Archive for the ‘Widgets’ Category

While developers may love diving under the hood, those are usually marketing people who end up using content management systems and paying money for web design agencies. And so great content management systems must be built with the actual content managers in mind first. One of such systems is ImpressPages.

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SoundCloud is an awesome application with a huge music library and it has multiple ways for integrating any selected tracks to websites.

Stratus, a free-to-use and jQuery-powered widget, offers an alternative and tight integration with a player that can sit in the bottom or top of web pages.

The widget accepts any number of tracks, sets, users or groups to play, can be set to auto-play and has an optional animation on initial load.

Stratus SoundCloud Player

There are controls for volume, sharing, commenting/favoriting and a pop-up player link exists so that users changing pages won’t lose the tracks.

Besides mentioning the tracks/sets as a list, adding a custom class to any SoundCloud link also works (handy for websites with lots of SoundCloud links) and the player can be skinned with CSS.

Most of the websites include social networking widgets like Facebook “Like” or Twitter’s “tweet” buttons that ease sharing of the content.

The major drawback with the widgets is the performance loss due to the multiple requests made and files loaded.

SocialCount, a jQuery plugin, with only ~3kb in size (minified-gzipped) and provides a much lighter solution for them.

SocialCount jQuery Plugin

It has support for Facebook, Twitter and Google+, doesn’t auto-load the widgets and only loads them when user hovers the related widget which ends up in lots of performance and speed gain.

In total, the plugin makes 1 JS request, 1 CSS request, 1 optional request for icons and 1 optional AJAX request for counts (compared to 25 total requests for Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus widgets)

SocialCount works with mouse, touchscreen or keyboard and comes in multiple sizes.

Literally Canvas is an open source HTML5 widget, which can be integrated into any page, for enabling users to draw online.

It comes with a simple set of tools including draw, erase, color-picker, undo, redo, pan and zoom.

Literally Canvas

The widget is built with jQuery + Underscore.js and has an API to define the background color, tools and dimensions.

Also, an export function exists for easily pulling the drawn canvas as an image file.

shareNice is an open source social sharing widget -similar to AddThis or ShareThis- for adding sharing features to any website easily.

It focuses on the privacy of users, doesn't place any cookies or share any information with 3rd party services.

There is built-in support for most of the popular social websites (Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, etc.) and, considering the source is available, new ones can be added (or removed).


It is possible to customize the services to be displayed, color-scheme, icon sizes and the label ("share" by default).

P.S. shareNice is also available as a free-to-use service.