage All. (The process will be close to the same for other domain registrars like GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc.)

change nameservers image

The page that will take you to will have all of the domains that you own with HostYak. Click on your URL to get to the domain settings.

Go towards the bottom of the page and click on “Manage DNS”

domain name servers

This is going to take you to the DNS Management page. In the second section, you will see the “Nameservers” section.

Click on change and then select custom and enter the nameservers for your hosting account. Most of the time if you are hosting with InMotion your nameservers will be: (ns1.inmotionhosting.com) (ns2.inmotionhosting.com)

If you are not sure what your nameservers are, you can call into your hosting account and they will be able to tell you what they are.

Fill in the nameservers and click on “Save”

set name servers

If you are hosting with HostYak, once you have your hosting account setup you’ll need to call them to get your name servers… (480) 624-2500 – Be sure to have your customer number and call in pin ready 🙂

InMotion Hosting

inmotion hosting review

Check out Inmotion Hosting: Click Here

Trying to wade through the vast number of hosting companies on the Internet to find the gem that you want for your business can be a real pain. With so many of these companies setting up shop overseas, there are some out there that can take your money and deliver little in return.

They give you poor service with too much downtime, customer service representatives who don’t care about the company’s reputation (or your business) and fees that keep going up. This InMotion Hosting review will show you the difference one company can make in helping entrepreneurs with reliable hosting options.

InMotion Hosting was founded in 2001 by hosting veterans Todd (technical side) and Sunil (biz side) because hosting was a wild west kind of free for all back then that didn’t really prioritize customer needs, so they saw an opening in the market for a company that actually sought to provide excellent service, especially in the area of technical support and customer service.

They rounded up capital from friends and family, maxed out their credit cards, and opened a tiny office on Sprint Street in downtown LA, basically skid row. Momentum started building in 2003, and in 2004 they opened an office in VA Beach to grow the company.

The original VA Beach office was 450 sq feet of Class C office space near Mt. Trashmore that had a couple of hand me down desks and a two-line phone. We’ve grown exponentially since then… with arguably nicer offices in LA, VA Beach, and now Denver.

They’ve also streamlined the hosting process so that you don’t have to have your websites scattered with various hosting companies. They can handle everything you have and they give you unlimited space and unlimited domain hosting with most plans.

Three of their business plans are the Launch Plan, the Power Plan, and the Pro Plan. Most new businesses – especially Internet marketers just learning the ropes, choose to go with the Power Plan, which does effectively meet their initial needs.

With the first one, the Launch Plan, you can get set up for only $6.39 a month if you pay for service for two years at a time. If that’s too long for you, then paying for it by the year is only $7.46 for the twelve months. Unfortunately, for the Launch and Power Plans do not come with monthly billing options.

If you chose the Pro Plan it does come with a monthly billing option. The monthly billing option is only $15.99.

They always have specials running, so be sure to check and see what current pricing is.

InMotion Hosting even offers a great way to make money by taking part in their reseller hosting plan. If you’re looking to start a business, then creating a web hosting company is easy to launch and it can be very profitable.

You can select what features you want to offer from your company and the only one who earns the profit from the reselling is you. It would be a shame in this InMotion review if the spotlight wasn’t placed on the company’s dedicated servers.

When your business grows, this is something you’ll want to invest in because you can have full control over your hosting environment unlike with shared servers. If you look at the plans InMotion Hosting offers, their willingness to give discounts, their determination to make contacting them a pleasant experience, then there really is no reason not to have your hosting needs served by them.