I was researching a topic and noticed a redirect area on their website. I thought it would be a great thing to add to my websites too. Then I remembered how I had wanted to create portals on my site years ago. Well, now I know how. Here’s how I created a portal gallery block in WordPress.
What’s a Portal
Before you start thinking about the intro to The Twilight Zone or Harry Potter, the type of portal we are talking about today is a point of access or link to another area.
Why would you want this? Keep reading. You’ll see.
Let me just say I’m a huge fan of Darren Rouse. Ever since I first started blogging over three years ago, he has been my go-to source for blogging resources and so much more. If you don’t know who Darren is I highly recommend Googling him and checking out his website, podcast or his Facebook group.
Anyway, years ago I heard him mention how he had created portals on his website to direct new readers to areas of interest. These portals worked like a funnel to grab the new reader and send them to exactly what they were looking for. I remember him saying that it was part of capturing the new reader by giving them an easy win.
Portal – a website or web page providing access or links to other sites.
Darren talked about the use of portals in an interview post on Social Media Examiner here.
Full disclosure, I actually tried to create my own portals using images. But it turned out a bit wonky and I didn’t like the way it looked so I abandoned the idea. That is until today!
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Why and What is a Portal?
Like I said I saw this image on a site I was checking out.
See the four portals she has? Those are portals or to make it easier to understand “buttons” that take the reader to other parts of her website.
This is so cool because what this blogger can do is as Darren says is “get the right content in front of people at the right time.” Like at the end of a post when they would normally click away.
The portals grab their attention and hopefully encourage them to go deeper on your site. Now you see why I was so interested in creating them.
How to Create Portal Block In WordPress
Ok, ok so how do you create one of these portal thingys?
Glad you asked! It turns out with the new WordPress Gutenberg it was crazy easy to create portal block in WordPress. This is how I did it.
Oh, one last thing before we dive in. I created this custom portal block on my other blog thrivingchildcare.com, just in case you want to take a look. Ok, let’s get into it.
1. Create the Thumbnails
I knew that I wanted descriptive images or buttons like I saw on the other site, so using their template I created four logo sized images in Canva. I just chose a graphic image for 4 of the common categories on my site. Then I labeled them.
TIP: Brand your portal by using colors associated with your website.
Then so I remembered where I put them (I have an issue with that) I created a new folder and downloaded the images to my computer.
2. Install the Plug-in
Now WordPress has a standard gallery block, but unfortunately, it doesn’t allow you to link a URL to the images in the gallery. But turns out there’s an
App plug-in for that. I installed a plugin called Gallery Custom Links. This plugin allows you to link gallery images to a URL.
Then I uploaded the thumbnail images to the Media Library and attached a URL to the categories I wanted them to redirect to.
3. Creating the Portal
Now in my post (or a page), I was now able to use a gallery block with the thumbnails. Since the URL’s are already attached, all I needed to do was pull in the images from the Media Library. Each of them redirects to a different category.
Then I created a header block above the gallery that says, “I need help with …”
One more thing, you can make this gallery “portal” a Reusable Block so that it will always be ready to go. Then you can just insert the gallery block into future posts or pages. All you have to do is click on the arrows in the right corner of the block to make it a Reusable Block.
I’m so proud of myself for figuring this thing out (patting myself on the back). I mean I literally saw this on another site and created it on my own site a few minutes later. Honestly, it really is easy! It took me longer to write this post than to do it.
I have wanted to install portals on my site for a long time but just didn’t know how to do it successfully. Now people visiting my site have an even easier way of navigating right to the information they need most.
I’m already thinking about other portals I can make. Imagine! You could link to categories, a specific post, your about page, your shop, an offer etc. It’s limitless!
I hope this inspires you to try something new on your blog. Thanks Darren!