The robust WordPress platform allows developer to quickly churn out competent plugins that can make our lives as web designers easier. In this weeks newest WordPress plugins we examine a new way to display Facebook Fan Box output, take a look at a grammar and plagiarism plugin and dive into the world of a page specific feedback tool.
We also examine a new way to import audio files from YouTube without the need for their included video and examine how users can easily use their social media logins to comment via the WordPress commenting system.
Take a look at each of the plugins below and let us know which one you find the most useful.
The standard Facebook Fan box is a bit boring and only offers two choices (light and dark). While those options may work well on a black background or white background create website they don’t necessarily blend very well (even with a border color) for other sites. Using the Ultimate FaceBook Fan Box users can customize the background color for their Facebook Fan box, thereby creating a more customize friendly interface.
Here’s one example of the Facebook Fan Box in action:
Users can also choose the width and height for their boxes, creating a truly customized experience.
If you self edit your blog and you want to make sure there are no grammar mistakes you should take a close look at Proofread Bot. Once uploaded this program allows users to perform checks for as little as $0.007 each directly from the post creation area of WordPress. The program works by generating a report that shows grammar and possible grammar mistakes which can then be corrected before a post is published. The program uses natural language processing to check the rhythm of an article and also provides a plagiarism check tool perfect for guest posts and multi-author websites.
Here’s a first look at part of the output provided:
User Snap is currently in beta which means I wasn’t able to try their plugin directly on WordPress (I have since asked for a beta login). However the tool itself on the UserSnap.com website shows exactly how cool it is. Using this program users can provide feedback about webpages they are visiting. User Snap offers three tools (Highlight, Blackout and Notes). For example, a user clicks on feedback and can then highlight part of a page they believe needs to be fixed or could be improved upon. If that section shows a users private information they can then blackout that information (redacted it basically), finally they use the “Note” feature to place a note anywhere on the page they want to leave a message. Think of User Snap like a grading report from a teacher full of crossed out sentences, notes for improvements, etc.
Here’s a screenshot I created using all three options available:
The note for UserSnap was placed on the left side for this demonstration while the “Easy Visual User Feedback” and logo section was highlighted and the “beta button” was blacked out.
Hovering over any section added (highlight, blackout and note) also provides an “X” mark which can clear the option at any time. Simply choose the options for feedback and click “Send” to push your feedback to the sites webmaster.
AudioTube is the easiest way to date that a user can place a YouTube file on their website while featuring only the audio track for that file. For example if you want to feature the Lady Gaga via the Vevo channel you would input the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9YMU0WeBwU&ob=av2e. To input that URL users simple click on the “music icon” that appears on posts after the plugin has been installed and activated.
After the YouTube url has been uploaded and the user hits “OK” the following display will appear in the published post:
5. Social Login
If you’re using the standard WordPress commenting system social login is a very simple and intuitive way for your users to leave comments using the social networks they are already logged into such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, OpenID, Google, Yahoo and others.
The interface is very simple for Social Login, essentially social network buttons appear at the top of posts, allowing users to login and comment immediately:
Those are our top 5 new WordPress plugins as of November 17, 2011. Please keep in mind that because they programs are new they are still being tested and no guarantees are made about their compatibility with all themes while server load and other issues are still being examined.
Do you have a favorite new WordPress plugin that was just released this week? Share it in our comments section.