Tag Archives: plugins

Articles on WordPress Plugins by Clark College WordPress Students.

WordPress Plugin Review: Random Backgrounds

Are you needing to revamp your WordPress site? Are you not the most tech savvy? I have found the perfect Plugin for you: Random Backgrounds. With this easy-to-use Plugin, your WordPress site will automatically change the background image each time your blog visitor clicks on a new Page or post. This can be used by just about anybody wanting to freshen up their site; whether it be Molly’s personal blog or Miss Fashionista’s Handbag website.

Here’s How it Works:

  • Search for Random Backgrounds in the Plugin Repository, download it, then activate it.

Screen shot of Random Backgrounds Plugin download page.

  • On your WordPress site, hover over “Appearance,” and click on “Random Backgrounds.” You’ll then see this page, where you can upload your own images, using the WordPress Media Uploader. The defaulted images are purposely unattractive, as to inspire a need to customize your own backgrounds.

Screen shot of uploading images.

  • Once you’ve uploaded your backgrounds, you can set them to either tile or stretch across the background. Click “Save Changes,” and take a look at your new changing backgrounds.

A Sample of my Random Backgrounds:

 

Screenshot of background #1Screenshot of background #2.Screenshot of background #3Screenshot of background #4.

Random Backgrounds is very simple to install and use on your WordPress site. It enhances the professionalism of your site, which positively catches the attention of your visitors.

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WordPress Plugin: MetaSlider

Meta Slider is an easy to use WordPress slider plugin made by Matcha Labs. As the most popular WordPress slider plugin, with over 600,000+ active installs, it allows you to create SEO optimized responsive slideshows with Nivo Slider, Flex Slider, Coin Slider and Responsive Slides.

There are a variety of slider options with this WordPress Plugin.

  • Flex Slider 2 – Responsive, 2 transition effects, carousel mode
  • Nivo Slider – Responsive, 16 transition effects, 4 themes
  • Responsive Slides – Responsive & incredibly light weight
  • Coin Slider – 4 transition effects

Continue reading WordPress Plugin: MetaSlider

WordPress Plugin Review: EverKinetic

Everkinetic was created by Greg Priday. This WordPress Plugin provides users with over 289 specific images of exercises to insert into posts and/or pages. If you a have fitness blog, this Plugin has a library of images that can be downloaded with a push of a button. A shortcode is added to the content area with the image(s) the user selects.

Screen Shot of EverKinetic barbell iconWhen you click on the EverKinetic icon (Barbell) that’s located in the Content Editor Bar, EverKinetic is activated and opens up. Please note that the icon will only appear when in the “Visual” view and not in “Text” view. I couldn’t find anywhere on this subject to see if this is normal functionality or not.

Screen shot of types of exercise images from EverKineticEverKinetic Plugin categorizes its images in several ways, making it easier to locate specific images. The menu located across the top main menu in this Plugin lists all the features the user can search with. Here is a list of those features:

Specific Image Categories:

  • Isolations
  • Compounds
  • Isometrics
  • Primary Muscules
  • Secondary Muscules
  • Equipment

The only downfall to this Plugin is when selecting the exercise, the Plugin provides written steps on how to complete the exercise, these steps do not download with the image. The screen shots below show an example of what you see on the user end and what you see at pageview end.

everkinetic stepspageview

There is not a lot of information available on this Plugin. There are 60+ active installers and the Plugin does require WordPress Version 3.5 or higher.

For More Information

WordPress News: How Many Plugins is Too Many?

If you like to take polls, Jeff Starr from Digging Into WordPress is asking “How Many Plugins is Too Many?

As of November 20, 2015 there have been 526 votes cast and showing the following results.

  • 42% say 11-25 plugins are a reasonable number for a site.
  • 38% say the fewer the better, but 1-10 plugins are essential.
  • 11% say it’s impossible to build anything without 26 – 50 plugins.
  • 4% agree 15-100 is the perfect number of plugins for the sites they build.
  • 3% say over 100 is ok, because WordPress can handle anything.
  • Only 1% viewed plugins as the root of all evil and shouldn’t be used.

Many commenters mentioned it’s not about quantity as much as it is about quality.

The problem with this poll is that ONE plugin is too many if it’s badly coded and wrecks the site’s performance, but you can run lots of plugins if they are lightweight. A simple site might have fewer than 10 plugins, but a more complex site is going to have a minimum of 20, just from the extensions added to support e-commerce, events, forms, etc. It’s possible for a site with 50 plugins to run just fine, but I always try not to use more plugins than I really need.
Sallie Goetsch

If you are heading over to cast your vote, please note that they are asking about “typical” WordPress plugins for the poll. If you’re not sure what a WordPress plugin is, or would like to view some recently reviewed plugins, check out the following posts on ClarkWP Magazine.

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WordPress Engine Disallowed Plugins & Alternatives

With over 36,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin repository, we only forbid a relative handful. There are pretty good odds that if you want to use a plugin on our infrastructure, you should feel free to use it! It’s your blog after all.
WP Engine Support Garage – Disallowed Plugins

Those listed as “forbidden” are as follows:

Caching Plugins

Caching Plugins aren’t needed since WordPress already has a built-in caching system to increase speed called EverCache.

These caching Plugins below clash with WordPress’ own caching system and will be removed automatically:

  • WP Super Cache
  • WP File Cache
  • WP Rocket
  • W3 Total Cache
  • WordFence

Batcache and other similar Plugins aren’t banned, but they also will not work with WordPress.

Backup Plugins

Backup Plugins simply aren’t needed, as WordPress performs automated backups on an efficient nightly basis, and is available to each user as a download (if they wish).  Backup Plugins are very much discouraged because they duplicate WordPress’ already functioning backup methods, they have been known to store large files insecurely, and run backups at very inconvenient times, causing significant delays on the server.

These Backup Plugins are not allowed on WordPress sites:

  • WP DB Backup
  • WP DB Manager
  • BackupWordPress
  • VisionPress

Though, if you must, WordPress permits VaultPress as the best backup Plugin option. However, VaultPress is not free. You may also use InfiniteWP and Dropbox in congruence with each other to effectively serve the same purpose for free.

Server & MySQL Plugins

These types of Plugins have been known to overload WordPress servers or send an alarming amount of MySQL queries, while interfering with other built-in WordPress systems.

This banned list includes:

  • Broken Link Checker
  • MyReviewPlugin
  • LinkMan
  • Fuzzy SEO Booster
  • WP PostViews
  • Tweet Blender

To check your site for broken links, you can either visit Online Broken Link Checker, or download Link Checker onto your computer.

Screen shot from brokenlinkchecker.comWordPress suggests the Jetpack Plugin or Google Analytics as safe alternatives to track website traffic.

Plugins That Duplicates WordPress’ Functionality

WordPress already has built-in systems that behave exactly like these Plugins, so not only are these non needed, but they’re also banned to allow better server flow:

  • No Revisions
  • Force Strong Passwords
  • WordFence
  • Bad Behavior

Email Plugins

While sending emails in WordPress is encouraged, email Plugins aren’t a great solution because they don’t offer the best service that WordPress strives for. This email Plugin used for email blasts has been added to the “bad” list:

  • WP Mailing List

Third-party services, such as MailChimpConstant Contact, and AWeber are excellent alternatives. For further information on how to conduct an email blast in WordPress, be sure to check out WP Engine’s Q & A emailing article.

Other Disallowed Plugins

  • Hello Dolly!
  • WP phpMyAdmin
  • Sweet Captcha
  • EWWW Image Optimizer

For Further Information

 

 

 

WordPress Plugin: Express It

Express It WordPress Plugin adds like/dislike button to your post. It lets your reader like/dislike your post, to let you know how they feel about your post and it will save the ratings to the database. When the plugin is activated, a like and dislike button appears under each post and also shows the number of each rating.

Image of Express It WorPress plugin

A picture of the plugin installed.

The Express It WordPress Plugin goes beyond the typical social media “like” to allow voting up and down of site content, giving your readers a wider range of opinion. For a site that thrives on community-building and social emphasis, this would be an interesting WordPress Plugin to choose.

Nomad World Map: Blog Your Travels

Create your own custom travel map. Link locations on the map to blog posts and share your travel plans. WordPress.org Plugins

Nomad World Map plugin in use on a WordPress site. From wordpress.org/plugins/nomad-world-map/
A screenshot of Nomad World Map plugin in use on a WordPress site. Retrieved from wordpress.org on June 13th, 2015

Would you like to…

  • Blog about travel
  • Review locations or destinations
  • Share trip plans with routs
  • Link to almost anything related to specific spot?

Nomad World Map is a plugin that lets you go beyond simpler map hacks to do all that in style. Continue reading Nomad World Map: Blog Your Travels

WordPress Plugins: WPtouch

The WPtouch Mobile Plugin on WordPress adds a simple and elegant mobile theme for visitor to the WP website. This plugin enables a mobile-friendly version for Android and iOS.

WPtouch Marketing Images.

WPTouch mobile screenshots of usage on cellphone.

If you experience issues you can download a user manual from WPtouch and it will contain Information on how to configure it and how to perform additional steps.

When visiting the Admin View, this area allows you to customize many aspects to its appearance and to deliver a user-friendly Stylish version.

WPTouch Backend interface screenshot.

WordPress Tutorial: Evernote and WordPress

If you are the type of person who likes to stay organized, than you may want to try Evernote. Just about anything can be attached to a note, including files, images and audio. You can even attach snapshots taken with your phone or computer. Evernote can help writers and artists stay focused on their ideas moving from inspiration to completion.

A screen shot of Evernote's welcome page.
Integrating this Plugin with your WordPress site gives you the option to store and share information to and from your notebooks from just about anywhere. This visual bookmarking service can also help you build a loyal following as users bookmark your site. There are three ways to integrate Evernote with WordPress.
Continue reading WordPress Tutorial: Evernote and WordPress

Interview with Danielle Baldwin: Social Media/Content Strategist, WordPress Developer

L.Danielle Baldwin

This is L. Danielle Baldwin. She is a Social Media/Content Strategist, WordPress Developer and The Founder of the very first WordCamp RDU in 2009.

Why did you start using WordPress?

I started using WordPress back in the day when it was called b2 cafelog around 2002. From there I have just followed the application and was able to watch it morph into what WordPress has become today. I started using it initially as a blogging tool but very soon after I got the hang of it, I started using it to create blogs for other people.

Website Whole Lotta Yadda by L. Danielle Baldwin - screenshot. Continue reading Interview with Danielle Baldwin: Social Media/Content Strategist, WordPress Developer

WordPress Plugin: Formula 1 Racing

The F1 widget is for serious race enthusiasts. It’s a countdown clock that shows time left until the next Formula 1 competition race. It updates automatically for the next race. You can use the F1 real time countdown widget on your site, phone, blog or other online platform. Always be prepared for the next race. Keep this one on your computer desktop or blog/webpage too.

Here is the widget

screen shot of the widget

Add Plugin

Start by going to your WordPress backend and select “Plugins.” Search for “One Widget Countdown.” Select “Install Now.”

screen shot of the plugin backend

Install Plugin

From “Appearance” select “Widgets” and then drag the “Formula 1 Countdown Widget” into the sidebar or other widget area based on your theme.

screen shot of the plugin backend

Configure Plugin

In the sidebar you can then configure the widget to display as narrow or wide, choose the language (default is English), and then choose F1 cars or MotoGP motorcycles.

sidebar configuration of the  plugin

Language

sidebar configuration of the  plugin language

Narrow

sidebar display of the widget configuration page

Wide

sidebar display of the widget configuration page

Code

In addition to adding a widget in WordPress, you can copy code provided on their website and add flash to other non-WordPress sites.

flash code used to generate  widget data on non-wordpress websites

The Formula 1 Widget is very easy to install. Whether you use a widget in WordPress or just copy the code and insert it into your site or blog wherever you want, you can keep a close watch on the countdown to the next big race. That is all, enjoy!

Resources

WordPress Plugins: Creative Commons Configurator

There is a WordPress Plugin available to put copyright information on your posts and pages automatically. It is called Creative Commons Configurator. Once you download and activate the Plugin you just do a few steps to set it up and then it will put a creative commons license on your posts/pages for you.

The page for setting it up is displayed below. It is very simple to do once you activate the Plugin. You decide whether you wish to share your post freely or not. There is the option about sharing the license internationally or more locally in a drop down menu. Once you have made those selections you use the license button.

Creative Commons Selections

At this point you can see that you are actually deciding to choose a license that will be attached to your post. It asks you whether you want to proceed. Continue reading WordPress Plugins: Creative Commons Configurator

WordPress Plugins: POWr Photo Watermark

WordPress is a land of multiple plugins and widgets, but one in particular stuck out to me. As an artist, and having witnessed my art being used by people who aren’t me, protecting my art is very important to me. Watermarks is one way to do this.

POWr Photo Watermark is a plug in that provides watermark services for images incredibly easily. After installing, it’s very easy to use these features and add them to your own posts. Continue reading WordPress Plugins: POWr Photo Watermark