Sweet Plugin: Improve the DFW editor with Fullscreen Preview Button

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Fullscreen Preview Button is a simple little WordPress plugin that solves a problem I’ve been annoyed by for a while. It adds a preview button to the distraction free writing editor so you don’t have to exit out of the view in order to see what you’ve written on your site.

Alex King released this plugin on the WordPress.org plugin directory, which is where you should grab it if you’ve ever had this problem with the distraction free writing editor.

Do you have any favorite plugins designed to tweak and improve the distraction free writing editor in WordPress? Do you use the fullscreen editor as often as I do?

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If you must, do it this way.

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Alex King explains how they handle including plugin functionality in their themes:

Since the theme is loading in last, we can use that to our advantage. If the plugin has been installed separately as a plugin (and not as part of the theme), we will be able to see that it is active. If it is already active, we don’t want to load it again a second time.

In our FavePersonal theme we added an additional check in the if statement to see if the setting to activate the Social plugin was turned on. This allows us to avoid loading the plugin if the site owner has decided to disable this functionality.

If you must include a plugin’s functionality in your theme, this is the way to do it.

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Crowd Favorite takes a day, switches from SVN to Git

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With our ongoing clients we are commonly engaged in building new features and functionality while also needing to be able to make smaller changes (hotfixes) that are pushed up immediately. With Git it is easy for us to maintain development of more involved functionality in feature branches and still being able to push up quick changes as needed.

Alex King’s blog post explains their thought process, and a bit about their new setup.

Twitter Tools 3.0 hits beta 1, extends Social plugin

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Alex King’s Twitter Tools plugin has entered beta for the 3.0 version. For this release King has reworked the plugin to extend his Social plugin to improve the user experience issues his users have had since Twitter switched to oAuth. We’ve written about troubles users have had with Twitter and oAuth, so perhaps this will be useful for them.

This is a beta, so it hasn’t been tested extensively. Install it at your own risk. You can read more about it at his blog post or grab the code directly from GitHub.

It’s always nice to have diversity in plugin selection. What about you guys, do you have a favorite Twitter plugin to use?

Alex King releases post formats UI plugin

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Post Format PluginAlex King and the team over at Crowd Favorite have released a new plugin with a different take on post formats. The plugin adds a layer of tabs to the post page, and each format has its own unique layout and custom fields to be filled out. You can view the blog post or grab the code directly on GitHub.

Post types are a relatively new feature. Up until now they have been relegated to a simple list of radio buttons in the sidebar. Perhaps this is the first step in post formats becoming a more integral part of the WordPress experience. The question has been posed elsewhere: is anyone else thinking it might be a good candidate for core integration?

Meta Review: WooCommerce plugin from WooThemes

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The beginning of WooCommerce was not without a bit of controversy, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped many positive comments since its launch. It’s safe to expect quality from a shop like WooThemes, but even for them expectations seemed to revert back to cautious when it comes to new territory like e-commerce.

A couple of members of the community have reviewed WooCommerce in one way or another, and they are generally positive so far:

  • Alex King: “Great stuff from the Woo team here. I’ve code reviewed quite a bit of it and I’m comfortable saying WooCommerce is the best WordPress-native e-commerce solution available. I’m convinced enough that we’re switching to it from another e-commerce solution on a project that’s already months into development.”
  • Jeff Chandler: “One of the best things about the back-end of WooCommerce is that it blends in seamlessly as if it were part of WordPress all along. They did a great job of using existing elements that are supported within WordPress such as the tabs, file uploader, and my favorite little feature, the calendar. I only referred to the readme file once during configuration…I was able to configure WooCommerce without any issues.”

Then of course there’s our review that went up earlier this week.

If you have any more thoughts on WooCommerce, or if you have written out your thoughts in a review elsewhere, let us know in the comments below.