Tag Archives: wordpress plugins

Facebook Like Box WordPress Plugin

The Facebook Like Box WordPress Plugin by WPdevart and smplug-in helps you promote pages and post, same as you normally do on the Facebook site itself.

There are many WordPress Plugins for adding Facebook like boxes to a WordPress site. This one is different as it adds more than just a like box. A Facebook Like Box allows visitors to “like” your post or Page content and connect it by sharing on their Facebook site. This Plugin adds a WordPress Widget, a shortcode for embedding in the site’s content, and the ability to actually create popups for Likes and Facebook sharing.

The Plugin is also highly customizable, allowing height and width to be set, languages, and colors. You can also set it as a Sticky box, and show or hide Friend Faces, and other visual elements. Continue reading Facebook Like Box WordPress Plugin

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Interview: with Doug Yuen

A black and white picture of Doug Yuen in black and white with a profile shot of his face.Meet Douglas Yuen, Doug is originally from Waldwick, New Jersey. During his time at Cornell University, he double majored in English Literature with a concentration on creative writing, as well as Philosophy. He was interested in the subject matter, and thought that one day he would become a writer and professor of creative writing. In 2008, he got into Content Management Systems because he was thinking about quitting his job and working for himself so he could travel the world. After evaluation of some of the most popular CMSs of that time, he decided to settle on WordPress. He has owned and operated EfficientWP (Efficient Websites LLC.) for the last 6.5 years.

A screenshot of a landing page for efficientwp.com. Website design in a day.

Q: Tell me about yourself?

A: I’m a WordPress designer who’s expanding into the world of developing premium plugins. I’ve spent about 2.5 years traveling abroad, while growing my business, between 2012-2015. I’ve spoken at WordCamps 4 times (so far), have 3 publicly available plugins in WordPress.org, and co-host a WordPress podcast, WPcast.fm. Continue reading Interview: with Doug Yuen

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.

For More Information

 

 

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 Plugin: Nomad World Map

Before the world went digital, vacation stories were associated with whining projectors,  jammed carousels, and reversed slides.

Fortunately today, Nomad World Map WordPress Plugin automates the story of the annual vacation with descriptions, dates and images. These self guided tours are a wonderful way to share travel experiences and adventures.

The Input

Here is how it works. After the Plugin is installed, the user interface provides fields to add unique information about that specific location.

User Interface for Nomad World Maps
Each location can be set by moving a marker from a scaled map to the location, typing in the city/country names, or added in a landmark.

Custom content can be added to the location or it can be linked from a post.

For information about the site, a URL can be added.

The arrival and departure dates build a timeline to journey.

Thumbnail images help identify the location or the people there.

Once the journey is completed, the short code [nwm_map] is available for present the trip.

The Output

All the input data is assigned to the specific location. By advancing the arrows on the map output, a step by step journey is presented. Shortcuts are available by just clicking the location point.
Red lines indicate the travels between locations on a map.

Document travels, adventures and vacations with Nomad World Map WordPress Plugin. Whether across town or around the world, present the story so everyone can enjoy it.

Other travel Plugins include:

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 News: CDN Enabler – WordPress CDN Plugin

CDN is short for Content Delivery Network which is a network of servers that deliver cached static content from websites to users based on the geographic location of the user. A CDN will not take the place of your web hosting account but simply improve website speeds.

Advantages of Using a CDN

When a website has a high volume of traffic then the site can overload the server, which leads to a slow loading site or even server crash. This is where a CDN comes in handy because it is a network of servers, but most importantly these servers are spread throughout the world.

When a CDN is being used, the static content is cached and stored on all of these servers. Static content includes images, stylesheets (css files), javascripts, Flash, etc. When a user visits the site (original server), the CDN technology redirects them to the closest server to their location.

If your website is receiving heavy traffic and you have not yet enabled an CDN here are some good reasons to get started today:

Choosing a CDN That’s Right For You

According to Brian Jackson, most people will configure their CDN with a caching Plugin such as WordPress Cache EnablerWP Rocket, WP Super Cache, or W3 Total Cache.

However, if you are running on a managed WordPress host such as Kinsta, WP Engine, or Pagely you might not want a full blown caching plugin just to enable your CDN. This is where the free lightweight CDN Enabler WordPress plugin from KeyCDN comes into play. Note: You don’t have to be using KeyCDN to take advantage of this plugin. It will work with any CDN provider.

Installing CDN Enabler – WordPress CDN Plugin

To install your CDN Plugin follow the simple five step process with screenshots. Once the Plugin is installed you will find the following features:

  • Ability to set up CDN URL. By default it will already have the “wp-content” and “wp-includes” folders setup.
  • By default it will have “.php” setup.
  • Relative paths are enabled by default.
  • Ability to enable HTTPS.

This is a screenshot of the CDN Enabler Settings in WordPress

 

For More Information on CDNs

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 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

WordPress Plugins: WP Fastest Cache Tutorial

Today, it is important to site users that web sites load as quickly as possible. A blog that is slow to load risks the potential of losing repeat visitors. Everybody wants to get as much information as fast as they can. So what options does WordPress offer to help with making your web site load faster?

WP Fastest Cache WordPress Plugin describes itself as:

This plugin creates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. When a page is rendered, php and mysql are used. Therefor, system needs RAM and CPU. If many visitors come to a site, system uses lots of RAM and CPU so page is rendered so slowly. In this case, you need a cache system not to render page again and again. Cache system generates a static html file and saves. Other users reach to static html page.

WPFC Main Download Page

After installing and activating the WordPress Plugin, go to the Settings > WP Fastest Cache in the Admin Panel and set the options. Continue reading WordPress Plugins: WP Fastest Cache Tutorial