How Hard Can Finding a WordPress Plugin Be? Part 2: Custom CSS & Social Media Sharing

Sadly, this was also harder than I expected. Honestly, in this case, the only requirement I had was that it worked.

Custom CSS Plugin

I tested a lot of plugins (pretty much every one I could find), many of which didn’t work and were simply incompatible with the newest version of WordPress. Here are some that worked:

  • My Custom CSS – I liked that it colour codes and has line numbers, but it broke when I got over 700? lines. New classes that I added would be empty. I’m also not a fan of the fact that it just adds it at the top of the page instead of as an external file.
  • Custom CSS Manager – Pretty much exactly like My Custom CSS, but I haven’t broken it. Still unhappy that it doesn’t load an external file instead though.
  • Your Custom CSS – Simple, but seems to work just fine, even puts your code into an external file, which I like. Didn’t test it to 500+ lines though like I did with the previous ones.
  • Best Custom CSS – Works fine, can edit CSS files through built-in WP editor, only doing it that way isn’t very intuitive. It also presets CSS files instead of allowing you to set your own unfortunately.
  • Site Specific CSS – Turns out, most CSS plugins only work in a single site since they write to an external file and the plugin always calls the same external file. Since we’re running a Multi-Site install, I ended up with the site specific CSS plugin. It’s simple (all it does is load a CSS file you link to), but it works! Since it’s just a link, you have to edit the files externally or put it into your theme root folder (or plugin folder) to edit it in the built-in editor.

I rejected a couple of CSS plugins that seem to be no longer in development (such as WordPress.com Custom CSS) even if they (mostly) work and I used a combination of how recent there has been an update and whether developers responded to forums posts as a criteria.

Social Media (Twitter, Facebook) Sharing Plugins

On the upside, it was quite easy to find a social media sharing plugin that worked. I did have a couple of requirements for this:

  • Facebook and Twitter required
  • Share buttons (not sidebar widgets) at the bottom of each post (but not pages)
  • Have to be able to turn off the display of shares counters

I didn’t test a lot of them since I found a couple that work, and I was happy with one in particular. Here are the results:

  • Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus One Share Buttons – Works, but does not have as many options the other plugins. I also didn’t like the counters showing above instead of next to the buttons, which would be more compact.
  • Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus One Social Share – This one works great and has a lot of options including a floating box of the share buttons. The problem I had with this one is that you have more than one row of buttons, it goes beyond the div because of the display setting. I reported it, but didn’t feel like hacking it, so I went with the last one.
  • Really Simple Facebook Twitter Share Buttons – This one works great, plus it lets you reorder buttons, and set the width spacing. While the more-than-one-row behaviour isn’t ideal, it works. It also has a via username for twitter. It even comes with a shortcode and selective exclude method.

I’m open to suggestions on better plugins of either, especially CSS ones (for single and multi-site). Next might be form management, but if I can’t find a good free one, I might simply suggest paying for GravityForms (since it’s a one time payment).

UPDATE: Of course, then I finally find out about Jetpack almost all of which is free, including Custom CSS and Sharing. The only downside is that you need a wordpress.com account, and I am not connecting my personal account to work sites.

Published by

Cynthia

A librarian learning the ways of technology, accessibility, metadata, and people

Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s