How to find an unclosed Div tag

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This post is about making a change to your WordPress site and leaving an div tag open…and finding out that it screws up the layout of your website or blog….often pushing the sidebar down to the footer of the page where WordPress is concerned.

So, you have installed WordPress, found a theme that ticks most of the boxes and has most of the features that you are after for your blog or website.

You have got the site into shape, you have some content up, you have allowed it to be found by search engines… are pretty much ready for the world.

There are just a few things that you want to do in order to add some personal touches that involve opening the WordPress Editor (Appearance > Editor). Maybe you wanted to add something to the footer of all your posts, maybe you wanted to change the sidebar….whatever it was it involved you making a minor tweak to the code of your website. Maybe you just tried to add a piece of code to one of your posts and didn’t even open the WordPress Editor at all.

Anyway, you made your changes and hit ‘save’ or ‘publish’.

You go back you admire your work but…….crap, the whole website is screwed up. What happened?

WTF! My WordPress sidebar has fallen to the footer of the site?:

I have done this many times – made a quick change to a blog (usually late at night when I don’t have the time, will, or energy to subsequently fix it) and found that I have f**ked something up.

One of my common issues is making a change and then finding that my WordPress sidebar is no longer where it should be, and has fallen down to the bottom of the website, so it is now found below the footer.

This can be caused by a few things – one common example is trying to insert an image into a post that is too large. For example, trying to force a 2000px image into a post with a fixed width of 600px means that something will break – usually your template.

My most common error is leaving an open div tag in a post or in the actual theme after using the WordPress Editor.

Check the screenshot below to see an example of an unclosed div tag:

example of an unclosed div tag:

Everytime my Sidebar slides down the page it is 99% of the time caused by an unclosed div tag.

So how do you fix it?:

Finding an unclosed tag can be a pain, especially if you don’t really remember when you might have introduced the issue. You can either wade through your html/markup looking for errors, or you can make your life easier by using some free automated tools to do the job for you.

There are a few tools that I use to check for unclosed div tags, in fact, it is good practice to use these tools for checking your site for any markup errors and to ensure that your code/markup is valid.

The DIV Checker (
A simple, and free tool for checking your div tags. If you want to ensure that every div tag in your website has a corresponding closing tag, then simply enter your url, click ‘go’ and you will get a simple report back of any issues with your div tags. This tool has saved me multiple times in the past.

The W3C Mark-Up Validator (
This validator checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML – simply enter the url of your website into the site, press a button – and you get a list of any invalid markup that you should be fixing.

Running a check on your site using The W3C Mark-Up Validator is awesome, but if your site is complex, then it might still be tricky to find an unclosed div tag, so if that is the case then use the first link above to locate the div.

40 WordPress Optimisation Tips

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Check out the slideshow below from Joost de Valk that he delivered at WordCamp Ireland recently – it’s a fantastic list of 40 core optimisation tips that all WordPress users should implement on their sites and blogs.

If you want to skip the intro and get straight to the optimisation tips for WordPress then start at slide 29.

Using the ‘Opportunities’ tab in Adwords

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I’m guilty for launching adwords campaigns and then just leaving them to tick over (as long as they are not losing money) and often ignoring the free information and advice that you can get from Adwords to help improve your campaigns.

The ‘Opportunities’ campaign is ideal for people experimenting with adwords. After setting up and launching a campaign, the ‘Opportunities’ tab provides you with a dashboard that give you useful stats (once your camapign has been running for a little while) on how you can increase exposure by adding suggested keywords, as well as giving you an approximation on how many extra searches your ad could potentially appear in. Adding the suggested keywords is as easy as checking the boxes of the ones you want to include and then hitting submit.

It also provides bidding advice on how to increase the performance of your ads. You don’t have to take the advice featured in the ‘Opportunities’ tab (it produces automated responses that may not always suit your site or your goals), but you should always dip in to in on a regular basis to improve your adwords education and understanding.

The video below was produced by Google to give you an overview of the ‘Opportunities’ tab in adwords as is well worth a watch.

Five Successful Strategies for Monetizing Blogs (video presentation)

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This is the presentation given by Missy Ward and Shawn Collins at Affiliat Summit.

Missy and Shawn are two heavyweights in the affiliate marketing space and are also the founders of Affiliate Summit. In this presentation they strip things back to basics and provide an overview of 5 techniques and strategies that can help you to monetise your blog.

Well worth watching for all beginners, and anyone else that has started on the often tough road of monetising blogs and affiliate marketing and needs a bit of motivation.

Five Successful Strategies for Monetizing Blogs:

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