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.
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
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
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
From now on, you can use this custom CSS class to add custom styles to the target WordPress widget.
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
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
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
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.
After setting up the predefined classes, you can select those classes while configuring the widgets.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Who doesn’t know the Google Maps? It helps almost all of us to find our way through the city jungle while providing useful information.
Such that, if you are running a business and want to provide your users or customers the way to easily find your office then you can use the same Google Maps to guide them. More often than not, the success of your business may hinge on how easily can your customers find their way to your office location.
The good thing is, Google itself provides you with the required embedding code to display the Map. However, it is not the most customizable or easy to use.
So, to make things a bit easier and user-friendly you can use the Google Maps Widget Pro. In case you are wondering, here’s how to use it.
Features of Google Maps Widget Pro
Google Maps Widget pro has several features built into it to make this much easier and faster. Below are some good features you will get using this plugin.
Do remember the below list is not exhaustive.
Google Maps Widget pro is available in both free and pro version.
Multiple thumbnail image formats including jpg, gif, and png.
The plugin supports multiple pins and custom pin bubbles.
No matter what type of map you are creating, there are 1500+ pins for you.
Hidden sidebar widget to easily create and handle shortcodes.
4 different thumbnail and interactive map modes.
Fully customize and control pins on thumbnail maps and interactive maps.
Multiple thumbnail map colors.
Fullscreen lightbox support for interactive maps.
Shortcode support lets you add the map anywhere on your site.
Export and import widget tools and settings.
Lets you optimize the JS and CSS for faster loading.
Like I said before, using Google Maps Widget Pro is simple and easy. To start off, download Google Maps Widget and install it like any other plugin. Once installed, open the plugin settings page by navigating to “Settings > Google Maps Widget.”
Here, the first thing you need to do is enter the Google Maps API key. Thankfully, you can easily create your own API key from the Google Developer Console. You can find the detailed instructions here.
Once you have the API, paste it in the blank field and click on the button “Test API Key.” If everything goes as it should, you will see a confirmation message something like this. Just click on the button “Ok” to close the dialog box.
The good thing about Google Maps Widget Pro is the plugin is configured optimally out of the box. That being said you can track the activities of your map in Google Analytics as Events. Just select the checkbox “Track with Google Analytics” and then click on the button “Save Changes” to apply the settings.
Once you are done with the settings, you can add the Google Maps widget to your site. To do that, navigate to “Appearance > Widgets.”
Here, find the Google Maps Widget and drag and drop onto your widget area. This action will show you many options to configure the map.
Just enter the map address, map size, select the pin color, map type, etc., and click on the button “Save” to save the changes.
That’s all there is to do. You’ve successfully added Google Maps to your website.
By default, the plugin will only display the Google Maps as a thumbnail image to reduce the loading time. However, as soon as you click on it, it will open the interactive map in the lightbox.
All in all, if you are running a business or if you want to show your location on your WordPress site then the Google Maps Widget plugin is a must have. The plugin makes it easy and doesn’t bog down your site with unnecessary clutter or requests.
Moreover, the plugin is also available for free. So, do give the plugin a try. After all, with over 100,000 installs, a 4.8 rating is a good thing.
Do comment below to share your thoughts and experiences about using the Google Maps Widget pro to display maps on your WordPress website.
This is a sponsored post and we received compensation in return for writing the review. Although the review is sponsored, all opinions are our own.
This huge popularity and usage make WordPress a viable target for attackers. Many of us know this fact but it doesn’t mean that we are successful in protecting or hardening the site.
To deal with this, there are many WordPress plugins that help protect your site and the Security Ninja is one such plugin. In this article, let us find out the features of Security Ninja and how it helps you in securing your WordPress site.
Security Ninja is a WordPress security plugin that makes it hard for attackers to compromise your WordPress site. The Security Ninja plugin is available in both free and paid variations. You can download the free version from the WordPress plugin repository.
The thing I like most about Security Ninja is that unlike other plugins, it is not bloated with unnecessary features and nag you to enable this and that. Moreover, it doesn’t make any changes to your site. You have full control over what to and not to implement.
If you want to, you can use this free tool to scan your WordPress site without installing any plugin.
Below are some important features that you will get with the Security Ninja plugin.
Features of Security Ninja
Performs daily checks to find any vulnerabilities and holes.
Prevention and protection from zero-day attacks.
Conducts 40+ different security tests.
Extensive and descriptive help on all the tests and their results.
You can use the included code snippets for quick fixes.
Add-on modules to monitor and tighten the security.
Remote Access feature that lets you manage Security Ninja functions of multiple sites from a single dashboard.
Different Modules in Security Ninja
The Security Ninja plugin has five modules that are available for all Pro users out-of-the-box. Here’s what each module does to protect your site.
Core Scanner Module: As most of you know, there are many core files in WordPress and they are important. In case you are wondering, this is important because more often than not, attackers try to hide their malicious code in the core files.
Such that, what Core Scanner module does is it scans for any changes in the core files and reports the changes.
Malware Scanner Module: As the name implies, the malware scanner module scans your site, including your plugins, themes, database, etc., to find any potential malware or suspicious code. The good thing about this module is it performs heuristic analysis and over 20 tests on each file.
Scheduled Scanner Module: Security Ninja makes it easy to scan and fix your site. But it is not that ideal to manually scan your site each and every time. To deal with that, you can use the scheduled scanner module which enables you to automate the scanning and receive emails when it detects the changes or malware.
Even Logger Module: If you are running a multi-author blog or a membership website then you may want to know what’s happening on your site. In those situations, the Event Logger module will help you a lot.
The Event Logger module in Security Ninja can log more than 50events including but not limited to, plugin modifications, log in and log out actions, failed login attempts, post edits, changes in WordPress settings, changes to widgets, etc.
Auto Fixer Module: The Auto Fixer module in Security Ninja helps you apply the quick fixes automatically with just a click or two.
As I said before, Security Ninja will not change anything on your site and you will have full control. That is what makes the plugin user-friendly and easy to get started with.
Just download the plugin from the official site and install it like any other WordPress plugin. After installing, navigate to “Tools > Security Ninja PRO” to open the plugin settings page.
If this is your first time, the plugin may show you warning messages that the scan has never run. On the settings page, run the first security scan by clicking on the button “Analyze” appearing under the Security Tests tab.
The above action will initiate the scan and once completed, the results will be displayed.
By clicking on the link “Details, tips and help” next to the failed result will take you to the quick fix screen. Here you will find the tips and code snippets that you can use to increase the WordPress security.
From the Core Scanner tab, you can quickly and easily scan your WordPress files for any changes. The good thing is this tab will list all the core files that are modified. You can see the source file by simply clicking on the “View File Source” button.
To scan for malware, you can use the Malware scanner module from the “Malware Scanner” tab. Just click on the button “Scan files for malware” to initiate the scan.
After the malware scan has been finished, you will see all the files that look suspicious to Security Ninja. By clicking on the down arrow button, you can see the flagged code.
However, not every warning you see here is a malware. There might be several false positives. If you think a file is not a malware, whitelist it by clicking on the button “Whitelist File.”
From the Event Logger tab you see all the activities and changes made to your WordPress site. By default, Event Logger will not send you email reports.
If you wish to change this behavior then you can do that by clicking on the button “Settings” appearing at the top of the Event Logger tab. Just select the email notification priority, what events you want to get alerts for and click on the button “Save Changes.”
As I said before, you can automate the scanning process using the Scheduled Scanner module. Just navigate to the “Scheduled Scanner” tab and configure the settings as required.
All in all, Security Ninja is a neat little tool that can make your site more secure and safe. Moreover, the plugin is easy to use and has all the necessary features you will ever need. So, do give the plugin a try and see if it fits your needs.