FAQs: How our Shop the Post plugin works

Built with the rewardStyle and ShopStyle Collective affiliate programs in mind, our Shop the Post plugin displays affiliate shopping widgets alongside post summaries on the Home Page and most archival blog feeds, as well as above the post footer on individual blog posts. The plugin is compatible with most WordPress themes, including those not built by us. 

With the plugin, readers can see and interact with your widgets from the Home Page, without having to click into posts! The plugin field can accept HTML or shortcodes.

At present, the plugin does not offer functionality to upload your own own product images and links, though this is a planned future update for the plugin.

Please read on for more FAQs about Shop the Post:


GENERAL QUESTIONS


Q: HOW DOES THE PLUGIN WORK?

The EmPress Shop the Post plugin provides a way to display your shopping widget on the Home Page of your site, within archival blog feeds, and automatically at the end of a blog post. The plugin does not control any aspect of the embedded affiliate widget itself, nor does it allow you to build product carousels. Instead, you must build your product widget on the affiliate platform of your choice. Most customers use rewardStyle or ShopStyle Collective.

After installation of the plugin, you'll see two fields on your post editor pages. These fields provide space for you to insert your affiliate widget shortcode or HTML code, as well as customize the title of your widget. Here are visuals of what these fields look like:

Classic Editor:

Block Editor:



Q: WHAT DOES THE PLUGIN LOOK LIKE IN ACTION?

Below are examples of how Shop the Post plugin works in our themes. IMPORTANT: Note that the product carousel/slider functionality is NOT what Shop the Post provides—instead, the plugin simply gives you a way to feature these widgets directly on your blog feeds, and automatically at the bottom of a blog post.

Hayes theme, within a blog feed:


Hayes theme, at the end of a blog post:


In our Presidio theme, within a blog feed:


In our Pearl theme, within a blog feed:


Q: Can I upload links/products/images from any retailer into Shop the Post?

At present, no. However, this is a planned future update for this plugin! View all planned product updates, as well as recently released updates here


Q: Will the plugin work with a theme not made by EmPress?

Shop the Post works on many WordPress themes not created by us, though not all. It is highly dependent on your theme code and theme vendor. In the event you purchased it and it was not compatible with your site, just let us know! We offer a full refund on all purchases if requested within 14 days of the original purchase date. 


Q: Is the plugin compatible with Gutenberg/WordPress block editor?

Yes, the plugin is compatible with the WordPress block editor. Info on where to add Shop the Post widget codes in block editor can be found here.


WORKING WITH SHOP THE POST PLUGIN


Q: How do I create widgets or code for the Shop the Post plugin?

Please read this article, which discusses where to build rewardStyle and ShopStyle codes, as well as alternate uses for Shop the Post.


Q: Can I embed more than one widget within the Shop the Post plugin field

Technically, yes, you can embed more than one widget code within the Shop the Post plugin field, though we think it would look a little odd. Pasting multiple shortcodes into a single Shop the Post plugin field will mean those slider widgets stack on top of each other, which might look overwhelming within your blog feeds. Here's an example of how it would look:

Give it a try, and see if you like the way it looks with your specific content!


Q: Can I embed more than one widget within a blog post using Shop the Post plugin?

Many customers ask about featuring multiple Shop the Post widgets within a single blog post. 

Remember, your affiliate  widgets from rewardStyle and ShopStyle function independently of the EmPress Shop the Post plugin. You can embed as many product affiliate widgets within a blog post as you wish — these do not interact with or impact the EmPress Shop the Post plugin. The code embedded into the plugin is what will appear within your blog feeds, and at the very end of the blog post.

  • If you are using the WordPress Classic Editor to write your blog posts, simply embed the affiliate shortcode within your blog post body. If using HTML to embed your widget, be sure to toggle to the Text tab of the editor to embed your HTML code.
  • If you are using the WordPress Block Editor to write your blog posts, use a Shortcode or Code block to embed your widget.

For more help with embedding multiple affiliate widgets within a blog post, please read this Help Desk article.


Q: Does the Shop the Post plugin widget appear anywhere else within an EmPress theme, besides the Home Page?

Yes. In certain themes, Shop the Post code may also appear in archival blog feeds, such as on a category page. An example can be viewed here, in one of our Hayes theme demos—note that the "Shop" hover effect is active for the "Favorite Spring Perfumes" post on this Beauty category page, just as it is on the blog's Home Page.

If you have purchased and installed our Grid plugin, Shop the Post also integrates directly with Grid. Shopping widgets are viewable on all category pages utilizing Grid. View an example here.


Q: Can I change how the plugin output appears within my blog feeds?

We offer a number of free Code Hacks that can change the styling of the Shop the Post plugin. View them all here.

We do offer Code Hacks for specific themes that changes how your widget will display within blog feeds. Click here, then navigate to your theme name to see what free Code Hacks are currently available.


AFFILIATE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS


Q: I'm new to rewardStyle. What's the difference between their Shop the Post widget and your Shop the Post plugin? Do I need both?

rewardStyle offers an "app" or widget that also happens to be named Shop the Post. 

With this application, you can create widgets featuring your desired products, each with an attached affiliate link that is unique to your account. We offer limited instructions on how to build your widget within the rewardStyle platform here, but if you need more assistance, please reach out directly to your rewardStyle account representative or submit a support ticket via their Help Desk, as we're not able to offer support for their products.

Once your widget is built on the rewardStyle platform, you embed it with a WordPress shortcode (e.g. "[show_shopthepost_widget id="12345"]). This shortcode is what you paste into our Shop the Post plugin fields.

In other words: The rewardStyle widget piece provides the actual product slider widget; the EmPress plugin piece provides a way for you to ensure your widget appears on the Home Page of your site. Without the EmPress Shop the Post plugin, readers must click into a post to view your featured widget.


Q: I'm a rewardStyle member. Why do I need to install the rewardStyle plugin in order to use the Shop the Post plugin?

The rewardStyle plugin provides your theme with code so that it can read their widget shortcodes. Specifically, when you build a rewardStyle Shop the Post widget and select "WordPress" as your platform, it will output a shortcode (e.g. "[show_shopthepost_widget id="12345"]). Without the rewardStyle plugin, WordPress does not know how to read this code or feed in your specific widgets.

The rewardStyle plugin may be downloaded here. You may need to be logged in to the rewardStyle dashboard in order to view their help articles.


Q: Will Shop the Post work with Amazon Associates?

While Shop the Post can technically work with Amazon HTML widgets, their widgets do not include a built-in carousel/slider feature at this time. We typically find Amazon's affiliate widget solutions don't look as clean or elegant within Shop the Post, as their products weren't intended for a use like this.


MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS


Q: Can Shop the Post be used for something other than shopping widgets?

Yes! Because Shop the Post can accept any HTML or shortcodes, you can certainly get creative with it. Here are some examples:

  • A podcast shortcode: If you are using a plugin to play your latest podcast episode, you can embed the player shortcode into the Shop the Post field so readers can listen directly on your site. Here's an example.
  • Write HTML text: Since Shop the Post accepts HTML text, if you know how to write this coding language, you can display links or other text. Here's an example:

*Note: again, you will need to know how to write and style HTML text and links to do this!

  • Embed your favorite plugin shortcode: Have another idea for Shop the Post? So long as the plugin or service you're utilizing outputs what you want to display as a shortcode or HTML, you can do it!