If you visit just about any website today, WordPress or otherwise, you will notice that it is littered with social media icons – easy-to-use buttons that allow you to “follow” or “like” a site through your social media accounts and give you the chance to stay update with the latest happenings via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and others. You do not need to look further than this site to see them in action.
If you want to increase visitors and get your WordPress content read in this day and age, you’re going to need some social media icons of your own, and here’s how to get them.
Installing icons manually
Like many aspects of WordPress, installing social media icons can be done manually or via a plugin. Let’s start with the former.
Find your icons
The first thing you will need to do is locate a set of social media icons that you can download – preferably for free. This website has a great selection: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/free-social-media-icon-sets-best-of/; however, there are plenty of others out there.
Once you’ve found the icons you like, you will need to download them. Typically, they will come in a .zip file, which you will need to extract on your local computer.
Upload them to WordPress
The next step is to upload the icons to WordPress. In the WP Dashboard, go to Media > Add New and choose the “Select Files” option, this will open a new window allowing you to browse and select the icons you wish to upload.
Once uploaded, each individual image will feature a blue “Show” link in the right corner. Click on this to locate the URL of the image. Copy the URL.
Now, go Appearance > Widgets and locate the “Text” widget. You will need to drag and drop this widget in the required sidebar of your site. Open the text box and give your social media icon section a title (i.e. Connect with Me). The large box is where you will need some HTML for your images.
The HTML code you need will look like this (you can copy it):
<a href="LINK"><img src="IMAGE URL" border="0"></a>
Where the code says “LINK” you should replace the text with your social media profile – for example: facebook.com/mywebsite – and where it says “IMAGE URL” paste in the image URL. Repeat this step for all icons, pasting the text in the same text box. Once done, click “Save” and “Close” and your icons are ready to use.
Installing icons with a plugin
Installing social media icons via a plugin is the easier option; however, your choice of icons will be limited. The plugin I would recommend is called ‘Social Media Icons’ and is simple to use.
Go to Plugins > Add New in your Dashboard and type in “Social Media Icons” in the search box. Find the plugin (developed by Akin Williams) and click “Install Now.”
Once installed, activate the plugin, locate it in Appearance > Widgets and place it in the preferred sidebar. Social Media Icons allows you to modify the title and gives a decent selection of icons. Simply select a theme, click on the individual icon and input your social media profile.
Social media icons are an essential part of the modern website. Following this guide will help you stay connected.