How to Create Different Widgets on Different Pages Using a Plugin

In a previous post My Favorite Things to Use with WordPress Part 2 at the top of my favorite’s list was the plugin Display Widgets. This plugin allows you to display different widgets on different pages, thus allowing you to have custom sidebars on your WordPress site. Today, I am going to show you how to use it.

widget plugin

photo credit: bobbigmac via photopin cc


How to Install the Display Widgets Plugin

1. Login to the dashboard of your WordPress site

2. Locate the plugins area on the left hand side and click “add new”

3. Type Display Widgets in the search box and click search plugins

4. You will then see a list of plugins matching your search. Locate Display Widgets and click “install now”

5. It will ask you if you are sure you want to install this plugin. Click “ok”

6. After it installs you will come to next screen click “activate plugin”

7. Let’s use thing thing!

 

How to use the Display Widgets Plugin

There are no additional settings for this plugin. It is simply plug and play.

1. Go to appearance then widgets

2. Once in your list of widgets, select the widgets you want to only be on a certain page or pages. You can do this by clicking the arrow in the upper right hand side of the widget you select.

3. Once the widget is expanded you will see a new area beneath the normal widget options. The first item to select is “show/hide widgets”. You can either hide a widget on a particular page or only show it on a particular page. I found showing it on a particular page is most effective since the rest of your widgets will show on all pages unless you indicate otherwise. This is of course if you just want to hide a widget on 1 or 2 pages. Up to you.

4. For demonstration purposes I will use “show on checked”. So, select ”show on checked”.

5. Select which page(s) you want that particular widget to show on then click save.

6. If you selected for the widget to only display on the about page, then check it by going to any other page you have widgets and you will see it is not appearing on those pages, just the about page.

That is it. Pretty simple and self-explanatory.

Useful Ways to Use the Plugin

I will use myself as an example since I use this plugin a lot with other clients. In my use of the plugin, I have a lot of services that I offer and I break them up into pages. If you look at the page WordPress design services, you will see in the lower right hand corner it says “Other Services”, and you will see links to WordPress Development and Consulting & Traning. If you go to the WordPress Development page you will see in the same corner WordPress design and Training & Consulting, so that if you go to a particular page it shows other services that I offer but does not include the particular service of the page you are on. This way you can make it look slightly more custom to showcase other services and not have a link to the same page your user is on. It is just a nice touch. To do this, I just set up about 6 widgets and set up my different variations with WordPress design on particular pages and so forth and so on with all the other links. You can of course code this straight into the site using conditional statements, but I’m not above using a plugin and I can easily just go in and edit it and change it. Same applies if you are using this plugin for a client and they want to add more services. It is a nice way for them to edit it themselves. If you want to do additional links and things too an easy way for you or a client would be to just make a custom menu and use the menu widget. That way they do not need to write any html.

How to succeed with your WordPress company

In 2005 when I was 21 and attending The Art Institute for Graphic Design, my dad, who at the time was a successful internet marketer made me come over to his house so he could “show me my future.” He made me sit down at his desk and pulled up a WordPress site he had made with the little “Hello World” Kubrick header, and he said, “Rachael, you have got to learn WordPress and make headers for people…you will be rich!” I literally rolled my eyes and said, “This is what you made me come over here for?” Little did I know the seed he had planted inside of my head at the time.

wordpress designHow I got into WordPress and SEO

After that, he had one of his friends make me a WordPress website called thebannerqueen.com which was set up for me to sell my graphic services which included headers, banners, ebooks etc. All the really dorky internet marketing graphics in ‘05. At the same time we also set up virtualgraphicartist.com (VGA) where I would sell one-hour blocks of time where I would get on GotoMeeting with a client and he/she would direct me while I created their WordPress header or the other graphics we offered. It was going pretty well and it was a good little job that lasted several years while I was in school, but I was approached by a competitor to purchase both companies in 2008 and I jumped at the opportunity. After I sold thebannerqueen and VGA I took a break from my computer and graphics, took some time off school, hung out with friends, and skateboarded for about six months.

Following my hiatus from all things digital, I moved to Phoenix, Az. in 2009 with my fiancé, and decided I would try my hand at the corporate world. I landed a job at a real estate brokerage company as their in-house SEO, web designer, and office slave. What they didn’t know at the time was that I didn’t really know how to do SEO or web design, but since I wasn’t too shabby at graphics and was somewhat familiar with WordPress I figured what the heck I’ll just teach myself on the job, and I did. I rebuilt their company website in WordPress and within 1 month, I got it ranking organically for some very competitive local keywords in Phoenix.

My journey back to entrepreneurship

I had originally chosen to join the workforce because I thought I needed to rely on someone else to be the boss and to make the tough decisions for me. I thought my personality was the type where I needed to be directed and that I would prefer someone just telling me what graphics to make, but after being put into that exact position I realized I was the exact opposite. I found I enjoyed project management and being a leader. I had gotten a taste of working for someone else and I knew this was not the position God had planned for me. Out of the blue one day I decided to post ads on craigslist for my web design and SEO services and see what happens. Within two months, I had built up enough clients to walk away from my job and went full-time with Rachaelbutts.com, a full-service WordPress design and development company.

It is pretty funny because at the time I didn’t even have a personal site, and was so swamped I had to build it on the side as I was working on clients sites. We have now grown into a team of 4 including lead developer Jamie Brewer, and lead illustrator Harry Martawijaya. They rock to say the least.

The reasons why my company is successful

I attribute our success to three fundamental business principles that can be used in any business, not just web design, and those are great project management, a cohesive team, and honesty. No good business can survive without good project management. It is not just for our personal organizational needs it also creates a great client relationship.

Great Project Management

  • Jamie and I try to do a weekly meeting each Monday where we go over our calendar together. We discuss projects that are coming up in the queue so he knows what to be prepared for, and we also go over and create timelines/deadlines together. We then place it all on our shared Google Calendar where his tasks are in green, and mine are in red.
  • For email communication, I try to lay out emails very clearly with titles of items in bold and highlighted in yellow and the task itself right underneath it. We also set up our subjects lines with project name first like “rachaelbutts.com – subjects goes here.”
  • We have tried all the fancy project management systems but we found we spent more time putting the information into the system than needed, and it is just more efficient to use Google Calendar, Docs, and Gmail. In addition, they are free!
  • For Gmail we create folders for each client. Each client is marked with a color. Green means I need to work on their project (which correlates with the Google calendar), red means I need to reply to them, blue means I am waiting on the client, and purple means I am waiting on a team member. It works great.
  • We also utilize Gravity Forms for all of our questionnaires. We create one for client logins, web design creation, and logo creation. That way when I send that needed information to Jamie or Harry it is all laid out in a nice format already.

The key is to be very efficient and effective all while maintaining a high quality of work.

A cohesive team

The cohesive team component was a difficult one for me, and I know it is for a lot of people in our industry unfortunately. Often times clients come to me and they’ve been burned by a previous developer. Hopefully we as a community can come together to solve that problem by doing quality work and having better customer service. I am so blessed now to have a solid team working with me. Don’t get me wrong I have been through a couple bad ones, but sometimes you have to go through those growing pains to get to that sweet spot. I personally had success on WPHired. There are lot of designers and developers looking for full to part-time work and who knows maybe you can find a lifelong business relationship on there like I did or find work for yourself. You will find once you get into sync with a few good designers and developers that they kind of know each other and can refer you. Don’t be afraid to ask if people and/or companies are hiring too. We would much rather see a designer/developer eager to work than have to chase them down. Just make sure you have your own site and a portfolio.

Always be honest!

Finally, the last successful component, honesty. When isn’t honesty a good thing to have? Ok, so there is such a thing as being too honest like telling your clients their picture of their dog they want on their homepage is hideous, but you get my point. If you can’t meet a deadline, or you can’t get that plugin working like how you promised, tell your client. What is the worst thing that could happen? They would much rather know than have you just avoid them. One little email can go a long way, and hey, they are people too. You will find 99% of the time if an issue pops up the client will be understanding, and if they aren’t, maybe it is time to fire them (and yes that is always an option).

 

Just believe in yourself: you CAN run your own business if you really want to. If you’re a beginner remember that we were all beginners at some point. You cannot live your life with the “what ifs.” What if you never try? When you wake up 20 years from now are you going to be mad that you tried and possibly failed, or never tried at all? Sure, every business has its ups and downs, but when you write down a list of pros and cons you’ll see a much longer list for pros, and you’ll find most of the cons to be fears that may or may not ever even happen. Live in the now, and focus on today. Focus on your determination and surround yourself with like-minded individuals that will support you.

If you want to be a designer or developer for WordPress specifically, get involved locally with WordPress meetups. Subscribe to blogs to stay up to date on the latest news, trends, and business practices like CodePoet and WPCandy, and reach out to others in your community. I know I was nervous as an amateur talking to other WordPress professionals, but the more I did the more I found how willing they were to share their advice with me and remember that they were amateurs once too. We all have come from a humble beginning and this is especially true I believe with WordPress.