Preview: Beta release of the Stencies WordPress plugin

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Based on their home page, Stencies is “a collection of pre-formatted re-usable design elements.” This makes it sound a lot more complicated that it is. In layman’s terms, they’re pre-defined formats that you can use in a post, or on a page, to make your content stand out or draw attention to something. And they’re called stencies.

I’ve been playing around with it today. Even though it’s in its beta phase right now, I definitely see some potential. You can use it unregistered and it works great. There are no limitations but you only have access to stencies provided by the developers. If you register, which can be done through the settings panel, you’ll have access to user-created stencies and can even submit your own.

Stencies gallery

Watch their demo video below for a look at just what Stencies will do for you.

The stencies definitely make the content inside of them stand out. Some were created with businesses in mind, such as the buy now button and guarantee text box. The typographies and speech bubbles offer an interesting way to display quotes. The variety of stencies available is definitely a plus, especially once you’ve registered.

I can praise this plugin all day, but there are still issues. That’s a part of being in beta. The first is more of an annoyance than a bug. When you edit the text inside a stencie, deleting all of the text first causes the stencie to be removed. My workaround was to just highlight the text and start typing. Simple solution. I also had issues with the stencie being gone when I went back to edit a post while the text formatting remained intact. It didn’t happen often though.

I’m pretty happy with Stencies and can’t wait to see what they do with it in future updates.

Like many of you out there, I have many domains. Each with its own WordPress installation for safety since I like to change things. Some have been massively modified. Some not so much. I installed the plugin through FTP on 3 domains. One is running the 3.2 beta. Another is running 3.1.3 with no modifications. The last is a development site running 3.1.3 that has some heavily modified themes and plugins on it.Two of them worked perfectly. The site running 3.1.3 without modification took a little investigation but worked once I disabled a plugin that was causing the stencie selection window to not display. In the end, all 3 installations worked as expected.

I’m pretty happy with Stencies and can’t wait to see what they do with it in future updates.

If you’re interested in trying it for yourself, you can sign up to be a beta tester on the Stencies site or you can wait for it to be available on the WordPress.org plugin directory. Keep in mind that this is a beta, so your experience may not go as smoothly as mine.

The plugin and service are being developed by Hendrik Minnie, a newcomer to the WordPress community. He’s eager to hear thoughts and receive feedback, so try it out and don’t be shy!

This preview was written using a beta plugin release of Stencies provided to WPCandy.

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