Are WordPress Auto Updates Safe?

Are WordPress Auto Updates Safe?

Are WordPress Auto updates safe? All WordPress websites require updates – plugin updates, theme updates, and core WordPress file updates. Knowing that for security purposes we want to keep things up to date, sometimes it’s easier to just allow your Hosting company to auto-update, or set up a plugin to do it. What’s the best practice when it comes to handling this required task each month?

Full Transcript

Hey, y’all. Welcome to another WordPress Wednesday. My name is Kori Ashton, and every Wednesday I am hanging out right here on YouTube to help you improve your online marketing, specifically inside the world of WordPress.

And today I’ve got a question from one of my awesome subscribers, and I’m gonna share that with you right now. It’s all about automatic updates. Anna writes in,

“Hey Kori, Love your videos etc- “you make it all sound so simple. “I build websites and I often refer to your information- “so thank you! “I have tried to find it on your site, but do you have a blog or video about the pro’s and con’s of having ‘automatic updates’? Thanks, Anna”

No, thank you, Anna. I appreciate having ideas for content, and your questions, anybody sending in questions, for that matter, really helps me get an idea and a pulse on what your needs are, and kinda what level of my audience is paying attention and asking me for help. So, thank you so much for sending those in, and if you have questions, be sure to come over to, submit those, or Tweet to me. Alright.

So, automatic updates. What are best practices? We all know that whenever we’re dealing with WordPress, we login our dashboards and we get updates like this: Notifications that your core is needing updates, your theme is needing updates, all your plugins need updating. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes my stomach starts to turn a little bit in fear of breaking something. So this is why, in the past, I have always said, you need to manually handle all of your updates, especially if you have 12 or more plugins running on your website.

You need to absolutely be methodical on how you go in here and do it. You need to be certain that there’s a backup in place. Of course, I preach that! Be certain you have a backup in place. Be sure you also know how to click and roll back the site if something does break. Better yet, test all this in the staging environment, right? Be certain it all works there, and then come over and do it in the live environment.

So, there’s definitely best practices when it comes to how to actually execute these things. But when you’re talking about setting and forgetting, kind of implementing some sort of an automatic update process, What are best practices? Should you be using something like that? Again, I would say that this really depends on the plugin that you’re using, or the service that you’re using to accomplish this.

If you’re using something like iThemes Sync, I’m kinda blown away with the safety net that they have to provide this type of service for WordPress websites.

iThemes Sync Features

So, a lot of cool features here. I’m just gonna punch through them, as a solution for handling your automatic updates inside of WordPress.

All-in-one Dashboard

They have an all-in-one dashboard where you can see all of your websites that you’re managing at one time. Which is a super-cool feature. It gives you one dashboard to log into, looks something like this, allows you to see all the different installs. You get to see very quickly what plugins are needing updating, what themes need updating, what core. And, here’s the thing, you can go into each and every one of these individually, and set it to automatically update, or set it to be locked down and do a manual update.

So that’s set individually. You can also come in here and then see those that are running the automatic updates. We’ll have alerts if there’s anything that’s concerning about the site. So, here’s what happens very quickly, kinda behind the scenes. When it knows that there’s an update that needs to run, it will go over very quickly and test it first in a staging environment of its own.

If any error messages kick out, it will pause the update from happening automatically and send you a notification asking you to check it out and be certain you want to go ahead and push that update through. But it’s gonna tell you what that error message is. This ensures that nothing goes live on your site for an update that might break. Mind blown, phenomenal safety net for you.

So, if you are using a solution like this, I’m all for it. Go for it, Anna. Click update. Click automatic update and set it and forget it type of scenario, right? But what I don’t want you to do, is run a plugin or tell your hosting service, please go ahead and update everything, and then you’re not knowing when that’s being pushed through, whether that’s on Tuesday at two o’clock, or whatever that looks like.

Monitor Uptime of Website

Some of the other features, really quickly here, with iTheme Sync, because I’m just so blown away by it. It will also monitor the uptime of the website, each individual install.


You can also send out, you can have a custom dashboard and send out reports. This one got me excited because a lot of clients wonder, well, what are you doing for me, every month? This particular system will allow you to put in their email address and set it to automatically send out at the end of every day, every week, every month, every year, whatever you set it to.

Send out a report and let them know, this is all the work that’s been accomplished for your website this month. And, the exciting thing is, some of those things will be automatic, and it’ll look like you are just grindin’ for that client, which is really exciting to see. You know that there’s this safety net here, though, to ensure that their website is running perfectly.

So, your hosting company might provide something like this for you, especially if you are running on Liquid Web. Because they own iThemes, right? So, whenever you’re at hosting with these guys, you actually get this included in any of your packages. iTheme Sync is included. So, if you’re looking for another hosting solution, check out Liquid Web, look at their managed WordPress pricing, get in here and see if you can partner with them to get that great service, or you can get it kinda a la carte over here. I’ll put the links to both these in the description below.

Realize, as well, that both, as of today, are running specials, discounts goin’ on. This one up here, Liquid Web, is running 33% off for the first three months, and iThemes is running 35% off site-wide. So, very exciting.

Oh! In the budget, there is a free version of iTheme Sync, so check that out. You do get free, and free is always in the budget. And then, for a little bit more, you get a whole lot more, if you’re able to jump to a premium and have a little bit in your budget to spend.

Hey, I hope this helps you guys. Every Wednesday, I’m here on YouTube, helping you improve your online marketing. And I have over 300 videos in my library to go check out here for free.

If you’re interested in joining the community that we’re talking about, improving your freelance business, improving your small agency and how to grow it, I have an entire community over on Vimeo, where you can come join me every month as we’re doing webinars, and we’re kinda working through a little bit more advanced conversation about growing your revenue, improving your process, how to find clients, all sorts of great conversation happening over there. I hope to see you next WordPress Wednesday. Bye, y’all.

How to Update a Purchased WordPress Theme

How to Update a Purchased WordPress Theme

Step-by-step instruction on how to update a purchased WordPress theme. It is important to be sure to have a backup in place first.

Full Video Transcript

Hey y’all, welcome to another WordPress Wednesday. My name is Kori Ashton here in San Antonio at WebTegrity where we do all things WordPress. We’re a small group of web nerds that develop custom WordPress themes. We also teach WordPress. We teach SEO fun stuff. If you’re interested in any of that, be sure to check out our website.

Today’s topic is, “How to Update a WordPress Purchased Theme.”

If you were to go out there and decide that a free option really just isn’t the solution for your WordPress website and you want to pay to purchase a premium theme, you can certainly do that.

Some of the authors are very generous to allow you to attach a license key into your dashboard that then allows you to have automated updates. That is so generous of them but that is a very rare case in this time. Now what we’re seeing is, you actually have to go back to the point of purchase, download the most recent version of that theme and then what do you do with it? That’s kind of the process here. We just had WordPress 4.5 released and a lot of people’s websites broke. Your theme might have conflicted now with that update. What do you do? How do you go in and make those changes?

Well, let’s get to it.

We’re going to actually be using FTP to do this. A couple of steps you have to do in the first place. Very first thing that I want you to do is login to your dashboard and be sure that you have a backup in place. We use UpdraftPlus. This is a free plugin to backup your current website. So you’ll see that I just did that. I backed up the current website. You’ll want to be sure to backup the files and database. See how this says that? Files and database. You always want to be sure to have a backup in place. We preach that here on our WordPress Wednesday channel. Be sure to have a backup consistently happening on your website.

This particular plugin can do that for you. You can save it to your Dropbox. You can save it to a couple of other places- You can save it directly to your server. If we have any issues as we’re updating our theme now, we know we can restore and not miss any downtime. So this is a great safety net. Once you’ve run that backup in place, you’ll want to pop over to appearance and go to themes to help you remember which theme you’re using.

For this particular website, we are using the Austin theme and that is from Themeforest. We have a child theme in place as well which is the Austin child theme. The difference with child themes is if you have made changes specifically to the PHP files in a theme, those changes could easily be overwritten as we go through this process right now to update our theme. If you’re a little confused on, “should I have a child theme in place first,” click the link below and you can go over and check out why a child theme is needed and when it is not needed. A little bit of difference there but we want to keep moving forward here with updating this theme.

Whenever you update a theme, you are updating always the parent theme. You’ll go back to point of purchase (which for us was Themeforest for this particular theme.) We are coming here to Austin. To know whether or not you need to do this, you can click on this and see that it says version 1.8. If you’re seeing some breaks happen on your website (if something went a little wonky after you’ve updated something) it could be that this particular version is now out of date and you need to update. We came over here to Austin to take a look to see if the theme had recently been updated and in fact, it had been. Just last week it’s been updated. If you scroll down a little bit further typically in this area, you can find that this theme is compatible with 4.5 and that they are now on version 2.1 of the Austin theme. Ours is definitely out of date and we need to update it.

You’ll come here to the downloads area. When you click on this (specifically inside of Themeforest) you would click on installable WordPress files only. This is what we want to download. This will download our most recent version of this theme. If you’re purchasing your theme from somewhere else, (a different website or a different author) you’re more than welcome to just kind of engage with them. See what their support forms say. Sometimes documentation inside of these themes will help you with this process as well (step by step) giving you very clear instruction. If you haven’t been able to find that, that’s probably why you’re watching this video.

Once you have all that in place, you will need to have access to FTP. FTP can be something that you use for free. It can also be something that your hosting provider gives you (a dashboard where you get access to your files.) What we’re trying to do is (once we’ve downloaded that theme now) is go into your websites server area. That’s what this site is over here. We’ve dialed into the server area for this one particular website and this left side over here is my computer. This is my download here where I’ve downloaded the Austin theme. In order to get to the right spot inside of FTP you’re going to drill into a couple of different folders. You’re going to go to WP content. We’re going to drill into themes. You should see whatever themes that you have installed on your dashboard- you should see those here. We do have one called Austin and this is the one we want to overwrite. I’m just going click on this and go ahead and upload it. It should give me an alert here. Let’s see, there it is. Are you sure you want to overwrite everything because you’ve got something already named that over here. We want to say, overwrite. For now, we’re going to say, overwrite everything.

Here it goes.

You see here that the Austin theme is over here and the transfer is successful. Let’s take a look at our website and make sure (I’m going to click refresh)- I just want to make sure that our break that we saw happening is now functioning correctly. What we also want to do is just be sure that everything looks correct still on the theme. This little hover over effect was what was broken on this theme and was not functioning correctly with 4.5 WordPress. Everything else looks correct- our customization to our colors are still here, of course, all of our content is still here. Now that one little thing that was a little wonky (not functioning correctly) is working perfectly.

That’s kind of the process. First things first, be sure you have a backup in place. Second thing, be sure that you even need to do this. Make sure that the author’s already created a new updated version of the theme. Jump over there. See if there’s documentation specifically from that author to kind of help you walk through this process. A better case scenario is if that author was generous enough to give you a license that you can just apply to your dashboard and automatically have those updates in place so you don’t have to do the whole FTP process.

I hope that helps you. If you have questions about this (and some of you might) go ahead and put them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them as soon as I can. I hope you’re having a great WordPress Wednesday.

Stick around because next week (be sure to subscribe) I am finally going to put together my list of “Top 10 Favorite Free Responsive WordPress Themes for 2016.”

See ya next week.

Bye, y’all!

How to Update Your WordPress Website

How to Update Your WordPress Website

Full Video Transcript

Hey y’all! Welcome to another WordPress Wednesday! My name is Kori Ashton here at WebTegrity in San Antonio, Texas. This is a show every single week that I get to “nerd out” with you on all things WordPress.

So today I know that this topic is something that I talk about quite often and if you’re doing a Google search on watching this video it’s probably because you’ve questioned yourself about this very often. And you should be! So the question is, when should I update WordPress? A more important question is, how should I update my WordPress website?

So, I talk about this. I’ve done other tutorials; Step-by step on exactly how to do this. Some people have asked, “Should I update my plug-ins first then update my cores?” “Should I ever update my theme?” “How do I deal with a child theme?” There are so many questions when it comes to the frustrating moment of, what do I do when I have a little icon on my desktop (or on my dashboard-rather) that says, “I have an update due?”

All right you guys. This is it. I’m going to walk you just briefly through what it looks like to update. I’m getting ready to update to 4.4. All right. This is a live, working website that I’m getting ready to do this on. When should I update? So there are questions specifically about, when should I update my core? When should I update a plug-in? To that question I want to say, you always want to be actively updating. Does that mean that you should update the exact moment- the exact day that and update is released? Not necessarily. One of my reasoning’s behind that is, sometimes there are little glitches that haven’t been caught yet. Once they roll out an update and they blasted out and let’s say ten thousand people update their plug-in or update their theme. Unfortunately, the bug is finally caught at that point and then they quickly release another update and you’re going to have to go update again.

So, what I want you to do is look at the reasoning behind the update. If you get an opportunity go to the developers website that talks about what sort of fixes they have made in this particular update. This is specifically talking about a theme specifically talking about a plug-in. You’ll want to just go take a look and see if it was in fact a security update. That there’s something that happened maybe there’s some sort of a robot out there that is specifically targeting a certain plug-in and they have found the breach and they have locked it down and they have released a secure update that requires that you very quickly go update your plug-in. If that is the scenario, I suggest you immediately update your plug-in. All right?

You obviously want to be sure that you have a backup of your entire website in place. You can do that through your hosting company. You can also do that through a plug-in. I will put a link right here, actually, to another video that I’ve done on how to backup your WordPress website. You always want to be sure that you have
a backup in place. That backup needs to be the moment before you click “update.”

So you want to be sure that you have a very recent backup. You don’t want it to be a backup from thirty days ago because you might have made some changes that you’ve forgotten about. So be sure that you have a recent backup. Be sure that you understand how to implement that backup. If you were to click “update” right now and all of a sudden things break- you get the “white screen of death.” What can you do to very quickly set your website back so that nobody sees that break happen? You’ll want to connect with your hosting company if you’re relying on them to make those backups. You’ll want to see if they have something like a “one-click restore” option or if they’re going to charge you to roll your website back and reset it back to a prior version. Please be sure that you understand that (exactly what I’m saying right now,) you have a very tangible, easy, step-by-step plan in place to do that (if and when) the occasion arises. Okay? If you have a backup in place, if you know how to do a restore then go ahead and do your updates. And again, I’ve already done a video that kind of walks you through how I suggest you do your updates. I’ll put that link in the description box below for you.

This particular update that I’m dealing with right now is updating my WordPress core. As you all know; themes require updates, plug-ins require updates, and your core requires updates (which is WordPress, itself.) Now when WordPress releases an update, I very, very rarely go the first day and click, “update.” I typically wait to see what the response is around the WordPress world. We’re seeing a couple of glitches right now on 4.4. We’re seeing a couple of alerts with people using SSL’s on their website. (Secure Server Layers.) Security tied into their website- we’re seeing some sort of issues of images breaking, some sort of issues of other things kind of conflicting. So, this is one of the reasons why I hesitate. It’s been a few days now. It’s actually been almost over week and they’ve already kind of done some things that they’re going to be rolling out soon to kind of upgrade and to speak to some of those issues- some of those glitches that we’re seeing. But, because we haven’t seen massive issues- we haven’t seen a whole lot of people complaining about major things. Then now I’m ready. I would’ve updated it immediately had this been a security breach.

Really great hosting companies will actually push your update through automatically bypassing you if it is in fact a security breach. So, I want you to be sure. You see my alert here because I host with WP Engine. It’s saying, “Before updating please back up your database and files.” There are two different things you have to backup. WP Engine allows me to do that with one click. I know for a fact that I have an update in place. I’ve already done that process. If you do not have a hosting company that automatically does that for you, there is a link to WordPress Codex that will help you better understand how to do updates. And of course like I mentioned earlier, I’ve got another video in the description box below that will walk you through how to use a free plug-in to have backups in place. Once you know you have that, you can go ahead and click update now. Again, WP engine gives me a very quick heads up. Hey are you sure you want to do this? Do you have a backup or restore point in place? Yes I do. I’m going to go ahead and click refresh. (I’m sorry) update.

So while that’s processing through, there are a few things you need to do immediately following you clicking that button. My browser is restoring right now so now that that’s done it shows you right away that WordPress updated successfully. Fantastic! Now, as I go into… well if you wanted to… You could stay here on the dashboard and kind of see whats new in 4.4. One of the most obvious things that’s going to be here now is twenty-sixteen (the latest theme coming out for 2016.) It talks you through all the different new features of twenty-sixteen. It also talks about the changes that came out here in “Clifford,” which is the 4.4. You can watch this video and better understand the different things that were done with
4.4 upgrade.

The other thing you want to do is immediately go to the front side of your website. You want to go through this whole thing and make sure that everything is still working. You want to do a “hard refresh”- clearing your cache completely and making sure that you’re seeing your website in the most recent version. You’ll want to check it on a device and make sure that everything on your cell phone reads correctly. You’ll want to go look at it on a different browser. Make sure again everything kind of looks correctly. If you’re using major plug-ins; for instance, on our “classes” page we are using a major plug-in to highlight our classes. So I want to make sure that plug-in is still working and nothing looks “wonky” or broken. So you’ll want to look at all that. You’ll want to make sure of course that your major point of contact, your CTA (call to action) is still in place-whether that’s a phone number or whether that’s an email form. You’ll want to be sure that all that is functioning properly still. So those are just a couple of things that you want to do as soon as you do an update. So, when should you update? (If it’s a security breech) Immediately.

How should you update? You always want to have a backup in place first then walk through the step-by-step instructions that I’ll put in another video that I’ve done for you. You know what? I’m going to put it right here for you. Click on this – go see how to step-by-step.

I hope you’re having a great WordPress Wednesday. Be sure to subscribe to our channel. Send us some love over on Facebook or send us a tweet and we’ll try to do a video tutorial for you on the next WordPress Wednesday. Y’all have a great one! Bye y’all!

How to Update the Revolution Slider

How to Update the Revolution Slider

If you have a newer version of the Rev Slider – you can simply register your purchase and get auto-updates! Even better!

Full Video Transcript

Hey, y’all! Welcome to another WordPress Wednesday.

My name is Kori Ashton here at WebTegrity in San Antonio, Texas [USA].

Today, We’re going to talk about how to update the Revolution Slider plug-in inside of your theme.

It’s always important that you keep your plug-ins up-to-date to basically for security purposes you need to keep them up to date. And for all-around functionality of your website you always want to be sure that you’re running the latest and greatest version of any plug-in theme or core files of WordPress.

If you’re not sure how to make those updates happen, I’ll put a link in the description box below to another video that we’ve created on how to update your WordPress website. But for today we’re talking specifically about the Rev Slider (or the Revolution Slide).

I want to give a quick shout-out to our awesome, awesome sponsors and partners that you see along the side here.

We’ve got WPEngine who offers really phenomenal WordPress hosting for your websites. They also offer staging sites. So, if you need to go in and play around you can do a one-click up and down. If you’ve got a website here, you can click “clone it” or “copy it,” click that one button. Boom! It gives you a duplicate sandbox version of your website. In other words, it duplicates your website and puts is somewhere else on the server that you can play around with, just like you would on the live environment. It’s so cool! Whenever you do all the updates, or when you play around and you create a new page that you love, you just click one button and it takes the playground site, if you will, live. Really, really cool!

WPElevation. If you’re a part of using WordPress as an entrepreneur, you’ve go to go check out their tracks. They’re incredible.

And WP101. If you like WordPress tutorials like you’re watching now, go to check them out. They do it even better than I do. They’re pretty spectacular. They have a lot of free and some paid versions. All right. So.

That being said, let’s talk about the Rev Slider. How do we update our Rev Slider? I’m going to show you right here that I’m running a pretty old version of the Rev Slider. As a matter of fact, down here at the bottom you can see that it’s 4.0.4.

If you want to know, “Has the author issued an update?” you can always go back to your point of purchase. So, for us, it was, of course, codecanyon. Their sister site is themeforest. Codecanyon. I’m going to scroll down. Well, first of all right here you can see that it says that it’s 4.6 but actually if we go down in the change log, down toward the bottom of the page, you’ll see that they’re running— they’re now on 4.6.93! So, they just did an update this past week [May 8, 2015]. It’s pretty important, again, that you do all these updates consistently.

So, how do you make that happen?

If you have purchased this plug-in separately here on codecanyon, you can just come back here and click download. That’s going to go grab the author’s most recent version of this plug-in. It’s going to download to your hard drive or to your computer right now. I’ve already done that.

And, let’s see. Here it is. So I’ve already downloaded the file. It is already unzipped. And then inside of it, this is the file right here that I’m looking for– this file is exactly what I’m looking for. I’m going to go back over here.

Down here in the right-hand corner you’ve got a purple button that says Update Plugin. [click it] Now it’s going to ask me to go browse for the file. I’ve already showed you that I have it in my downloads area.

I’m going to open this up. Here’s the file right here that I’m looking for (this zipped file). We do not want to unzip it. It must be zipped. See what it says here? These are the instructions that sometimes – sometimes it’s very interesting.

I have a lot of people email me and say, -Kori, can you do a tutorial on this, this, or that. -And, truthfully, if we just slow down for a second and read through the pop-ups that the author may have presented to us (just like this little pop-up) -To update the slider, please show the slider install package. -So, you’re just got to go get the install package. The files will be overwritten.

Here we go. We’ve got the file here. And we’re going to click “Update Slider.” Now, obviously, before you do anything like this, you should have already had a back-up. I’m going to put an alert before all of this to please back-up your website. It’s highly important that you have a back-up of it. But, I’ve done this many, many times.

The guys over at ThemePunch (the authors of this particular plug-in) have got this updating down perfectly. It’s very, very simple to do. And now you don’t lose any of your slideshows.

That’s the incredible thing. All of your customizations, all of your slides, all of the images, everything will still be sitting here after you’ve clicked this update. And now you can see that I am running the most recent version of Rev Slider. And it still has my one slideshow that I had going on in here.

The other thing that I want to show you is now in the most updated version of the Rev Slider they’ve got this really cool panel here that says what version you’re running and that you can check to see if there’s a more updated version. And, a little birdie shared with me that they are looking to do an automatic update push alert, just like all the other plug-ins. More than likely happening in Rev Slider 5.0 that should be coming out shortly. So, very exciting stuff happening right down the pipeline for ThemePunch. And we’re excited to be a part of that in whatever aspect we can help them with, right?

One other thing then. What if your slideshow came inside of a pre-packaged theme that you purchased. You did not go and buy the slideshow separately over on codecanyon? It came inside of the Theme you purchased maybe here on ThemeForest. Well. That’s a little more complex.

I’m actually going to put the link in the description box below to a tutorial that ThemePunch created for anybody whose Rev Slider came inside of a pre-packaged Theme. You’re not at a loss.

The link is below. Click that and go walk through those steps and you should be able to update your Rev Slider.

Have a great one! We’ll catch you on the next WordPress Wednesday. Bye bye, y’all.

The subtitles (closed captioning) and matching transcript
were provided by Malbea LaPete.

How to Update WordPress Website – Step by Step

How to Update WordPress Website – Step by Step

Do you have an alert in your WordPress dashboard letting you know that you have updates that need some attention? Here’s a quick video to help you better understand how to Update your WordPress website safely.

  • Step 1 Back it up!
  • Step 2 Update your plugins first – one at a time
  • Check to see if there were any breaks after each plugin is updated
  • Step 3 Update your theme – either in the dashboard or via FTP
  • Check to see if there were any breaks
  • Step 4 Update your core WordPress files
  • Check to see if there were any breaks
  • Be sure your Google Analytics code is still working (if that was something you were using)
  • Check your website across all browsers and all devices

Updating your WordPress website SAFELY
If you’re on WP Engine –

How to Update WordPress Website – Step by Step

How to Update your WordPress Website and Secure it

Clicking the update button can be quite scary. You cross your fingers and click – holding your breath to see if your WordPress website breaks. With one eye open you reload your web browser to see – the white screen of death. AHHH! Now what?

If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. If there’s one down side to WordPress it’s that it requires these types of updates consistently. But this really isn’t a bad thing. You see updates are required to keep your website running smoothly, believe that or not LOL!

Group Project

Group Project

Group Project English 3368: World Wide Web Publishing The Challenge Due December 1, 2020 Working in a small group of two or three, you will develop a Web site project that contains approximately 15 pages of content (250-words per page or full screens at 1280×1024...
Scripting Exercise #2

Scripting Exercise #2

Scripting Exercise #2 English 3368: World Wide Web Publishing The Challenge A CSS Prototype – Due October 27, 2020 Designing a CSS Prototype, in which you will apply and build on skills learned from the course readings and lectures. You will use a text editing...
Add an Affiliate Disclosure to your WordPress Website

Add an Affiliate Disclosure to your WordPress Website

Do you need to add an Affiliate Disclosure to your WordPress website? It can be a large task if you have a very large amount of content, but there are simple ways to make it happen easily. Kori Ashton shows you how to add this disclosure to your website in 2 (actually 3) different ways – using the Divi page builder, a child theme option, and a footer widget area.

Full Transcript

Hey, y’all my name is Kori Ashton and this is another WordPress Wednesday. It is absolutely best practices to be sure to be transparent with all of your visitors to your website and tell them if you have affiliate links inside of any of your blog articles or any weird content for that matter. So, how do you add a disclosure statement so that you can give them all the fine print? Maybe one that looks like this. It’s a simple conversation that says, some of the external links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission directly from the vendor, but there will be no additional charge to you. Thank you for the support. That’s a nice little description to add. But how do you do that efficiently and quickly across your whole website? Especially if you have a full library of blog articles.

I’m gonna show you two different options today. One using the Divi builder that allows you to quickly and easily go into all of your blog posts and add this disclaimer. And the other option is if you’re not running a page builder, this is what you can do using a child theme. I’ll show you both solutions right now.

All right, y’all, you have a few different places that you can actually add this disclaimer. If you wanted to, you could go all the way down to the footer of your website, where you have your privacy policy or your accessibility statement, maybe your site map link, something like that. You could, if you wanted to, add in an affiliate statement link there and have a whole page that just kind of talks about this stuff. I actually prefer to have it on every single page that might actually have affiliate links.

Adding Affiliate Disclosure Using Divi

So, I’m gonna show you the first option inside of Divi. We’re gonna go into the dashboard of your Divi WordPress website. Obviously you guys, if you wanna skip ahead and you don’t use Divi, I’ll put the link below to skip ahead to the child theme version. But let’s walk through the Divi version. Let’s go do it.

We’re gonna go in here and we’re gonna go to the Theme Builder. When the Divi Theme Builder launched this thing was a game changer. It allows you to just quickly and easily apply any content, any layout to any area in just a couple of clicks on your WordPress website. I love it. So, what I wanna do is add something that goes directly to any blog articles. So all posts. That’s what I want this to do right here.

So I’ve already created one that is assigned to all posts. If you haven’t yet, you would just come up here and add a footer, right. That’s where we want this to live is down in that footer area of every single blog article.

Add a footer in there, add a Build out of Global Footer. And then you would come in here and just apply it to a certain area, right. When you hover over any of these, you can apply them to only certain areas. That’s what’s so amazingly powerful about this.

So this particular block I’ve already created, it has already been tagged as all posts. So I know that this applies to every single post on my blog. I’m gonna open that up. If you do have pages that have potential affiliate links, you might want apply this there as well. But this is my footer area for every single blog article. I already have some extra blogs that get to appear there, right. See, I’m cross-marketing my other blogs inside of that category.

I’ve got some links here to sponsored content or affiliate links, but I wanna go ahead and put in that language that I had in that disclaimer, right. We had this disclaimer, so I’m gonna grab that content put it on my clipboard, come back over here to my Theme Builder, and I’m going to add in another block here, full width block, just throw in text. Doesn’t have to be really big. Doesn’t have to be loud and proud and crazy looking. I am gonna go ahead though for the sake of now and just put strong around the disclosure state wording here, right there. Right and click, OK. And there it is.

Now, remember I’m working only inside of the Theme Builder, right. That’s going to be applied to all blog articles but I’m putting it in one spot. We’re gonna go ahead and open this up and click, Save. We just want to be absolutely certain that that lives right here instead of all posts, right. And let’s go check the front side of the website and see what it looks like. I’m gonna navigate over to my blog, WordPress Wednesday. I’m gonna come in here to an individual blog article. And then scrolling down below all of my content, right, because I put it in the footer area.

Here are my additional blog articles, cross-promoting. Here are those three visible affiliate links and there’s my statement. And it should be on every single blog article, right. If I go in here and go to some of my older stuff that I’ve written years and years ago, let’s go look at something from last year sometime, right. Let’s go into this one. If I scroll down, it should be living there. Just like the other content. There it is, right there. Easily and quickly in just a couple of minutes. Okay, so that’s building it out using the Divi builder.

Adding Affiliate Disclosure Using Child Theme

If you’re using any other page builder, you just want to see if they have a global option like that, that you can put it across the board based on content type. That’s probably the easiest way to do it. Or if you don’t have that option, you might wanna go ahead and just put it down in your footer. So, let’s go look and see what it would look like now to go approach this from a child theme perspective.

So I will say right now, timeout, before we go any further, be absolutely certain that you have a backup of your WordPress website in place today right now, and you know how to get to it. Don’t just think to yourself, well, I know my hosting company does a backup. They might actually charge you if you need to roll the website back. So pause this, if you’re gonna go this route using a child theme because even inside of doing a child theme, you can accidentally break something.

So we just want to be certain to follow this step by step. Pause right now and go push a backup of your WordPress website. If you don’t know how to back up your WordPress website, I have a couple of other videos I’ll put in the description box below that might help you through that process. All right, let’s move forward. Now that you have that all in place, let’s go into Appearance and go to Theme Editor.

I’m assuming you also have a child theme in place, right? So if you don’t have a child theme, timeout, again. There’ll be a video in the description box below. Go check that out because you need to be running a child theme in order to be tinkering in here with these php files. Now you understand why people use page builders. It makes things a lot less stressful. But you’re coming in here and you wanna look for a single php.

Every WordPress website that has a blog should have a single .php file in it. You should be able to see content that looks like this in it. Anything you change in here, even adding an extra space at times can break your WordPress website. So be very, very cautious. Again, I’m assuming that you went and pushed a manual backup. So you have a backup of your WordPress website in place.

What we’re looking for is to scroll all the way to the bottom of single .php, and you’re looking for language that talks about your footer. It should have some sort of action item like this that says, get footer. You can come in here and enter down and paste in that same disclosure in here in plain text. Super easy to do, right.

If you want to, you can add a little bit of markup around it and say, center, and we’ll go ahead and grab that in tag, and we just wanna kind of wrap this disclaimer and sensor tags, kind of sensor the content in the middle of your page. Now this is gonna drop this text in just above your footer area, only in your blog articles. Kinda interesting, right. That allows you to get access just to that one area. All of your posts will have this disclaimer on it. Let me show you what that looks like.

If I click update file right now, and then we go back over to the front side of the website and I’m looking at a blog article here. It should appear if I click refresh here, it should appear just above my footer, remember. So just above this section, it should break out and come right here. Let’s do a refresh and see. There it is. So, this is it, censored here in this space. It’s gonna go edge to edge ’cause it’s kind of breaking the theme, if you will, to kind of put this in here. So you might have to do a little bit of extra styling to make it look nice and not be a sore thumb glaring at people.

There is a little extra markup that you can do inside some styling just to add white text to it and maybe bring in some spacing on it. But this is the down and dirty, easy way to do it for adding it into your WordPress website, all the posts area. If in fact that is the only area that you need it. But let’s think about this for a minute.

Adding Affiliate Disclosure On A Widget

Wouldn’t it be better at that point to potentially go ahead and just put it down in your footer and you can typically get there using a widget. If you can’t get there using a widget, you can also do it this way. Check this out.

You should be able to go into Appearance and go to Customize. From here, you should be able to go into the Footer area, go into the Bottom Bar. And right here, you have an Edit the Footer Credits. You should be able to, if you want to throw it in this space here. But remember this would then go on every single page, every single post everywhere. It’s a global footer area.

So I’m gonna scroll down here and you should see it right there. See that? Kinda cool. Remember this is in a responsive mode, so it could actually stretch out, and be the full width if you want it to.

All right so that’s actually three different ways that you can add this disclaimer to your WordPress website. I hope that helps you. If you liked this video, please give it a thumbs up. Be sure to subscribe and check out over 400 other videos I have here on our YouTube channel.

All right, y’all I will see you next WordPress Wednesday. I hope you’re having a great one. Bye, everyone.

Add a Divi Module into a Sidebar or Widget

Add a Divi Module into a Sidebar or Widget

Here’s the step-by-step tutorial on how to add any Divi Module into the sidebar or widget area of your WordPress website. Kori Ashton shows you the simple way to custom build out any Divi module with the intent of placing them into any widgetized area on your website. There’s a simple shortcode that’s needed. View Raw Shortcode Here

If you’d like to use my affiliate link to purchase the Divi Builder, I’d be very thankful.

Video Transcript

Hey you guys, my name is Kori Ashton and if you follow my channel you know I love the Divi Theme. Today I’m gonna show you how easy it is to actually take any module that you want, whatsoever inside of that Divi Builder and put into your Sidebar. It’s super easy to do, a couple of steps, and let me show you how it’s done, right now.

Divi Module Into Your Sidebar

Hey you guys, you know if you follow my channel, I love Divi and let’s talk about how to get a Divi module into your Sidebar. How cool would it be to have something living inside of your Sidebar? Let’s figure out how to put Divi in the corner. No, nobody puts the baby in the corner. Name that movie.

Okay, back to it. So, this is my WordPress blog, you can come over here and check it out, and it has this running Sidebar on all of my individual posts and I’d love to put a little review or testimonial widget over in this right Sidebar. But I can’t really do that, I don’t know how to code that. So I’m gonna lean on Divi’s Builder to make that happen. This is how this is done and you can do this with any module.

Have an accordion over here, have a countdown, whatever you want to out over in this right Sidebar or left Sidebar or any widgetized space for that matter on your website. You can do that. Doing it this way.

Add Divi Module Into the Sidebar Using Divi Library

Here we go, we’re gonna to go into the Dashboard, we’re gonna go all the way down the bottom, and we’re going to for Divi Library. And this is where you might already have some in here, if you needed it. I have made quite a few, but I’m gonna make one right now.

You’re just gonna click add new and I’m gonna call this Widgets_Sidebar and this is specifically, I’m gonna put a Testimonial over there, and I’m gonna do layout. Okay, layout. And, that’s that, go ahead and click submit. It’s gonna build out the page for you and you know the Divi Theme.

Do you wanna build from scratch, choose a pre-made layout or clone an existing page? I’m gonna build from scratch, because all I want to do is just use the Testimonial Widget, right? That one right there. Author, this is gonna be, Joe M. Title, YouTube Fan. Company, I’m gonna put Germany, really instead of company, I’m gonna put the country and then you can add whatever you want to add right here. Alright, so you put that in there, and if you wanna add an image, you can add an image to make it look super cool. We’re gonna do that just so I can show you what it’ll look like over on that side. Let’s say that this guy Joe looks a lot like this and upload that image right there, perfect.

Elements, do we wanna show the quote mark? Yes, we do. Do we need to link anywhere? No, we don’t, and click the checkbox. So that’s made my whole little module, right, that’s it. I’m gonna go ahead and click Update. This is one little layout section that I have, and I’m gonna to be able to go put that into my Sidebar now with just a little bit of short code. Alright, so that lives there.

We need to grab a number though. Let’s go back over here to the Divi Library. Here’s the little extra step that’s going to be the, “Oh, that’s how you do it moment.” When you hover over Widget_Sidebar_Testimonial, I want you to look down at the bottom. Let me move my screen for a minute so that you can see down to the very, very bottom here. Let’s check this out for a second. Right here, at the bottom of my screen. There you go.

You see the number that says 12889? Yeah, it says post number 12889. That’s the number I need to remember, 12889, and we’re going to use this short code.


So, 12889 is our number. You’re gonna replace this number with your number for whatever layout you just created, right? So I’m gonna grab this onto my clipboard. Now I’m gonna grab the whole thing onto my clipboard, and we’re gonna jump into our Sidebar.

So I went to the Dashboard, Appearance and Widgets, that’s where I’m hanging out right now. And this is my Sidebar area. So what you wanna do is just grab a text editor, right, that’s all we wanna do, is grab a text editor. I wanna put it into my Sidebar, add the widget. There it is right there, and I’m gonna go into text mode and drop in the little module short code.

If you wanna give it a title, you can. I’m not going to, cause I think it’s gonna look amazing enough as is. I clicked Save, and that change should be live. Let’s go here and click Refresh. And, there you go. There it is in my right Sidebar. You can play around with that and make it look any way you want and again, remember you can do this with absolutely any Divi Builder module there is. Kind of cool huh you guys? This is another reason why I absolutely just love the Divi Theme and you can really use it in a lot of different ways.

If you’re looking for this short code, I’m gonna put it below in the description box, come check that out, it’s just a copy and paste and you can put these modules anywhere you need them to live. So get really creative with what you’re thinking about, you can put your most recent post and have it look as great as you want it to look. You can put really cool bullet points with little icons, you can do anything you want. I love the idea of doing one of those countdown timers living there, or maybe your stats that roll up, right?

Also, it’s a really cool ideas inside of the Divi modules. All right you guys, if you have any questions be sure to reach out to Elegant Themes first, they’re the providers of the Divi Theme and because you’ve purchased that license, you have support from them, so be sure to check them out first.

There’s also a ton of tutorials and of course I have that playlist living here on my YouTube channel as well. I hope this helps you and gives you lots of creative ideas, be sure to like and subscribe because I’m here every single week, creating content just like this to help you improve your online marketing inside the world of WordPress.

Alright y’all, I’ll see you next time. Bye everyone.

Health Update

Hey, a couple of y’all have asked me about my health journey. If you follow me at the end of last year, last July I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and in December of 2019, I was given the remission notice. I am day by day getting stronger and feeling better. I’m sure a lot of you have been watching just kind of quietly, some of you tweeted to me, some of you you’ve email me just asking and checking in on me and thank you so much for that kindness.

I am so thankful for my YouTube channel and all the crazy amazing people around the world who reach out to me and follow me and just cheer me on from a distance. So thank you so much for your love and your kind words of encouragement. I am doing well. I’m following up with a couple of doctors. I’ve had my last surgery about 60 70 days ago, I had my last surgery, and I’m feeling stronger from all of that.

So thank you again for your incredible prayers and your kind thoughts. You’re an amazing group of people and I hope someday we all meet at some WordCamp somewhere and hang out and have a beer together. All right, I’ll catch y’all later. Bye everyone.