Great WordPress Plugins!

Warning: Absolute vodka geekery ahead!

A new theme at Nanyate?! will always be accompanied with some awesome new plugins. So here are the chosen ones.

1. @Reply with Comment Preview Plugin

Since I wanted to keep this design clean, I have reluctantly removed WordPress Thread Comments and WP Paged Comments. It is now replaced with a Twitter-esque comment system, where you place @name to reply to comments. This plugin allows you to display the comment you’re replying to when you hover the @name. To use it on Nanyate?!, click on “respond to this comment” in the comment box you want to reply to. The HTML code that displays the @name will then be transposed in the comment text area.

I personally don’t think that this plugin’s potential is fully maximized, since it is not very friendly to those who have no knowledge of HTML. I would much prefer to see something like [@name] than a line of HTML code. (Plugin author Marcus Himmel, you hear me?) Also, the CSS and the XHTML are neither easily accessible nor valid for those who those customizing Web Standards Nazis. With all that said, it’s still an innovative plugin that might catch on in the near future – provided that it is improved upon.

2. WordPress Mobile Plugin

With the advent of iPhone, HTC Dream and other mainstream internet browsing-centric phones, I think mobile web surfing will be the next big thing in the very near future, and likely the norm 2 – 3 years. So, it’s best to start catering to them now!

This plugin turns your site design into a mobile-friendly one, when it detects a reader is browsing from his or her phone. The CSS is fully customizable. In return, the author requests you put a small Google Mobile or Admob ad, and demands a small share of the revenue. Alternatively, you can pay the author 25 Euros to remove all advertising.

HTC View
Mobile Nanyate?! from my HTC S730

LG View
Mobile Nanyate?! from my LG Viewty KU990R

There are alternatives out there, but most of them route to another URL and place ads on them. Until a fully free mobile plugin is released, I think this plugin is a pretty good deal.

3. Author Highlight Comments (not a plugin)

I wanted better control of my comment highlights, so I dug out a couple links from my rusting favorites folder “design resource”, and lookey what I found: Matt Cutt’s Highlight Author Comments

It’s better than the plugin Highlight Author Comments, which does not allow for flexible CSS-styling. And better than most other tutorials that determines the author based on email, which would clearly be very vulnerable to impersonations. Matt Cutt’s tutorial bypasses all that by using the WordPress admin ID to determine the author. So unless the impersonator-to-be knows your password, you’re pretty safe.

Embarassing story: it took me a few hours to get this code working because I am PHP-stupid, and got so overwhelmed by the new code that I was completely oblivious to the error in my CSS. Long and boring story. Basically, it was my CSS that caused the problem, not the PHP.

Anyway, if you’re as PHP-stupid as I am, or afraid of tweaking your comments.php, please read this excellent step-by-step guide by Colin King; just don’t follow the author highlight tutorial given. Alternatively, feel free to ask this PHP-stupid web enthusiast, if you run into any trouble. Just leave me a comment or send me an e-mail.

Hope you found this WordPress plugins review useful!

Thank You, Commenters!

Lastly, I’d like to thank those provided feedback to my layout. Theme Torii is now in Beta release. I’ve made the header marginally smaller, and changed the footer. Theme Torii now works on the following browsers: Firefox 3, Opera, Internet Explorer 6 + 7, Safari and Google Chrome.