Catching Up with Plugin Updates

Last week this Update did not get written because I was recovering from a virus that took me out of commission for several days. So this week's Update will bring us up to date with new versions of some of our favorite plugins. Here's a baker's half-dozen that we like and recommend to any site owner who needs what they offer.

Social Media Widget 3.2 — On Feb. 11 we updated this plugin that adds links to all of your social media and sharing site profiles. Input your social media website profile URLs to show an icon on the sidebar that opens that link in a separate browser window.

BNS Add Widget 0.6.1 — Updated on Feb. 12, this nifty little plugin adds a widget area to the footer of any theme. It lets you add widgets to the bottom of pages, or, using Widget Logic, to create a widget area for your home page only. This is a nice way to show memberships or professional affiliations, or to place a banner ad at the bottom of your site.

Lazyest Gallery — Also released on Feb. 12, here is an easy way to create a photo gallery. This one needs just two settings: your image directory and your gallery page. It automatically creates a photo gallery with folders, sub-folders, thumbnail pages and slide shows.

MP3-jPlayer 1.8.1 — Released on Feb. 14, this is a good way to add music to your site. Add mp3 players using shortcodes or widgets. There are settings for default folder and file lists, and shortcode parameters to control things like width, height, autoplay, and volume.

WP-Invoice 3.08.4 — On Feb. 17 we got a new version of this Web Invoice and Billing tool that lets you create and send itemized web invoices to clients. It uses a special Invoice page on your site, and generates email invoices with a link that clients can click to visit your site and view their bill. They can then remit using PayPal (other payment options are available, but we haven't used them; we can vouch for the PayPal gateway, however).

Enhanced Text Widget 1.3.4 — Also released on Feb. 17, this is an enhanced version of the default text widget where you can use text, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Flash, WordPress shortcodes and/or PHP as content with linkable widget title.

Vixy YouTube Embed 3.1 — On Feb. 19, we updated this easy-to-use method of embedding YouTube videos (with download links). A simple WordPress shortcode does the trick.

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We love plugins, and use lots of them. The benefits of added security and productivity make the small amount of system overhead they add well worth the cost!

There are SO many great plugins that finding the right ones can be a bit daunting. Do you have a favorite plugin that you’d like to share? Feel free to tell us about it.