MIGHTYminnow’s Favorite WordPress Plugins: Events Manager

Events ManagerIf you are an organization that hosts frequent events (like we do), Events Manager / Events Manager Pro is a must have. This is a free WordPress plugin, with an optional “Pro” upgrade if you need to take payments. Events Manager offers a robust array of settings and features, which makes it really easy to create and display events, registration forms, and much more.

(Free) Features We Love:

  • Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 2.08.24 PMTemplates & widgets
    Events Manager makes it extremely simple to output your events in a bunch of different ways. The plugin comes with great default templates for events list, calendar, and widget views – plus you have the ability to set up your own templates using simple placeholder tags (e.g. #_EVENTTITLE)
  • Google integration
    Google Maps are seamlessly integrated, meaning your guests can see a map of each event location, and can even look up directions from their location – all from within the page they are viewing. Events Manager also integrates with Google calendars and iCal, so your guests can add your events to their personal calendars in one click.
  • Categories and tags
    Just like WordPress’ Posts, you can categorize and tag your events. Additionally, you can output custom lists of particular categories and tags.
  • Create multiple tickets
    If your event has separate prices for members and non-members, or if you have different levels of entry (1-day pass vs. conference pass), you can create different tickets for these groups.
  • Timing and recurring events
    Events Manager really shines when it comes to scheduling your events. The plugin places a huge number of possibilities at your fingertips, including the ability to custom schedule recurring events. Whether your event is all day, 7-9pm, or recurs every Thursday at noon – you’ll easily be able to set it up in Events Manager.

(Pro) Features We Love:

  • Coupon Codes
    You can set up multiple coupon codes for specific discounts (fixed-price or percentage). You can also limit the number of coupons available and/or set an expiration date.
  • Online Payments
    Probably the #1 pro feature is the ability to take payments through PayPal, Authorize.net, and other offline payment methods. We use Events Manager Pro on the MIGHTYminnow site to facilitate class registrations through our payment gateway.

Mm Plugin: Super Simple Related Posts

Super Simple Related Posts

A super simple widget to output related posts based on categories, tags, or custom taxonomies. You get to decide how the posts are related (categories, tags, custom taxonomies), what to show (posts, pages, custom post types), and a whole lot more.

Download Now » See Demo » GitHub Repo »

Super Simple Related Posts

The Super Simple Related Posts widget

The Story

This plugin came about as the result of a recent project in which we needed to output related content on pages and posts in a unique way. We often create a lot of custom post types and taxonomies using Toolset’s amazing Types & Views plugins, and we needed a way to show related content based on specific criteria (e.g. post type and taxonomy).

The other thing we needed was an alternative to some of the many resource-intensive “related content” plugins out there – and make no mistake, there are MANY. Yet a lot of these plugins work their magic by querying your database, running post content through algorithms, and performing processes that put a heavy strain on the server. So much so, that they sometimes get banned from premier hosting companies like WP Engine. So, with all this in mind, we developed this handy plugin and decided to share it with the world.

How it Works

In short, SSRP gives you a widget that can output a list of content related to the current page/post by any category, tag, or custom taxonomy. Let’s look at a real-world example to demonstrate what the widget can do. We recently utilized this plugin on a fundraising site that incorporates several different post types for their knowledge base:

Post Types

  1. Blog Posts (built in WP post type)
  2. FAQs (custom post type)
  3. Articles (custom post type)

. . . as well as a few custom taxonomies shared across these post types. . .

Custom Taxonomies

  1. Life Cycle (e.g. Beginning, Middle, End)
  2. Industry (e.g. Music, Sports, Arts)

So to sum up, we have a bunch of posts, FAQs, and articles – all of which are classified with Life Cycle and/or Industry taxonomies. With Types & Views it’s really easy to set something like this up, and we often end up using numerous custom post types and taxonomies on the sites we build. So in this case, an example of a typical FAQ might look like this:

  • FAQ: How do run a fundraiser for my team?
    • Life Cycle: Beginning, Middle
    • Industry: Sports

So now comes the fun part – related content. We want to display related content in the sidebar of our FAQ, and we want to be able to dictate exactly how it appears. That’s where Super Simple Related Posts comes in. Using this plugin, you can decide what type of content you want to output (posts, FAQs, and/or articles) as well as the taxonomy (category, tag, or custom taxonomy) by which to select related content. Back to our example. . .

Output

Using SSRP, you might choose the following settings (note: these are just a few of the many settings you’ll be able to modify):

  • Posts Types to Include: FAQs, articles
  • Show Posts Related By: Life Cycle
  • Number of Posts to Show: 3

With those settings, your SSRP widget would output the following when viewing the above FAQ on your live site:
FAQs
Beginning

Middle

Articles
Beginning

Middle

As you can see, SSRP give you the ability to add functionality much like you might find on a site like Amazon.com, which offers sidebar suggestions based on the content you’re looking at. Here are other blue shoes for you to look at. Here are more books written by American authors. Here are all the other long-haired crazy cat photos. You get the idea.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re using WordPress straight out of the box, hand-coding your own custom post types and taxonomies in functions.php, or using the awesome Types & Views plugin to work some serious magic, Super Simple Related Posts might be just what you’re looking for. Head on over to the official WordPress.org site to learn more. And, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or feature requests, we’d love to hear from you. WordPress.org: Super Simple Related Posts Plugin »

Chrome Extension: User-Agent Switcher

If you don’t live close enough to MIGHTYminnow HQ to visit our device lab for testing, there’s a handy alternative: User Agent Switcher. With this nifty Chrome extension you can quickly and easily switch between user-agent strings, meaning you don’t have to have a mobile phone or tablet to do your device testing!

That said, remember: there is no substitute for real hands-on device testing, but User Agent Switcher is a close second.

Mm Plugin: HTML5 Placeholder Polyfill

Without placeholder support

Your form without the plugin (IE 7/8/9 & Opera Mini)

With placeholder support

After installing HTML5 Placeholder Plugin

MIGHTYminnow is proud to announce our new plugin: HTML5 Placeholder Polyfill!

The plugin adds placeholder support for older browsers like Internet Explorer 7/8/9 and Opera Mini which don’t support placeholders natively. We simply took Mathias Bynens’ amazing jQuery placeholder polyfill and bundled it as a WordPress Plugin – the jQuery itself is widely used and well-vetted. In case you’re wondering what a placeholder is, it’s that handy text inside a form input or text area that is often used to suggest what the user should enter (e.g. “Enter your email address”). This functionality can be super handy when it’s working, and can create a major mystery for your users when it’s missing (imagine a form without labels, in which the placeholder text is the only indicator of what the user should enter).

Our plugin guarantees that your users are never left in the dark. To learn more or download it, just visit the WordPress Plugin Page:

Visit the Plugin Page »

Free training for unemployed developers/designers

Thanks to Dave from Fire on the Bay, we recently learned of a new web-y, design-y program for those struggling in the current economy.

If you are unemployed and looking for ways to improve your skill set, Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) is offering a 16 week intensive training program to help improve your skills. BAVC is a Bay Area non profit that was asked by the city of San Francisco to head up their TechSF initiative to help technologists and multimedia artists back to work. If you qualify after filling out the application, the training is free.

The new training session, called Digital Directions, starts next week and offers 16 weeks of training of Adobe CS6 workflow in Illustrator and Photoshop as well as basic UX, typography, and more. The latter part of the training will be spend working for a client.

There are some eligibility requirements so be sure to read them before applying.

We thought this opportunity was worth passing on.

How to Make a Custom jQuery WordPress Plugin