Assuming you have installed the plugin like you would any other plugin, either by searching in your admin and clicking install or uploading a .zip file of the plugin, you should now have a new section in your admin called ‘Testimonials’. If you do not see it, make sure the plugin has been activated.
There are 3 sections to this area, the testimonials, the rotators and the settings. Contrary to the order of the dropdown, you’ll want to start with the rotators.
Step #1 – Add a rotator
Before you add any testimonials, you’ll most likely want to create rotators. They are not required, but they will allow you to group your testimonials. For instance, if you want a different set of testimonials in one section of your site, or perhaps targeting a specific service that your company offers.
Click on ‘Add Rotator’ in the main navigation and you’ll be presented with a form similar to WordPress post forms:
The main text field at the top gives you a place to name your Rotator. This will only be used in your admin and be visible when you want to associate testimonials or when using the widget settings to include a rotator in your sidebar.
The rotator options are for the most part self-explanatory. A few settings to note:
- Transition effect: the way the rotator will move between testimonials.
- Image size: each Testimonial theme uses the image a little differently. This allows you to set a different image size for cases where you are want to do something different than the theme.
- Element for title field: WordPress themes style elements differently, sometimes in your theme, the H2 element may be crazy large, you could change this to an H3 or H4 to make the title a bit smaller.
- Hide options: (starting in version 2.2.4 – Nov. 15, 2016), you can hide different sections of the rotator from the rotator settings. These options were available in the widget settings and have now been made available at the rotator level too.
Select a Theme
The last area of this page is the theme selection. My free plugin comes with 2 theme options and more are available for a fee here. To select, simply press the icon image associated with the theme you want. The border should turn to a lime green.
After you have selected all your settings, and options click the ‘Publish’ button on the side (or at the bottom on mobile devices).
Step #2 – Add Testimonials
Next, navigate to the main ‘Testimonials’ section of the admin. Click the ‘Add New’ button under ‘Testimonials’ in the main menu. The add testimonial form looks like this:
Where it says ‘Enter Highlight Here’ that field correlates to the ‘title’ options in your rotator. If you say to ‘hide titles’ in the settings, this is what would be hidden.
The main WordPress editor is the ‘body’ of the testimonial. This is the same type of field used when editing a WordPress post or page. Add your main body text here.
You should see an options box below your main editor. If you do not, click ‘Screen Options’ at the top of the page and look for a checkbox next to ‘Testimonial Options’ – make sure that is selected.
- Attach: The first option is which rotators you want this specific testimonial associated with. You can choose as many as you like.
- Star Rating: If you would like stars to appear with your testimonial you can select this. It is also used with hReview options. More information about hReview and how it can help your site here.
- Author Information: correlates to the ‘hide author’ settings in your rotator settings. This is who the testimonial comes from. Tip: holding down shift when clicking enter creates a single line break instead of a new paragraph. This looks better in the author block.
The WordPress excerpt space can be used to create a custom shorter version of the testimonial. This is great when you want to make a really large quote and then link to the full testimonial.
The image spot is a standard WordPress featured image space. This works exactly the same way any post or page image would work.
You can specify a custom order for this testimonial to appear in.
After you have entered all your information, you can click the ‘Publish’ on the side (or bottom on mobile devices) of the page. This will save your testimonial and assign it to any rotators you selected.
Step #3 – Displaying the Rotator on Your Website
Now that you have some testimonials created and perhaps even a rotator. You’ll want to display theme somehow.
Displaying with a Widget
Built into the plugin is a standard widget. Navigate to ‘Appearance’ → ‘Widgets’ in your WordPress admin. (If you do not see this location in your admin, your theme does not support Widgets and you’ll need to skip down to the ‘Displaying with a Shortcode‘ section).
On your widgets page, look for the Testimonial Rotator widget and select it. It will ask you which area you want to add it to.
After you make your selection, you’ll see the widget with its Basic Settings available.
The title field applies to the Widget Title. Many themes support a title for your widgets. This is not required but you could enter something like, “Testimonials, Praise or What people are saying.”
This is the maximum number of testimonials to show on the page. Please note the more testimonials you select here, the more data is loaded on your page, increasing page load times.
You can change the way the rotator is presented on the page. ‘List’ creates a simple list of the testimonials without any animation between them and all being displayed at the same time. ‘Rotator’ loops through the testimonials with animation.
This option allows you to show the full body of the testimonial or just a snippit. If you choose the Excerpt option, it will look for the WordPress excerpt set on the Testimonial, if none is found it will create one by using the beginning of your testimonial.
Custom Excerpt Length
If you chose the Excerpt option above, you can then select how long that excerpt should be (in number of words).
If you select the ‘Override Rotator Settings?’ option, you’ll be presented with a whole slew of options to override the settings you set at the rotator level. This is handy for having a good base set of display and then modifying on a per section basis.
These are similar settings found in the rotator setting. You can override as needed.
Displaying with a Shortcode
You can also easily and quickly display the rotator on any page using a shortcode. The easiest way is to navigate to a page and click ‘Add Rotator’ option above the main WordPress text editor.
This will pop up a selector with the rotators you have setup.
Select the rotator from the select box and hit ‘Insert Rotator’. Your extremely basic shortcode will now be added.
You can check modify the setting in your rotator or add new shortcode attributes. A full list of attributes has it’s very own Help Guide!
You’ve now created a rotator, added some testimonials and finally made a way for the testimonials to be displayed on your site.