It’s time once again to put on your digital apron and join me in the heat of the WordPress Repository kitchen to see what new plugins have just finished baking. There are plenty of tasty bits of plugin technology awaiting us today, but before we bite into today’s menu let’s all remember that these plugins are not endorsed or rated, but are highlighted to show a representation of the newest plugins in the repository. Always test on a development site before going live. Let’s get plugged in!
Dictionary is a sidebar widget that displays random words and their definitions to help your site viewers brush up on their vocabulary. It also has an inline word definition search feature enabling the user to look up words on their own. It was once said that the Dictionary was a great book because it had all the other books within it. In addition to displaying just the plain old dictionary, this plug-in also allows you the ability to restrict the dictionary to only the words that you want to include or add your own list of words and definitions from the dashboard panel. While not for your typical blog or WordPress site, this is a nice plugin that would work well for schools or other educational institutions. It would probably also work very well for those who would like to display technical terms associated with their business as opposed to the standard one page glossary of terms that many websites use.
FBar Social is a new plugin from Ngan Tengyuen that displays a full social networking top bar when the user scrolls down the page beyond the main menu navigation. It displays options for Facebook, Twitter Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and just plain old RSS subscription. It also allows for social shares via a Facebook likes, Tweets and Google +1 for the site in general. Editing options include the ability to change the color of the bar, enable either fixed or full width display and add more buttons like Digg and StumbleUpon. At just 150 kB this is a lightweight plug-in with a very small footprint.
Converter is a plugin used for those who want to convert units of measurement for cooking, such as Tsp to Oz, Cups to Gallons, etc. This plug-in gives you the option to include actual food ingredients (such as converting the weight of wheat flour from ounces to tablespoons) The data is derived from two internal CSV files which can be edited to include new food items or ingredients of your choosing.
Simple Business Hours plugin helps you display a business’ hours of operation as a widget. From an editing perspective this allows you to enter the businesses hours of operation on a daily basis, and even select which days the business is closed. Because this plug-in is widgetized, You can insert different hours of operation for different businesses or locations all within the same WordPress installation. The widget title is completely customizable allowing you to separate and properly identify locations and their respective hours.
FP News Ticker is a jquery-based plugin by Flourish Pixel that populates your most recent post titles or the titles of any external RSS feed onto a transitions based news ticker. Edit options include the transition, speeds and full CSS control of overall appearance.
FP LinkedIn Profile is another new offering by Flourish Pixel that enables you to display your profile link and statistics within the sidebar. Out of all the social networks that exist today LinkedIn has the most underutilized potential when it comes to integrating with WordPress. This particular plug-in allows you to display LinkedIn information in a variety of ways. You can choose the option to just displaying your link in avatar image with a link to your profile, or opt for fully blown exposure by including Information about similar contacts and who people have viewed that are similar to your profile. To me, the second option seems a bit overkill. I would rather see a feed of my posts or activity on LinkedIn to encourage others to connect with me. But again, I’m not even certain that LinkedIn allows this kind of functionality. Either way, this plug-in is easy to use and install, providing an excellent means for your site viewers to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Join us again tomorrow as we slash our way through the Repository jungle together in search of hidden plugin treasures. I’ll bring the machete just in case. As always you can contact me via Twitter @marcuscouch or leave your feedback for this post right on WPTavern.