WPMU DEV's Blog - Everything WordPressWordPress Plugins - WPMU.org http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog The WPMU DEV WordPress blog provides tutorials, tips, resources and reviews to help out any WP user Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:54:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 5 Awesome Free WordPress Shortcode Plugins http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/5-awesome-free-wordpress-shortcode-plugins/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/5-awesome-free-wordpress-shortcode-plugins/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:30:46 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130297 Shortcodes provide an easy way to add custom content to your site. Whether you want to add tabs to a page or buttons to a post, shortcodes let you quickly insert elements you regularly use.

WordPress introduced the shortcode API with the release of WordPress 2.5 six years ago. Many themes and plugins (including many of our own) use shortcodes to allow users to customize their sites and display content where they choose.

In today’s Weekend WordPress Project we’ll look at five free options for adding shortcodes to your site.

Shortcodes Ultimate

shortcodes-ultimate

Shortcodes Ultimate is the most popular shortcodes plugin in the WordPress Plugin Repository with more than 780,000 downloads. It promises to “supercharge your WordPress theme with a mega pack of shortcodes” and it delivers.

Easily create buttons, tabs, boxes, sliders, responsive videos and other elements.

This plugin features a shortcode generator, 50+ shortcodes, responsive design, CSS3, custom CSS editor with syntax highlighting, custom widget and rich API.

There are also premium add-ons – extra shortcodes (15+ extra shortcodes), additional skins (60+ skins) and a shortcode creator for creating custom code.

WordPress Shortcodes

wordpress-shortcodes

WordPress Shortcodes is another popular option, with almost 150,000 downloads in the WordPress Plugin Repository.

Create SEO-ready tabs, sections/accordions, buttons, links to content, author cards, lists, layouts and other elements.

Other features include 26+ shortcodes, shortcode editor with instant previews, and customize the looks of shortcodes with custom CSS.

Shortcoder

shortcoder

Shortcoder allows you to create your own custom shortcodes with HTML and JavaScript for use on posts and pages.

This easy-to-use plugin is particularly handy when adding ads to your site, or even embedding videos and other media.

Features into a shortcode editor and the ability to globally disable shortcodes.

Easy Bootstrap Shortcode

easy-bootstrap-shortcode

Easily add Bootstrap style to your site with Easy Bootstrap Shortcode.

This Bootstrap 3.0.3 compatible plugin features 500+ Font Awesome and Glyphicons icon fonts, the ability to add icons to the editor, custom CSS, new sidebar widget and options to give custom shortcode prefix.

Simple Shortcodes

Simple Shortcodes

If you’re after a simple shortcode plugin without the bells and whistles, then Simple Shortcode is for you.

This easy-to-use plugin plugin adds a new icon to the visual editor that lets you insert commonly used elements like notifications, columns, buttons and tabs to your posts and pages.

While Simple Shortcodes was made specifically to work with themes from simplethemes.com, it still works with any theme.

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New Release: Multisite Reader Plugin Transforms Your Network http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/multisite-reader-plugin/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/multisite-reader-plugin/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130302 We’re pleased to announce our second new plugin release in two weeks: Reader.

Reader turns your Multisite network into a community by adding Tumblr, WordPress.com and Edublogs-style “follow” features to your sites.

Modelled on Google Reader, you’ll find many great features similar to Feedly and the WordPress.com reading experience.

Most importantly, Reader encourages your users to engage with sites across your network, without having to leave their site.

Download Reader and let us know in the comments below what you think about the plugin’s stunning features.

Reader: A Beautiful Reading Experience

We originally developed Reader for users at Edublogs.org, where more than 2 million blogs have been using the plugin since early June.

For Edublogs users, Reader is especially useful for teachers and students publishing on multiple blogs. For example, a teacher who manages more than 100 student blogs can easily moderate posts and comments directly from Reader. The teacher can also encourage students to follow their classmates blogs in Reader, right from within the WordPress dashboard.

The beauty of Reader is that it’s not just about encouraging users to stay up-to-date – Reader helps foster community across your Multisite network by allowing users to quickly and easily engage with posts and interact with other users.

Read

View all the latest and popular posts from across your Multisite Network.

Reader offers a beautiful reading experience right from your WordPress dashboard.

Reading experience
Read posts from other sites your in network directly from the WordPress dashboard.

Discover

Built-in search tools allow you to find posts by keywords, titles, tags and author.

You can also browse featured and recent posts.

Reader dashboard
Quickly and easily discover posts by other authors in your network.

Follow

The new “Follow” buttons allow you to easily follow sites you enjoy and keep up with their new posts as they are published.

Reader follow
Use the “Follow” button displayed at the top of a site to subscribe to that site’s posts.

Reader is Highly Customizable

Configure Reader to suit your network. As an admin, there are a number of ways you can customize the plugin:

  • Assign featured posts so you can promote certain content
  • Filter posts by author or site
  • Incorporate or exclude current sites
  • Popular posts
  • Custom RSS feeds for users who prefer a different RSS reader
  • Search
  • Extra user information
  • Custom locations

Why not try out Reader today? If you’re not already one of our awesome members, join WPMU DEV to download the latest version of Reader and get access to 140+ other plugins and themes.

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Introducing Custom Sidebars Pro by WPMU DEV http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/custom-sidebars-pro/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/custom-sidebars-pro/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130617 We’re excited to announce a brand new plugin: Custom Sidebars Pro.

Custom Sidebars Pro lets you to create widgetized areas and custom sidebars on your site, and select which sidebars to display on posts or pages.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this is a premium release of our hugely popular Custom Sidebars plugin. It adds awesome new features like widget visibility rules so you can control who sees what, the ability to clone and synchronously update widgets, and import and export options.

Download Custom Sidebars Pro and let us know in the comments below what you think about the new and improved premium features.

Custom Sidebars Pro Packed With New Features

Custom Sidebars is by far the most popular widget extension plugin in the WordPress Plugin Repository with more than 420,000 downloads.

We acquired the highly rated and popular Custom Sidebars plugin last year and have added our own touches, including a complete overhaul of the user interface for both the free and premium versions.

Our new and intuitive design lets you edit your sidebars directly from the Widgets interface in WordPress, making it even easier and quicker to create your own sidebars.

The new features added to our pro version gives you even more control over your sidebars and what you display to visitors to your site.

Set Widget Visibility

Customize who sees your widgets and display entirely different sets of widgets based on user roles, post or page type, or taxonomies.

You can even use a combination of user and post/page types.

Visibility rules
Set visibility rules for your widgets.

Clone Sidebars

Clone your sidebars and save yourself a bunch of time.

Say you’ve got a social media widget, which takes time to set up due to all its fiddly settings. With Custom Sidebars Pro you can quickly duplicate the plugin along with all its configured settings in a separate sidebar.

You can even link the cloned widgets so they update synchronously, or unlink them and edit each individually.

Clone sidebars
Clone a widget and display its copy in another sidebar on your site.

Import and Export Sidebar

The new import and export settings allow you to easily backup your sidebars, share them or copy them to existing single site or Multisite installs.

Import and export
Import sidebars you’ve previously set up on other sites, or export files for backup or sharing.

Even More Plugins Coming Soon

We’ve got lots more exciting plugin announcement planned for the coming weeks and Custom Sidebars Pro is just the first, so stay tuned.

Our developers are keen to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think about Custom Sidebars Pro in the comments below, or join in the conversations in the WPMU DEV forums.

Why not try out Custom Sidebars Pro today? If you’re not already one of our awesome members, join WPMU DEV to download the latest version of Custom Sidebars Pro and get access to 140+ other plugins and themes.

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5 Free Creative Commons Image Plugins for WordPress Compared http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/free-creative-commons-wordpress-image-plugins/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/free-creative-commons-wordpress-image-plugins/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130481 We all love free images for our posts. That’s what makes Creative Commons or public domain images so handy.

What’s not always so convenient, however, is the process of getting those images off their sources and into your post.

As usual with WordPress, there are some plugins that can help with that.

Below we go over and compare five plugins that will let  you easily search and insert/embed free photos for your site.

Be sure to check out the overview and comparison chart at the end of the post.

1. WP Inject

wp-inject-featured

The WP Inject Plugin gives you a number of handy controls and lets you choose images from either from either Flickr or Pixabay.

This plugin lets you choose your license, give attribution, control the size of the image, and also save images to your server.

In addition, it also gives you easy to use template tags for setting up both your attribution links as well as filenames.

Here’s a look at that.

wp-inject-settings

The plugin works by inserting a new search box below your post editor. Once you search and get results, you can insert images by choosing the S, M, or L link, and you can also automatically set an image to be your featured image (a nice feature).

wp-inject-search

 

One potential small drawback is that you need to go down under your post editor and search for the WP Inject box. Most plugins of this nature put a convenient button beside your Add Media button.

(Edit: a small section of this outlining a “potential negative” has been removed after hearing from the plugin author in the comments.)

This is a very nice plugin with lots of very nice features.

2. Flickr Pick a Picture

flickr-pick-a-pic-image-control-featured

Flickr Pick a Picture plugin is a very nice option for getting Creative Commons licensed images from Flickr into your site.

This plugin gives you a number of nice options, such as choosing an image size, choosing the license type, deciding on how to search for images, and automatically (or not) including a license link in the caption area.

flickr-pick-a-pic-settings

Let’s take a look at how it works.

Clicking an icon on the post editor will bring up a search box. Here’s an example of my search for the term “spain.”

flickr-pick-a-pic-selector

Once you choose an image there, you are taken to another screen that will let you review and change things such as the title, caption, link, size, and alignment.

flickr-pick-a-pic-image-control

Images are saved to your own server with this plugin.

3. Pixabay Images

pixabay-images-featured

The Pixabay Images plugin taps into the Pixabay.com collection of free to use images (without attribution, if you like).

There aren’t a ton of settings, but you still get all the control you need through the upload process.

The plugin lets you choose photos, clipart, or both. It also lets you search for horizontal or vertical images. Although it lets you include an attribution link, attribution isn’t required for Pixabay images.

pixabay-images-settings

The plugin will put a new button next to your Add Media button (if you choose that in the settings). Clicking on it will let you search Pixabay and choose the image size.

pixabay-images-search

 

Once the image is chose, it will take you to another screen where you can edit the title, caption, link, size, placement, etc. – just as  you would with a normal image.

And from that page you insert the image into your post.

pixabay-images-editing

This plugin automatically downloads the image to your server.

4. Compfight

compfight-featured

The Compfight plugin is a plugin released by the compfight.com site. This is a site that helps you search through Flickr images. So, essentially, you are putting a middle man between you and Flickr. This may have advantages some of the time (different images seem to appear for the same searches), but at other times it  just makes things more cumbersome.

One of the things that makes this plugin a little different is its more detailed attention to the size of photos, as you can see below in this screenshot of some of the settings.

compfight-settings

The plugin puts a new button beside your Add Media button. Clicking on that lets you search and then insert the image into your post. You can also set images to be the featured image.

compfight-search

There are a few different potential negatives you might want to take note of with this plugin.

  1. It does NOT download images to your sever.
  2. It also places a link to Compfight as well as to Flickr in your attribution area.
  3. In addition, the attribution links are often oddly placed and they end up running into your text. (They are not placed in the caption area.)

Overall, if you’re looking for images from Flickr, there are better options available above.

5. Getty Images

getty-images-featured

The Getty Images plugin lets you pull in embed links (not actual images) from the humongous Getty Image archive.

Not long ago, Getty made a huge change in the way they treated their images on the web – they opened up their images for free embedding FOR NON-COMMERCIAL SITES only.

The NON-COMMERCIAL label is worth repeating again. If you deal with a site that is commercial in any way, this plugin is not for you.

There are no setting for this plugin. A new button is placed next to your Add Media button, and clicking on it will let you search and then place the embed link into your post.

Embed links must be on their own line, and so wrapping these images with text is out.

getty-images-search

Once the image is embedded, you will see a somewhat large GettyImages logo along with social media buttons that promote Getty (not YOUR site).

getty-images-photo

As mentioned, if your site is commercial, this plugin will not be for you. Of course this is reflection on the plugin itself. Restricted by Getty’s strict guidelines, it can only do what it’s allowed to by Getty’s licensing. (Note: this is the reason for its low overall score. It’s not a reflection on the plugin itself.)

Comparison Table

Here’s a comparison of the main features for each plugin. As it turns out, they look fairly even here, so be sure to check out the Overall Winner section below and the individual write ups above.

WP InjectFlickr Pick a PicturePixabay ImagesCompfightGetty Images
SourceFlickr, PixabayFlickrPixabayFlickrGetty
Choose Licenseyesyesn/ayesno
Attributionyesyesyesyesyes
Control Sizeyesyesyesyesno
Images on Serveryesyesyesnono

Overall Winner

  • WP Inject: 4.5/5
  • Flickr Pick a Picture: 4/5
  • Pixabay Images: 4/5
  • Compfight: 1.5/5
  • Getty Images: 0.5/5

Because the WP Inject plugin allows you to search both Flickr and Pixabay, we will give this one a slight edge over Flickr Pick a Picture and Pixabay Images. Of course if you like some of the advantages that Flickr Pick a Picture and Pixabay Images offer, you could just install both of them.

It should also be noted again that the low score for the Getty Images plugin is a reflection of the restrictive licensing provided by Getty, not of the plugin itself. If you deal with a non-commercial site and don’t mind the somewhat obnoxious promotion Getty does on the images, you can certainly find some quality images to put on your site.

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How to Add Subtitles to WordPress Posts http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/add-subtitles-wordpress-posts/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/add-subtitles-wordpress-posts/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 14:00:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130327 Titles, of course, attract a lot of attention. If you feel you need a little extra time for your title, you might try using subtitles. If styled appropriately, they just might grab some more of your visitor’s “title attention time.”

While you could add subtitles to WordPress in a very manual way, as usual, there’s a plugin for you that will make the job easier.

Secondary Title Plugin

A plugin you can use for this job is called Secondary Title.

Once activated, you will see a new box in your write/edit screen to insert  your subtitle into.

subtitle-box

The plugin comes with a number of settings in the backend that will let you determine where subtitles appear.

For example, you can automatically insert the subtitle box for post, pages, custom post types, certain categories, or specific posts. The plugin also gives you tips on styling the subtitle to your liking.

If, however, you want even more control over where your title appears, you can insert a line of code into your theme’s template files.

Here’s a look at a sample subtitle that I placed below my main title in my theme’s template file.

subtitle-on-post

And that’s it.

Trying some subtitles out on your site might just be the trick that helps you convince potential readers to read on.

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Go Semantic For More Responsive And Flexible WordPress Images and Embeds http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/go-semantic-for-more-responsive-and-flexible-wordpress-images-and-embeds/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/go-semantic-for-more-responsive-and-flexible-wordpress-images-and-embeds/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130329 Quite a chunk of the HTML output of your WordPress site comes not from your theme but from the bowels of the WordPress core.

A combination of WordPress’ age and a necessary requirement for backwards compatibility, some of that markup is decidedly old-fashioned.

If you want truly responsive and flexible images and embeds, you need to get modern and semantic.

Tag cloud of image related markup
Bring html5 semantic markup to your WordPress site’s images

In version 3.6, WordPress added Semantic Markup as a theme feature. This allowed any theme to generate updated markup when calling functions such as wp_list_comments, comment_form and get_search_form.

Version 3.9 added two more options to Semantic Markup, gallery and caption, which updates the generated HTML for images and galleries.

For example, this is the legacy markup for two images, one with a caption and one without:

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/* image with caption */
<div id="attachment_1041" style="width: 212px" class="wp-caption alignnone">
<img class="size-medium wp-image-1041" src="http://www.test.dev/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/spider-man-202x300.jpg" alt="The Amazing Spider Man" width="202" height="300">
<p class="wp-caption-text">The Amazing Spider Man</p>
</div>

/* image without caption */
<p>
<img class="alignnone wp-image-1042 size-medium" src="http://www.test.dev/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/the-dark-knight-rises-198x300.jpg" alt="The Dark Knight Rises" width="198" height="300">
</p>

And this is the markup once caption is added to the Semantic Markup feature list:

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/* image with caption */
<figure id="attachment_1041" style="width: 202px;" class="wp-caption alignnone">
<img class="size-medium wp-image-1041" src="http://www.test.dev/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/spider-man-202x300.jpg" alt="The Amazing Spider Man" width="202" height="300">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The Amazing Spider Man</figcaption>
</figure>

/* image without caption */
<p>
<img class="alignnone wp-image-1042 size-medium" src="http://www.test.dev/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/the-dark-knight-rises-198x300.jpg" alt="The Dark Knight Rises" width="198" height="300">
</p>

As you can see the original div on the image with a caption has been replaced with by figure and the caption itself placed within figcaption rather than a p element with the class of  wp-caption-text.

To activate this change in markup, you can either create the world’s simplest plugin that adds the theme feature support using the after_theme_setup action:

Or you can simply include the function and the add_action statement in your theme’s functions.php file (to be properly “semantic” then it should be in a child theme functions.php).

As useful as this is, there are still two issues with this markup. Firstly, the dimensions are still hardcoded on elements using width, height and style attributes when we probably want to be able to control this in our CSS. Secondly, the caption-less image is still wrapped in a p element which nearly always will require some corrective styling.

Fortunately, help is at hand with the very recently released plugin, Pco Media Handler.

This plugin adds the theme feature support for captions, addresses the two issues I mentioned and adds a couple of extra useful features:

  1. Removes p elements that wrap around inline images
  2. Makes avatars responsive by removing width and height
  3. Makes images in the post content responsive by removing width and height
  4. Makes featured images responsive by removing width and height
  5. Changes inline images that have captions to use the standard html5 figure/figcaption elements (only if not already defined in your theme features)
  6. Makes oembeds responsive, so that they fit the width of the container
  7. Links inline image to none by default, not to the media file

Simply removing the hardcoded dimensions means that you have total control over your images and media and by applying a width of 100% in your CSS can make them fully responsive.

Of course, semantic markup has other advantages not the least of which is the ability to work out how content items are related.

The figure element clearly identifies images that are actually related to the content (and is probably justification in itself for always adding a caption, even if you decide to hide it with CSS) whilst a figcaption is obviously the caption for its sibling img. These relationships can only be tenuously assumed with the original WordPress markup using div and p instead of figure and figcaption.

Plenty of advantages, then, in bringing the markup of your site up to date: cleaner markup, easier styling, better responsiveness and the ability to explicitly determine how the components in your content are related.

 

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10 Picture Perfect WordPress Thumbnail Plugins http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-thumbnail-plugins/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-thumbnail-plugins/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130126 Thumbnails tend to be a huge part of most WordPress themes these days. Even very simple themes make use of them in different places.

Also, of course, your thumbnails are what tend to attract visitors’ attention when they’re scanning around, looking for somewhere else to go.

And so given the importance of thumbnails, we thought we would go over 10 thumbnail plugins that might help you get even more out of this powerful and attention-grabbing feature.

1. Video Thumbnails

video-thumbnails

The Video Thumbnails plugin automatically creates thumbnails for the first embedded video in your post. You can also set the created thumbnail to automatically be set to your featured image.

These thumbnails can be saved to your server, and they will show up in your media library just like any other image.

The plugin will grab the thumbnail from the video source. It supports videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Vine, and a number of other popular sources. This plugin will not generate thumbnails for self-hosted videos.

You can generate thumbnails for Posts, Pages, or custom post types.

2. Post Thumbnail Editor

post-thumbnail-editor

The Post Thumbnail Editor lets you easily edit thumbnails in order to get the exact look you want in your theme.

If you’re having problems with your theme cutting off your thumbnails in odd ways, this plugin may be the answer for you.

3. Multiple Post Thumbnails

multiple-post-thumbnails

The Multiple Post Thumbnails plugin lets you assign two featured images to a post.

After installing the plugin, you will need to put some code into your functions file, and then you will need to place code in your theme’s template files where you want the second featured image to appear.

4. Auto Post Thumbnail

auto-post-thumbnail

The Auto Post Thumbnail automatically generates a featured image from the first image in a post. If you already have a featured image, it will do nothing.

There is also an option to not generate a featured image for individual posts.

In addition to creating featured images for new posts, you can also generate featured images for posts published before the plugin was installed. I tested this feature, and it seemed to work perfectly.

5. AJAX Thumbnail Rebuild

ajax-thumbnail-rebuild

The AJAX Thumbnail Rebuild plugin will let you recreate your thumbnails if needed – for example, if you’ve changed the size of your thumbnails in order to present a different look (or perhaps to conform to a different theme), then this plugin will get you the new thumbnails you need.

One of the nicer features of this plugin is that it rebuilds your thumbnails one at a time, thereby avoiding script timeout errors, which frequently happen with tasks like rebuilding numerous thumbnails.

The plugin also lets you choose which thumbnails you’d like to rebuild (e.g. rebuilding only the featured image thumbnail but not other sized thumbnails).

6. WordPress Responsive Thumbnail Slider

responsive-thumbnail-slider

The WordPress Responsive Thumbnail Slider lets you create sliders of thumbnail images. You can insert these sliders into posts or pages with a shortcode, or you can insert them into your theme files with the code provided in the settings area.

As the name implies, this creates responsive sliders.

There are a number of controls in the settings area that let you choose things such as whether the slider auto scrolls, the speed of the scroll, the background color, height and width of the thumbnails, and more.

The one drawback to this plugin is that you can’t easily choose images from your Media Library. You are given an image uploader, but it doesn’t directly access your Media Library.

7. Featured Image Thumbnail Grid

featured-image-thumbnail-grid

The Featured Image Thumbnail Grid plugin lets you insert shortcodes that will grab the featured image of posts and display them in grid fashion. Those thumbnails will then link to the post.

You have a number of controls within the shortcodes, such as setting the thumbnail sizes, limiting the thumbnails to one category, controlling the number of thumbnails that will show, controlling the order of the thumbnails, and more.

8. Thumbnails for Backend

thumbnails-for-backend

The Thumbnails for Backend plugin gives you a new column in your admin area for posts (Posts > All Posts). Instead of just showing the Title, Author, Category, and Tag links, it also gives you a thumbnail of the featured image for each post.

9. External Featured Image

external-featured-image

The Nelio External Featured Image gives you the option of calling in a featured image from an external URL.

While you probably wouldn’t want to hotlink your featured images from someone else’s site, this can be especially useful if you house your own images in another location.

10. Drag & Drop Featured Image

drag-drop-featured-image

The Drag & Drop Featured Image plugin lets your easily drag an image into your featured image area of your post editor instead of forcing you to enter your Media Library as you would normally need to do. While not technically a “thumbnail plugin,” of course most featured images are displayed as thumbnails around your theme.

Photo credit: Sanna R

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10 Top Quality Plugins for Creating Custom WordPress Forms http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/10-top-quality-plugins-for-creating-custom-wordpress-forms/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/10-top-quality-plugins-for-creating-custom-wordpress-forms/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 15:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=128389 A good-looking form gives your site a professional appearance, and also and helps streamline your online communication. A contact form is a great way to offer your readers the ability to get in touch, without giving out your email address.

While most WordPress themes come with built-in contact forms, it’s often better to create your own with a plugin. Creating your own allows you to tailor the look and feel you want for your site, add any extra fields – really, just have total control over your forms.

There are many free and premium form plugins that offer a range of different features depending on what you need. If you’re after something basic it’s best to go with a free plugin like Contact Form 7, while a premium plugin such as GravityForms or FormCraft will provide a more comprehensive, flexible and customizable forms experience.

Check out our list of some of the more popular WordPress forms plugins below.

Do you use one of the forms plugins on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms

No doubt Gravity Forms is the most popular plugin on this list. Just last week data from Datanyze revealed this premium option is used on 53 per cent of the top million sites ranked by Alexa using hosted forms.

GravityForms lets you design and build your own forms using an intuitive forms editor. Features include multi-page forms, custom settings, the ability to limit entries and schedule forms, standard and advanced fields, pricing and post fields.

Prices start at $39 a year for a personal license and includes support, and unlimited forms and entries. There are also lots of add-ons available with the business and developer licenses that allows you to integrate GravityForms with MailChimp, PayPal, Survey and other services.

Contact Form 7

contact-form-7

If Gravity Forms is the most popular premium plugin, Contact Form is undoubtedly the most popular free forms plugin with more than 18 million downloads in the WordPress Plugin Repository.

Contact Form 7 is easy to use. It can manage multiple contact forms, and you can customize forms and any mail content flexibly with HTML. This plugin also support Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering.

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

Ninja Forms

ninja-forms

Ninja Forms is another popular free plugin. It has an easy-to-use drag and drop interface and allows you to create contact forms, email collection forms, or any other form you need on your site.

Some of the plugin’s features include optional Ajax, new form preview mode, styling and layout options, import and export options, anti-spam field, re-usable fields, customizable field options and easy form creation.

For developers, Ninja Forms includes lots of hooks and filters so you can make the most of the plugin’s powerful form building framework.

While the plugin is free, you’ll need to pay for add-ons, of which there are plenty. Easily integrate Ninja Forms with PDF Form Submission, Stripe, PayPal and MailChimp.

Formidable Forms

formidable-forms

Formidable Forms features a simple drag and drop interface and in-place editing that allows you to quickly and easily build custom forms.

This plugin features the ability to save all responses to the database for future retrieval, reports and display.

The pro version, which starts at $47, includes a bunch of add-ons, including integration with PayPal, MailChimp and Signature.

Jetpack Forms

jetpack

If you already have Jetpack installed, you may want to use the basic built-in form option, which allows you to add a contact form to any post or page.

The simple to use feature allows youth add, edit and reorder fields, and specify how you want to handle form results. If you have Akismet installed, every form submission will be checked for spam.

Quform

quform

Quform allows you to quickly build complex forms, for everything from complex quotes to booking forms and contact forms. And you can do all this without touching any code.

This premium plugin features a simple drag and drop interface. Other features include 15 element types, extensive styling options and it’s translation-ready.

GuiForm

guiform

GuiForm features an easy-to-use drag and drop interface and simple customization commands. There’s no need to tough any code, this plugin is takes care of all that.

Other features include Ajax loading, Gzip compression and optimisation, multiple forms, shortcodes and various field types and mail options.

Fast Secure Contact Forms

fast-secure-contact-form

Fast Secure Contact Form is another popular free plugin, with more than 4.5 million downloads.

This basic plugin lets you create and add forms, create multiple forms, and customize confirmation emails. It includes extra fields of any type and also supports Akismet and CAPTCHA.

You’ll need to deal with a code of HTML to get this plugin working, so it’s not as easy as, say, GuiForms, but it’s still a safe option if you’re looking for a simple, free forms plugin.

FormCraft

FormCraft

FormCraft is a simple and intuitive drag and drop form builder that allows you to create complex and responsive forms without writing code.

This plugin features auto save form progress, 20+ special fields with retina support, three different form positions (pop up, fly in and sticky), form analytics, and lots of styling options. There is also a form template gallery if you don’t want to design your own custom form.

At $33, it’s not cheap, but it’s certainly worth the money if you’re looking for a powerful, flexible and customizable premium form plugin.

Visual Form Builder

visual-form-builder

This free plugin lets you create forms in a visual way similar to creating menus in the backend of WordPress. It’s easy to add new fields, and reorder fields by drag and drop. The plugin produces shortcodes so you can insert forms anywhere in your site.

Visual Form Builder automatically stores form entries in your WordPress database.

There’s a pro version of this plugin that starts at $20 (one-time fee). There are also six add-ons for an additional one-off that allow you to create a post, create a user, display entries, connect your forms to third-party services, collect payments, and style your forms.

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WordPress Currency Converter Plugins for Your Cosmopolitan Audience http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-currency-converter-plugins/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-currency-converter-plugins/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130027 With the World Cup in full swing, it seems like a good time to talk about international audiences.

Being able to surf around the world via the internet is an amazing thing. You can you find a job in a foreign land, rent an apartment in a country you’ve never been to, or book a restaurant reservation from 10,000 miles away … to name but a few things.

And while all that is great, going international comes with a few inconveniences. One small one is dealing with different currencies. When you’re looking for information, it becomes quite a pain when you constantly have to convert from one currency to another in order get the numbers to make sense to you.

featured-currency-plugins

For WordPress users with an international audience, you can help alleviate this pain by providing your visitors with a handy currency convertor. Or possibly even better, go ahead and automatically convert prices on the fly for them.

Below we take a look at six currency convertor plugins. Some are widget-based. Some are in-line oriented (i.e. they convert currencies right there in the middle of a sentence). And one is even a combination of both.

Be sure to check out our final verdict at the end.

1. Currencyr

currencyr-featured

While some plugins offer either a widget or shortcodes, the Currencyr plugin offers both – and then some.

Here’s a look at it converting a simple in-line item to US dollars. Below that shows how easy it is to convert to a number of different currencies. And over on the right, you can see the widget in action, converting one US dollar to the three currencies we specified. And below that (still part of the widget), are pull-down menus that let you convert whichever currencies you like.

In addition, it allows you to set up a pull-down menu on a price that will convert the price to various currencies. Take a look at the screenshot below. You can check it our yourself at this demo page. (Click on the price $24 for the pull down.)

This image taken from the demo site.

Along with the nice features above, this plugin has some settings that give you even more options – such as picking your base currency, choosing where your conversion come from, and setting up your numbers with different types of separators.

2. Euro FXRef Currency Converter

euro-fxref-featured

The Euro FXRef Currency Converter is a shortcode based plugin that lets you easily do conversions right in the middle of a line of text. If you know that your audience is primarily U.S. based, for example, then you can set all other currencies to be converted to U.S. dollars. Or maybe you have a lot of European visitors as well. No problem – set another shortcode to convert to Euros as well.

See the Other Notes section on the plugin page to learn how to construct your shortcodes.

Here are a few examples in action. (Notice that with one type, you can also roll your mouse over the conversion to show a pop-up of the actual exchange rate it’s using.)

3. WP Currency Converter

wp-currency-converter-featured

The WP Currency Converter is a straight-forward ajax widget that lets you convert a number of major currencies. It uses the Google API to pull it’s information from the search giant. (It does not, however, require you to sign up to use the API.)

While not fancy, it does the job cleanly. Here’s a look at the plugin in action. On the left is the plugin making a conversion. On the right shows one of the drop-down pickers.

4. Currency Converter

currency-converter-featured

The Currency Converter widget has a number of options, including the ability to colorize the widget body and the text.

Here’s a look at the basic options.

currency-converter-basic-settings2

Here’s a look at some of the color options.

currency-converter-colors

It also comes with the option to set the widget to convert to one specific currency. In the example below, you can see that you can change the currency at the top, but the currency at the bottom stays at Brazilian Reals.

currency-converter-to-and-from

5. Exchange Rate Talbe

exchange-rate-table-featured

The Exchange Rate Table plugin is widget based. The main feature it offers that may make it attractive to some is a colorful display of different currencies with little flags off to the side. Something like this can often look tacky, but this one is actually clean-looking and orderly.

The widget also gives you a few options – such as the ability to change the heading color, and whether to show currencies related by continent, by top world currencies, or by an extensive list.

6. LocalCurrency

localcurrency-featured

The LocalCurrency plugin automatically determines which country a visitor is in, and then it translates prices to that country’s currency if the price is not already listed in that country’s currency.

For example, if you wrote that something was 10 yuan (Chinese currency), and a visitor from the U.S. arrived, they would see the 10 yuan price, but then they would also see the price in US dollars beside it.

local-currency-demo2

This translation only occurs for prices that you’ve put inside the plugin’s special code.

The plugin also provides a pull down menu at the bottom of the post so you can change the currency if you like.

By default, the plugin will put two links at the bottom of your post. One goes to the plugin author’s site. This can be disabled by unchecking a box in the settings. The other, which cannot be disabled, goes to Yahoo Finance (the plugin uses Yahoo for the exchange rates).

Who Wins?

Of course there’s no simple answer to say one plugin “wins.” It will depend on what you want on your site. Do you need a widget? Do you need to convert numbers in-line? Do you want something colorful? Do you need to have the option of changing colors?

All that said, if you don’t happen to need a colorful widget, then from my limited testing, I would have to say that overall the Currencyr plugin seems to offer the most. Not only does it give you options for widgets, in-line, and pull-down menus, it also lets you choose the currency conversion service you’d like to use.

While this last feature may not be so important to many, it seems that it could come in very handy if one service decided to either stop working or to stop allowing plugins to tap into their system. With the Currencyr plugin, all you would need to do is jump to the settings page and choose a different service.

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10 WordPress Time and Date Plugins to Keep Your Site Ticking http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-time-date-plugins/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-time-date-plugins/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130026 Dr. Seuss once asked, “How did it get so late so soon?”

And the answer, of course, is that you weren’t keeping on top of things with the appropriate plugin.

With the right WordPress plugin, you can do all sorts of things related to time. For example, not long ago we covered all sorts of ways to work with scheduled posts.

In this post, we have a range of plugins that let you do everything from scheduling when a new theme goes live to making content appear or disappear after a specified amount of time on the page.

1. WP Scheduled Themes

wp-scheduled-themes

Do you have a special theme you’d like to display on New Year’s Day? Will you be sleeping in instead of attending to your site?

No problem. Enter the WP Scheduled Themes plugin.

This plugin lets you schedule a change in your site’s theme on whichever day you’d like. It also lets you set an end date for the theme. One other nice function is that it lets you set up this schedule to occur yearly. So if you regularly switch to a certain theme at certain times of the year, you can set it up once and have your site change at just the right times.

2. Date/Time Now Button

date-time-now-button

This plugin adds a “Now” button to your publish screen that lets you change the publishing time of a post, page, or comment to the current time.

This is a handy plugin for anyone who does a fair amount of editing on posts, pages, or comments and would like to republish the page at the current time and date (as opposed to leaving it published at the original time and date). ]

It’s also a nice feature for re-configuring scheduled posts to be published at whatever the current time and date are.

3. Magic Dates

magic-dates

This handy little plugin lets you use shortcodes to calculate the number of years from a certain year and insert that number into your text.

For example, let’s say you wrote something last year that read, “He has 12 years experience in his field.” That’s fine, but now it’s a year later, and so he has another year of experience. Enter the Magic Dates plugin.

4. Easy Timer

easy-timer

The Easy Timer plugin provides you with a huge number of shortcode options for counting down to something, counting up from something, revealing hidden content when a certain date is reached, and more.

This plugin has quite a number of shortcodes you can apply. I recommend looking at some of the extensive documentation for it here.

5. WP Relative Date

wp-relative-date

The WP Relative Date plugin put times like “Yesterday,” “Today,” and “2 weeks ago” next to the dates on your comments. It will do this automatically once the plugin is activated.

If you’d like to do the same for the date on your posts, you can insert a bit of code into your theme’s template.

6. Timed Content

timed-content

The Timed Content plugin will let you set certain content on a post of a page to appear at a certain time or to disappear at a certain time.

But this is not limited to preset times and dates. You can also set something to appear or fade away a certain amount of time after they’ve landed on a page, for example.

7. Local Time Clock

local-time-clock

The Local Time Clock gives you a range of different clock interfaces which you can set for a specific time zone.

Let’s say, for example, that you had support hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. New York time. Instead of making everyone not in the New York time zome translate their time to try to figure out if your support team was on duty or not, you could simply put up a clock pegged to New York time on your site.

8. WP Reading Time

wp-reading-time

The WP Reading Time plugin puts a different twist on the reading time notifications you see on some site. For example, a site might have something like “Expected reading time: 4 minutes” at the top of the post.

The WP Reading Time plugin gives you a scrolling indicator that changes as you move down the page. Get half way through a post that’s estimated to take 4 minutes, and you will see the indicator off to the side change to “2 minutes left.”

9. Countdown Timer

countdown-timer

The Countdown Timer plugin lets you set up dates that you can either count down to or dates that you count away from.

For example, if it is December 1, you can set up a countdown timer to New Year’s – 31 days away.

If it’s January 31, you could have a timer that tell us the year is 31 days old.

10. My Calendar

my-calendar

The My Calendar plugin lets you events on a calendar in a number of different ways. You can show them by daily, weekly, or monthly views. You can show both future and past events. You can also show recurring events.

The highly detailed plugin lets you display events by category, location, author or all events. It comes with a widget and shortcodes.

The plugin comes with a number of different themes and an easily accessible CSS file as well.

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