I’ve turned into a little bit of a CodeCanyon junkie over the last few months. I’ve integrated many great plugins from their marketplace here such as UberMenu, premium featured posts slider, Better Recent Posts Widget Pro and Foobar.
Whilst browsing the marketplace a few days ago I came across a fantastic plugin from JonasDoebertin called SocialBox that addressed an area of WP Mods I wanted to change; specifically, the social media subscription information at the top of our sidebar.
Since WP Mods launched early last year with the current design we have had a small social media area at the top of the sidebar with two bubbles showing the number of people subscribing to WP Mods via RSS and Twitter and subscription links to RSS, Twitter, email and Facebook. It wasn’t prominent enough for me so I wanted something better.
The old design
SocialBox is a simple WordPress widget that adds links to your social media profiles for Facebook, FeedBurner, YouTube and Twitter. The box is well presented and you can add links to the right of each profile to subscribe, follow or like. The plugin also lets you set default values for each service. These values are displayed in the event the API for a service can’t be reached.
SocialBox is a great plugin though I think I am hoping that some features are added in the future. Currently the widget does not have a title, something which I believe all widgets should have. Due to this, you can’t add a title such as ‘Subscribe’ through the widget area.
By default the plugin lists services in the order: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and FeedBurner. The ability to rearrange this order would be beneficial (a simple number ordering method would be sufficient) as it would allow you to prioritise the order your social media profiles are listed. In order to move RSS subscribers to the top of the box I had to move the link in the socialbox/includes/widget.php file. This was incredibly easy to do though I still believe that the ability to reorder things around would make the plugin much more user friendly and would help those who aren’t comfortable modifying the plugin files.
Last but not least, I believe the plugin would benefit from working with additional services. For my own needs, the ability to integrate my newsletter count and link into this area would be welcomed howevber I am sure others would like integration for other social media services such as StumbleUpon or Google+.
SocialBox is available through CodeCanyon for only $4. I’m sure those of you with basic design skills will be able to create a social media box without the need of a plugin though for $4 you can save yourself a lot of time and simply insert a nice looking social media box into one of your widget ready areas.