I spent some time playing around with WordPress themes and plugins this week. While most of the stuff I discovered was cool, as usual, a few thins stood out. For the benefit of the general public, here they are.
- Automatic thumbnails in Swift theme. One of the problems that I face when choosing a new theme is that often theme author would expect you to do things in a certain way – organize your menus using pages and not categories, or use specific custom keywords, etc. For some time now I was interested in a theme with post thumbnails, but never dared to try. After all, I have more than 4000 posts and the last thing I want to do is go through all of them adding thumbnails. That’s why I was so surprised by how nicely Swift theme handles this problem. It does expect that you add thumbnails using custom fields, but if you don’t, it just grabs the first image from the content of the post and prepares the thumbnail itself. If there are no images in the content, it uses a default one, which can change easily. Awesome! Here is how it looks.
- After The Deadline spell-checker. Michael Koenig commented on the post about me trying IntenseDebate comments plugin, and suggested that I enable After The Deadline plugin for comments, which I did. Looking further into it, I noticed that After The Deadline spell-checker is also available for posts. I already have a spell-checker built into my browser, but it doesn’t seem to check the grammar or anything else beyond the syntax mistakes. So, I installed the After The Deadline and I do enjoy it. It doesn’t stand in the way, while at the same time, provides some feedback about my writing style. It has a number of useful features, such as highlighting passive voice, suggesting replacement for complex words and expressions, and more. Recommended, especially for non-native English speakers.
- Security tips. A reader of my much outdated, lost, and forgotten WordPress Bits blog asked for some tips to improve WordPress security. I compiled my list of tips and then looked around for a few suggestions from other people. Apparently, there are a number of blog posts (one, two, three) on the subjects and even some plugins (one, two, three) that can help you out.