Friday 21 August 2009

WordPress Plugins

Earlier this month I decided to move from it's ancient codebase onto a current CMS platform. The goal was to make it easier to manage, and hopefully spur me into making more frequent posts, and to get some experience with another platform.

After a little deliberation and discussion with friends I decided to go with WordPress. With WordPress MU and BuddyPress looking to be quite big in the near future I thought this was a smart choice. I'd tried Joomla! before but didn't have a great experience. ExpressionEngine was also a possibility, I've used it before and liked it a lot and ExpressionEngine 2.0 being built on CodeIgniter sounds great.

In the end WordPress won out because it's open-source, because is 90% blog, and because the plugin development community seems very active. For me, writing Plugins is an attractive way to work on some bite-sized code projects for fun, and maybe even profit.

The conversion to WordPress was fairly painless although I did have to create a couple of plugins to provide the functionality I wanted. I decided to release some of these into wild and the response so far has been quite positive.

Activity Sparks
Activity Sparks is a highly customizable widget to display a sparkline style graph in your sidebar indicate post and/or comment activity. This WordPress plugin leverages Google’s Chart API, so does not require the PHP GDI library. Customization options include Title, size, colour, background transparency, activity granularity and period.

RandomText is a handy WordPress plugin that allows you to save, edit and delete categorized text, and inject random text by category into the sidebar (via widget) or pagebody (via template tags). Whether you want to display random trivia, quotes, helpful hints, featured articles, or snippets of html, you can do it all easily with RandomText.

RSS Blogroll
RSS Blogroll allows you to link to your favourite blogs via the latest items from their RSS feed. Article titles are much more attention grabbing and will deliver much higher quality traffic. We all hate clicking through to abandoned blogs – displaying article publication dates also lets readers know these are up to date and active sites. RSS Blogroll will create deeplinks to the target sites, which are much more useful for SEO than homepage links. Overall it’s a win-win situation with a better browsing experience for users and the linked sites getting more visitors who are actually interested in their content.

I'll be posting any future WordPress plugins on

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