Updated: How To Create a Random Banner Ad

I have got a fun tutorial for you to try this weekend on your blog! A while ago I did a tutorial on creating a header ad banner and judging from my Google Analytics it was very popular so I thought I’d turn it up a notch and making an updated version which changes on refresh! On the desktop version of this blog, TheFashionTechnologist you will see ad banner at the top of the page, if you refresh the page you will see another ad. I have three in a rotation, a Missguided, Topshop and Net-a-porter one.


If you would like your banner ad to change on refresh like this, add the following code to your theme (WordPress Only) functions file or if you are cool, to your custom functions plugin.



Then replace all the PASTE AD HERE with ad’s. If you use an affiliate network like rewardStyle then paste in the banner code in this space.


This random ad banner function has three ad’s in it, to add another simply paste in another:



When happy, open up the file where you would like your ad banner to show, for example to place it at the top of your blog then open header.php and just below the tag paste in the following (if you are struggling with where to paste it, see this tutorial!):


(uses inline styling)



That’s it! Pretty straight forward once you know how huh?

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Updated: How to move your blog from Blogger to WordPress!

Every few days I get an email from a blogger asking me about moving their blog from Blogger to WordPress. This is even more so now as on theFEED signup page their is an FAQ which asks, “What If I am not on WordPress at all?”, so when a person see’s this question they email me asking how to move over. I then send them a similar email on how this can be done without much assistance from a developer and they are shocked that their mystery has been solved!
 
I got one of these very email’s this morning from a lovely Canadian blogger called Dawn Ngo of DawnNgo.blogspot.ca. She Asked:

 

blogger to wordpress

I’m interested in using theFEED, however I’m currently blogger based and I have already purchased my theme and developed traffic on blogger so it’s a big hard for me to make the switch as I have already established myself on blogger! Is there any way you could help me make the switch to WordPress or if you have any tips/advice?

 

Well I am here to tell her, and every other style blogger in the same predicament you CAN move to WordPress yourself! WHAT WHAT? Did I really say that? I bet you were expecting me to say it’s going to cost you sh** loads of money. Not on my watch!
 
Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can move you blog from Blogger to WordPress, with screenshots and EVERYTHING. This one’s for you Dawn!

 

1. Find website hosting with WordPress One Click Install and Domain Name Included

There are hosting services out there that make it easy to set up your WordPress blog, a great example is Bluehost. For little cost you can have hosting and a domain name within the same package. Once you’ve signed up, their is a button which you can click to set up your WordPress blog. Click Here to watch a video tutorial which shows you how!

2. Find a Premium WordPress Theme

After you are set up with your new WordPress site, you’ll need a super hot theme for your new blog. There are LOADS out there to choose from and none should cost you more than $100USD. My blogger friend Blair from Leap Marketing and Design makes premium pre-fab WordPress templates for only $70USD and their made specifically for Style Bloggers, which you can find here. Alternatively if you head over to ThemeForest Marketplace and search for WordPress theme plus your requirements (e.g. minimal layout, white background etc), you’ll find loads here too.
 
To upload your WordPress theme to your new WordPress backend, simple navigate to the side menu and click Appearances > Themes. Then from the new page Click “Add New”
 
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add new screenshot
  

3. Uploading your Blogger content to WordPress

In your new WordPress backend, navigate to Tools > Import. From the new page click “Blogger” from the menu. A popup will appear asking you to install the Blogger Importer, hit “Install Now”. From the new page “Activate Plugin & Run Importer” and then follow the instructions on screen to import your content from Blogger to WordPress.
 
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4. Configure Blog Theme Settings

Dependent on what theme you purchased for your new WordPress blog, they will be settings you can configure, to change the colors, add your logo etc. Make sure to do this and preview what your new logo looks like. You can always get a new theme if you are not completely satisfied.  

5. Google Analytics

Make sure to add a new Google Analytics (click here for a cool plugin that helps you do this) code for this Worpdress blog. DON’T use the one from your blogger blog as you want to track the difference in readership. Take note that moving isn’t going to make your readership sky rocket straight away, as with any transition things take time and you readers need to read just.  

6. Use This Blogger To WordPress Plugin to redirect all your blogspot blog post visits to your new wordpress blog!

There is a really cool tool called “Blogger to WordPress Redirection”, which generates a snippet of code for you to insert into your now old blogspot blog in-order to redirect your readers to your new blog. Click here to find out more about the plugin and watch the helpful how-to video.  

7. Tell The World You Have Moved – Repeatedly!

After you are 100% happy, tell everyone on all your social media channels, at your blogger meetups, your book club, your dentist etc – NICELY until they get the message. Make sure to convey the message in a positive uplifting way, the fact that you are bigger and better now and mean serious business so this switch is a result of that.
 
Keep your OLD blog alive until traffic moves to your new blog. There is no hurry to delete it and Google won’t so you don’t have to either.

 

That’s it! Need any further help? Let me know!

 

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How to change the default media linking option in wordpress

You may have noticed when you upload your images to WordPress for a blog post, you are presented with some options regarding your image’s display settings. One thing I find overlooked here is the “Link To” option. I know it is often overlooked because when I go on blogs I can usually click the images on a blog post and it redirects me to the image in a blank page. This is one of the biggest no-no’s, by allowing your user to do this you will potentially lose them!


insert media into post screenshot


It’s wise to, before inserting your image into your post, change the “Link To” option to “None”, this way the image will not be clickable.


Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 14.23.49


You may find after you do this for a while it starts to becoming annoying and laborious (this is where I am at now!) and wish that the “Link To” option automatically have the “None” option selected. To do this, simply paste the following code into your themes function.php file or your blog’s custom functions plugin (what the hell is that?).




Now, when you go to create/edit a post, your “Link To” option will now have  “None” selected by default.


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Why I do not like blog posts being by admin

This is similar to how I feel about blog posts being uncategorized! Who actual is admin? It’s not a real person and therefore in no way engaging for your reader.


The reason why the admin role exists in WordPress is for the backend responsibilities and should not be used as an actual author of content.


If you have your blog posts coming from admin, create a new user with information about yourself then in your WordPress posts section bulk change all your posts to this new human user.


change from admin screenshot


bulk edit author change screenshot


A great thing about having a personalised author is it allows you to use a special author page which you can link to so your readers can know more about you as an author (more on how to do this here).


For example this blog post is by me so the author is Chloé Watts. At the top of this post you will see my name, if you click on it you will be directed to my author page (link). This page has more information on me as well as a list of all my blog posts.


link to author page screenshot


Author page screenshot


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How to create your own wordpress plugin

There may come time when you need to create your own WordPress plugin. It doesn’t have to be really complex as the fundamentals of a plugin are quite simple. I would recommend you making one to hold your blog’s custom functions. When you add custom functions to your WordPress theme you are essentially tying yourself to that theme forever. One day when you decide to change themes all your custom functions, like shortcodes, will be no more because they were coded into your old theme.


With your own custom functions plugin you can paste in any functions which then will be transferable across themes as long as you keep your plugin active.


For example, you may remember me mentioning the lovely Vicki Archer. I did a clean up of her blog last month and in the process we discussed some useful functions she could have to make blogging easier. Vicki has her desktop site design and is using theFEED on mobile. If I put her custom functions in her desktop theme, like her shortcodes, then on mobile they wouldn’t work as theFEED uses a separate theme.


With all this in mind I created a custom functions plugin for Vicki which we could add to whenever we wanted without disrupting our themes.


We are going to create a custom functions plugin called “My Blog Custom Functions”. To do this, you will need to create a new folder on your computer, and call it “my-blog-custom-functions”.


Inside this folder create a new file called “my-blog-custom-functions.php”. Bare in mind the file extension needs to be “.php”.


Next, open this new file and paste in the following at the top:



Then paste in any custom functions you would like to be called from this plugin. For example, in a previous tutorial I taught you how to make a shortcode function for your personal signature. Instead of pasting that code into your functions.php file within your theme, you can now paste it into your new custom functions plugin, so regardless of what theme you have your blog signature shortcode will work.


As and when you have more custom functions all you need to do is open up your “my-blog-custom-functions.php” file and paste in the function below the previous one.


To upload your new plugin, if you have access to your blog’s file manager or FTP you can add it to the plugins folder within wp-content folder of your WordPress site. If you don’t have access then simply zip your new plugin folder and upload it via the wordpress backend plugin uploader.


Here is an example of mine that I created for TheFashionTechnologist.com


My Custom  Plugin Screenshot


And that’s it! Easypeasylemonsqueezy.


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One overlooked way to re-engage blog readers // Fixing broken links

Check yo’ links!


When a user clicks on a broken link they are taken to a 404 page (tip: style your 404 page), which is your blog’s error page! If the user can’t find what they are looking for, they most probably, at this point, will leave.


After writing your blog posts make sure to check all links work. Links linking to other content on your site AND links to external sites (make sure these open in a new window).


What you can do now is get this cool plugin called “Broken Link Checker”, which can be found here. Use this to scour your blog to see if you have any broken links and rectify them.


Lecture over! =]


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Why I do not like when I see a blog post as Uncategorized and How you can avoid this

If you are guilty of not categorizing your blog posts, admit it now. This is a safe haven for blogging faults!



The reason why I don’t like blog posts that are uncategorized is because it gives a dismal experience for your readers. Now I may be exaggerating a little to get my point across but in all honesty you would’t expect to go into a clothes store and see some products in the “Uncategorzied” section would you? It would look like those clothes were unloved, you would hardly get excited by them same goes for your readers!


So if you are one of those bloggers who do this, please stop. If you do it because you simply forget to put your post into a category, in your wordpress settings you can actually change the default post category. That way all your future blog posts will be in a much more pleasant category.


To do this (in WordPresss) go to Settings > Writing and change your default post category from “Uncategorized” to something prettier and more engaging.


change uncategorized blog post


To change all the blog posts that have already been published go to Posts > Categories, then hover over “Uncategorized” and click edit.


Change Uncategorized


Change Uncategorized


Boom! No more lonely, unwanted blog posts.


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How to create a post signature without a plugin

A lot of bloggers have a cool little post signature at the bottom of their blog posts, I do too! I usually paste it in every time which is so long and laborious. It’s quite naughty coming from me because I could have coded something along time ago but haven’t!


I put together this code snippet that I am using now which you can copy and use on your blog. What I have done is made a shortcode, a shortcode is an easy way to paste code into a blog post without pasting the actual code and it getting messy. Also it’s easier to remember and saves time.


I could have created a tutorial which creates the signature automatically at the bottom of a blog post, but if you are like me and have been pasting it in for ages, it will be duplicate signatures on old posts and in all honesty I can’t be asked going through all the old blog posts and deleting. However if you aren’t like me and a signature is new for you I shall make this tutorial for you soonish.


Okay so to the code!

Paste the following into your functions.php file which is in your theme. You can find this via FTP or if this is alien to you go to your theme editor from within WordPress backend and find it that way.


Replace INSERTURLOFSIGNATURE with the image url of your signature.


Cool, done? Awesome. Now you a ready to use your new shortcode. When you make your next blog post you can paste in the following, where you want your post signature to show:

When you preview your blog post this shortcode will be replaced your actual post signature.



BOOM!


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Creating a Favicon

Whilst on the phone recently with the lovely Brenna Mader of Wanderlustandglitterdust.com helping her set up theFEED, she mentioned that she now knew what a favicon was because in theFEED settings it asks you to upload a favicon!


I was like say whatttt! Then thought about it for a second and realised I’ve seen a lot of bloggers sites without favicons so she was actually in good/bad company =]


If you are reading this and thinking what the hell is she going on about (this post is for you), a favicon is a cute little icon which displays next to your site name in your browser.


e.g.
favicon


Above is a screenshot of my Google Chrome right now, you can see I have three tabs open, one is this blog, the second is Brenna’s and the third is my Gmail. Next to each website name is a little icon – that is a favicon!


A favicon is usually 16px by 16px and traditionally a .ico file. To upload a favicon to your blog do one of the following:

Way One

Open your theme editor and check (use CMD + F on mac to use your browsers find tool) you don’t have any code that starts with

If you do, your site is already set up to have a favicon, in this case change the image url in the “src” attribute.


If you don’t then, before the close of the tag insert the following code, insert the below code, swapping our ENTERIMAGEURLHERE for the destination of your favicon image.


Way Two

Get the plugin “All In One Favicon” and follow the instructions.


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Go BIG or go Home Like Cara Santana: How to enlarge your featured images on WordPress

How to enlarge your featured images


Last week I had a lovely lunch with Cara Santana of Caradisclothed.com. Not even a minute in we were knee deep in blog talk and strategy – we couldn’t help ourselves!


After I help her upgrade theFEED on her mobile site, Cara asked me a blog question.


Cara Santana: How to enlarge your featured images

The Question: How can I make my blog post featured image larger on my desktop site so it’s more engaging for my readers?



I agreed with Cara that large images are more engaging for your readers. You can change your featured image sizes by going to Settings > Media. After you do this you will need t update your featured images for all your previous blog posts to this new size as WordPress will just make the new featured images the new size.


To do this, download a plugin called “Regenerate Thumbnails“, this allows you to bulk change all your featured images!


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