This fall marks our fourth year with WordPress class blogs on campus and our second with portfolio blogs for students and faculty. As you think about things you’d like to do with your blogs this year, here are a couple new plugins and capabilities to get you started. (*To make each available on your blog, go to the Dashboard and activate it in the Plugins menu.)
Elegant Shortcodes – the Learning Studio has been using a theme from Elegant Themes for the last year and wanted all faculty and students to have access to some of the same layout and formatting options. Shortcodes are [simple commands] in brackets that surround the content you want to put in a box, in a column, etc. Here is the page that lists all your options.
Jetpack – a collection of features and widgets previously only available to blogs on WordPress.com. You can turn on basic blog statistics, post/comment subscriptions, and a half-dozen other additions. Jetpack requires a free WordPress.com account.
RV Embed PDF – several faculty producing tenure portfolios on WordPress asked for a plugin that embeds PDFs. Once you activate RV Embed, you simply upload your PDF file using the Add Media button above the post/page editor.
Twenty Eleven Theme Extensions – many of our portfolio users have used one of Automattic’s new default themes, Twenty Ten or Twenty Eleven. The latter included a dozen new features as well as some oddities that some users will want to alter or turn off. Twenty Eleven Theme Extensions adds a long list of theme customizations for those already using the Twenty Eleven theme.
Wolfram CDF Plugin – requested by colleagues in math, the Wolfram plugin gives blog owners the ability to embed interactive models into their blog. For more information on the CDF standard, check the Wolfram site.