In my followup research after posting 48 Unique Ways to Use WordPress, I came across Jason Schuller’s new WP Elements blog. Jason has some very cool WordPress plugins, an excellent free magazine theme, Massive News, and another theme for a video gallery on the way.
Two things caught my eye on Jason’s blog: the Fancy Zoom plugin and the Featured Content Gallery plugin. The latter is a plugin version of the gallery box that appears in his Massive News WP theme.
Both plugins can really jazz up your WP blog’s images.
Fancy Zoom is a sexy variation to other “lightboxed” image plugins. The basic principle is this: show a relatively small image on a post and link it to a larger version. With Fancy Zoom installed, you’ll see an animated “zoom” to the larger version without a browser refresh. When you close the lightboxed image, you’ll see an animated close. (Watch out; clicking can be addictive.) Here’s a screen grab after a click, but to see the full animated effect, go visit Jason’s 32Eighteen site and click on one of the images in the middle column.
Featured Content Gallery
Have several feature articles on your site and want to make them prominent? Jason’s Featured Content Gallery plugin lets you set up a sequence of images, each one linked to a feature article. The result is visually stunning. Here’s a screengrab, below, which doesn’t do it justice. So go visit the plugin page for an example.
The gallery, while very attractive, has a drawback: updating the gallery is awkward. That is, if you intend to add new images and remove older ones on a regular basis, it’s a tedious process. Increasing the number of images in the gallery set is probably less work, but you have to manually tweak the plugin files – which cannot be done from within the WP admin panel.
(1) You do not have to link the showcase images to articles. You can simply showcase images.
(2) Showcase images can very likely be linked to off-site pages, though I haven’t tried. If you own/run multiple blogs, this could be a nice way to use a “hub site” to showcase feature articles on your other sites.