Time for another WordPress Wednesday! Weekly tips for new and established self-hosted WordPress users, designed to help you get the most out of your site from Sarah, a WordPress website developer.
How to Add a ‘Subscribe by Email’ Widget
Required plugin: Jetpack
If you’re looking for a hassle free way of increasing the loyalty of your readers, it’s worth adding a ‘subscribe to my blog via email’ form somewhere on your site. That way they don’t have to keep refreshing your site for your new content, they’ll get it delivered straight to their inbox instead!
If you’d like a subscribe by email widget but aren’t sure how to add one, read on for step by step instructions. You’ll need to have the Jetpack plugin installed for today’s tutorial, so if you don’t have now is the time to download it.
First of all, head to the Jetpack settings (you’ll find it at the top of your left sidebar) and make sure that Subscriptions is activated. It should be on by default, but if not you can activate it here.
Next, head to your Widgets page (found in the Appearance sub menu on the left sidebar)
The widgets should be arranged alphabetically. Look for the one titled Blog Subscriptions (Jetpack).
Drag it to the widget area that you want it to be in. These will normally be named sidebar, footer or something similar. You’ll see a dotted box appear when you hover over the widget area – drop it in that.
Once your widget is in place you can customise the text and choose whether to show the number of subscribers you have (I personally don’t bother but if you have a lot some people might find it an incentive!).
Once you’ve saved the widget all you need to do is refresh your site and you should see it in the sidebar/footer/wherever you’ve placed it :)Ta-da!
Jetpack is a good for beginners who are just getting started with WordPress. However, if you are experienced with the WordPress, you will find that individual plugins work better than the large Jetpack collection. Moreover, it uses too much server resources. Using this plugin to add just a widget, might not be an good idea.
For email subscriptions you’ll want to use a specific email marketing solution like Aweber or Mailchimp.
Sarah Chong says
Hi, you’re right – if you’re just using Jetpack for one of the services they offer then you’re probably better off using another, dedicated plugin. However, as Jetpack offers a wide range of services (not least dashboard stats, every blogger’s dream ;) ) we recommend it as a useful plugin because we know most people will get more use out of it than just one or two services :)
Mailchimp is great but it isn’t for blog subscriptions (it won’t push your content out as nicely as WordPress does), it’s for mailing lists. We find that most of our readers are new bloggers, so we try and offer the simplest options for the maximum return! :)