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Lesson 10 – Understanding and Using Plugins & Widgets

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In Lesson 10 of our Build a Professional Services Website using the Genesis theme and WordPress we explain how plugins and widgets work and how to use them.

We begin by talking about what a widget is, using the widgets panel and types of WordPress widgets. Then we move on to talking about plugins, what they are and working with the plugin dashboard and then the methods of installing them.

We then show different ways of using text widgets for your site such as adding contact information and adding video. The lesson concludes by showing how to configure the NextGen Gallery plugin which allows you to have a portfolio of images that you can use in a slideshow.

Understanding WordPress Widgets – Watch the Video

  • What’s a Widget?

    • A module that adds content or functionality to a page
    • Can only be placed in a widget area
  • Understanding the Widgets panel

    • Sidebars
    • Available widgets
    • Inactive widgets
  • Add a widget to a sidebar

  • Parts of a widget

    • Title
    • Settings
  • Arrange widgets within a sidebar

Types of WordPress Widgets – Watch the Video

  • Blog related widgets

    • Archives
    • Calendar
    • Categories
    • Genesis -eNews and Updates
    • Genesis – Featured Posts
    • Recent Comments
    • Recent Posts
    • RSS
    • Tag Cloud
  • Safely Ignored Widgets

    • Genesis Category Menu
    • Genesis –  Page Menu
    • Genesis – User Profile
    • Meta
  • Widgets Useful on a Static Site

    • Custom Menu
    • Genesis – Featured Page
    • Genesis – Latest Tweets
    • Links
    • Pages
    • Search
    • Text

Understanding WordPress Plugins – Watch the Video

  • What’s a plugin?

    • A module that adds functionality to your site
    • Does not necessarily display anything on a page
  • Understanding the plugin dashboard

    • plugin navigation
    • bulk actions
    • plugin status
      • Name
      • Description
      • Action links
      • Author link
      • Plugin link
  • Updating Plugins

Installing Plugins – Watch the Video

  • Quick Installation Method

    • Install screen
      • admin screen links
      • search form
      • browse tags
    • Search for term – NextGen Gallery
    • Select from list
    • View Details
    • Install –  NextGen Gallery
    • activate
  • FTP Method

    • Locate on WordPress.org plugin repository – Genesis Favicon Uploader
    • Download to your computer
    • unzip file to appropriate location
    • ftp
    • activate
    • Add the favicon
      • What’s a favicon
      • favicon.cc
  • De-activate Plugin

  • Delete Plugin

Add contact information using a text widget – Watch the Video

  • Add text widget to your sidebar
  • Add a title to the widget
  • Add Contact Information
  • Automatically add paragraphs

Create a call to action using a text widget – Watch the Video

  • Install Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

  • Text based Call to Action

    • title – centered h3
    • phone number link
    • heading link – centered h4
    • text
  • Opt-in form

    • get the code
    • paste the code

Add a video using a text widget – Watch the Video

  • Get the video embed code

    • Set the width correctly
  • Add a title

  • Add the code

Configure the NextGen Gallery plugin – Watch the Video

  • What NextGen Gallery does

    • Collects pictures in a gallery
    • Displays gallery on a page
    • Click the thumbnail results in the expanded view
  • Initial Settings – Options

    • General Options
    • Thumbnails
    • Images
  • Create a gallery

    • Upload images
    • Manage gallery
    • Add alt tags
    • Add descriptions
  • Add the widget

    • Title
    • Number to show
    • Width and Height
      • Sidebar width – 280px
      • available width – 246px
      • image width
  • Optimize the Thumbnail Size

    • Find the ideal image width
    • Regenerate thumbnail images
  • Add the widget to the footer

    • Widget settings

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