Those that follow along may have noticed me whining here and there about some issues with my menu structure after the recent blog meltdown.
I finally gave up trying to make the theme specific menus function like I wanted them too. Thanks to a tip from Joe Manausa, I found UberMenu.
What’s a UberMenu? The easiest way to describe it is for you to try it. Head on up to the navigation menu at the tippy-top of this page (assuming you’re viewing the site in a browser and not reading this in your email or feed reader of course) and hover over some of the options. The dropdowns are all set up through the WordPress menu system, which is (greatly) enhanced with the UberMenu plugin.
Pretty cool stuff, and easy to use!
Here are some screen shots:
The menu below utilizes a text widget to include a disclaimer.
And this one utilizes two widgets ”“ one for the contact info, one for the contact form, and native UberMenu settings to include social media icons/links.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think being able to put widgets (like a contact form. Or the new Google Custom Search you see in the right of the nav bar) right in the navigation is pretty damn slick. You can also put photos, videos and more in the nav menus. I’ve barely explored it and can see a lot of uses for this plugin. It’s not free, but at a one-time cost of $14, it’s a fantastic deal.
From the same author, SevenSpark, also comes “Scroll Checkpoint”.
To see this one in action, just scroll down to the bottom of this post. (Update: I’ve removed Scroll Checkpoint, for now. It was a little irritating. But I think a “related posts” usage — which can be done with this, would be valuable.) You’ll see a window pop up on your right, inviting you to subscribe to this blog by email. Like UberMenu, Scroll Checkpoint is very customizable ”“ you can put different widgets in different boxes and set them to enter the page in various places with various styles. Check out the demo site for some examples of the power of this plugin. This one costs $15, one-time.
You can get either of these plugins here. Save four bucks by creating a CodeCanyon account and depositing money there. Be careful in CodeCanyon, you may find a whole lot of stuff you can’t live without”¦
What’s the deal with the Facebook Send button?
Yesterday, Facebook announced that it was adding a “Send” button to its repertoire of functionality you can add to a website. Think of it like an “email this article” button except the Facebook Send button sends a link to the article to another Facebook user (or group. Or even an email address ”“ though in testing that’s proved a little goofy).
This is potentially pretty powerful stuff. Yes, Facebook seems to be attempting to take over at least the Internet, if not the planet. And not everyone has a Facebook account. But nearly 700 million people do, and should the Send button get the traction the Facebook Like button has seen, then you probably want to install it on your site.
An interesting feature of the Send button is that a use of it also adds to the pages “Like tally”, which means it impacts Edge Rank .
As this was just implemented by Facebook yesterday, most of the existing Like Button plugins haven’t added Send button capability (yet). I suspect they will very soon. After hacking my Facebook Like Button plugin yesterday (thanks Jimmy Mackin) to add the send button, I decided to yank the plugin altogether and just use the Facebook code generator for both the Like and Send buttons. Now I don’t have to wait for a plugin author to update something, I’m tied directly into Facebook to power the Like and Send buttons.
Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.
This particular approach may not be for the feint of heart, as it requires adding this URL reference into the Facebook code:
href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>;” ”“ to get it to pick up post/page URLs
and depending on your theme, may be tricky to get the buttons placed exactly where you want them. I built functions using my theme’s hooks. CSS would also work. And right now someone is saying, “Functions, hooks and CSS? Oh my!”. Just wait for the inevitable plugin upgrades/releases.
Well, that’s about it for today’s changes, who knows what tomorrow may bring?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get a small pittance if you deposit money into a CodeCanyon account. If you don’t want that to happen, go here.
Inna Hardison says
Jay – like the menu. Not too crazy about the floaty boxy thingie that seems to be in a perpetual state of thanking me and asking me for my email address. Unless there is a setting someplace to turn it off after someone closes the damn thing, I can see how that would annoy a few people 🙂
All in all, pretty cool though.
Jay Thompson says
I’m waffling on the floaty box thingy. It makes sense as a “call to action”. It might be a better play if it offered something more useful to the visitor than signing up for emails of posts. Because really, how useful is that, and do I really care about email subscribers? The plugin author suggests a related posts type of thing, which probably makes more sense. I suspect it will join the pile of “things that didn’t work all that well” at some point…
The UberMenu is a nice addition and works well for the most part, but I’d recommend you remove the expanding and contracting animations with the menu. That short delay for the animation seems a little unnecessary. Don’t know if the WordPress plugin lets you alter that, though.
I’ll also have to echo Inna’s sentiments on the floaty box thing asking for your email – not a fan of that.
stephanie crawford says
Oooh. Me likey this 🙂
I also have too much stuff in my dropdown menus.
I tried UberMenu with a Genesis theme. I had to go through a lot of hoops to get the drop down menu to even appear. And then when they did it was a mess. I would love to find a tutorial so I can utilize it.