How to add a news brief widget in WordPress

How to add a news brief widget in WordPress

Need to post notices and news on your homepage to make certain items readily accessible? A text widget in your sidebar is a perfect way to add News Briefs to your homepage. Adding links to the news briefs also lets your readers click to read more.

This video explains how to add and edit a text widget on your WordPress site for the purpose of displaying News Briefs.

Remember that your News Brief widget in WordPress can be placed in any widget area that your theme includes. Maybe you have one News Brief widget in the sidebar of your site, and you place another in the WordPress footer.

If your site has multiple sidebars, you may need to copy the widget into the other sidebar areas. For example, there may be one sidebar for the blog and another sidebar for the homepage – if you want the News Brief widget to display in both places, an instance of the widget needs to appear in each place.

For more about WordPress widget areas and sidebars that work with your Divi theme, check out this article: A Guide to Using Sidebars in the Divi Theme

Meet the Founder: WordPress Expert Kate Gilbert

Meet the Founder: WordPress Expert Kate Gilbert

WPMaster.me founder Kate Gilbert has been building and supporting websites since 2006 and knows the web inside-out. Kate is based in Jersey City, NJ and is passionate about making the web more accessible to emerging entrepreneurs – especially women and kids, who she believes are the keys to the future.⁠

Kate spent the better part of the last decade building custom WordPress websites for lifestyle, healthcare and higher education clients in Boston and beyond. As a front-end developer, Kate has experienced first-hand what it’s like to be curious about code when you don’t fit the mold. As a result, Kate has developed a passion for helping female entrepreneurs get more comfortable with the web, and has shifted away from done-for-you web services to focus on educating site owners to do it themselves at WPMaster.me.

Kate and her husband own & operate a coding & robotics enrichment center in downtown Jersey City, NJ. Code Wiz offers after-school coding classes for kids ages 7 to 17, and teaches coding through fun play and learning activities. Adults can also learn at Code Wiz, through daytime and evening courses in WordPress website management, social media marketing, advertising online and more.⁠

Need help with your website?

Kate M. Gilbert, experienced web developer and WordPress expert, is available for hands-on, live web support via Zoom Office Hours.

During these 1-on-1 sessions, you get the undivided attention of a tech expert who’s been there, has worked with your software, and is passionate about helping you figure it out, too, so that you can rock your web marketing.

How to Log In to Your WordPress Dashboard

How to Log In to Your WordPress Dashboard

The dashboard is the place where all the settings, content and imagery for a WordPress site are configured and stored. The first step to editing your WordPress site is successfully logging in to the site’s dashboard.

A WordPress site’s dashboard can always be accessed by typing the site URL and then: /wp-admin at the end of the URL.

Your Username is either your email address or the install name of your site. For example, if your new site’s URL is happyapple.wpengine.com, then your username is “happyapple”.

Your Password was emailed to you when you signed up for this course. If you’ve forgotten it or it isn’t working anymore, click “Lost your password?” and enter the email address that you used when you signed up for this course. You’ll receive a password reset email from WordPress. Follow the instructions to reset your own password and regain access to your site.

When you are successfully logged in to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see a screen that looks a little bit like this:

You can do a lot from within your WordPress dashboard. It is the hub of your website. If you are confused, be sure to check out this post to get a better understanding of the WordPress dashboard.

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Site Name & General Settings on WordPress

Site Name & General Settings on WordPress

When you are new to WordPress, there are a few things you need to take care of right off the bat – namely, naming your site. And a few other basic settings, like Permalinks. This blog post will walk you through the first key configurations of your site’s WordPress settings that you want to take within your new WordPress site dashboard to set it up for success.

Go to Settings > General and customize the following:

  • Site Title – This is typically your name, your business name, or the name of the group or organization that the site is for
  • Tagline – Tell people what they can expect, in a short phrase or sentence. For example, “we make good websites for good people” is a great tagline.
  • Admin email address – Change this to your own now that you’re in your site. The change requires confirmation; look for an email from WordPress
  • Time zone – Double check to make sure this matches your own time zone

Example settings showing site title, tagline, email and time zone adjusted:

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How to Set Pretty Permalinks in WordPress

How to Set Pretty Permalinks in WordPress

Want “pretty permalinks” on your WordPress site? Here’s how:

“Pretty permalinks” are links that look nice in the browser and make sense. They’re “pretty” because users can read them and make sense. If you’re setting up your WordPress site for the first time, one of the chief things to take care of before launch is your permalinks.

It’s a little known fact, but a brand new WordPress site, when left alone, will spit out some nasty URLs, like mysite.com/post-9-2019. That kind of permalink just isn’t pretty. Wouldn’t you rather see mysite.com/chocolate-cake-recipe? You betcha!

Here’s how to make sure your site uses pretty permalinks:

Go to Settings > Permalinks and customize the following:

  • Choose the “post name” option
  • This will ensure that your pages and posts have URLs that make sense

Hit save and viola! You now and pretty permalinks. If you go look at a post on your site, you should now see the post name In the URL instead of Its numerical ID.

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Landing Page Love: 10 tips for the best landing page

Landing Page Love: 10 tips for the best landing page

A landing page can be the cornerstone of your marketing plan – if it’s set up correctly. The best landing page layouts follow a simple formula that’s easy to emulate. In this blog post, I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how to lay out the best landing page template for your product, service or free resource so that you can use that landing page to capture leads that convert to real sales.

Landing page layout rules, from the top down:

1. Landing pages and homepages are not the same thing.

Your website only gets one homepage, but you can set up as many landing pages as you want! A different landing page can be used for every product, service, event, webinar, free giveaway or resource that you want your followers to know about. A landing page is specifically set up to focus on selling that one thing, whereas your homepage is the central repository for all things you or your brand.

2. Start by declaring who the product, service or resource is for.

At the very top of your landing page, verify that the site visitor is in the right place by straight out saying it: “This shop is for dog owners who like to dress their pups in princess dresses. Here you can buy puppy princess dresses for all your dog dress-up needs.” Before I even start scrolling, I know what store I’m in and whether or not they have what I’m looking for.

3. Next, acknowledge your visitor’s key struggle. Hear it and see it.

Once you’ve declared who the landing page is meant for, recognize the key struggle your product or service will solve: “Do you have a tough time finding princess dresses for your favorite pup?” Dig into their pain a bit, show that you understand their frustration. If the visitor is in the right place, they’ll feel understood and be more likely to keep scrolling to find out about your solution.

4. Then, show your solution to their struggles.

Here’s the point in your landing page where you introduce your solution and why it’s the solution for anyone who’s experience the key struggle you’ve pointed out. You want your customer to say, “show me the dog dresses! This is exactly what I’ve been searching for!” Show how your solution will make their problems go away and improve their situation.

5. Now, describe yourself and how you came to this solution.

This section, just below the fold, is where you introduce YOU. Include a picture if you’re a service provider, or real product images if you’re selling a product, and get real about why people should trust you. Sharing a bit of your story and getting vulnerable about why you’re passionate about this solution keeps the reader scrolling. Remember that your visitor needs to know, like and trust you before making a purchase, and sharing pieces of your story helps in that regard.

6. Address your visitor’s objections, answer every “but what about…?” question you can imagine.

Here’s the point in your landing page where you introduce your solution and why it’s the solution for anyone who’s experience the key struggle you’ve pointed out. You want your customer to say, “show me the dog dresses! This is exactly what I’ve been searching for!” Show how your solution will make their problems go away and improve their situation.

7. Share real life testimonials, results, or success stories.

Tell the visitor a brief story about how your product or service solved someone else’s problem. Got a gallery of customer-submitted reviews complete with dogs in princess dresses? That’s landing page gold – real people using the product to make their own problems go away.

8. The best landing pages show the solution.

Don’t just use words to describe what you’re offering – show the visitor with images, videos, graphics and illustrations that help them understand how it works. The more deeply they “get it” the more likely they are to buy in and take that next step with you.

9. Include social proof to back up your claims.

Here’s where you get to brag about all the accolades your product or service has already won. If you’re a member of the Better Business Bureau or some other certifying organization, include their logos and links, like my client Golden Group Roofing does on their roofing services landing page. Don’t go crazy – too many logos is too much – but show the ones your visitors might recognize and be impressed by to prove your social cred.

10. Lastly, use your landing page to get engagement.

In between each and every one of the recommendations I make here you should have a button, link, form or sale item that directly invites the user to take the next step in your purchase process. Whether that’s to join your email list to download a freebie, or to buy a product or service, don’t leave the visitors looking for what’s next. Be clear and let them take that next step in real time. That’s when they’ll know they’ve truly landed on the solution that’s right for them!


Liked these landing page layout tips?

If so, please share them with your friends and networks! I produce content like this because I believe we can all have websites that shine. It just takes a little know-how, and I’m here to show you the way. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook and join my FREE Facebook group for real-time support for your web marketing efforts.

Want one-on-one help implementing your landing page layout ideas?

That’s what Office Hours are for! I provide one-on-one implementation support for landing page setup and other web marketing activities, from WordPress to Squarespace to all the services in between. Learn more about how Office Hours work on my homepage and take advantage of my limited-time Power Hour promotion today to clear your 2020 to-do list with ease and effectiveness.

Stuck and need some help?

WPMaster.me has a Facebook group! Kate and other web marketing experts are on-hand via Facebook, ready to answer questions and provide help to implement the ideas shared here. Trying our technique and not succeeding? Share your story in the group to get help. We also welcome brag posts when our tips have worked and you want to share your new tool! Join the WPMaster.me Facebook Group today >