Tip: add a widget anywhere with the_widget()

February 28, 2011 | No Comments Yet

Here’s a very useful tip for everyone comfortable with customizing their WordPress themes: you can add any widget anywhere on your site, not just in your sidebar or widgetized areas, using the template tag the_widget.

Here’s the syntax:

<?php the_widget($widget, $instance, $args); ?>

This post by Shailan explains how to find the widget class name and arguments to use in the code. Refer to the Codex for the names of the default widgets. Want to create your own widget? Valums shows you how.

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Google Living Stories for WordPress

May 4, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Targeted mainly at news websites, Google Living Stories makes covering an on-going story more convenient and navigable. Old but still working examples are found at this Google Labs website, but now everyone can enjoy the same functionality on their own sites as a plugin and theme package for WordPress.

Here’s a list of features from the Labs site:

  • “All in one place” – all the articles developing around a single story can be found on a single URL, and you can navigate around them much more quickly
  • “Easy to explore” – browse either by timeline, themes, people involved, or multimedia
  • “Smarter reading” – new additions to the story are highlighted while older news is summarized

Grab the code here. Take note that this isn’t just a fancy way of displaying developing stories, but a new content format which Google has open sourced.

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BuddyPress 1.2 installs on WordPress

February 17, 2010 | No Comments Yet

BuddyPress Test Drive site

The biggest roadblocks to adopting social network software BuddyPress have finally been eliminated. With the latest version 1.2 coming out, you can now install BuddyPress on WordPress and not just WordPress MU. That goes for any WP version. Consider this the official way to run BP following this one.

Another highlight of this release is a quicker, simpler installation process: just 3 steps detailed in the download page. Simply add BuddyPress from your plugins page and activate a theme for it.

Probably the most exciting part of this release is a new default theme, which you can see running on the official site and the BuddyPress Test Drive site. BP is looking cleaner and more flexible than ever—you can create child themes with BP too.

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