The footer for my theme is a called the “Social Widget” and a widget such as that can enclose other widgets. You drag and drop these other widgets in the order you want them in the footer.
So my theme, Whitespace Pro, stacks everything in the footer in on long list (great for viewing from a smartphone). But I decided there was one section that I wanted in two columns.
And I wanted to set this all up before I begin inviting people en masse to the website. I have a picture of a coastal scene and the words from the G.M. Hopkins poem where the name of my site “poor potsherd” comes from. This picture links to a page with the whole poem on it. I also have written a blog post about the poem that explains why I use these words for my site name.
As I have admitted before, I know these pair of words when spoken are difficult for others to understand. My husband heard me spelling the name out for someone and advised me to abandon the name and go with “The Educated Reader” instead. I demurred. He encouraged me by responding, “Well then, you are doomed to fail.” I am sure I will hear those words again, if this site doesn’t work out so well.
So I want to explain what a “poor potsherd” is when readers arrive. (BTW, my son after reading the blog post, encouraged me to keep the name. So maybe we two can be like the Go Daddy commercial where the lady tells all her naysayers to “stick it.” But I am sure we will instead be gracious in victory.)
Anyway, back to the problem at hand: putting the picture and an excerpt from the “poor potsherd” blog post that links to the full blog post into two columns in my footer. If you want to know the ending now, I will tell you that that is not what I ended up doing. But I learned some things in the process that might be beneficial to you. They were to me.
First, I abandoned the idea of trying to get the actual single blog post to show up. That would have taken a lot of effort and reading. I decided to just write some other text and then link to the blog post.
I found the code to make the widget into two columns. The code just goes into the Text Widget like so. (BTW, this picture shows my final code, not the code that would put things in two columns—I had already deleted that when I decided to take a screenshot).
I already had the picture sized to what I thought was going to fit in that second column.
I got the text to show up in one column, but no matter what I did, I could not get the picture to show up in the other. I looked at example code for getting an image to show up and checked my code thoroughly, but could not figure out what was wrong.
So I put in a ticket to the StudioPress support guys explaining my problem and including my code. Now I have asked them questions before and they have been extremely prompt and helpful, but this time, Mr. Support (I will not name him because I may need his help in the future), just sent me the code for inserting an image —code I already had and had included in my support request. Thank you, Mr. Support Guy, for nothing.
So then I decided to try the Community Forum available on the StudioPress website and submitted my question and code. “Tom” responded and gave me superb advice and help—the kind a beginner like me needs. For example, he questioned if what I was trying to do was really what I wanted to do. He spotted a typo in my code. He also told me how to insert code correctly into a forum question (I had just cut and pasted it). And he gave me some good suggestions for some software, which I will include in my next post.
After my forum-based discussion with Tom, I decided to just stack the two pieces (the picture and the text). I really thought it would look good to have the text next to the picture, but that just wasn’t going to work very well. But now I had several starts and stops as I tried to get my links and text where I wanted.
I wanted the picture heading to say “What is a Poor Potsherd?” and then have that heading link to my blog post.
Problem: You can’t put links in a widget heading. They just get stripped out. I found code that would let me put links in all my widget headings, but it was a more complicated solution than I wanted, so I decided to just hide my widget heading and make the first line of my text into a heading and add a link to that.
Problem: You can’t easily hide widget headings. There is a plug in called “Remove Widget Titles” that will let me do it without code. I just add an exclamation point in front of any widget heading I don’t want to show.
Solution: So I added a Text Widget and hid the title. Then I added HTML to my text. See the picture above for the code.
Then I added an image widget (that comes with the JetPack plug in) and linked to my reduced size picture and made the picture a link to the poem.
So I got the links I wanted to appear on my first page (the footer also appears on every page—I may change that in the future). And I got a look I could live with. And I hope at least it also makes you not hate the name Poor Potsherd.