My absolute favorite part of WordPress is the endless kinds of plugins you can install and use on your blog.
Everything from newsletter boxes to social icons, to backend tools for SEO, or spam control etc. They’re almost always free. Bonus!
But, how do you find them, then download and activate them, and set them up?
If you’re new to WordPress then you might not know how to do this. It’s like second nature for me now, as I’ve been working with WordPress since 2007 – but there was a time they’re confusing and frustrating.
I’m starting a blog series here called WP Plugins – where I walk you step-by-step through using plugins for your blog.
We’re starting with Simple Social Icons, one of my favorite plugins to use. It’s user-friendly, and super easy once you get the hang of it.
(screenshot of what it can look like after setting it up.)
What is Simple Social Icons?
Simply put (like how I did that?) it’s a plugin that allows you to display social icons on your website. You can control the size, placement, and color of them with this plugin and it includes the most popular, and even some lesser popular sites that you might be part of and want to promote on your site.
Let’s jump in!
Step One: You’ll want to be logged into the admin area of your site, which is just the backend where you add a post, or page, can install plugins, and mess around with widgets etc.
Step Two: You’ll go to Plugins on the lefthand side of your dashboard.
Step Three: Then go to “add new”.
Step Four: Click on “add new” button and then search for Simple Social Icons in the search bar.
Step Five: Click on install now button and then click activate
Step Five: Go to widgets
Step Six: Find the Simple Social Icons widget – you might have to scroll toward the bottom of your page.
Step Seven: Click on the Simple Social Icons widget to open up the menu links. Then choose whichever widget location you want the plugin to show up on — most people display it in their main sidebar.
Step Eight: Change the title to whatever you’d like it to say. I usually choose “Let’s Connect” or something along those lines but you can choose whatever verbiage you’d like that lets people know right away that these are your social media icons.
Step Nine: Click on “open links in new window”.
Step Ten: Adjust the sizing of the icons. You can play around with this and decide which size you’d like to use. I typically choose size 42 icon size.
Step Eleven: Choose your alignment to whichever direction you want it to display – I usually choose center.
Step Twelve: Change the icon color, hover color, background color, etc… to whichever colors match best with your blog site.
Bonus: Download the free colorzilla color picker for Chrome or Firefox to easily grab colors from your site and input the code in the Simple Social Icon sections for changing the colors.
Step Thirteen: You’re all done with the customizing steps – now, just add your social media links and save the changes and you’re all done!
Please note – you need to add your special links – not the main links in my screenshots. So, if your name is happymommyblogger on Instagram your link will look like instagram.com/happymommyblogger
Success – you’ve set up Simple Social Icons plugin on your site!
Now your blog readers can easily click to follow you on your favorite social media sites! If you’re more of a visual learner, I have a quick video tutorial below you can watch that’ll walk you through these steps.