Tag Archives | widgets

Super RSS Reader

super RSSSuper RSS Reader is new on the list of RSS plugins for the Commons. It is a widget that can easily be placed in your sidebar to display up to five different feeds in a single area. Each feed appears as a tab, and you can easily control how many items are displayed.

What sets this widget off from the others we have installed on the Commons is it’s “ticker animation” feature. You can set the feed to refresh after a configurable number of seconds and control how many items in total you want to display. So for example, if you want to display 5 items at a time in your sidebar, and you want to include the last 15 items in your feed, and you set your screen to refresh after every 4 seconds, you will see three sets of items before they start repeating 12 seconds later.

Configurations

Configurations

Twitter feeds look nice when displayed using this method. (The url for a Twitter feed is – https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=xxx – where xxx is the Twittter user name.)

If you find the news ticker animation effect distracting, you can simply shut it off by de-selecting one check box in the configuration (see above).

Super RSS Reader is purely a widget and all settings are controlled from the widget configuration dialog shown above. If you are looking to display feeds in pages or posts, you can use WP-RSS Import which is also available on the Commons, and which comes with a lot of configurable attributes, and controlled with shortcodes.

Category Posts

The Category Posts plugin creates a sidebar widget that displays the posts in one of your post categories. So for example, if you have posts that you’ve put into a “News” category, you can create a dynamic list of your recent “News” posts in your sidebar. You can decide whether to show just the titles of the posts, or to also show excerpts. You can control the order they appear, whether to show their thumbnails, and even decide how big the thumbnails should be. This is an easy to use plugin that can come in very handy.

Configurable Tag Cloud Plugin

Need a way to visualize word frequency? Create a cloud! The words you use the most in your tags are shown in large font, showing what your site does best.

The Configurable Tag Cloud plugin lets you control the number of tags you want to display in your tag cloud.  If you’ve got lots of tags, you may notice that the standard tag cloud widget does not display all of them.  Usually you only see 50 tags.  Configurable Tag Cloud lets you decide how many tags you’ll display in your cloud. Controls are set when you activate the widget.  See image to the right to see all the available options.

Widget Context

 

Introduction

The Widget Context WordPress plugin provides extra control over sidebar widgets.

Valerie Futch first called attention to this plug-in a thread in the WordPress Help Forum:

“It is really useful for selectively displaying certain widgets in the sidebar on only specific pages. This is helpful for drawing the focus to content on your content pages and filling the sidebar with social media on the blog page. Though it works well it follows a logic that is…well…hardly logical. After much frustration I found this thread from the WP forum where the developer answers a number of how-to questions. Useful if you’re going to make use of this plugin!”

Documentation is indeed limited, but the plug-in does work and is really useful, despite the frustrations voiced in the above-mentioned thread.

How to Use

After installing the plugin, there are no additional controls on the dashboard.

Go to Appearance >> Widgets and select a widget which you want to control. If the plug-in is installed correctly, you should see an additional panel drop down when you select the widget.

Although the panel seems straightforward, it is, as Valerie points out, counter-intuitive. (It seems like you need to tick off the checkboxes AND supply page or post urls, even though it says “OR”.) Here is a screenshot with some entries that worked for me:

In this example, the widget was only displayed on a page with a url that ended in “about/prezi-test”.  You may choose to hide the widgets as well.  And you may add several urls, on separate lines.  There are a lot of options to choose from here, and they may require a little tinkering, but this plug-in can be really useful.
An alternative is to use the Woo Themes, which allows you to customize the sidebars for each page or post.

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