Adding RefTagger to a WordPress Blog

WordPress is one of the most popular and powerful blogging platforms. It comes in two flavors: the hosted version (i.e., WordPress.com) and the self-hosted version (i.e., WordPress.org). This tutorial addresses how to add RefTagger to a WordPress.org blog since it is currently not possible to add it to a WordPress.com blog. WordPress.com bloggers, jump to the bottom to find out how you can help to change that.

There are two ways to set up RefTagger on your WordPress.org blog: (1) use the plugin or (2) set it up manually. The plugin is the best option since it keeps the code separate from your theme, which allows you to change themes without having to reinstall the code. It also enables you to keep up to date easily with future changes and feature additions to RefTagger with WordPress’s simply one-click plugin updates. But some of you may prefer the control of the manual route or may just not know how to find your WordPress files via FTP.

So take your pick with either of the below methods.

Method 1: Using the Plugin

To use the plugin, you need FTP access to your site’s files—at least for now. With WordPress 2.7, you will be able to browse and install plugins right from the admin panel!

If you’re like me and happen to be using WordPress 2.7 Beta 2, adding a new plugin like RefTagger is amazingly easy.

  1. Simply navigate to Plugins > Add New (i.e., http://yoursite.com/wp-admin/plugin-install.php) and search for RefTagger. RefTagger should show up as the top search result.
  2. Click “Install” on the far right, and then click “Install Now” in the window that opens. It takes just a second or two to install, and then you’re taken to a screen where you can activate it.
  3. Click “Activate Plugin,” and then navigate to the RefTagger page under the Settings menu to customize it, if you’d like.

If you’re playing it safe and running WordPress 2.6.3 or earlier, here’s what you need to do to set it up.

  1. Go to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/reftagger/, and click “Download.” Save the zip folder, and then extract the contents.
  2. Fire up your favorite FTP program. (FileZilla is a nice free option.) Then navigate to the place where you installed WordPress. It’s probably in a folder called “public_html” or “www.” Locate the “wp-content” folder, and then open it. You’ll see a “plugins” folder inside. Open it, and then copy the RefTagger.php file that you extracted from the zip folder into that folder.
  3. Log in to your WordPress admin panel, and then go to your Plugins page. Find RefTagger in the list of inactivate plugins, and then click “Activate.”
  4. Navigate to the RefTagger page under the Settings menu to customize it, if you’d like.

Method 2: Adding the Code Manually

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin panel, navigate to the “Design” page, and click on “Theme Editor.”
  2. Find your theme’s “Footer” template, and click on it to open it.
  3. Scroll to the bottom, paste the customizable RefTagger code immediately before the </body> tag, and click “Update File.”
  4. Navigate to the RefTagger page under the Settings menu to customize it, if you’d like.

WordPress.com users, are you feeling a little left out? We want to help, but there’s only so much we can do. The good folks at WordPress.com are willing to consider adding built-in support for RefTagger, but they need to see that there is enough interest. One of the things that they look at is the number of times that our plugin has been downloaded and installed. If you have friends using WordPress.org, encourage them to download and use the plugin.

Finally, a word to those of you who create WordPress themes or help churches and ministries get websites set up with WordPress: please consider adding RefTagger as a standard part of your theme or site set-up process. It’s a great way to improve the service you provide to people—at no cost to you and with very little effort.

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Written by
Phil Gons

Follower of Jesus, husband of Shanna, father of five, Chief Product Officer at Logos, PhD (ABD) Theology, reader, learner, blogger, technophile.

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Written by Phil Gons
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Unlock curated libraries and Bible study tools for up to 30% off with your first Logos 10 package.