So, you have an awesome new custom blog design (because Little Blue Deer is your blog designer!) and you are getting to know the ins and outs of WordPress blog design. The best way to be creative with your blog design template is really in the blog post area, I always tell clients that once they have their custom blog design or custom web design in place, they should be able to take it and run with it as far as adding pages (see my tutorial on how to add new pages in WordPress if you want to learn how to do this) or changing up existing page content, and of course the place most bloggers express themselves is in blog posts themselves, but sometimes you want to add an image or other graphic on your blog sidebar.
A lot of times this takes the form of an ad for a blog sponsor or it can be images or photos that you want to add yourself (look for an upcoming tutorial on my favorite photo editor, picmonkey.com). So, to get started, you first want to install the Image Widget plugin.
In blog dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New.
In the box on the right, type in “Image Widget” (tip, this is the way to add any plugin to your WordPress blog design, so if you are looking for some other type of plugin, this is a good way to search for it). The image widget plugin I like and will refer to in the post is called Image Widget, and it has a blue border and photo of a girl in a hat (what’s up with that girl in the hat?).
Click on gray Install Now button next to widget name. Keep in mind I already have this plugin installed on my own blog design, so it is grayed out, but if the widget is not installed, go ahead and install it.
Go to Appearance > Widgets to access your newly installed image widget plugin.
Scroll down and find the Image Widget.
Click and drag the widget onto the Primary Sidebar area (or any other area you wish to show your image).
Now, you can upload your image (click gray Select an Image button to upload) and select the settings for the image. The settings I like to use are the Title (optional – this is the title that will appear above the image on your sidebar. If you do not want a title for your image leave this blank). You can add a caption (optional). Link: This is a great tool if you want to add a link to your image so that the user can click on the image and be taken to the link you specify (particularly if you are uploading an image for a blog advertisement or sponsor). You can choose the Open New Window option if you want the link to open in a new window. If you do not want the link to open in a new window, choose Stay in Window. You can choose the image size (if your blog design is retina-friendly the image will adjust to fit the size of the sidebar area). Finally, you can choose the image alignment (left, right or center). Done! Click the blue Save button to save your image and settings. You can view the image on your live blog design template, and if you need to make any changes, come back to Appearance > Widgets and adjust any of the settings.
So there you have it. Once again, if you have hired a professional blog designer, your blog design template will already include custom matching images for the sidebar, but you can use this handy image widget with any custom blog design or custom website design built on WordPress, or any out of the box theme. It’s a great way to highlight images that you like, to add an ad or sponsor, or to promote a post or page on your blog design!