Review of Three WordPress Plugins – GTranslate, Cookie Law Info and The Events Calendar

WordPress plugins are again a theme for my post today. I’m reviewing three that I have installed on various website recently. I’ve found them all to work well for the purposes I had in mind, so they deserve some recognition.

GTranslate

https://wordpress.org/plugins/gtranslate/
I added this to St John’s Hall Gallery website as the simplest way of offering a Welsh translation of the site for a project that is in Wales, but no-one involved in the project speaks Welsh. The other solutions I looked at of having a parallel site needed much more effort and also someone to do the translation. GTranslate uses Google Translate and may not be perfect but I feel it is good enough to be understood. I tried using the code snippet provided by Google Translate (https://translate.google.com/manager/website/), which worked but took a long time to load onto the page, and while it was loading there was just nothing in the space where the drop down selection box would be, so that seemed confusing.

GTranslate has a customisable drop down language list selector that you can choose which languages to offer and which to set as the default. The default needs to be the language that the site is written in. Perhaps that seems obvious, but I thought it may be simply the default language that appears in the list. You can add the selection box by using a short code into specific posts or into a widget. I opted for having a sidebar widget so that it would appear on every page, but when viewed on small mobile devices these widgets appear at the end so that is not 100% satisfactory. To compensate for this I also added it in a sticky post that always appears at the top of the home page which in this case is the blog post list. The downside of having it appear twice on the home page is that when you change the language from one of the places, the selection list doesn’t change in the other place. But that is a minor niggle. The translation takes a while and I am guessing if on a weak connection that may seem like the site has crashed. There isn’t any message saying the site is doing the translation and saying to wait. The ideal would be to be able to place a widget in the header, which perhaps is possible with a different theme.

Cookie Law Info

https://wordpress.org/plugins/cookie-law-info/
I’m using this plugin on all of my sites. It provides the bar at the bottom with a message about cookies. I saw this plugin in use on a site I looked at but the site using it hadn’t actually linked to a page with a prvacy and cookies policy. I looked around several sites and from that have written my own page for the site and it is linked to from the read more on the bar. For example on this site it is http://wibbi.uk/terms-of-use/. The bar is highly customisable. I have changed the colour, border and location of the tab to fit in with the colour schemes of the sites where I have used it – fitting in but standing out, that is.

The Events Calendar

by MODERN TRIBE https://wordpress.org/plugins/the-events-calendar/
I’ve added this to St John’s Hall Gallery website and so far it is working well for the intended purpose of putting in exhibitions, talks, music nights and other events that will be taking place in the gallery. The plugin is free with paid options, and the free version is very versatile. The one criticism I have for it at the moment is I am having problems with the facebook open graph information. I am not sure if there is a compatibility issue with the Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags plugin mentioned in the previous post or if it is a problem inherent with the Events Calendar plugin. The other thing that I want to do is alter the font and padding on the event titles displayed in the widget in the right side bar, but that can only be done as far as I can see by modification of CSS (using Custom CSS plugin).

Image Credit: plugs#3 CC-BY Karen Cropper https://flic.kr/p/Gy7GwF

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