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Create just about anything with this one plugin

June 20th, 2016 Posted by Website Development 0 comments on “Create just about anything with this one plugin”

Just as there is an app for everything, the same is true about web development. In this case the same is true about web plugins, CMS plugins to be exact. With the versatility and easy to use of a CMS (content management system), the ability to make your website do whatever you need has never been easier. With such a powerful CMS as WordPress, the potential of your site is endless. Due to the vast amount of helpful plugins and widgets, a WordPress website can . There are many plugins that are out in the market that are easier than others. Some which include features that you’ll never use, and other whose plugins are very broad and allow you to manipulate it however you want. My go to is a neat little plugin called Ultimate Posts Widget. This is one of my favorite plugins to use because it gives you the ability to use the post functionalities that already come featured in WordPress.

So what exactly does the plugin do? Well it displays posts from a specific category in a format which you define through the “Ultimate Posts Widget” settings. It also allows you to manipulate the way that it visual display of the post. While some plugins are great because of the specific case in which you may use the plugin, Ultimate Posts Widget is just the opposite. Since the plugin doesn’t have a specific purpose but to give you way more “post” options. These options include the ability to:

 

  • Filter by categories
  • Filter by current category
  • Filter by tags
  • Filter by current tag
  • Filter by custom post types
  • Filter by sticky posts
  • Select number of posts to display
  • Display title
  • Display publish date/time with custom format options
  • Display post author and link
  • Display post comment count
  • Display excerpt or full content
  • Display read more link with custom label
  • Display featured image and at any size
  • Display post categories
  • Display post tags
  • Display custom fields
  • Add text or HTML before and after posts list
  • Add CSS class to widget
  • Add widget title link
  • Change excerpt length (in words)
  • Order by date, title, number of comments, random or a custom field

 

Using The Ultimate Plugin

Difficulty – Easy

 

Step 1: Widgetize

Before we even begin and install the plugin, we must first setup the environment in which our posts will be displayed. This is achieved through the use of widgets, which are located under the “Appearance” section in the WordPress panel. In order to create a new widget area, we must add the following code to functions.php in your WordPress install:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 2.19.34 PM

 

This will register the the widget inside of WordPress.
Now we must add the “sidebar” or widget area to our page template file. I highly recommend that you create your own page templates, in order to give you maximum control of your WordPress visuals and functionalities. (Find out how to create your own WordPress page templates here). Inside your WordPress page template file, you will this snippet of code to wherever you wish to display your future custom posts.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 2.51.11 PM

Step 2: Install UPW (ultimate posts widget)

The plugin is called Ultimate Posts Widget, by Boston Dell-Vandenberg.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 2.55.55 PM
Once installed you can head over to the widget’s section in your WordPress panel. You can now drag and drop the “Ultimate Posts” widget over to your widget box, which you named earlier. By clicking on the “Ultimate Posts” widget now inside your widget box, you can edit your widget to display or not display certain data.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 3.05.43 PM

Step 3: Create Custom UPW template

The Ultimate Posts plugin allows you to create custom templates for displaying your posts. This is particularly great when using the plugin for multiple uses within your website, such as an event calendar, or for the entry of testimonials.

 

Learn how to make your own “Ultimate Posts” template pages, to display your posts as you wish here.

Note: Don’t forget that under “Template” in the Widget, you must select “Custom” in order to enter your own template file name.

 

Step 4: Create Post and Publish

Through the Ultimate Posts widget, you can specify which posts you want to display based on category. This makes the multi-use of the plugin possible.
Once all of the steps above have been completed, you may now go to your Posts and begin to write entries for the custom use of your choosing. Just hit under which category specific you want the post to be under, and hit “Publish”.

 

Adding even more functionality

(Completely Optional)

To further extend the power of the UPW plugin, you can download two great plugins called “Advanced Custom Fields” by Elliot Condon and “Advanced Custom Fields: Date and Time Picker” by Per Soderlind. These two plugins allow you to add additional fields in your “Posts”, which eventually means the ability to display these added values through the use of the UPW plugin.
Step 1: Download and install the Plugins.

  • First Plugin: “Advanced Custom Fields” by Elliot Condon
  • Second Plugin: “Advanced Custom Fields: Date and Time Picker” by Per Soderlind

 

Step 2: Create a “Field Group”

  • Click on “Custom Fields” found at the left hand side of your website’s WordPress panel.

{add screenshot of wordpress panel, showing this step}

  • Click “Add New” to begin adding your custom fields.
  • You can choose “Conditional Statements” to display in certain category types, which is a

great way to keep your post input data simple.

  • You can add any of the following field types:
    • Text (type text, api returns text)
    • Textarea (type text, api returns text)
    • Number (type number, api returns integer)
    • Email (type email, api returns text)
    • Password (type password, api returns text)
    • WYSIWYG (a wordpress wysiwyg editor, api returns html)
    • Image (upload an image, api returns the url)
    • File (upload a file, api returns the url)
    • Select (drop down list of choices, api returns chosen item)
    • Checkbox (tickbox list of choices, api returns array of choices)
    • Radio Buttons ( radio button list of choices, api returns chosen item)
    • True / False (tick box with message, api returns true or false)
    • Page Link (select 1 or more page, post or custom post types, api returns the selected url)
    • Post Object (select 1 or more page, post or custom post types, api returns the selected post objects)
    • Relationship (search, select and order post objects with a tidy interface, api returns the selected post objects)
    • Taxonomy (select taxonomy terms with options to load, display and save, api returns the selected term objects)
    • User (select 1 or more WP users, api returns the selected user objects)
    • Google Maps (interactive map, api returns lat,lng,address data)
    • Date Picker (jquery date picker, options for format, api returns string) <- This field is enhanced due to the addition of the second plugin mentioned in the beginning.
    • Color Picker (WP color swatch picker)
    • Tab (Group fields into tabs)
    • Message (Render custom messages into the fields)
    • Custom (Create your own field type!)

 

Step 3: Output your new fields in your “Posts”

  • Now that you have the fields that you want to display, you will add it to your UPW Template.
  • You can do this by using this function, with the name of your field inside of it: get_field(“your_field”’);

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