Why Re-Invent the Wheel?

By July 30, 2014 Plugins No Comments

ABD Web Design subscribes to the idea that one shouldn’t reinvent the wheel, and what better platform than WordPress for that affirmation? Did I hear someone say, “Plugins?”.

We’re always on the lookout for useful, well-functioning plugins that simplify our lives while providing a better visitor experience. Today I would like to point you to two plugins I came across recently that you may like to use in your projects.

Dynamic Widgets

The Dynamic Widgets plug-in is designed to give you control of which pages your widgets will display. No need for coding/PHP knowledge. This is especially useful if you need to customize the content on different pages while using the same templates. This also gives more power to the client! While ABD Web Design is always at the ready to help out a client, it’s often in both of our interests to bring some autonomy to a client’s site management.

Setup is a cinch. Download and activate the plugin, then navigate to the settings. In the settings you can toggle a plethora of sections to set how your widgets function and behave. You can also set the behavior by navigating to your widgets and selecting the widget you would like to edit. A handy link will display on the widget and take you to the Dynamic Widget settings. Note that to use this plugin you must have at least one dynamic sidebar and your theme must call wp_head().

Tiny Coffee

What can we say, we found this to be a pretty awesome little plugin. Tiny Coffee allows you to quickly and easily add a donate button to your site to ask your visitors to treat you to a coffee, beer, or other tasty beverage! Like the Dynamic Widgets plugin, the setup is a breeze: download and activate the plugin, navigate to the plugin settings and configure. You’ll need a PayPal account for all those donations that will be rolling in, so if you’ll want to make sure that is all set up.

A few of the niceties about this plugin: You can place this donate button in a template with a template tag, use a shortcode for your pages and posts, use the hash activated modal screen, or the handy widget in your Widgets menu. Also, you can choose the icons you would like to display from the full selection of Font Awesome icons (coffee, beer, glass, etc.) .

The Wrap

WordPress plug-ins can simplify your tasks and improve both your client and visitor experiences. While writing custom code is often a necessity, we can also utilize a wealth of plugins to streamline our work load. Why reinvent the wheel when there are innumerable tested and vetted plugins that perform the tasks we need?