How To Duplicate, Export/Import/Backup, or Copy Bricks in MP Stacks

One of our most requested features for MP Stacks (our page building/designing plugin for WordPress) is to be able to duplicate or copy/paste “Bricks” so that all the design elements can be easily reused. Essentially, any of your existing Bricks can be used as a starting point for a new Brick and save yourself a lot of time.

For example, you might build your page header using a single “Brick” and set the background image, text colors, placements and sizes of all elements, and then want to use that same header on  a different page but just change up a couple of small settings – like maybe change the header text.

It’s kind of hidden, but MP Stacks has a built-in system for copying/pasting “Bricks” so they can be re-used. It’s pretty simple to use.

  1. Open the Brick Editor for the Brick you wish to Copy/Duplicate
  2. Go to the bottom right and look for the icon of a square with an arrow and click on it.
  3. In the dialog that pops-up, click “Export this Brick” and a file will download.
  4. Open that downloaded file with a Text Editing program and copy all text in the file.
  5. Click “Add Brick” in the place you want the new Brick to be on your Website.
  6. Now in the Brick editor for your new Brick, give your new Brick a name at the top of the Brick Editor so you can identify it later.
  7. Next, scroll down to the bottom right again and click on the icon with the square and the arrow.
  8. This time, in the pop-up dialog, click “Import a Brick”.
  9. Paste in the code you copied in step 4 and click “Overwrite Brick”.
  10. That’s it! Your brick will now be duplicated and you can make any changes you wish to make this new Brick unique.

If you have any question about any of that, leave a comment or send us an email to and we’ll be happy to help you out!

Without good photography, any WordPress Theme will look bad.

without-great-photography-your-wordpress-theme-sucksIf you’re someone who’s purchased a WordPress theme before, you might relate to this experience: You see a theme that looks great in the demo before you purchase. However, once you install the theme, you realize that all of the great photography that you saw in the demo doesn’t come with the theme – and it’s looking pretty darn plain!

If you’re a photographer and you’ve got some great photos that match your website’s color-scheme and brand, you’re all set! However, if you’re not a photographer you might find yourself stuck at this point. You might feel “duped” by the theme seller – who made their “demo” look great by purchasing a lot of great Stock Photography – but they neglected to tell you that they’d spent over $1000 on Stock Photography to make their Theme’s demo look great.

We want to do things a bit differently, better.

When you purchase one of our themes, we have either taken the photos in-house or used 100% royalty free photos for all major design elements. Aside from some of our wordPress wedding themes (where you would assuredly want replace the photos of another couple with your own), we make sure that you have the license to use the photos in our “demos”, and that they are delivered with the theme when you purchase. Not only are they delivered, but they are uploaded DIRECTLY to the places they need to be on your website.

Great Photos Included, but still easy to swap.

Because all of our Theme Bundles are powered by MP Stacks (our page building WordPress Plugin), you can easily swap out any photo that comes with a Bundle. This is an extremely simple tool for those who have photos of their own that they want to use with the Theme. And so, while we make it super simple to change any photos, you also get great photography with all of our themes in-the-box.

Where to get some great photos for free:

If you’ve purchased a theme from another company and had this sinking feeling directly after purchasing – realizing that the photos aren’t included and the theme looks really “empty” now, there are a few things you could try. There are some great free photo websites out there that allow you to use their photos at no extra cost.  One of our favourites is UnSplash –

How to eliminate pesky Analytics Spammers

Note: Our “Master List” of Spam websites-to-block is at the bottom of this post.

If you’ve set up Google Analytics on your website, you might have noticed some weird websites being listed as “referrers”. There’s a new, pretty annoying spammer trick out there now where the spammer will send fake “visits” to your website from their own website. This makes their website “rise the ranks” on your analytics list of referrers, and it makes you – the site owner – go and check out there website. Pretty sneaky huh?

That’s only half of the annoying part. The main problem is that now you don’t actually know who is linking to you! This can be a major problem – but there is a pretty simple way to fix it. You can tell Google Analytics to “block” referrals from specific websites and it really easy to do.

Step 1:

Go go and log in.

Step 2:

Make sure you are on the “Admin” tab at the top of the page.


Step 3:

In the middle “properties” column, click on “Tracking Info” > “Referral Exclusion List”.


Step 5:

Click the “+ ADD REFERRAL EXCLUSION” button and type in all the domains that you want to block.

Tip: When you are entering a domain to block, you can adda “star” or “asterisk” (*) before the domain to also block any subdomains from that site. For example:, etc. (Website spammers are actually doing this and it could take you a long time to enter each subdomain individually – so this will save some time).

The “Master Spammer List”:

Because there are so many of these spammers popping up, we are going to keep a master list of all the spammy websites here so you can easily add the entire list to your website – instead of fighting with each one for months – only to find another has popped up. If you find a spammer domain on your website’s analytics that isn’t on this list – please let us know in the comments below and we’ll make sure to add it. This way we can all work together to eliminate every last one of these annoying spammers and get back to working on our websites!

Block These Sites:

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Blocking the bots (advanced)

Ideally, we’d prevent these bots from accessing our site AT ALL as they are draining resources needlessly. There are ways to block them entirely using htaccess (if you use apache) and in your sites-available file (if you use nginx). I won’t get into that in this blog post – but there are a lot of great resources out there for blocking evil bots altogether.

Here’s a link for Apache (htaccess):

Here’s a link for NGINX:

Because I use NGINX for all my web servers I will add my code for how I block these spammers from my server altogether. In the “nginx/sites-available/” file, under “location / {” I add the following if statement which blocks most spammers:

if ($http_referer ~* (seo|babes|click|girl|jewelry|love|organic|poker|porn|sex|teen|video|webcam|semalt|simple-share-buttons||googlsucks|buttons-for-your-website|theguardlan|myftpupload|4webmasters|social-buttons|hulfingtonpost||| ) {
return 405;

Have more sites to add to this list? Help everyone out and let us know in the comments below.

How to trade a song (or file) for an email address!

how-to-trade-an-email-for-a-songGetting people to sign up for your mailing list is imperative to your online growth – whether you are a musician, artist, or business. Social Media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are also very important. But don’t overlook the incredible value that an email list can have – especially when the people on your email list WANT to get emails from you.

In this post, I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to set up an email sign-up form (using which will trade a file download (song, zip file, video, or even just a URL to a secret video) for a user joining your email list.

We’re also going to use the “Double Opt-In” feature with MailChimp so we KNOW that people really want to hear from us – and then we don’t have to feel like spammers when we send out emails 🙂

Following these steps should take you about an hour:

Step 1.

Get a free MailChimp account by signing up at

Step 2.

Buy our MP Stacks + Mailchimp plugin for $5 here. Once you’ve purchased the plugin, download it and then install it on your WordPress on the “Plugins” > “Add New” > “Upload” page in your Dashboard.

Step 3.

Choose the page you want to place the email sign-up on. Maybe this is your home page, or maybe your footer. Edit that page by going to “Pages” in your WordPress Dashboard.

Step 4.

Make a new Stack by clicking on the “Add Stack” button above the text area on the page editor. The button looks like this:


If you’ve already added a Stack to your page you can, of course, skip step 4.

Step 5.

Once you’ve added a new Stack to the page, view the page by clicking “View Page” at the top of your screen.


Step 6.

For new Stacks click “Add a Brick to this Stack”. It will look like this:

If you have already created Bricks in this Stack, open the Brick Editor by clicking “Edit Brick.

Step 7.

In the Brick Editor, which is now open on your screen, under “First Content-Type”, choose “MailChimp”.

Step 8.

You will now see some options for your MailChimp information. Click “Find Your MailChimp API Key Hereto quickly locate your API Key (Make sure you are logged into MailChimp). Then paste the key into the Brick Editor.

Step 9.

Create a “List” in MailChimp. You can do this by going to MailChimp and logging in. Then at the top click on “Lists” > “Create List”. Call the list something like “Song/File Name X Download”. You want the name of this list to correspond with the action the user is taking so they understand.

Step 10.

Locate the list ID. The list ID is easy to locate. Go to “Lists” > Select your list > “Settings” > “List Name and Defaults”. It looks like this:



Step 11.

Copy the List ID and paste it into the Brick Editor. You can also start to design the Brick the way you’d like by adding a Background Image/Color under the “Background Settings” on the top right. When you are ready, click “Update/Publish” on the very top right side of the Brick Editor.

Step 12.

Create a new Page in WordPress by going to “Pages” > “Add New”. This page will be a “secret” page that your new subscribers will be automatically sent to when they sign up. It is on this page where we’ll “give” them the Song/File. Call the page something like “Thanks for Subscribing!”. You can then click the “Add Stack” button to place a new Stack on this Page.

Step 13.

View the page you created in Step 12 by clicking the “View Page” button at the top of the page and then Add a new Brick to the Stack. In this brick, under “Content-Type 1”, we’ll choose “Text”. In the text area we’ll write something like “Thanks for Subscribing. Here’s is your file download”. Then, we’ll click “Add Another” at the bottom of the text area to add another Text Area. In that area, we’ll upload the file we want to give the user and insert it into the text area using the “Add Media” button just above the text area. When we’re done all that, click the “Update button at the top right of the Brick Editor.

Here’s a sample of the “Thanks for Subscribing” page I made in 2 minutes with MP Stacks:

Here's a sample of the "Thanks for Subscribing" page I made in 2 minutes with MP Stacks

Step 14.

Now we have the “Secret” page which will deliver the file to the new subscribers – but how do the new subscribers get here? It’s pretty simple. Go back to your MailChimp dashboard and select the List we have been using by clicking on “Lists” at the top of the page and then selecting our list. Now, click on “Signup Forms” > “General Forms”. Find the form called “Confirmation ‘Thank You’ Page”. It looks like this:


Once we click on that, you’ll see an option that says: “Instead of showing this thank you page, send subscribers to another URL”. In that field, copy/paste the URL of the page we created in Step 12.

Step 15 (Optional & Advanced).

At this point everything is done and working! Congratulations on a job well done.

Now, if you are slightly more advanced and want to block Google from “indexing” your secret page (from Step 12), open your FTP and go to your WordPress’s root directory (the place where the wp-content, wp-admin, and wp-includes directories sit). In here we need to create/modify the “robots.txt” file to tell Google (and other search engines) that we don’t want our secret page to be indexed. If the “robots.txt file exists there, open it for editing. If it doesn’t exist, make a new file and call it “robots.txt” and open it.

Now locate the “slug” of your secret page by going to “Pages” > your secret page. The slug is located just beneath the Page Title field and looks like this:


In that robots.txt file we need to add this line:

Disallow: /thanks-for-subscribing/

Then save that file in your WordPress root directory and Google won’t index our secret page.


And there you have it! This has been a great way for both myself, customers, and friends to grow their email lists.


Translating A WordPress Theme or Plugin

All of our plugins and themes are all localized and translation ready here at Mint Plugins. Unfortunately, we aren’t bi-lingual people so we don’t have the knowledge to do the actual translating of the plugins and themes.

But if you are and can do translations into your language, we’d love to hear from you! Here are some steps to help you get started with translating.


Backups on a mac.

I do a lot of work on my Mac using a MAMP install. All of my code is written, tested, and stored here.

I made a major mistake today when testing the new beta version of WordPress – I overwrote my wp-content folder in WordPress! Unfortunately, there is no going back after this happens. Even Edit > Undo wasn’t going to work because I moved/replaced too many files.

The only option I had at that point was to bite the bullet, accept my losses, and revert to my latest backup – which was from 2 weeks ago. So, while a huge pain, 2 weeks of work lost isn’t the end of the world.


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