Tag Archives: plugin

Twitter Blackbird Pie for WordPress

Want to easily embed individual twitter messages in your blog posts? There’s a WordPress plugin for that. Twitter Blackbird Pie adds several options that allow you to embed a nicely-rendered HTML representation of a tweet. It adds buttons to the editor, shortcodes, even oEmbed support.

It uses a variation of the Blackbird Pie tool that Twitter created, but integrates it into WordPress itself.

If you’re using WordPress.com, this functionality is now built-in as well.

WooThemes Launches Tumbleblog Plugin and iPhone App

WooThemes has launched an iPhone app, called Express, for their tumbleblog themes. It makes it easy to post Tumblr-style to your WordPress blog.

If you’re not using one of the supported tumbleblog themes, they have also built a WordPress plugin that will add the tumbleblog functionality. (I may have to take a look at the code one day to see how they have it set up. I assume it probably involves Custom Post Types or Custom Taxonomies somehow.)

I like this idea. It would be great if you could continue to use the normal post type, but add in some mixed media with the tumbleblog plugin (for links and the occasional podcast).

Anthologize — Turn Your Blog into an eBook

Anthologize is an interesting new WordPress plugin that helps you compile an eBook using posts from your blog. It supports the PDF, ePub and TEI formats.

Anthologize is a free, open-source, plugin that transforms WordPress 3.0 into a platform for publishing electronic texts. Grab posts from your WordPress blog, import feeds from external sites, or create new content directly within Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a single volume for export in several formats, including—in this release—PDF, ePUB, TEI.

It sounds like Anthologize would be an easy way to take the content you’ve produced over a few years and use it as a basis for an eBook, which you could then distribute through Amazon or iTunes—or in print through somewhere like Lulu.

I’m also reminded of an old idea of mine… I’ve always thought it would be fun to write a “serial novel” in installments posted on a WordPress blog. (i.e. a chapter per post.) Anthologize would be useful in a situation like that, as the finished work could be easily converted to a form suitable for publication in print or through an eBook store.

Lazy-Loading Images

You may have noticed that a lot of large blogs, like Smashing Magazine and the TUTS+ network, are “lazy-loading” images in their posts. Sometimes, as you scroll through a post full of images, you might catch an image fading in just as it comes onto the screen.

This technique is known as lazy-loading. It makes web pages appear faster, and can save a little server bandwidth. Instead of loading all of the large images on a page, you use JavaScript to delay their loading until they’re needed. This makes the initial page load faster. As the user scrolls down the page, the script loads the images just before they’re needed and places them in their spots.

There is a jQuery plugin you can use for lazy-loading images on any page.

For WordPress users, there is an easy to install WordPress plugin that implements the jQuery lazy-load plugin for you.

Twitter @Anywhere Plugin for WordPress

Want to easily add the basic features of Twitter @Anywhere to your WordPress blog? There’s already a plugin for that. It adds the requisite JavaScript for you, allowing you to enable or disable features with simple options in the WordPress Admin.

Currently it supports the auto-linking of Twitter usernames and the nifty “hovercards” feature of @Anywhere. It also can add a tweet box below you blog posts, making it easy for your visitors to update their Twitter statuses.

Some features I would like to see in future releases are:

  • Custom selectors for linkifying and hovercards. A form field could allow the administrator to enter CSS selectors, one per line, and the values would be dumped into the JavaScript function as an argument. (It’s a simple matter of using PHP’s explode() and implode() functions to replace the linebreaks with comma delimiters.)
  • An option to define a default template for the tweet box. E.g. “Reading: {post_title} {short_link}.” That way, visitors would be presented with a predefined tweet to customize, increasing the likelihood of your post being tweeted.

It’s a good start for a plugin, particularly one based on a platform so newly released. Hopefully its development will continue once its approved into the plugin repository.

SubHeading Plugin for WordPress

Have you ever wished for an easy way to add a smaller secondary title, a subheading, under your blog posts’ main titles? That’s exactly what the SubHeading plugin does. It adds a subheading field to the Write screen in the WordPress Admin, and a template tag to put in your theme where you want them displayed.

Subheadings in WordPress

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Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms

There has been a lot of talk about a new WordPress plugin called Gravity Forms lately. It’s one of the first major premium WordPress plugins, costing $39 for a single-site license and $99 for multi-site.

What does it do? It’s a bit like the ever-popular cForms plugin, but with a lot more polish, and plenty more features. The interface is a breeze to use, letting you create new forms with ease. You just click a button to add a new form field, then you can adjust it live in the form preview.

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Turn Off Caching in the BuySellAds WordPress Plugin!

If you use Thaya Kareeson’s BuySellAds WordPress plugin, turn off the caching feature! To do so, set the JavaScript cache time setting to zero.

BuySellAds Plugin Cache Setting

This is because Buy Sell Ads network is now also tracking the number of times the ads themselves get requested (not just the tracking pixel). If the ads are cached on your server, then they are not going to count in your Buy Sell Ads statistics whenever it is being displayed (lowering your impression count).

The caching mechanism is being taken out currently, but in the meantime you should simply disable it.

Pods: A Plugin to Turn WordPress Into a Full CMS

WordPress is a good, lightweight CMS well-suited for any article-centric website. If you need a blog, a site with mainly static pages, or a combination, there’s no better software to use.

However, WordPress isn’t necessarily the ideal tool for every job. Sometimes you need to define multiple types of content that don’t follow the post/page hierarchy too well. For example: You run a large website that has articles (posts), but it also needs to have a link directory. It would be the most elegant solution to have a category full of empty posts with custom fields to hold the link titles and URLs.

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SyntaxHighlighter Evolved

I recently started using the SyntaxHighlighter Evolved plugin on Webmaster-Source. The plugin provides an easy way to format code snippets for display in posts, complete with colorization.

When using SyntaxHighlighter Evolved, you don’t need to replace quotation marks with " or anything like that. The plugin takes care of that, and preserves the original spacing.

The plugin has colorization support for several of programming languages, and it’s possible to add support if needed. The output is fully themeable via basic CSS.

All you have to do to invoke the plugin is surround your code in quick tags for the appropriate language, and you get something like this:

<?php echo "Here's some code"; ?>;

It shows up as an ordinary <pre>…</pre> tag once it leaves the editor, with contents neatly escaped, and the JavaScript does the rest to make things look neat once the page loads all the way.