Recently, I was introduced to a new plugin that I simply cannot live without as part of my WordPress development toolbox. I enjoy creating WordPress websites and blogs for clients, but what makes them unique and pleasing to the eye is something that comes from the client and what THEY want, not what I want. I do have some say-so in how I believe the client should lay out their website or blog, but ultimately, it’s up to the client in how they want their website to look, to flow and whether or not it’s suited to drive traffic to it.
So what’s the plugin called? It’s the ‘Views’ plugin and it’s exactly what every WordPress developer or website designer needs to have when they are creating websites for clients. I highly recommend purchasing a copy of it.
In short, the Views plugin allows you to display content any way you want, regardless of the WordPress theme you decide to use on a website. As a matter of fact, you can build a complete website just by using the Views plugin. That’s just how good it is. This really opens up how some themes can be unflexible, but with the addition of adding views, you can expand the possibility of how you want elements to display on your site.
Let me show you just a couple of examples of how I was able to customize three pages on a recent client website I designed.
Below is an example of a blog summary page, but notice it only has one blog post on it, showing as an excerpt with a ‘read more’ link to the full blog, but also notice there is an hyperlinked button image that takes you to a blog archives page. But the blog archives page is two columns of blog titles that you can click on and get to the full article for each title. This is not standard for any blog directory where you assign a page to show your blog posts on. These are “views” I set up within the Views plugin and it allows me to embed the “view” into a regular page, so it shows exactly how the clients wants it to show.
Another example is how I was able to display the client testimonials on a page. Each testimonial is a blog post, but so that they do not show up in the recent posts, I made sure the testimonials category I created is not visible on the website, but just on the Testimonials page (screenshot below). Then in the “view” I set up, I created the testimonial posts, in two columns, so they only showed an excerpt with a read more link to the rest of the testimonial. Again, this is not standard with the theme the client chose for their website. Now there are ways to dig into the functions code of a WP theme, but unless you are an expert developer and you know what you’re doing, I suggest using the Views plugin and it takes out all the guess-work for you.
Note: I’m not an affiliate of the Views plugin, but just a happy end user of the product! This plugin got me out of a jam when my client requested special layouts for her website.
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