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Create Your Own Frontpage Slideshow

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The folks over at PerfectSurf.de have published a tutorial which goes into detail on how you can create your own personal slideshow to appear on the frontpage of your WordPress powered site. This slideshow feature has been seen in numerous premium themes as of late and now you can create one for yourself via this tutorial. A slideshow is great for showcasing images within a gallery or showing off images related to top news items on your blog. The tutorial is not meant for beginners, but those of you who understand terms such as The Loop, excerpt and permalink, you should be fine.

There are some caveats to this process which are outlined in the requirements:

There are many ways of embedding slideshows to your website. This tutorial is based on a WordPress 2.5 installation (with some files customized and of course all files updated that were critical in WP2.5 concerning security issues!). Moreover you need to BUY a plugin that was originally developed for “Joomla!”, which is an open source Content Management System (CMS). The plugin is called “frontpage slideshow version 1.6? (FPSS) and it was transformed by its creators into a so called “static version” that fits into ALL websites that are PHP-based.

After going through the tutorial, you’ll notice that you need to change the slideshow file manually in order to update the content the links within the slideshow point to. This seems like a mundane approach. I believe this can be done via custom fields but I’d like to know what other ways this effect can be accomplished without having to purchase anything and without having to manually update the slideshow?

*NOTE* Tobi of the perfectsurf website left a note in the comments regarding this post:

No need to buy the FPSS anymore. I made a new plugin out of Jason Schuller’s FCG plugin, I called it FCS (Featured Category Slideshow) You find everythin at perfectsurf.de/category/fcs (by now, take the first post)

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  1. JamieO (5 comments.) says:

    You can do a lot of this with jQuery and some planning. I did a prototype of Fading Light Box which does rotating image links that you could include in your landing page template. Samples of actual implementation based on it: Renco.ca or Nostalgic Arts. In each case, the site owner decides what images are displayed by updating the contents an unordered list in a page through the admin panel.

    Creating an equivelent that pulls full content (rather than just images) wouldn’t be that much more effort I suspect.

  2. Neil (30 comments.) says:

    This is defo worth a look for those of you needing so tips on how to make it look good. Net magazine is a great place for tutorials on everything to do with web design and stuff like this, maybe worth having a look at too.

  3. tobi (3 comments.) says:

    Hey,

    please see my new plugin. No need to buy the FPSS anymore. I made a new plugin out of Jason Schuller’s FCG plugin, I called it FCS (Featured Category Slideshow)

    You find everythin at perfectsurf.de/category/fcs (by now, take the first post)

    Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask.

    tobi

  4. Nicolas (4 comments.) says:

    Check out this plugin…does the same thing and you have a admin page to manage the content.

    http://www.wpelements.com/2008.....ry-plugin/

  5. tobi (3 comments.) says:

    Hey Nicolas,

    yap, thats Jason Schuller’s Plugin. It’s really great! I modded it, so that it now also takes the content directly from wordpress (The 4 newest posts of a category chosen by the author). There is no need to use the options page for that anymore. I’m planning to enhance the features a bit as demanded by the users. By now FCS is still version 0.2, so it’s in a very early stage of development (Useable though, I hope ;))

  6. Nicolas (4 comments.) says:

    Well, I like the way you changed/enhanced the Plugin. Still I do like the admin page but I guess this depends on how often you change your feature posts content. From reading the comments on your site…I just wanted to add the Plugin is now free of charge.

  7. tobi (3 comments.) says:

    Hey,

    Nicolas, you’re absolutely right of course. My modifications to the FCG Plugin do not fit to anybodies needs. Many people just use the slideshow in a totally different way than I do. For those users, the administration of the content of the slideshow in the options-page of the plugin makes complete sense ;-).

    My version is more orientated to the users that use the slideshow to present blog-content (i.e. posts) in a CMS-styled way. My whole WP-Theme is very CMS’ish, so I liked the idea of showing the four newest posts of my “Top-News” Category in the slideshow, to use as less space as possible to present the most information as possible.

    Perhaps I’ll enhance the plugin so that the user can choose whether he wants to feed the slideshow dynamically or manually. But as you can see, I don’t even use “my” (it’s Jasons’s still, he should be awarded the credits!) FCS plugin myself, cause the FPSS-plugin works fine for me, so it may take some time to add those functions to the plugin…

  8. Nicolas (4 comments.) says:

    What I especially like on your version is the navigation. I actually would love to see a way to choose between a few options of how the navigation should show.

    I’m no programmer and it’s already taking some time to develop a new and needed redesign for my blog. And trying to implement the FPSS-plugin will certainly not shorten this process.

    I really like the “page numbers” you use instead of the top bar in the original Plugin. I started working on it and the results I get are getting better but having an actual choice would be sweat!

    I hope we’ll see a lot more of those Plugins because that’s probably the way WP Theme’s are going to look in the near feature.

    I’ll check on your Plugin and how the development goes…might be an option to consider for me.

  9. Mosey says:

    I was actually going to purchase the original plugin, because I thought it looked uber useful (even if I’m not that familiar with custom fields) but thank you for the alternative! :)

  10. ajua (19 comments.) says:

    The alternative plugin looks great. However, we need to play it in order to insert where we want in our themes.

    Thanks for the information.

  11. Epic Alex (18 comments.) says:

    Hey, I recently wrote a tutorial on how to do this from scratch, no plugins required. It uses custom fields for the images, and a tiny javascript for the effect, no library needed.
    Check it out: http://epicalex.com/creating-d.....ent-posts/

  12. udin (1 comments.) says:

    I don’t know how to use this plugin, because i haven’t yet a slide show :P

  13. Boris (3 comments.) says:

    jQuerys Cycle plugin plus a custom query loop and you’re all set with your own slideshow…

  14. Sue (4 comments.) says:

    Re: Comment 11 from Epic Alex. I used his method and I find it far superior to what’s here. I put it in the sidebar, and although I couldn’t use the excerpt portion of it (due to a plugin I have), I am extremely pleased with it. For those that come into my site on a single post, it’s been a great way to draw them in deeper, to click on my recent featured posts, which they wouldn’t otherwise see.

    It does require some knowledge of CSS and a willingness to edit your theme files, but I personally think it’s the best. Alex, thank you again!

  15. Phil Barron (7 comments.) says:

    Echoing Sue’s comment: Epic Alex’s Crossfader-based approach is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Draws content dynamically, no need for essentially posting twice via a plugin settings admin, and through a little CSS/tag editing I can preserve the original look of my blog’s layout. Many thanks, Alex!

  16. jon says:

    wow, nice! great tip

  17. Riza (1 comments.) says:

    Usually use custom post type for my wordpress theme



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