Back on August 25th, the guys over at Interconnect/it released a brand new plugin called Spots. If I had to describe this plugin in one sentence, I’d say it was a text widget on steroids.
There are quite a few things that make this plugin very cool to use. The first is that it uses a custom post type which means when you create a spot, you get access to the editor as if you were writing a post. You also get access to all the stuff that’s normally attached to a post with the exception of tags and categories. Because you get to use the normal editor, it’s very easy to add media to the spots that are created without using blocks of HTML as you normally would within a text widget.
After a spot is created, you can add it to any sidebar that’s built for widgets. However, you’re not limited to using spots in the sidebar only. In the Visual editor for writing posts, there is a Spots button which uses a shortcode to insert the spot into a post or page.
Developers can also take advantage of this plugin by using the built in functions. For example, instead of hard coding text into a widget within the footer of a theme, you could turn it into a spot which would enable the end user to customize that spot with whatever they want from the administration panel, not having to touch any code. By doing it this way, theme developers could probably get rid of a couple theme options for text areas or default widget areas.
Spots is an awesome plugin by the crew over at Interconnect/it. People have been wanting WYSIWYG functionality in text widgets since the day they were introduced into WordPress. This plugin does that and so much more. If you’re looking for a replacement for the default text widget in WordPress that provides more flexibility, definitely give Spots a try.