How to Add a Sidebar to Storefront WooCommerce Theme

Storefront comes shipped with 1 sidebar. We want to add more sidebars so that we can provide relevant content based on the page content.

Here are the steps (refer back to video for clarification if needed):

1. Copy sidebar.php from your storefront theme and place it in your child theme. Change the name of the file to sidebar-yourNewSidebar.php and alter the code on that page for your new sidebar name. My example:

<?php
/**
* The sidebar containing the second sidebar area.
*
* @package storefront
*/

if ( ! is_active_sidebar( ‘sidebar2’ ) ) {
return;
}
?>

<div id=”secondary” class=”widget-area” role=”complementary”>
<?php dynamic_sidebar( ‘sidebar2’ ); ?>
</div><!– #secondary –>

2. In functions.php file of child theme, add the following code to register your sidebar (obviously change the names to what your sidebar is called):

add_action( ‘widgets_init’, ‘register_matts_sidebars’ );

function register_matts_sidebars() {

register_sidebar(array(
‘id’ => ‘sidebar2’,
‘name’ => __( ‘Sidebar 2’, ‘storefront’ ),
‘description’ => __( ‘Matts Custom Sidebar.’, ‘storefront’ ),
‘before_widget’ => ‘<div id=”%1$s” class=”widget %2$s”>’,
‘after_widget’ => ‘</div>’,
‘before_title’ => ‘<h4 class=”widgettitle”>’,
‘after_title’ => ‘</h4>’,
));
}

3. Find the template files that you want to override and copy them to your child theme. Comment out (or delete) the previously registered sidebar and add your new sidebar:

eg. I changed the archive.php file at the bottom:

get_sidebar(‘sidebar2’);
//do_action( ‘storefront_sidebar’ );

That should be it.  Add sidebars and override your storefront theme template files to your heart’s content. 🙂  This is also a good example of why it’s good to hire a web developer that’s versed in SEO.

Why Your Business Needs a Personal Web Developer that’s Versed in SEO

If you own a business you need a personal web developer that’s versed in SEO in order to manage your Site and SEO effectively.

Why do I need a personal web developer that’s also versed in SEO?

You need an SEO versed web developer that will include the services that I provide for the following reasons:

  1. Google Analytics: Google Analytics is constantly changing. How are you tracking where your site visitors are coming from? Are you setting click-through conversion goals, phone call conversion goals, tracking your marketing campaigns effectively, or analyzing your users’ demographics and behaviors properly? Most small business owners and even their IT departments don’t have time to keep up with these changes and make sure they’re being monitored.
  2. Google Adwords: Have you integrated your Adwords account with your Analytics account? If the answer is, “no,” you’re throwing money away. I’ve helped companies that were literally spending thousands of dollars per month on Google Ads for clicks from people that would never use their services. Utilizing the proper keyword insights and targeting of your market will save you a lot of money and make your ad spend much more effective.
  3. Listings: Is your business listed properly in the major search engines? Most websites these days will automatically get indexed in due time, and it’s easy to submit your site for indexing, but there’s more to it than that. Do you have your business listed properly on Google Maps, Google Local Listings, Google Business and Bing Places for Business? These are a few of the things that I consider when developing a full online marketing package for your business.

That sounds great, sounds like I need an SEO specialist only though?

This is where many business owners are missing out. They hire a web developer from one company and an SEO specialist from another (or maybe both from the same company, but those two people don’t know each other’s names!). These businesses tout being “Specialized” in their respective fields, and I know some that are. However, in my experience having a single web developer that is also versed in SEO maximizes the potential for your goals to be achieved. The name of my company, MAX Website Design, was conceived on that premise.

Why you need an SEO Consultant that’s also a personal web developer

Hiring a web developer that’s versed in SEO helps you in many ways:

  1. When developing your site, an SEO versed personal web developer will consider how the search indexes are viewing your site before they think about how a user views your site. They should take into consideration the user as well of course. There are many good “heat map” services out there that I consider when developing the elements of a customers’ site. There have been many studies that show how a user interacts with websites and which areas of a website their eyes are drawn to.
  2. When coordinating your SEO services with your website, you need a web developer that’s versed in SEO in order to give better insight into the analytics that the tracking software is providing, and to be able to implement any changes quickly. Too much time is wasted when multiple people or companies are involved playing phone or email ‘tag’ to try and piecemeal an action plan on the fly.
  3. Who do you call when things go wrong or you have a technical question? Having an all-in-one point of contact will reduce the headache of trying to figure out who you need to call, and who’s responsible for making the changes.
  4. Does your SEO consultant know how to integrate your email marketing software such as Constant Contact into your website? You may be missing out on building your email marketing list with each form submission.

Those are a few of the reasons you need a web developer that’s also an SEO consultant.

Every business has different needs and goals of course. I’ve seen personal blogs that you would think were built by a third grader pull in over 30K per month in advertising dollars. Of course, they had a LOT of original content and did the hard work to make those kind of advertising dollars (integrating Google Ad Sense, and affiliate programs). But their goal was to draw in traffic, so they kept the code minimal and the original quality content high. My point is this, don’t decouple your SEO and Web Development functions for the sake of having a “pretty” website over the functionality of reaching your businesses’ actual goals.

For example, here’s a not-so-pretty website that I built for a piano store in Montreal roughly 5 or 6 years ago (though we’ll be updating various elements in the coming year).  After implementing that website and the SEO functionality I previously mentioned, his business has almost doubled every year since implementation. Obviously it took his great team and customer service to make that happen as well. I think of myself as an extension of all of my client’s businesses, an employee really, and take credit for helping them maximize their potential. Your Web Developer and SEO Consultant should be doing the same for you.

In today’s world of information overload, I hope that this article has provided at least a starting point for helping you to understand why you need to hire a personal web developer that’s also versed in SEO.

If you have any questions or for information on my pricing and to view my basic rate matrix (which can be tailored to your company’s needs), visit this page: Website Pricing Or call me at any time: 800-931-0109

Fixing the Yoast SEO XML Sitemap for Open SEO Stats Chrome Extension

Yoast_SEO Plugin for WordPressYoast is a good SEO plugin for WordPress if you’re like me and don’t want to spend 2 hours on each post or page you want to publish.  However, I just noticed that my chrome extension was saying that my website didn’t have a sitemap! ha… I’m using WordPress with the Yoast plugin and it generates a sitemap as sitemap_index.xml

So anyway, to get the “green checkmark” from the chrome Open SEO stats Extension and avoid confusing the ‘internet’ just put this following code in your .htaccess: (Make sure mod-rewrite is on… but really, who’s isn’t for WordPress sites – oh, and of course replace your website name for exampledomainname, and remove the “s” on https if your site isn’t secure):


RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^exampledomainname\.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.exampledomainname\.com$
RewriteRule ^sitemap\.xml$ "https\:\/\/www\.exampledomainname\.com\/sitemap\_index\.xml" [R=301,L]