Switching from WooThemes to Jetpack Testimonials

The WooThemes Testimonials plugin, used to display stories or testimonials in the sidebar or footer of pages on your site, hasn't been tested with the last few versions of WordPress. We recommended it when the UUA Theme was new, but they don't appear to be maintaining it. It still works last we checked, though.

Starting with version 1.3.0, the UUA Theme supports the Testimonials feature of Jetpack, a plugin from WordPress.com. You probably already have Jetpack installed and enabled, because it includes a number of useful tools for improving site security and performance. Here's a tutorial for configuring and creating Jetpack testimonials.

Step 1. Enable Jetpack

If you don't already have Jetpack installed, install it as usual from the Dashboard > Plugins page (click the Add New button.) Although the installation page lists plans with prices, you can scroll down and choose "Start with Free" to install the perfectly adequate free version. Here are detailed installation instructions if you don't already have it installed.

If it's not already enabled, click the Enable link on the Jetpack entry on the Plugins list.

Step 2. Connect Jetpack to a free WordPress.com account

Choose Jetpack > Dashboard and follow the instructions to set up a free WordPress.com account to which you can connect Jetpack.

When you create the account, choose the type of account (blog? religion?), then scroll down to the “Start with free” option.

Step 3. Enable Jetpack’s Testimonials feature

Configure the Jetpack Testimonials feature by choosing Jetpack > Settings and clicking the Writing tab. Scroll down to the "Custom content types" section and enable Testimonials. Then click the Save Settings button.

Now you have two Testimonial options on your Dashboard: the old WooThemes one and the new Jetpack one. The WooThemes one has a double-quote icon, while the Jetpack one has a thought-bubble icon. There's also a Jetpack option on the Dashboard, near the top.

Step 4. Copy existing testimonials into Jetpack

Next you need to move (copy/paste) the existing WooTheme testimonials into new Jetpack testimonials. Create new Jetpack testimonials, copying the content from the WooThemes testimonials.

Choose the WooThemes Testimonials option from the Dashboard and choose All Testimonials. Open a separate browser window or tab in which to create Jetpack Testimonial pages to replace them. For each WooThemes testimonial:

  • Edit the testimonial.
  • Copy and paste the title and content into a new Jetpack testimonial.
  • View the Jetpack testimonial to make sure it looks correct.
  • Delete the WooThemes testimonial.

Step 5. Start displaying your new testimonials

Change [uua_testimonials] to [testimonials] wherever they appear. It may appears in the footer. Your Jetpack testimonials won't display until you do this step.

If you have been displaying a random testimonial in the Home 8 position on your homepage:

  1. Edit the homepage following these instructions.
  2. Remove any widget from the Home 8 position.
  3. Drag a Text widget into the Home 8 position.
  4. Click the down-arrow on the Text widget to edit it.
  5. For the Title, enter something like “Our Stories”.
  6. In the Content box, enter this shortcode: [testimonials showposts=1 orderby=rand]
  7. Publish your changes by clicking the Publish button at the top of the left column.

All testimonials can be grouped and displayed on a separate, single page by using the [testimonials] shortcode.

Step 6. Remove WooThemes Testimonials plugin (when you are sure it all looks good)

Navigate to the Plugins page from the Dashboard menu and click the Deactivate link for the WooThemes Testimonials plugin (that's when the Jetpack testimonials will begin to display).

Delete the WooThemes Testimonials plugin (when you are sure everything looks correct).