Twitter updates for your sidebar

Twitter_IconHi there,

A bit of bad news, but a lot of good news when it comes to Twitter.

As you know, widgets are only as good as the developer that updates it and one of our widgets “Latest Twitter Sidebar Widget” is no longer functioning and the developer will not be updating the plug-in due to Twitter’s new API.  I will be removing it from the list of available plug-ins.

WordPress - Extra Sidebar Widget


Onto the good news!! We were using that widget because at the time when I installed it, WordPress did not offer a way to show your feed from the dashboard.  Jetpack, in one of its later releases, did just that and you will find in the Jetpack menu the following option for Extra Sidebar Widgets


With this widget you can add:

The RSS Links Widget lets you easily add post and comment RSS feeds to a sidebar on your theme.

The Twitter Widget shows your latest tweets within a sidebar on your theme.

The Facebook Like Box Widget shows your Facebook Like Box within a sidebar on your theme.

The Image Widget lets you easily add images to a sidebar on your theme.

Each of these widgets has a number of customization options. To use the widgets, go to Appearance → Widgets. Drag them into one of your sidebars and configure away.

As always, feel free to contact me if you need any help.

Enable Blog Comments through Facebook or Twitter

Social Media CommentsIntegrate social media login options for your blog’s comments:

If you haven’t had the chance to review all of the recent changes in the Jetpack menu, I wanted to make you aware of an option called “Jetpack Comments.”  By default  all FIT blogs are enabled to use a spam filter requiring all commenters to fill out their name and email address before a comment can be submitted for approval.  And in most cases, an administrator must always approve the comment before it goes live.

Jetpack Comments allows the commenter to use their Twitter, Facebook, or WordPress account if they have one to automatically log in.  Once you activate Jetpack Comments through the Jetpack menu additional options will appear under Settings > Discussion at the bottom of the page allowing you to choose a greeting text and a color scheme.


Automatically Post to Twitter, Facebook and More

In the past you had to jump through some hoops to get your posts sent directly to your affiliated Facebook or Twitter accounts.  Well, not anymore.  Jetpack was upgraded today to version 2.0 which includes a very powerful sharing tool that allows you to choose what social networks you want your information to post to automatically for you.  You also have the ability to choose by each post which networks to activate/deactivate.

Click on Jetpack in the left-hand navigation, and from the Jetpack menu find the option for “Publicize” and then click on “Configure.”  Connect your account one by one for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumbler, or Yahoo.  If you are already logged into any of these networks, it should pick up the account right away.  Just be wary of what account you are signed into if you have more than one. Also be sure to save the setting changes at the bottom of the page.

After linking your networks you will now see a difference when you go to publish a new post.  You will have a few new options.


Publicize on WordPress

Just above the “Publish” button, all of your linked accounts will appear by default.  If you would like to disable one or more of your networks for a single post then choose “edit” to customize which networks to send to as well as the customized message sent.

Easy right?