Social Media Widget Reloaded

Hello, Iím MaAnna with BlogAid, and the Social Media Widget plugin has been through some major changes, so I made this updated video to show you all of the new features and configurations as well as how to get the most from it This plugin provides an easy to use widget that makes it simple to display social media and RSS feed icons in your header or sidebar, or anywhere on your site that has a widget-ready area

Iím on one of my demo sites I use for making video tutorials and teaching online classes and here you can see two examples of the Social Media Widget in action Iíve placed one instance of the widget in my header and I added some of my social media platform links in the widget so you can see how it looks This is the 24px size icon set thatís available in the widget It has several other sizes and icon sets, and Iíll show you all of that in a moment The second example is here in the sidebar

This is the default icon set thatís available in the widget You can also see that this instance of the widget has a title and a little bit of text above the icons Letís go to the widget page and show you how this plugin is configured The Social Media Widget plugin can be found in the WordPress repository Once youíve installed and activated it, youíll find it listed in your Available Widgets area

You can use it multiple times too, just Iíve done in this tutorial, by having it display in both the header and the sidebar Once you drag it over to one of your widget ready areas, you can begin to configure it Letís use the one in the primary sidebar to show all of the basic settings Click the down arrow to expand the widget Before, the widget had a huge input page with every setting and all of the social input fields

But now all of the individual categories have been organized, which makes it a lot easier to find what youíre looking for When you click a link, it expands the section When you click it again, the section collapses Letís have a look at this first one, which is the General Settings section This is where you input the title heading and any text that you want to display

Letís return to the preview page so you can see exactly where both of these are again Hereís the title And hereís the widget text As you can see in this instance of the widget in the header, it has neither So, you can leave either or both of these fields blank if you like

Letís return to the widget settings Next is an icon alt and title tag This is what appears when someone hovers over the icon Letís see that See, when I hover over the Facebook icon, it puts the alt text in front of the platform

Itís the same when I hover over the Google Plus icon, except that the platform name changes If youíre a solopreneur, you may want to consider changing this to Follow Me, instead of Follow Us The next four settings affect the look of the icons The first is the size They are 16 pixels, 24 pixels, which is new and is the size I used in the header

The next is 32 pixels, which is the default and the size I used in this sidebar widget And the last default size is 64 pixels Now, also notice that there is a Custom size setting You would use this only if you also supply the icon pack, or graphics that you want to use Weíll talk about that more in a moment

Letís return to the preview page so you can see the two sizes Iím using again The header has the 24 pixel icons The sidebar has the 32 pixel icons Letís change those to 64 pixels so you can see the difference Iím updating the size

Then saving Then updating the preview window Those are pretty big icons, but the nice thing is, if youíre only going to display a few icons, they really do a good job of taking up space in the sidebar This big size is also good for drawing a lot of attention to entice folks to connect with you on social media The plugin also comes with several icon packs besides the default one that I am using in this tutorial

Letís have a look at a few, starting with the cutouts Letís see that Iím updating the preview window And there they are Almost like shotgun holes

I used this icon set on one of my author client sites whose characters have a bad boy reputation Itís a great fit Letís see another set Letís try the Sketch icons And there they are

If you have a whimsical or artistic site, this might be very appropriate If youíre not happy with any of the built-in icon sets, you can bring your own To do that, select Custom Icons here Then scroll down to the bottom of the right column and input the Custom Icons URL and then the path Examples are given in the input fields

If you need help with this, you can consult the README text file that is in the pluginís folder But, youíll have to either get to that via your hosting control panel or by using an FTP program It would much easier to simply visit the developerís site Youíll find a link for that in the description of the plugin on the admin plugins list page Okay, letís scroll back up to see the other types of settings that are available

First is the Type of animation The default is Fade in Letís change this to bounce And then save that change Now letís see how that looks

Okay, I left the icons in the header at the default of fade in, and you can see how they brighten just a bit when I hover over one of them And you can see how all of these jump up So, itís a little more animated Letís return to the widget to see another setting that affects the Fade in Itís the Opacity

The default is 80%, but you can make them more translucent if you like by setting this down to say 60% Letís save that and then go see how that looks And as you can see, they are a lot more faded out until I hover over them Now letís return to the widget and have a look at the scale animation because itís fun Letís save this, and go to our preview window

See, the icons grow a little when hovered over You can actually use these affects in combination if you like too Okay, letís have a look at the rest of these settings You want to turn the rel=înofollowî for links setting on And, you want the social media site to open in a new tab or window

Thatís very important so that the tab with your site always stays open and folks can return to it Otherwise, visitors will get interested in something else they see while on their favorite social media site and never come back to yours Next, you can choose the alignment for your icons Now, this may or may not work, depending on your theme Some are hard coded for everything to align left in the sidebar and this setting may not be able to override that

So, if it doesnít align like you want it to, youíll have to check with your theme designer to change your sidebar or widget-ready area coding, and that may not be a cheap thing to do Next is a setting for how many icons to show per row The only choices here are Auto and 1, so this would be good if you had a super slim widget-ready area where you wanted to display in a single row Okay, letís move on to the actual links If you like, you can collapse the General Settings link

And then click to expand the Social Networking links This section contains most of the popular micro blogging platforms like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter But, if you canít find one you need, you can add up to 12 in the Custom Services section at the bottom If you choose that option, youíll need to upload the icons and then provide the full path to that graphic too So, you have three fields per custom service

One for the Name Then one for the URL of the custom icon graphic Then one for the URL of the actual service Youíll want to make those icons the same size as the Icon Pack youíre using, meaning either 16, 24, 32, or 64 pixels Okay, letís scroll back up and have a look at the URLs youíll want to add

Be sure to add the full URL, including either the http or https part Wherever you add a URL, that icon will be displayed in the widget You canít change the order Whichever ones you use will appear in the order shown here Okay, letís collapse this section and show you whatís in the next one titled Images and Video

Here youíll find links for things like your Flickr account, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube as well as Vimeo Very important if video and galleries are part of your marketing mix The other one that youíll definitely want to set is for the RSS feed Itís in the Social News & Feeds section The first ones are Digg, Reddit, and so on

Near the end youíll find the one for your siteís RSS feed If you donít know youíre siteís feed URL off hand, itís likely to just be your site URL, then slash, and then the word feed But youíll want to test this to be sure So, open a new tab And then put that URL in there to see if this is what pops up

If itís not, then you may want to try your siteís URL, slash blog, slash feed and see if that works Now, if you use FeedBurner or FeedBlitz for your service, youíll likely want to put that URL in here instead of your siteís raw feed Thereís also an email URL here too You can actually input the URL for your RSS to email feed in here if you use that service on FeedBurner or FeedBlitz too Now, if you use something like MailChimp or Aweber to deliver your feed, you wonít be able to put them in here

I use MailChimp for both of those And thereís a signup form in the widget of my sidebar for those So, I elected to use my siteís raw feed for this RSS icon so folks can subscribe in a feed reader with it, which is what most folks who are looking for this icon want to do any way In the Chatting section, thereís a place for your Skype URL as well as your Google Talk URL In the Blogging section there are places for you to input links to your other blogging platforms

If this is on your WordPress site, you wonít need to put a link in here because folks are already on the site In the Businesss/Reviewing and Sharing section, there are fields available for things like Yelp and SlideShare as well as Etsy and Ebay In the Music and Audio section youíll find links for iTunes and other places you may have playlists or podcasts And the Scheduling and Portfolio sections have a couple of other URLs you may find useful Have fun discovering all the wonderful platforms this little plugin supports

It will give you a ton of ways to connect with your readers and engage in ways that bring them back to your site I hope youíve enjoyed this video tutorial on the Social Media Widget plugin Itís the same type of information I teach in my one-on-one classes and full video tutorial courses on WordPress, SEO, content and conversion analysis, MailChimp and more Be sure to visit BlogAidnet for more resources, tips and videos to make your site better

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