The WPDiscuz plugin super-charges the way comments work on your WordPress site,. It enhances your users’ discussion experience and keeps them engaged by offering multiple ways to embed images, videos, social icons, and text. There are three colorful layouts to choose from:

The comment textbox comes with a toolbar for easily adding rich text and images. Roll over the icons to see what they do:

 

There are numerous powerful options and settings to explore that control the discussion environment:

On the Comment Content and Media Settings page, you can enable shortcodes and use them in your comment so you can, for example, embed a video.

The Easy Appointments plugin provides a way to embed forms and calendars within a WordPress site. The plugin uses three preset fields: Location, Service, and Worker. The labels for these can be easily changed. For example, Location could be changed to Office, Service could be changed to Meeting Type, and Worker could be changed to Professor.

The trickiest part of this plugin is set up what are called Connections. A connection pulls together the dates and time slots that are available for the particular Location/Service/Worker. In the form below, you specify what days of the week appointments are possible, the beginning and ending times, and the number of slots available within this time range.

 

 

To set up an appointment on your site, ,create a page and add a shortcode to generate the following form:

To avoid spam, you probably want to make the form only available to members of the Commons, or else password protected.

Another shortcode can display a calendar of appointments:

 

If you have posts or pages that are long, you might want to offer your readers a way to go up to the top of the article. Yes, if you know HTML, this can be done with an anchor tag. But the Simple Scroll To Top plugin makes such a function a breeze.

Once you activate the plugin, go to the Settings page. Here you can customize where the button will be shown and what it will look like. There are 10 symbols and 4 backgrounds. They are all from the FontAwesome library, so there are 40 variations for your scroll to top button. You control the size and color and on which pages it should appear. The button only appears when your reader is scrolling down. This is extremely useful if your reader is using a tablet or mobile device, where scrollbars are less than effective.

Here is the setting page:

 

 

Each WordPress post or page has exactly one “Featured Image.” Depending on the template used by your theme, this image may appear at the top of your post, on the side, or not at all. On a page that aggregates your posts or pages (perhaps by category or tag), the featured image adds interest to the listing. If missing, it throws off the appearance of the page.

That is where the Default Feature Image plugin can be useful. If a page or post does not have a featured image, a default image will be assigned.

The default image is set up in the Media Settings on the WordPress dashboard:

 

Shortcodes Ultimate is a Swiss Army knife type of plugin. It can do many things – it “is a comprehensive collection of various visual and functional elements, which you can use in the post editor, text widgets or even in template files. Using Shortcodes Ultimate you can easily create tabs, buttons, boxes, sliders and carousels, responsive videos and much, much more.”

It works with both the Block Editor and the Classic editor. You can embed posts into other posts, create “spoilers” (i.e. view/hide content), retrieve parts of posts or pages via category or tag – the list goes on.

In the Block Editor, the plugin is accessible via the open and close brackets icon-  “[ ]” after you select the shortcode block:

 

 

In the Classic Editor, it is an option on the tool bar.

 

After clicking the icon, you will see the entire collection. There is a convenient search bar to help locate what you need, as well as a “Filter by Type” option. The shortcodes marked in red are only available for the premium version of the plugin

 

The following video will help you get started with this plugin:

 

Plugin Documentation

  • Anthologize

    Grab, Craft, and Publish Anthologize is a powerful tool that lets you “grab” blog posts from your site or from an RSS feed, “craft” your content into a single document, with a title page, table of contents, and chapters, and… Read More

  • Category Posts

    The Category Posts plugin creates a sidebar widget that displays the posts in one of your post categories. So for example, if you have posts that you’ve put into a “News” category, you can create a dynamic list of your… Read More

  • ChartBoot

    The ChartBoot for WordPress plugin makes it easy to add a wide variety of charts to your site’s pages and posts.  The available styles depend upon the kind of data you paste into the initial text box.  You can create… Read More

  • Classic Widgets

    There is a big change in the way widgets are handled with the release of WordPress 5.8. Previously, Commons members added widgets to “widget areas” (sidebars, footers, etc.) by going to Appearance>>Widgets or to Customize>>Widgets. There they found an array… Read More

  • Column Shortcodes

    Column Shortcodes is a plugin that lets you divide your post or page content into columns wherever you want, using easy to use shortcodes.  You can swap in and out of various column layouts (there are eleven to choose from).… Read More

  • CommentPress

    Commentpress lets readers comment on each paragraph of a document or respond in-line to other comments. Developed by the Institute for the Future of the Book, it is a terrific way for writers to solicit and track critiques of their… Read More

  • Constant Contact

    The Constant Contact for WordPress plugin is an app that integrates with your Constant Contact account. Constant Contact is a proprietary service which provides email marketing, online event management, social campaign management, online polls and survey functionality.You can get a free… Read More

  • Default Featured Image

    Each WordPress post or page has exactly one “Featured Image.” Depending on the template used by your theme, this image may appear at the top of your post, on the side, or not at all. On a page that aggregates… Read More

  • Easy Appointments

    The Easy Appointments plugin provides a way to embed forms and calendars within a WordPress site. The plugin uses three preset fields: Location, Service, and Worker. The labels for these can be easily changed. For example, Location could be changed… Read More

  • EasyRotator for WordPress

    The Easy Rotator for WordPress plugin provides an easy way to add a custom slider to a page or post, or to a widget area.  You can add as many distinct sliders as you want to your site, and use many… Read More

  • Embed Book Jackets and Links with Openbook

    The OpenBook WordPress plugin provides a convenient way to embed book jackets, publishing metadata, and links to places where you can purchase the book. OpenBook gathers its information from OpenLibrary. Open Library is an open project: the software is open, the data… Read More

  • EmbedPress

    The EmbedPress plugin claims to be able to embed content from over 100 sources, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and a host of others. It will embed PPTsm PDFs, Docx, and many other types of files. Once you’ve activated the… Read More

  • Events Manager Plugin

    If you have a WordPress site on the Commons and frequently announce or organize events, check out the Events Manager plugin. It is a neat way to manage and display upcoming lectures, seminars, conferences, meetings, etc. Each event is nicely… Read More

  • FancyBox Plugin for WordPress

    Fancybox is an easy to use plug-in that gracefully enlarges images in your posts and pages when a reader clicks on them. When you upload an image to your blog using the “Media>>Add New” tab in the dashboard, WordPress automatically… Read More

  • FeedWordPress

    The FeedWordPress plugin lets you include external RSS feeds into your blog post stream.   This plugin is especially useful if you teaching a course, and want to aggregate content from individual student blogs into one central post stream, where class… Read More

  • Google Calendar Events

    The Google Calendar Events plugin lets you embed one or more Google calendars into your WordPress site, displaying events in a calendar grid, or as a list.   The plugin uses feeds to aggregate events from various sources. Getting Started… Read More

  • Google Doc Shortcode

    If you are a Google Docs user, you may want to check out the plugin that Ray Hoh  developed for the Commons.  Google Docs Embed lets you embed your Google documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and forms directly into WordPress posts and… Read More

  • Grading & Assessment

    The Commons aims to support various grading methods and therefore does not offer a native grade book. However, the Commons does offer several tools for formative assessment to provide private feedback and low-stakes “grades” to students. Data about student work… Read More

  • Hypothesis

    Started in 2011, Hypothes.is is a non-profit, open source project whose goal is to create a “conversation layer over the entire web.” It is designed to work everywhere, without the implementation of any software. Using sentence-level annotation, anyone with an… Read More

  • Importing and Exporting Site Content

    As a rule, we don’t provide database and file bundles for import/export. Sites in the CUNY Academic Commons are part of a large WordPress network, and things like MySQL table prefixes, file paths, and user account IDs will not make… Read More

  • JetPack

    The Jetpack plugin is actually a bundle of plugins that have been developed for WordPress.com. Please don’t be fooled! All the plugins are free to use. Many times along the installation process, you will be encouraged to pick a premium… Read More

  • Knight Lab TimelineJS

    The Knight Lab TimelineJS  plugin is a powerful tool for creating visual timelines that can be embedded directly into your site’s pages and posts.  Each timeline entry can include (besides date and textual information), embedded images from Flickr, tweets from… Read More

  • Leaflet Maps Marker

    The Leaftlet Maps Marker is a really neat plugin that lets you easily pin, annotate, organize, and share locations using maps from Google,  Bing, and OpenStreetMap.   Using integrated address searches, you can easily locate sites, pin them with hundreds of… Read More

  • List Category Posts

    The List Category Posts plugin lets you list post metadata (and optionally, its content) from a specified category. The content can be placed in pages or posts by using short codes, or into a sidebar by using the plugin’s widget.… Read More

  • List Pages Shortcode

    The List Pages Shortcode plugin comes in handy if your site has a lot of pages and you want a quick way to make them accessible.  As its name suggests, it provides an easy-to-use shortcode with a bunch of optional… Read More

  • Meta Slider Plugin

    Meta Slider plugin is simple to use and lets you choose between four different “types” of sliders – Flex, Nivo, Coin, and Responsive. Each type is responsive, and gracefully changes sizes for different types of devices, and offers various features… Read More

  • Monster Insights (for Google Analytics)

    The Commons has the “Lite” version of the Monster Insights plugin. While it does not provide all the bells and whistles of the “Pro” version, it does a decent job of providing the metrics that you need, right on your… Read More

  • News Announcement Scroll Plugin

    The News Announcement Scroll plugin, now available on the Commons, can be used in both sidebars and on posts and pages to highlight and broadcast news.  An example of the plugin at work can be seen below, with three of… Read More

  • Next Page Buttons Plugin

    The NextPage Buttons plugin lets you break up your post or page content into pages. This is functionality that was once in WordPress core, but was removed. So use this plugin with the knowledge that it might not work forever.… Read More

  • Page Excerpt

    The Page Excerpt plugin gives pages the same excerpt functionality as posts.  Excerpts are “optional, handcrafted summaries” that can tease your readers into exploring your content further.  After installing this plugin, a new text box will be added to your… Read More

  • Page Links Plus: Single Page

    The Page Links Plus: Single Page plugin provides a powerful way to manage pagination on your site.  After installing the plugin, you will see settings that allow you to avoid breaking pages  in the middle of sentences.  You’ll have the… Read More

  • Pinterest Pinboard Widget

    Pinterest Pinboard Widget provides an easy way to integrate Pinterest content into your WordPress site.  Easy to use and to configure, the widget displays content from your Pinterest account, someone elses account, or from the generic “pinterest” account.  Clicking on… Read More

  • PressForward

    “As the pace and volume of scholarly communication increases, teachers and researchers are confronted with the need to find and share relevant, current content with their students and colleagues. PressForward, developed by the Roy Rozensweig Center for History and New… Read More

  • Q & A

    The Q & A WordPress plugin lets you easily add a configurable question & answer dialog on your site. First you create individual “FAQ” custom posts, where the post title is the question, and the post content body is the… Read More

  • Regenerate Thumbnails

    The Regenerate Thumbnails plugin comes in handy if you want to easily re-size an image’s thumbnail or a set of images’ thumbnails. Simply go to Settings>>Media and change the default size for your thumbnails. Then you have three ways to… Read More

  • Shortcodes Ultimate

      Shortcodes Ultimate is a Swiss Army knife type of plugin. It can do many things – it “is a comprehensive collection of various visual and functional elements, which you can use in the post editor, text widgets or even… Read More

  • Simple I-Paper Plugin

    Simpler iPaper Embed WordPress Plugin Want to share a PDF or PPT document with your readers without having to send an attachment via email? The Simpler iPaper plugin is an effective way to add a document to your blog posts or pages. You… Read More

  • Simple Scroll to Top

    If you have posts or pages that are long, you might want to offer your readers a way to go up to the top of the article. Yes, if you know HTML, this can be done with an anchor tag.… Read More

  • Social Sharing Buttons

    Often, site admins want to show social buttons on their sites so that readers can easily share content. There are a number of options available on the Commons to do this. Check if your theme has this functionality built in.… Read More

  • Social Stickers

    Interested in showcasing your social media networks on your site? We recommend using “Social Stickers,” a simple plugin that allows you to show which social networks you use. There are over 50 social networks to choose from, including: Twitter, Facebook,… Read More

  • Statistics For Your Site

    It’s great to quantify your readership, and there are a couple plugins on the Commons (JetPack and Monster Insights) that provide interesting statistics on your Dashboard. The Commons also supports Google Analytics, which is perhaps the most powerful metrics tracker.… Read More

  • Subscribe2 Plugin

    As you may know,  the Subscription Option WordPress plug-in as a great way to feed out your blog posts to Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and email. You can follow this link to see more information on this plug-in, and see how it generates… Read More

  • Subscription Options

      The Subscription Options plug-in is available to all Commons members from the dashboard of their blogs (just click on “Plugins” in the left-hand menu and search for “subscription options”). The plugin will help you create icons like this, which… Read More

  • Subscriptions via Jetpack

    If your site is not attached to a group and you want to notify members of new posts and comments, you can install the JetPack plugin. After activating JetPack, go to Settings>>Discussion.. Once you enable Subscriptions, all members of your… Read More

  • Super RSS Reader

    Super RSS Reader is a widget that can easily be placed in your sidebar to display up to five different feeds in a single area. Each feed appears as a tab, and you can easily control how many items are… Read More

  • Text Expander Plugin

    “Text Expander” is a simple and handy tool that lets you toggle back and forth between showing and hiding a chunk of content on your post or page. Once you activate the plugin, you will notice a new icon (circled… Read More

  • The Commons Plugin Director

    WordPress plugins extend the functionality of your site. They are add-on bits of code that let you do neat things. Follow this link for general information about plugins, and see Tweaking Your Site for a listing of popular WordPress plugins… Read More

  • Widget Context

    The Widget Context WordPress plugin provides extra control over sidebar widgets. It is really useful for selectively displaying certain widgets in the sidebar on only specific pages. This is helpful for drawing the focus to content on your content pages and filling the sidebar with social media on the blog page. Though it works well it follows a logic that is…well…hardly logical. Continue reading Read More

  • WIKI INC

    Using the WordPress plug-in “WIKI INC” you can include wiki content in your blog post or page. After installing, on your post or page edit screen, scroll down to the Wiki Inc section and fill in the wiki site (must be MediaWiki sites like Wikipedia) and the name of the wiki page Continue reading Read More

  • WordPress Google Fonts

    The WP Google Fonts plugin is a great way to add different fonts to your site. Many premium themes provide built in font functionality, making this plugin unnecessary.  But for many standard themes, you’ll need a plugin like this one… Read More

  • WPDiscuz

    The WPDiscuz plugin super-charges the way comments work on your WordPress site,. It enhances your users’ discussion experience and keeps them engaged by offering multiple ways to embed images, videos, social icons, and text. There are three colorful layouts to… Read More

  • Yoast WordPress SEO

    Yoast WordPress SEO is a powerful plugin that helps improve the chances that your site’s content will be discovered by search engines. The plugin “goes the extra mile” to make your WordPress content more accessible. It automatically adds OpenGraph meta… Read More

The EmbedPress plugin claims to be able to embed content from over 100 sources, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and a host of others. It will embed PPTsm PDFs, Docx, and many other types of files.

Once you’ve activated the plugin, you will see “EmbedPress” option on your dashboard. Here you can simply paste in the URL of your content and hit generate. If you are able to embed it, you will see the shortcode is automatically created. just paste it into your post or block.

 

EmbedPress also integrates nicely with the Block Editor. Select the EmbedPress block, paste in the url, and hit embed:If EmbedPress

If EmbedPress doesn’t work for your content, check out Embedding Content From Other Sites for alternatives.

There are almost 8,000 sites on the Commons and the Sites Directory lets members filter the list by Keyword, Campus, Purpose, and Tags.

Filters narrow search results – they have an implicit “and” condition. However, both the Campus and Purpose filters allow you to pick more than one option. So within these filters there is an “or” condition.  So if you check “BMCC” and “Baruch” in the Campus filter and “Class Project” and “Committee” in the Purpose filter you will display all sites from BMCC OR Baruch AND with a class project OR committee purpose.

If no filters are entered, you will see four “Featured” sites, followed by the last active sites on the Commons. Once a filter is applied, the “Featured sites” section will not display.

The filtered list can then be sorted by Last Active, Newest, or Alphabetical.

To remove all filters, simply click on the “Reset” button.

If you are logged into the Commons, you can also:

  • filter search results by “My Sites” or the sites you follow
  • filter search results by the sites you are following (“My Sites“)
  • use the convenient “Create a Site” hyperlink to create a site
  • Follow” a Site. Once you follow a site, it will appear in the “Following” list and on My Commons.

Site metadata can be set up at site creation, or edited from the WordPress Dashboard at Settings>>General.

Site avatars can be added at Appearance>>Customize>>Site Identity. Here you can add an avatar which will replace the default. If you are an admin of a site and the site is in your search results and it is using a default avatar, you can click the paint brush icon on the bottom right corner of the card to add a new avatar.

Please note that sites have several layers of visibility. If the site is visible only to its administrators, it will only appear in the list if you are an admin of the site. If the site is only visible to logged-in members, it will only appear in the list if you are logged into the Commons. If the site is totally public, it will always appear.

 

 

 

The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to be called the blog roll), in which posts are listed in reverse data order. But the query loop is a post page on steroids – it can be added to a post, page, template, or reusable block. You can control which fields you want to show and how many items you want to display, both per page and in total.

Courtsey of WordPress.org

As you can see, the block can be added like any other block. In the example above, the short cut “/q” is used to quickly access add the block.

Next, you decide how you want to display the results of your query. This can be done with the forward and backward arrows, with the screen icon, or with the grid icon. In any case, you choose which template you want to use, such as Standard, Image at Right, Small image and title, Grid, Offset, and Large Title.

You can also just start out blank. If you choose blank you will be given four basic variations, seen in the video below:

Courtesy of WordPress.org

No matter which way you start, you can always click List View later to change things around.

The Query Loop block has many settings to use to control what is displayed:

Additional settings can be found in the block’s toolbar.

Here are found setting to control how many post you want to show, how many should appear on a page (for pagination), and offset. Offset is the number of posts to skip before beginning the loop.

Block Editing Resources On The Commons

  • Query Loop Block

    The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to… Read More

  • Reusable Blocks

    If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block. Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block… Read More

  • Block Libraries

    Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list On the Commons, we now have two… Read More

  • Block Patterns

    Get a head start on your page design. Copy a pattern and paste it into your content wherever you want it to appear. Then customize it – change the text, images, colors, etc. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editor’s “List View”

    “List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar. Continue reading Read More

  • Full Site Editing

    Full Site Editing (“FSE”) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works. A good understanding how templates are used in WordPress. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editing

    The Block Editor is now the default editor on the Commons and we hope you use it. It is the future for WordPress. Continue reading Read More

FYI – This is a Reusable Bock built with a Query Loop.

If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block.

Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block and got the format exactly like you want, save it as a reusable block:

Making a Block Reusable:

But be careful. Unlike Block Patterns, if you change anything within a Resusable Block, all the blocks will reflect this change.

Using a Reusable Block on another post

The block below is Reusable Block, built with a Query Loop block. It displays title and excerpt from pages tagged “block editing.”

Block Editing Resources On The Commons

  • Query Loop Block

    The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to… Read More

  • Reusable Blocks

    If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block. Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block… Read More

  • Block Libraries

    Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list On the Commons, we now have two… Read More

  • Block Patterns

    Get a head start on your page design. Copy a pattern and paste it into your content wherever you want it to appear. Then customize it – change the text, images, colors, etc. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editor’s “List View”

    “List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar. Continue reading Read More

  • Full Site Editing

    Full Site Editing (“FSE”) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works. A good understanding how templates are used in WordPress. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editing

    The Block Editor is now the default editor on the Commons and we hope you use it. It is the future for WordPress. Continue reading Read More

FYI – This is a Reusable Bock built with a Query Loop.