Updated July 27, 2020
Want to Add the WordPress Follow Button to Your Self-hosted WordPress Blog?
Well, you’re in the right place and it’s super easy to do!
If you’re an ex-wordpress.com user you probably had the little blue rectangle WordPress follow button on your blog.
This made it easy for any other WordPress user to follow your blog, growing your follower base all the while, and bumping up your traffic.
Of course, the WordPress follow button is something unique to wordpress.com and not self-hosted WordPress (aka wordpress.org). But you can still add theWordPress follow button to your self-hosted WordPress blog, and it’s super easy too.
First off, you need to have the Jetpack plugin installed and have it connected to a wordpress.com account. If you’ve never done this don’t worry, it’s pretty straight forward. I’ll have another tutorial to cover this shortly, just in case you’re having trouble getting it set-up and working.
Because the Jetpack plugin is made by the same folks that run wordpress.com, it aims to bring a lot of the same functionality to your self-hosted WordPress blog that’s not native to theWordPress software. Things like automatic social sharing, follow be email widget, comment likes, etc.
Anyways, straight to it.
Check Your Jetpack Settings so the WordPress Follow Button Will Work
First you need to make sure Subscriptions are activated in the Jetpack plugin. From your WordPress Dashboard Go to Jetpack > Settings > Discussion.
Scroll down to Subscriptions, and make sure it’s switch on.
You’ll also need to make sure the JSON API module is activated. To do this simply go to Jetpack > Modules from your WordPress dashboard.
If you don’t see the Modules menu item, there’s another way to get to it.
Scroll to the bottom of the Jetpack dashboard page and click on Debug to go to the Jetpack Debugging Center page.
On the Jetpack Debugging Center page look for the “Access the full list of Jetpack modules available on your site.” link near the bottom and click on it.
You’ll now be on the Modules page. Scroll down and look for JSON API and make sure it’s highlighted, this means it’s activated.
If it’s not already activated, just hover your mouse over the row and you will see an Activate link, click on it.
How to Embed the WordPress Follow Button on Your Self-hosted WordPress Blog
Now that Jetpack is up and running, the Subscriptions module is working, and you’ve made sure the JSON API module is activated, you can head over to the follow button generator on the wordpress.com developer site.
Once there, scroll down to the Button Options section and start filling in your details.
Fill in your domain name, choose whether to show your follower count and blog name, choose your language then click the Generate button.
It will work for a bit and then show you your button preview and there’ll be some code in the text box you’ll need to copy. This is the WordPress follow button code you’ll need to embed in your self-hosted WordPress blog to be able to show the follow button.
If you don’t see a preview or the code after you click the Generate button, and get the message “Please check you’ve entered the address of a WordPress.com or Jetpack-powered site and try again.” , and you’re sure your Jetpack is connected to a wordpress.com account, and the modules are turned on, then try this. Try adding (or removing – depending on how you typed in your domain name) the www. in front of your domain name. Still not working? Try the full URL, like http://blogger2wp.com.
It should never come to this, so hopefully it works.
Where to add the WordPress Follow Button Code on Your Self-hosted Blog
Now that you’ve copied the code, I will show you how to add it to your blog. You can add it anywhere really, even in blog posts or pages (like I did at the beginning of this post), but I find the most effective location is in a sidebar widget.
Go to Appearance > Widgets
Drag over a Custom HTML Widget to the widget area in a location you choose, it will pop open. Now paste the WordPress follow button code and click Save. See the animation below to see it in action.
Now go check out your new wordpress.com follow button working on your self-hosted WordPress blog.
I hope this was helpful.