Custom Community Dropped Right Sidebar Fix

If you happen to use the Custom Community theme in WordPress you may have come across a problem which causes the right sidebar to drop level with the footer.

Custom Community WordPress Right Sidebar Drops Into Footer

After fruitless hours of searching the web looking for a fix, and deciding not to go down the route of paying for the Pro version to get it direct from the developers I decided to have a go at fixing it myself.

As with all of life’s big problems the solution turned out to be a simple one (for me anyway!).

If you have used the visual editor in WordPress to create a page or post the editor adds <div> tags to every block of content in your new page or post. By going into the HTML editor tab you can see all the tags it has added. Deleting every single <div> and </div> tag and updating the page or post did the trick for me and brought the sidebar back into line!

How To Optimize Website URLs

Optimising Website URLs for SEO is a key part of designing any successful website which ranks well within search engines such as Google.

Optimise Website URL WordPress Slug Optimisation Plugin

Each individual web page has its own unique URL which follows the domain name and this piece of the URL is known as the slug.

Many people creating a website for the first (or even the hundredth!) time do not realise the importance of optimising slugs for SEO.

There are a few key points to remember:

  • Make them short but descriptive
  • Make them logical (readable)
  • Remove stop words

An optimised slug should contain the keywords which best describe that page in a logical order which makes them more readable (like a sentence) and therefore more likely to match a users search term.

All search engines have a list of stop words which they also ignore when a user enters a search. A list of common stop words is available online for you to view. In order to improve keyword proximity it is important that you remove stop words from a slug.

Users of the WordPress system can install a plugin to do this automatically. The Relevanssi plugin automatically removes any stopwords it finds in a slug before you publish a page or post to your website or blog.

To optimise your slug in WordPress go to Settings \ Permalinks and set your structure to ‘Post Name’. The next time you go to add or edit a post or page you will now see an ‘Edit’ option next to your slug which will allow you to have complete control over your URL to create a descriptive keyword packed slug for your content.

DynamicWP Running RSS Plugin

rss logoFor those of you looking to incorporate either your own or any number of external RSS feeds into your WordPress blog DynamicWP is the plugin for you.

This fantastic plugin which can be seen in action here adds a running RSS feed from user selected sites to the base of your browser window, and it a great way to bring related content to your readers irregardless of which page or post they land on.

The plugin makes use of Google Ajax and can be personalised with adjustable colours, number of articles and scroll speed options available in your WordPress administration panel.

Recently Google has announced that Google Ajax no longer requires an API key, and as such it is now possible to run the plugin without entering an API key in the settings page so this can now be kept blank.

The example link I gave earlier runs the plugin without an API key from Google, whereas on previous installs for customers an API has always been generated and added into the settings.

You can find more information on DynamicWP Running RSS on the WordPress plugins section.

Using Custom Fields With Contact Form 7 Campaign Monitor Add-on

For those seasoned WordPress users out there, I’m sure that by now you’ve come across the Contact Form 7 plugin, which in my opinion is THE best contact form plugin available.

For those of you who also use Campaign Monitor a handy add-on was released which allows you to add a custom sign up form to your site on a post, page or sidebar widget like this one. The forms work great and can be used to boost the size of your mailing list by coaxing in new subscribers from your website traffic.

One of the things that attracted me to the add-on was the promise of using custom fields, which I use a lot to split a large mailing list into smaller more targetted lists for specific campaigns, but I could not for the life of me work out how to get the custom fields passed from the contact form to my campaign monitor subscriber list!

For more information on setting up the add-on, see the following guide. But if you’re just stuck with the custom fields then read on….

The way to get it working is very simple indeed, but when there are no easy to find guides online it takes a bit of thought. However when you check the ‘Use Custom Fields’ box you are presented with options for up to 20 custom fields with a ‘CustomKey’ and CustomValue’.

Put simply the ‘CustomKey’ is the name of your custom field in Campaign Monitor, and your ‘CustomValue’ is the tag in Contact Form 7 which represents the field in which the required information is entered (e.g. [your-age]) as shown below.

 contact form 7 campaign monitor addon custom fields

 

So if you had the same problem I did, now you can see how simple it is to configure and add some real valuable information to your mailing lists with minimal effort. Most people will probably have figured out how to use this, but as I couldn’t find a to the point guide online, I assumed I wasn’t going to be the only one, so hopefully someone will get some help from this!