How to Add Custom CSS Classes to WordPress Widgets

Add CSS classes to WordPress widgets – The best thing about WordPress is that it makes it very easy to customize your site to meet your needs. One of the popular ways to customize a WordPress site is to use a good WordPress theme. If you are using WordPress for any part of time, you will know that most themes and plugins make a good use of the WordPress widgets to display content on the front end.

As such, there will be times when you need to add custom styles to WordPress widgets. Thankfully, you can easily add your own custom styles by adding custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets. In case you are wondering, here’s how to add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets.

Add Custom CSS Classes to WordPress Widgets

To add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets we are going to use a free plugin called Widget CSS Classes. As the name implies, this simple plugin makes it is really easy to add custom CSS classes and IDs to WordPress widgets. This, in turn, enables you to add custom styles to WordPress widgets.

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Features of Widget CSS Classes

Though the plugin is pretty simple and minimal, Widget CSS Classes has all the features you’ll ever need to quickly and easily add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets. Below are some notable features of the plugin.

  • Plugin adds custom fields to widgets to add CSS classes
  • Along with CSS classes, you can also add CSS IDs
  • Adds automatic even and odd classes to widgets
  • Ability to add multiple classes
  • Ability to add predefined classes using checkboxes
  • Add automatic numbered classes to widgets
  • Support for hooks and filters to customize the output

Add Custom CSS Classes Using Widget CSS Classes

To add custom CSS classes to widgets in WordPress, download and install Widget CSS Classes plugin like any other WordPress plugin. Once installed, activate the plugin to start adding CSS classes to WordPress widgets.

The good thing about the plugin is that it is optimally configured out-of-the-box. All you have to do is set the CSS classes in the widgets section. To do that, navigate to “Settings” and then “Widgets“.

Add CSS Classes to Widgets - Select Widgets

Add CSS classes to widgets – select widgets

Once you are here, expand the widget and you will see a new field called “CSS Classes“. Here, enter your custom CSS class and click on the “Save” button to save the changes.

Note: if you want to, you can enter multiple CSS classes by separating them with a single space. Ex: “widget-class-1 widget-class-2”

Add CSS styles to Widgets - Enter Custom CSS Class

Add CSS styles to widgets – Enter custom CSS class

That’s it. With the above action, you’ve successfully added a new custom CSS class to a WordPress widget. In fact, if you open Inspect Element tool in Chrome web browser(Menu > Tools > Developer Tools) and see your widget, you will see the newly added CSS class.

Add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets - CSS classes added to widgets

Add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets – CSS classes added to widgets

From now on, you can use this custom CSS class to add custom styles to the target WordPress widget.

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Add Custom Styles to Widgets – Plugin Settings

As I said in the features list, the plugin also adds a few other automatic classes like even and odd classes and numbered classes. If you look carefully at the Inspect Element image above, you will those extra classes added by the plugin.

However, if you want to, you can easily disable these extra classes from the plugin settings page. To open the plugin settings page, navigate to “Settings > Widget CSS Classes“.

Add custom styles to widgets - Open plugin settings

Add custom styles to widgets – Open plugin settings

You can configure a few settings from this page. Here are what those settings mean.

  • Add widget number classes: As you can tell from the name itself, this setting adds numbered classes for all the widgets. Ex: widget-1, widget-2, etc. This option is enabled by default.
  • Add First or Last Classes: This options automatically adds class to the first and last widget.
  • Add Even or Odd Classes: This setting automatically adds two classes. i.e, “widget-even” and “widget-odd” to even and odd numbered widgets respectively. For instance, for the first widget in the sidebar, “widget-odd” class will be added, for the second widget, “widget-even” class will be added, for the third widget, “widget-odd” class will be added, and so on.
  • Show Additional Field for ID: Using this option you can enable addition field in the widgets to add custom CSS IDs. This option is disabled by default.
Add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets - Plugin settings

Add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets – Plugin settings

If you enable the additional field for CSS IDs, this is how it appears on the widgets page. In the new additional field, enter your target CSS ID and click on the button “Save” to save the changes.

Add custom styles to WordPress widgets - Add CSS ID

Add custom styles to WordPress widgets – Add CSS ID

You can also add your own custom predefined classes so that you don’t have to enter a single or multiple CSS classes multiple times for all your widgets. To add predefined classes, simply enter the CSS class name in the field next to “Predefined Class” and click on the “Save Changes” button.

Add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets - Add predefined classes

Add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets – Add predefined classes

After setting up the predefined classes, you can select those classes while configuring the widgets.

Add custom CSS classes to widgets - Select predefined classes

Add custom CSS classes to widgets – Select predefined classes

Finally, you might be thinking what does the “Class Field Type” setting do. Below is what each option does.

  • Text: This option is selected by default and it displays a simple text field to add CSS classes. In fact, this option is what enables you to add custom CSS classes while configuring your WordPress widgets.
  • Predefined: When selected, you will see checkboxes in the widgets so that you can select which predefined CSS classes to apply.
  • Both: This option shows both the text and predefined fields in the widgets.
Add CSS classes to WordPress widgets - When select the "Both" option

Add CSS classes to WordPress widgets – When select the “Both” option

  • Hide: This option hides both the text and predefined fields in the widgets.

Last but not least. You can export and import Widget CSS Classes settings from the Import and Export tab. This is pretty helpful when you want to backup the settings or to use the same settings and options on multiple WordPress sites.

Custom CSS classes to widgets - Import and Export options

Custom CSS classes to widgets – Import and Export options

Promoting affiliate products? Here are some of the best plugins to cloak affiliate links.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the plugin makes it easy to add custom CSS classes to WordPress widgets. Moreover, the plugin is very easy to use, minimal, and optimally configured by default. So, do give the plugin a try and add your own custom styles to WordPress widgets.

If you like this article, do check out how to disable theme switching in WordPress and how to disable plugin and theme editor for better WordPress security.

Hope that helps and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to add CSS classes to WordPress widgets.

How to Backup WordPress to Google Drive for Free [Detailed Guide]

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – No matter what WordPress website you are running, creating regular backups on your local computer or on a cloud storage service is a mandatory task. As a website owner, you should never ignore it. Of course, many web hosts like SiteGround and WP Engine offer their own automated daily and/or weekly backups, but you just cannot have a single backup location that is not fully under your control.

That is the reason why many WordPress backup plugins offer features that can automatically backup your WordPress site to Dropbox, Google Drive, and many other cloud services. So, in this quick and detailed guide, let us get to know how to backup WordPress site to Google Drive in simple and easy steps.

Why Backup to Google Drive?

The arguments to backup WordPress to Google Drive are simple and straightforward.

  • With every Gmail account, you get 15GB for free Google Drive cloud storage space.
  • Highly reliable cloud service. The chance of losing your backup is quite low. Unless it is your deliberate mistake.
  • Highly secure service.
  • You can access and download your backups whenever and wherever you want.
  • If you want to, you can share your backups between your team.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive

To backup WordPress to Google Drive, we are going to use a plugin called UpdraftPlus. It is a free plugin available from the WordPress plugin repository. The good thing about UpdraftPlus is that you can configure it to automatically backup WordPress to Google Drive on scheduled time.

Features of UpdraftPlus Plugin

Some of the features of UpdraftPlus include but not limited to:

  • The plugin can backup your site to a wide variety of cloud storage services, including Google Drive
  • Automatic backup with scheduling
  • Quickly restore both files and database
  • Ability to select which files, folders, and components to backup and restore
  • Download backup archive from WordPress dashboard
  • Ability to encrypt database while backing up [pro feature]
  • Options to duplicate or migrate your WordPress site
  • Remote control backups of other sites from a single WP dashboard (useful feature if you have multiple WP websites)
  • Slipt backups into multiple archives for large sites

and much more.

Note: though the process of setting up UpdraftPlus to backup WordPress to Google Drive is a bit lengthy, it is pretty simple and straightforward. I’ve divided the whole setup procedure into small sections and several steps. So, follow the steps and you should be able backup your WordPress site to Google Drive in just a few minutes.

Install and Active UpdraftPlus

1. To start off, download and install UpdraftPlus like any other WordPress plugin.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Install UpdraftPlus

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Install UpdraftPlus

2. Once installed, activate the plugin and you are good to configure it to backup WordPress to Google Drive.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Activate UpdraftPlus plugin

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Activate UpdraftPlus plugin

3. After activating the plugin, open up the UdraftPlus settings page by navigating to “Settings” and then “UpdraftPlus Backups.”

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Open UpdraftPlus Settings Page

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Open UpdraftPlus Settings Page

Setup the Schedule and Select Storage

4. In the settings page, navigate to the “Settings” tab. Here, we need to set up the automatic backup intervals for both the files and database.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Schedule UpdraftPlus

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Schedule UpdraftPlus

5. Simply select the backup frequency from the drop-down menu and enter how many backups you want to retain. In my case, I’m selecting the “Daily” option as the backup interval and “10” backups to retain. Which simply means that the plugin will backup my WordPress site daily and retains 10 backups at any given point of time.

6. Now, scroll down and select your backup destination as “Google Drive” next to “Choose your remote storage.” This action will bring forward some extra options and also gives you the “authorized redirect URI,” we are going to need that URI in future steps.

Don’t yet save the changes.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Select Google Drive

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Select Google Drive

Configuring Google Drive

Before UpdraftPlus can backup WordPress to Google Drive, you need to configure Google Drive to activate Drive API and get the Client ID and secret key.

7. To do that, head over to the Google Developer Console. Here, click on the button “New Project.”

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Create a new project

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Create a new project

8. Now, enter the new unique project name and click on the button “Create.” For instance, I’ve entered my project name as “Bloggersignal Dev.”

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Enter your new Project name

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Enter your new Project name

9. After creating the Project, head over to the “APIs” section under “APIs and auth” on the left sidebar.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Select the APIs link

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Select the APIs link

10. Here, find the “Drive API” link under “Google Apps APIs” and click on it.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Select Drive API

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Select Drive API

11. Now, click on the “Enable API” button. This action enables the Drive API.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Enable the Drive API

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Enable the Drive API

12. After that, you need to configure the Consent Screen. To do that, click on the link “Consent screen.” Here, enter the Product Name of your choice and click on the “Save” button.

Of course, you can also fill all the optional blanks if you want to, it doesn’t matter.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Configure Consent Screen Settings

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Configure Consent Screen Settings

13. Now, you need to create the client ID. To do that, click on the link “Credentials” in the left sidebar. Once the page has been opened, click on the button “Create new client ID.”

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Select Create New Client ID

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Select Create New Client ID

14. This will open up the “Create Client ID” module. Here, enter the details as follows.

  1. Select the radio button “Web Application.”
  2. Enter your full domain name (eg: http://www.example.com) in the “Authorized Javascript Origins” field.
  3. Now, copy the authorized redirect URL from the UpdraftPlus settings page and paste it in the “Authorized Redirect URIs” field.

15. Once you are done filling the fields, this is how it looks like. Now click on the button “Create Client ID.”

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Create New Client ID

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Create New Client ID

16. This action will create the new client ID and client secret. Now, copy both the client ID and the client secret.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Copy client ID and client secret

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Copy client ID and client secret

Configure UpdraftPlus to Work with Google Drive

17. Now paste those two in the UpdraftPlus settings page next to “Google Drive Client ID” and “Google Drive Client Secret.”

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Paste client ID and client secret

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Paste client ID and client secret

18. After that, simply scroll down and click on the “Save Changes” button to save all the changes you just made. This action will show you a notice indicating that you need to authenticate your Google Drive account. Just click on the link.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Authorize UpdraftPlus

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Authorize UpdraftPlus

19. The above action will open the authorization or consent window. Click on the button “Accept” to allow UpdraftPlus to upload files to your Google Drive account.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Accept to Authorize UpdraftPlust

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Accept to Authorize UpdraftPlust

20. You’ve successfully authorized UpdraftPlus to backup WordPress to Google Drive. From this point forward, UpdraftPlus will automatically backup WordPress to Google Drive as scheduled.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - UpdraftPlus Authorized Successfully

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – UpdraftPlus Authorized Successfully

21. To test the settings, navigate to the “Current Status” tab and click on the button “Backup Now.”

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Click on the Backup Now Button

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Click on the Backup Now Button

22. This action may open another screen, just click on the button “Backup Now” again.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Click on the Backup Now Button Again

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Click on the Backup Now Button Again

Wrapping Up

That’s it, UpdraftPlus will now backup your site and automatically uploads it to your Google Drive account. Depending on the size of your site, the backup and upload process may take some time.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Backup in Progress

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Backup in Progress

Once the backup and upload process has been completed, you can view all the current backups in the “Existing Backups” tab.

One thing to keep in mind is that since UpdraftPlus is uploading the backup files to your Google Drive account, it will not store any files locally. i.e, on your server.

So, make sure that you check the backups in your Google Drive account.

Backup WordPress to Google Drive - Backup Completed

Backup WordPress to Google Drive – Backup Completed

That’s all there is to do and it is that easy to configure and use UpdraftPlus to backup WordPress to Google Drive.

Hope that helps to properly backup your WordPress site to Google Drive. Do comment below if you face any problems following the above procedure or to share your thoughts and experiences about using UpdraftPlus to backup WordPress to Google Drive.

8 Best and Free WordPress Affiliate Plugins to Cloak and Hide Affiliate Links

WordPress affiliate plugin – Besides from using AdSense ads, affiliate marketing is another common way for many bloggers to earn money to support recurring costs of blogging and other relevant stuff. In case you don’t know, affiliate marketing is nothing but you promoting or advertising the products and services you like or trust to earn a commission when there is a sale.

As good as it is, most of the affiliate links look kind of ugly and suspicious with all the weird characters and words. Moreover, as you add different affiliate links to your content, it will be quite difficult to manage all those links individually. This is especially true when you need to make changes to the affiliate link. There may be any number of reasons for this like the product developer changing the affiliate URL, removing the entire affiliate program, mistakes in the added affiliate URL, etc.

To deal with this, there are many best WordPress affiliate plugins which can cloak all your affiliate links while providing advanced features like tracking and link management. So without further ado, let me show you some of the best WordPress affiliate plugins to cloak and hide your affiliate links.

Best WordPress Affiliate Plugins

1. ThirstyAffiliates

WordPress Affiliate Plugin - ThirstyAffiliates

WordPress Affiliate Plugin – ThirstyAffiliates

ThirstyAffiliates is my favorite and one of the best WordPress affiliate plugins that come with a ton of features while still being easy to use. In fact, I personally use it to manage all of my outgoing links, download links, and other temporary links. The good thing about ThirstyAffiliate link manager is that it utilizes the native WordPress custom post types and taxonomies to create the cloaked affiliate links. This makes it easy for you to import or export your affiliate links.

Moreover, ThirstyAffiliate link manager will nicely integrate with the WordPress editor making it easy to add or create new affiliate links. ThirstyAffiliates plugin comes both in free and paid versions, where the core plugin is free to use.

The core features of the ThirstyAffiliates affiliate plugin include but not limited to:

  • Customizable link prefixes
  • Link categories
  • SEO optimized link redirection [301, 302, and 307 redirections]
  • Do-follow and no-follow options
  • Full importing and exporting via native WordPress options [navigate to “Tools > Export” in WordPress dashboard]
  • Ability to add banners and images to affiliate links
  • Add additional rel attributes
  • Option to configure links to open in new window
  • Handy link picker integrated into WordPress post editor
  • Create affiliate link directly from WordPress post editor

and much more.

Pros: The plugin is very easy to use and native exporting and importing via WordPress is a welcome feature. Moreover, the plugin is lightweight on your hosting resources.

Cons: There is no click tracking or Google Analytics integration. If you want these features, you need to purchase the add-ons. Of course, if you really want to, you can always use Google Tag Manager to track affiliate links.

Price: The base plugin is free. However, for added features, you can choose from one of their three plans or buy individual add-ons as required.

What you get with the PRO version: With the PRO version, you can enable extended features like click tracking, Google Analytics integration, automatic link insertions, geolocations, split testing, etc.

Download / More info

2. Pretty Link

WordPress Affiliate Plugin - Pretty Link

WordPress Affiliate Plugin – Pretty Link

Pretty Link is another famous affiliate link cloaking plugin for WordPress with some of the best and useful features like 301 and 302 redirections, link tracking, forward parameters, link groups, etc. As the name implies, the Pretty Link plugin can make your affiliate links and any other links you want to cloak pretty with custom slugs. Just like ThirstyAffiliates, Pretty Link plugin comes in both the Pro and Lite versions where the lite version is free and limited in terms of advanced features like Google Analytics integration, conversion reports, keyword replacement, URL replacement, advanced URL tracking statistics, etc.

Notable Features of Pretty Link Plugin:

  • SEO optimized redirections [301, 302, and 307 redirects]
  • Auto generate random slugs with three or four characters
  • Ability to add custom slugs
  • Basic and advanced click tracking for clocked URLs
  • Exclude your IP address from link tracking
  • Add nofollow or no-index to the URLs
  • Organize links to groups or categories
  • Ability to pass custom parameters

and much more.

Pros: The plugin is very easy to use. The basic click tracking and SEO optimized redirection features in the free version are pretty useful. In fact, the free version is sufficient for most bloggers.

Cons: Pretty link has no support for custom or built-in link prefixes.

Pricing: Just like ThirstyAffiliates, the base plugin is free. To unlock additional features, you can upgrade to one of the three available plans.

What you get with the PRO version: With the pro version, you get additional and useful features like the ability to auto-create pretty links, advanced redirect types, auto link keywords, etc.

Download / More info

3. Easy Affiliate Links

WordPress Affiliate Plugin - Easy Affiliate Links

WordPress Affiliate Plugin – Easy Affiliate Links

Easy Affiliate Links plugin is a relatively new plugin but offers a simple yet effective way to quickly cloak your affiliate links with just a few clicks. Being a simple plugin, Easy Affiliate Links plugin has all the basic and necessary features such as link target options, custom slug, redirection options, link categories, etc. The good thing about the plugin is that it integrates well with the WordPress post editor so that you can easily add affiliate links or create one on the fly if you don’t have the affiliate URL created before hand.

Of course, being a free plugin, it misses some of the advanced features like link tracking analytics, broken links checker, etc. But according to the description page of the plugin, all the advanced features are coming soon. Do give the plugin a try and see if it fits your needs.

Features of Easy Affiliate Links plugin:

  • Options to insert cloaked affiliate links directly from WordPress post editor
  • Organize cloaked links into categories
  • Import and export affiliate links in XML format
  • Track monthly and lifetime clicks on cloaked URLs
  • Insert cloaked links directly from WordPress post editor

and much more

Pros: The plugin is free with the minimal user interface and has all the basic features you’ll ever need.

Cons: Easy Affiliate Links plugin lacks some advanced features like geo-targeting, Google Analytics integration, auto-linking to keywords, etc.

Price: Free. You can download Easy Affiliate Links plugin from WordPress plugin repository.

Download / More info

4. Simple URLs

WordPress Affiliate Plugin - Simple URLs

WordPress Affiliate Plugin – Simple URLs

Simple URLs is yet another free plugin from the developers at StudioPress. The plugin is really simple and straightforward to use. Being a simple plugin, it has no customization features whatsoever. In fact, the default cloaked URL will be something like http://example.com/go/yourLink and there is no way you can change the slug prefix /go/ unless you edit the plugin itself. But for one, I really like this plugin for its sheer simplicity. if you want a simple plugin that can just cloak and redirect your affiliate links without any other additional bells and whistles then the Simple URLs plugin is the way to go.

There is one thing to keep in mind while using the plugin. After installing the plugin, head over to the Permalinks section in your WordPress dashboard(Settings > Permalinks) and hit the “Save Changes” button, no need to make any changes. If not, the Simple URLs plugin may not work as it should and gives you the generic 404 errors for the cloaked links.

Features of Simple URLs plugin:

  • The plugin is very simple and minimal
  • Create 301 redirects for your affiliate links
  • Basic link click tracking and statistics
  • Uses WordPress custom post type for better performance and usability

Pros: As I said before, the plugin is very easy to use with minimal features. Moreover, the Simple URLs plugin is optimized for speed and performance.

Cons: The plugin has no advanced features whatsoever. You cannot customize the slug prefix.

Price: Free.

Download / More info

5. URL Shortener by MyThemeShop

WordPress Affiliate Plugin - URL Shortener by MyThemeShop

WordPress Affiliate Plugin – URL Shortener by MyThemeShop

URL Shortener by MyThemeShop is a new plugin to cloak and hide your affiliate links and other out-going links. Just like Simple URLs, URL Shortener is optimized for speed and performance. Moreover, you can easily create cloaked links with just few clicks and organize them in categories. If you want to, you can also use the built-in shortcodes to display the cloaked URLs.

Features of URL Shortener WordPress Affiliate Plugin:

  • Organize link in categories
  • Bulk replace links in posts and pages
  • Add links using shortcodes
  • Options to add nofollow and no-referrer tags
  • Option to configure links to open in new window
  • Support for Forward Parameters
  • Basic link click tracking
  • Hooks for developers
  • SEO optimized redirects [301, 302, and 307 redirects]

Pros: The plugin is very simple to use and has all the features you’ll ever need. Moreover, the plugin also supports importing links from Pretty Link. This feature is really useful if you want to make a switch from Pretty Link.

Cons: There are no options to export links or to add links from WordPress post editor.

Price: The base plugin is free. To unlock additional features, you need to subscribe to MyThemeShop or purchase the plugin individually for $27. The good thing is, with the subscription, you will get access to all their premium theme and plugins.

What you get with the premium version: As I said before, with one subscription, you get access to all MyThemeShop premium themes and plugins. As for the URL Shortener plugin, you will unlock additional features like javascript redirects, the ability to show different URL on mouse hover, advanced stats, redirection delay, etc.

Download / More info

6. Redirection

WordPress Affiliate Plugin - Redirection

WordPress Affiliate Plugin – Redirection

Redirection is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. However, this plugin is not made specifically to be an affiliate link manager. As you can tell from the name itself, Redirection plugin is typically used to manage all sorts of redirections like modified posts, 404 errors, etc. As such, you can also use this plugin to cloak and hide your affiliate links, download links, and other out-going links. In fact, Redirection plugin does a good job of it and unlike other plugins, it can even manage all your other URL redirection needs.

Features of Redirection Plugin:

  • Custom “Pass-through” redirections
  • Full logs on all the redirects
  • Organize redirection in categories
  • 404 error monitoring
  • SEO optimized redirection [301, 302, 307 redirections]
  • Support for full regular expressions
  • Fully localized

and much more.

Pros: One of the best plugins to create and maintain redirections on any WordPress site. Being a powerful plugin, you can easily cloak, manage, and log all your affiliate and other out-going links.

Cons: The plugin is not specifically designed to be an affiliate link manager. However, it does the job efficiently. That being said, even though you can create a category for all your affiliate links, there is no option to further sub-categorize the category to better manage the affiliate links.

Price: Free.

Download / More info

7. WP Wizard Cloak

WordPress Affiliate Plugin - WP Wizard Cloak

WordPress Affiliate Plugin – WP Wizard Cloak

WP Wizard Cloak is also a free plugin that has almost all the features to enhance your link cloaking needs. The plugin has some of the best useful features like display URLs based on geo-location, real-time click reports, automatic keyword linking, etc. Moreover, just like the other plugins in the list, WP Wizard Cloak integrates nicely with the WordPress post editor for easy link insertion. If you want to, you can auto-link keywords and style them as required using available options. Moreover, you can add your own slug prefixes to better identify and manage your affiliate links.

Features of WP Wizard Cloak Plugin:

  • Custom slug prefixes
  • Basic click tracking statistics for any period of time
  • Auto-link selected keywords
  • Automatically add custom styles to auto-linked keywords
  • Create redirects based on geo-location
  • Support for Sub IDs

and much more.

Pros: The plugin is fully featured with all the options you’ll ever need. The auto-linking and redirections based on geo-location is a welcome feature.

Cons: The plugin has no option to categorize the affiliate links.

Price: Free.

Download / More info

8. WP Cloaker

WordPress Affiliate Plugin - WP Cloaker

WordPress Affiliate Plugin – WP Cloaker

WP Cloaker is yet another plugin that lets you properly cloak and hide your affiliate links. Just like the other plugins, WP Cloaker has all the necessary features you need to create custom redirects for your affiliate links. The good thing about this plugin is that is very minimal and lightweight on your server resources. Moreover, the plugin also has some basic tracking capabilities like IP address, country, time and date, etc.

Features of WP Cloaker Plugin:

  • Organize links in categories and sub-categories
  • Basic link click tracking capabilities
  • Ability to add custom slug prefixes
  • SEO optimized redirections [301, 302, 303, 307, and javascript redirections]
  • Ability to generate link click reports with basic filtering capabilities

Pros: The plugin supports five different redirect types and has essential features like link prefixes and categories.

Cons: The plugin is pretty new and lacks some advanced features like auto-linking keywords, options to add nofollow tags and open links in new window, etc.

Price: Free.

Download / More info

Wrapping Up

Each and every WordPress affiliate plugin shared here has its own pros and cons. However, one thing that is common among these affiliate plugins is that they can effectively cloak your affiliate links to get you more results and revenue. So, do give the WordPress affiliate plugin of your choice a try and see if it fits your needs. After all, the WordPress affiliate plugins you see this post are free and well developed.

Hope that helps and do comment below to share your thoughts and experiences about using the above WordPress affiliate plugins or to share your favorite WordPress affiliate plugin.

15 Best Social Media Plugins to Encourage Visitors to Like and Share Your Content

Social media plugins for WordPress – Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., are reaching millions of users every day and month. In fact, more than 50% of internet users are active on Facebook and other related social media networks like Twitter and Google Plus. Simply put, you should not and cannot ignore social media and its impact.

Considering all that, it is only natural for us to capitalize on that huge potential and increase traffic and leads to our blogs and websites. The first step in the process is to encourage visitors to share your content. To help you with that, here are some of the best social media plugins for WordPress.

Best Social Media Plugin for WordPress

Here are some of the best social media plugins for WordPress. The social media plugins for WordPress shared here not only attractive but encourages the visitors to share your content and generate leads.

1. Monarch

Social Media Plugin for WordPress - Monarch Plugin

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Monarch Plugin

Monarch by Elegant Themes is one of the most popular and best social media plugins for WordPress that holds the ring and encourages users to share your content. The plugin enables you to place the social media buttons in several different places including but not limited to above and below posts, on images, on the sidebar, etc.

Monarch supports over 20 different social networks. Moreover, it has six automatic popup and fly-in slides which are triggered by certain events like after commenting, upon the scroll, after pre-defined inactivity, etc. Since Monarch supports shortcodes, you can place Monarch social media buttons anywhere you want.

If you are looking for a professional looking social media plugin for WordPress with great support and features, then Monarch will be the best choice.

Key Features of Monarch:

  • Clean, responsive and highly customizable design
  • Supports over 20 different social networks
  • Six different triggers for automatic pop-ups and fly-in triggers
  • Support for shortcodes
  • Ability to place social media button in five different places. Including on images and in posts.
  • Lightning fast loading speeds and intuitive settings page for customization

Download / More info

2. Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Easy Social Share Buttons

Social Media Plugins for WordPress – Easy Social Share Buttons

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress displays stylish social sharing buttons while being easy to configure. In fact, most popular WordPress blogs and websites use it to increase their social shares and followers. The supports 20 different social media platforms alongside with send to email and print buttons. Being a premium plugin, it gives you the complete freedom to configure the plugin the way you want. Easy Social Share Buttons plugin has 11 different automated display methods and 5 powerful shortcodes.

Moreover, Easy Social Share Buttons also has built-in modules for click log analytics, Google Analytics tracking, social media metrics, etc. If you want a simple yet powerful solution that gives you complete freedom and tracking abilities, then consider getting this plugin for WordPress.

Key Features of Easy Social Share Buttons:

  • Supports 20 different social media sites
  • Highly configurable plugin and buttons
  • The plugin has important built-in modules for Google Analytics and Social Media metrics
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Support for five different shortcodes

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3. Jetpack Social Share Module

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Jetpack Social Share Buttons

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Jetpack Social Share Buttons

Jetpack is an amazing plugin which packs several useful modules including a social sharing module. If you have Jetpack plugin installed, then do activate the Social Sharing module. You can place the social sharing buttons above and below your posts. Out of the box, Jetpack supports seven different social media platforms and if you cannot find your own social media platform, you can easily add it by selecting the “Add New Service” option.

Moreover, the default look and feel of the Jetpack sharing module is quite modern and minimal. The good thing is, you can easily customize the looks by adding your own CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). Just give the plugin or module a shot and see if it fits your needs.

Key Features of Jetpack Social Share Module:

  • Easy to use, simple to configure, and drag and drop settings panel
  • Very minimal and suits any website type
  • If you are already using Jetpack, not need to install another plugin
  • Supports all the major social media networks
  • Ability to add your own CSS to stylize the social media buttons

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4. AddThis

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – AddThis Plugin

Social Media Plugins for WordPress – AddThis Plugin

If you are blogging for any time now, you would have probably heard of AddThis. In case you don’t know, AddThis is a web-based social sharing service that supports almost all the social sharing platforms under the sun. Even though, AddThis is a web-based service, the AddThis social sharing plugin for WordPress is free to use and has a wide variety of icons and designs. Moreover, you can also configure AddThis to show different and more mobile friendly share buttons for mobile visitors. If you want analytics data of your social shares, then you can sign up for their pro service.

Key Features of AddThis Plugin for WordPress:

  • Supports a wide range of social media networks
  • Five different button styles
  • Ability to show share buttons in three different positions like on the sidebar, above post and below post
  • Ability to track clicks and social shares
  • Support for mobile visitors

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5. Ultimate Social Deux

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Ultimate Social Deux

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Ultimate Social Deux

Ultimate Social Deux is one of the easy to use and stylish social sharing plugin. The plugin comes with a ton of customization options. Unlike other social media plugins for WordPress, it is built ground up to be fast. So, you don’t have to worry that it hinders your WordPress site speed. Ultimate Social Deux supports ten social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, etc., alongside the email and like/love buttons.

If you want a social media plugin that is built for speed, style, and customization in mind, then do give Ultimate Social Deux a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Key Features of Ultimate Social Deux:

  • Built for speed and customization
  • Support for ten different social media networks
  • 20+ social button and fan counters
  • 20+ display locations
  • Support for shortcodes

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6. Floating Social Bar

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Floating Social Bar

Social Media Plugins for WordPress – Floating Social Bar

Floating Social Bar is one of my favorite social media plugins for WordPress that comes with no-nonsense features. Out of the box, it supports all the major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Linkedin. As good as it is, you can display the Floating Social Bar only in one location. i.e, on top of posts. That being said, since Floating Social Bar is built for one specific purpose, it is slim and fast. Moreover, you can configure the plugin to only load the scripts when the mouse hovers on the social button.

Key Features of Floating Social Bar:

  • The plugin is slim, fast, and built for one specific purpose
  • Supports all the major social media networks
  • Ability to make the share bar static

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7. Social Share and Locker Pro

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Social Share and Locker PRO

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Social Share and Locker PRO

Social Share and Locker Pro got it all, from display options, share counters to the content locker, it can be easily configured to meet most of your social media needs. The best features of Social Share and Locker Pro include three predefined templates, animations, responsive columns, social and share statistics, display social icons on multiple locations like above and below post, on images, slide-in box, etc.

Unlike other social media plugins, Social Share and Locker Pro supports content locking. This feature enables you to lock the content or resources behind a social paywall. To unlock the content, one should pay with a like or tweet, or +1.

So, if you want an all in one solution that does all the heavy lifting while being easy to configure and use, then do give Social Share and Locker Pro a try. It does worth the price.

Key Features of Social Share and Locker Pro:

  • Ability to lock content behind social paywall
  • Three predefined templates and ten themes
  • Responsive columns and animations
  • Social share statistics
  • Support for share counters and shortcodes

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8. Ultimate Social Media Icons PLUS

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Ultimate Social Media Icons PLUS

Social Media Plugins for WordPress – Ultimate Social Media Icons PLUS

Ultimate Social Media Icons PLUS is yet another awesome and free social media plugin for WordPress. The plugin has a ton of features and supports all most all the major social media platforms. The best part about using this plugin is that it allows you to upload your own custom icons for social media button. Moreover, you can place the social media buttons in several different places including popups.

If you are looking for a free and full-fledged social media plugin for WordPress that supports a wide range of social media platforms, then do give this free plugin a try.

Key Features of Ultimate Social Media Icons PLUS:

  • Free and full-fledged social media plugin
  • Supports all the major social networks
  • Allows you to upload your own icons
  • Ability to place social media buttons anywhere you want

Download / More info

9. Shareaholic

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Shareaholic

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Shareaholic

Shareaholic is very similar to the AddThis service. But Shareaholic can do a lot more than being a simple social media plugin for WordPress. Just like all the other plugins, Shareaholic supports several different social media networks and has more than five variants to display the social media buttons.

As I said before, Shareaholic is more than a regular social media plugin. It can display related posts based on the keywords provided in the All in One SEO Pack or WordPress SEO by Yoast, it can help you promote or monetize your content and add additional affiliate links with no extra cost for you. If you are looking for a simple plugin that can do more than just displaying the social media buttons, then try Shareaholic.

Key Features of Shareaholic:

  • Supports all the major social networks
  • Lets you display social buttons in five different ways
  • Detailed analytics on social shares
  • The plugin can also display related posts depending on keywords
  • You can also monetize you content with additional affiliate links.

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10. Social Sidebar

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Social Sidebar

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Social Sidebar

Social Sidebar is a relatively simple social media plugin that displays social media icons on the left or right side of your website or blog. Social Sidebar has over 120 icons, four themes, and two styles. If you want to customize the look and feel, you can add your own custom CSS using the provided options. The good thing about Social Sidebar is that you can easily manage how Social Sidebar behaves on the mobile devices or small screens.

Key Features of Social Sidebar:

  • The plugin has over 120 icons, 4 themes, and two styles
  • Ability to show social sidebar either on left or right side
  • Ability to add your own custom CSS and set custom colors
  • Lets you customize how the icons appear on mobile devices

Download / More info

11. SocialFans – Social Counter

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – SocialFans

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – SocialFans

SocialFans is one of the most popular social media and counter plugin that is both responsive and retina ready. SocialFans supports 21 social media platforms with spectacular social counters. The good thing about SocialFans is that it is highly customizable along with 3 animations styles, 4 pre-defined themes, unlimited color options, etc.

If you are looking for a simple social media plugin that is built on Bootstrap and is responsive, then do give SocialFans a try.

Key Features of SocialFans – Social Counter:

  • The plugin supports 21 social media platforms
  • Highly customizable, responsive, and retina ready
  • Built on bootstrap
  • Unlimited color options and 4 different pre-defined themes

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12. WordPress Social Stream

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – WordPress Social Stream

Social Media Plugins for WordPress – WordPress Social Stream

WordPress Social Stream is not just any social plugin. It is designed ground up to gather several different social feeds and display them as a stream in your WordPress site. This plugin allows you to easily customize your social stream using the total number of days, fixed items, etc. WordPress Social Stream supports 15 different social media networks and has over 60 feed options.

Key Features of WordPress Social Stream:

  • Lets you stream social feed in your WordPress site
  • Supports 15 different social media networks
  • Share posts via Facebook and Twitter
  • 60 different feed options
  • Ability to customize the social stream depending on certain metrics

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13. Facebook Likebox Slider

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Facebook Likebox Slider

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Facebook Likebox Slider

Facebook Likebox Slider is one of the unique social media plugins in this list. The plugin sticks to the side of a page and displays the social feed on mouse hover. Even though the name of the plugin only talks about Facebook, it does support other popular social media networks like Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. The good thing about Facebook Likebox Slider is that you can easily configure the plugin in three simple steps. With near 5000 sales, this simple plugin packs quite a punch with its tabbed layout.

Key Features of Facebook Likebox Slider:

  • Can be configured in three simple steps
  • Supports all the major social media networks
  • Displays the social feed on the sidebar
  • Support for round tabs
  • Many pre-defined styles and presets

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14. Social Locker for WordPress

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Social Locker

Social Media Plugins for WordPress – Social Locker

The social paywalls are a great way to attract likes and shares to your awesome content. In fact, most famous sites use Social Locker for WordPress to put their download links or other valuable resources behind the social paywall. When you place your content behind a social paywall, your site visitors need to perform activities like liking or sharing to fully unlock the content.

If you think the resources provided in your website or blog are the best, then you can use this simple plugin to gain more likes, twitter followers, and plus ones.

Key Features of Social Locker:

  • Lock content behind social paywall
  • Supports popular social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, etc.
  • Built-in analytics to track social payments
  • Several pre-defined styles and layouts
  • Ability to tease content to get more likes and twitter followers

Download / More info

15. Arqam – Retina Responsive WP Social Counter

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Arqam

Social Media Plugin for WordPress – Arqam

If you want a simple social media plugin that enables your site visitors to like and share while gathering the latest counts of your fans and followers, then Arqam – Retina Responsive WP Social Counter is for you. As the name suggests, the plugin is Retina ready. Being a responsive plugin, it will be the perfect match for your responsive WordPress theme. Some of the features of the plugin include but not limited to five different designs, support for dark skin, custom colors, support for widgets and shortcodes, etc.

Key Features of Arqam:

  • Comes with five different designs
  • Dark and light skins
  • Support for widgets and shortcodes
  • Custom colors
  • Drag and drop to set social media buttons

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Conclusion

As you can see from the above list, all the plugins shared here are unique in their own way and are quite capable of attracting the social shares and followers. Just pick the one you like most and it will help you drive more traffic to your website. As for me, my favorites plugins include Monarch, Jetpack Social Share buttons, Social Share and Locker Pro, and Floating Social Bar. In fact, I use these plugins on my other sites.

That’s all for now. Hopefully, the above social media plugins for WordPress will increase your social media fans, followers, and likes. If you think I’ve missed any of the best social media plugins, then do share them in the comments form below. I would like to try your favorite plugins.

How to Better Manage Automatic Updates in WordPress

In WordPress, the smaller updates such as the security releases and minor bug fix updates are done automatically. This cannot be said for major updates. In those cases, you have to manually initiate the update process yourself.

However, some WordPress users, if not many, skip the whole updating process and tend not to pay attention. There may be any number of reasons for this behavior. But you must ensure your WordPress site is up to date at all times. So that it can perform properly and be safe from other vulnerabilities. Besides form the core updates, the same is applicable for plugin and theme updates. You should not ignore updates.

That being said, all this updating process can be tedious. Wouldn’t it be easier if all those tedious updates could be done easily by setting up WordPress to automatically update core, plugins, and themes of your choice? In case you are wondering, here is how to manage automatic updates in WordPress.

Also read: must follow WordPress security tips.

Manage Automatic Updates in WordPress

To manage automatic updates in WordPress, we are going to use the Easy Updates Manager plugin. To start off, download the plugin, install and activate it. After installing the plugin, visit Updates Options page by navigating to “Dashboard” and then “Updates Options.”

wordpress-automatic-updates-select-updates-options

This page gives you the options to turn on and off the automatic updates of the WordPress core, plugins, and themes. It is advised that you keep the default settings as is.

wordpress-automatic-updates-settings-dashboard

In the Updates Options settings page, locate the General tab. The settings this page give you the option of enabling or disabling WordPress updates globally.

As you can see, it is really easy to turn on or off the automatic updates for each of the update types like plugin updates, theme updates, core updates, etc. All you have to do is select either the “Enabled” or “Disabled” radio button and then click on the button “Save Changes.”

wordpress-automatic-updates-general-settings

You may be wondering what the Select Individually option does. This helps you to selectively turn on automatic updating for the plugins and themes of your choice. If this is what you want to do, then select the radio button “Select Individually” under the “Automatic Plugin Updates” and the “Automatic Theme Updates” sections.

Once you are done selecting the “Select Individually” option, navigate to the Plugins tab in the settings page. Here, click on the link “Enable Automatic Updates” under the target plugin and you are good to go.

From this point forward, this plugin will be automatically updated whenever there is an update available.

wordpress-automatic-updates-enable-automatic-plugin-updates

Also read: how to quickly switch between users in WordPress.

The same can be done to all your themes. Just navigate to the Themes tab and then click on the link “Enable Automatic Updates.”

wordpress-automatic-updates-enbale-automatic-theme-updates

That’s all there is to do and it is that simple to manage automatic updates in WordPress.

Rollback to Previous Version of Plugin or Theme

Sometimes there will be a plugin or theme update that break your site. Such incompatibilities are a major reason why some users think twice before updating.

Even though good developers spend a lot of time testing their plugins and themes, there can still be bugs. So, it is always recommended that you backup your site regularly so that you can revert back whenever you need. However, restoring the whole backup can be tedious and time-consuming.

To make things easier, you can use a simple and free plugin called WP Rollback. This plugin lets you rollback to the previous plugin or theme update.

Hope that helps and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above plugin to better manage automatic updates in WordPress.