In the past month I’ve released two WordPress plugins that I think ended up complementing each other rather nicely:

Together they make filtering posts in WordPress a much nicer experience:

Chosen + Pretty Filters

If you’re a plugin author that’s bundling the Chosen library or doing something interesting with post filters, I hope you’ll consider referring your users to install these instead.

Good plugins are small, purposeful, and they naturally blend into WordPress like bananas in a smoothie, but when you bundle libraries inside your large plugin, you will collide with other plugins that use that same library, and WordPress just isn’t designed to handle this very well quite yet.

Chances are, your plugin works great without Chosen. Users can still drop down a select box and type in it to find what they’re looking for, it’s just not a fancy experience. If you think your users would enjoy a fancy experience, maybe consider pointing them to WP Chosen instead, and update your plugin to support it and avoid the additional support burden while you’re at it.

P.S. All sites on now have both of these active by default. <3

Back in December of 2011, Matt and friends added the ability for WordPress plugins to have really pretty header images. For BuddyPress, I went through a few design iterations before settling on the header image pictured at the bottom of this post. I wanted it to be minimalistic and unique, so I took an hour to extend the label area with the buddies at the end. Below is the basic approach to make that happen:

  • Take a screen shot of the header image without the extended icon area.
  • Open that screen shot in Photoshop or your favorite image editor.
  • Make a new layer.
  • Fill the new layer with a black close to whatever the primary color of the label is. (#181818)
  • Hide that layer, select the background layer.
  • Magic wand the label.
  • Extend the selection to the size you want it to be (Usually 50px or so.)
  • Switch to your all black layer.
  • Right click; Select inverse; Delete.
  • Tweak the opacity of your black layer to match as closely as possible. Take your time with this; even if it’s the slightest bit off, it’s pretty noticeable.