Two Essentials on Every Blog in WordPress Land

I love looking at other blogs – it gives me a window into another culture, another mind, another lifestyle and another perspective.  I also like to click on the Gravatars of others who’ve “liked” the same article, to see what like-minds have to offer.  In doing so, I’ve repeatedly come across Gravatars & blogs that have two essentials missing:  Blog links, and “Like” buttons.

Everyone who’s got a WordPress site has a Gravatar; on the Gravatar you’ve got the opportunity to put a link to your blog(s), your Twitter account, Facebook, Pinterest, or any other link you’d like to connect to one face, one place.  Think of it as a virtual pin board, or bulletin board.  If you’ve got a blog, that’s the place to have a link!

To the right of this blog page, you see the example of my own Gravatar:  A photo of moi, my Gravatar’s name and a brief description, followed by a list of my personal links – some are to my other three blogs, and my Amazon Author’s Page, as well as my Pinterest board.  I’ve never twittered, and maintaining a public Facebook page on top of four blogs plus a writer’s forum on another website was too much of a time-eating monster… I’d rather be working on my next novel’s manuscript!

I’ll explain how to get what you need, as sometimes it’s helpful – I’m sure a lot of you know more about finding your way around cyberspace than I do, but sharing knowledge is what makes connecting with others enjoyable!

gravatar-logo-512To add a link to your Gravatar:

On your blog, click on your Gravatar’s name (just under the Gravatar photo on your blog, if you’ve got that set up; if not, click on your chosen image at the top right of your screen’s bar – that will take you to the reader, where you should see the name in blue).  Once you’re signed in through WordPress, below the Gravatar’s name you should see the options “Edit My Profile” and “Hide My Profile”.  Click on Edit; on the new screen to the right you will see a list; chose “Websites”.  On the new screen, you can add a new website by copying and pasting the URL after clicking either of the “Add Website” options.  Be sure to title it too.

One more thought:  Don’t leave a generic image as your Gravatar’s face; put something that represents you, whether a photo of you or your cat or a flower – it’s a lot more attractive, individualized, and says something about the person behind the words.

Web

To add a Like button:

Go to your blog’s main page, and hover over “My Sites” in the top left corner; one from the bottom you should see “Settings”; click on that.  From this new screen, in the last section on the left you should see “sharing”.  Here you should be able to add a like option.

I’m not certain this is correct, as I’ve already got the option on all four of my blogs; but it may also depend on which theme you choose for your blog.  If anyone knows how to get the like button up front, please let me know!  If you can’t add like in the way described, you may want to consider changing your blog’s visual theme (different themes offer different options).  Your content matters, and people want to let you know!

Also, when adding a new post, make certain that you’ve ticked on the “Likes and Shares” (in the left-hand side bar).

Just one more thought:  Be aware of how colour schemes affect the reader:  If you’ve got a bright background and clashing font colours, it’s just plain irritating, and will likely drive more people from than to your blog.  Choose colour combinations that are easy on the eye, which makes them much more attractive to read.

Please tell me in the comments below how you’ve experienced these points, and if you have any tips on improving the layouts and function of blogs!

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16 Comments

Filed under Articles, Nuts & Bolts

16 responses to “Two Essentials on Every Blog in WordPress Land

  1. Feedback and connectivity are two things every blog needs. Great post.

  2. Thanks for the tips Stephanie, but they weren’t fully clear to me. Regarding the gravatar, I didn’t realise that I had to sign in to WordPress.com to edit things and not my own website. And I didn’t find the Like button option. I’m a bit reluctant to play around with different themes in case I have trouble getting back to my present setup. Did you have to install a plugin to enable the Like button feature?

    • Hi Greyowl! By signing into WordPress, I mean signing into your WP website/blog. I didn’t install a plugin for the “like” feature; themes are laid out in different ways; some of them have the “like” on the front page, and others, only when you click on the title to see the article isolated e.g. from the home page display; that difference can be seen if you look at my eponymous blog, and my History Undusted theme’s layout. If you want to try around, just make note of which theme you’re currently using (it’s displayed at the bottom of your home screen). I hope that helps!

      • After trying various things and then consulting the expert (my son), I discovered that the standard gravatar and “like” feature apply only to sites hosted at wordpress.com, which is not the case for me or many other websites (using wordpress.org).

      • Ah; I assumed you were on WordPress.com! It’s worth considering. 😉

  3. Carol Ferenc

    A Gravatar without a link to a blog is kind of pointless. As for color schemes, less is more, I believe. I exit any blogs that are typographically difficult to read. Think white space. Yes, I found the Like feature at Settings, then Sharing in my blog’s dashboard. Scroll to the bottom of the Sharing page and the Like option is there. Thanks for a great post with important reminders for all of us bloggers. I don’t know how you do it all!

    • You’re very welcome! Thanks for stopping by and giving your two cents’ worth! 🙂
      I agree about a blogless Gravatar being a bit pointless, unless they really do have no blog but need the Gravatar to interact on WordPress. However, many I’ve checked out obviously do have a blog, with an invitation in the blurb to stop by, but no link!
      I also exit blogs that strain the eyes; I came across an interesting one (content-wise) today, but wouldn’t read – it had pages and pages of scroll per article (also to be avoided, cyber-etiquette-wise), and the background, while an interesting pattern, was not stationary and very contrasty… I left to spare my eyes the strain.
      As regards your last comment – I don’t know how I do it either. I just need very little sleep. 😉

  4. Hi thank you so much for stopping by my Blog and for the “Like ” you left me…since you left a trace it led me to your Blog! 🙂 I just came to visit your Blog is very interesting and I see that you are a writer I will surely dig more into your posts. I hope that you enjoy my Art and we can follow each other if you like. I express my creativity in many ways…looking forward to what will happen next have a wonderful day! ❤

    • Thank you for coming over! I love your artwork, and I thought about possibilities for such a book cover design in the future. 🙂 I’m also very creative, but in less virtual mediums than photography and graphics, so I appreciate others’ talents in those all the more!.
      Enjoy exploring my past articles, and other blogs! I look forward to seeing more of your work as well.

  5. I agree, a gravatar no link to the blog is useless. the gravatar makes you communicate with the world! Hola

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