Some people like to have their header art or banners change with every page reload, making their site look different on each page visit. Some people want to showcase their artwork or photography by having a image change randomly as a visitor moves through the site. Others want to feature posts from the past or random posts on the front page of their blog to bring some attention back to your past posts. And then there are the famous quotes. We bloggers just love adding random quotes to our blogs.
If you are one of those blogging people who love randomness, here is how you can randomize the banners, header art, images, quotes, posts, and more on your blog with WordPress Plugins as part of the month long series on WordPress Plugins.
I also covered a lot of WordPress Plugins that feature images in random ways in WordPress Plugins for Images, Photographs, and Graphics, random posts in Blog Navigation WordPress Plugins: Related, Recent, Most Popular Posts and More, and random comments in WordPress Plugins for Comments. You can find plenty more random and randomizing WordPress Plugins in the Randomness Plugins on WP-Plugins.net.
For tips on installing any of these WordPress Plugins, see How to Install, Configure, and Use WordPress Plugins.
Random Images WordPress Plugins
Random images are one of the most popular methods of using random features on most blogs. An easy-to-use script or Plugin would allow you to put all your images into a single directory, and then the script would randomly display the images only within that directory, similar to the “Eye Candy” image I use in this blog’s sidebar. The image is created by putting the link to the script in a text widget, and the link initiates the script when the page loads, changing images with each refresh or page load.
You can use this method as a background image in your stylesheet, too. Just put in the link as you would any other graphic link. When the page reloads, the image changes automatically. It’s a simple but great method to show off your images in a small way.
Others are more sophisticated, so experiment to see which works for you. Take care to make sure these will work in the latest version of WordPress.
Header Image Rotator WordPress Plugin allows you to add an unlimited number of header images in just about any file type. You can control the rotation intervals precisely, even to changing daily or weekly. Images can be previewed and deleted from the Administration Panels.
Here are some other random image WordPress Plugins that will rotate image and graphic ads and banners:
- Photomatt’s Random Image Rotator
- Random File WordPress Plugin
- Andersdrengen – Randomizer WordPress Plugin
Random Posts, Past Posts, A Step Back in Time
While some blog posts are timely and only apply to the hear and now, many bloggers write worthwhile material that has years and years of life. So why not reach back into the archives and dust off some old posts with a random post generating WordPress Plugin.
In Blog Navigation WordPress Plugins: Related, Recent, Most Popular Posts and More, I mention several WordPress Plugins which give you the ability to highlight random posts from within your blog. The Customizable Post Listings WordPress Plugin (explained in the Customizable Post Listings WordPress Plugin Guide) and the Random Posts Plugin displays a random list of posts to help give exposure to your past posts, as does Archivist WordPress Plugin, a favorite of mine which you can learn more about on Revitalizing Your Blog’s Past Posts.
Other random or “from the past” post generating WordPress Plugins include:
Random Categories with Random Posts WordPress Plugin displays a random category from your blog categories, and with it, brings a list of a few posts within that category.
Random Post Link Plugin puts a button or link on your sidebar that, when clicked, takes the visitor to a random post on your blog.
You can also have fun with random links in your blogroll. Randomized Blogroll and Get Random Links From Link Manager WordPress Plugin mix up your blogroll link list.
Random Link Button WordPress Plugin adds a button with a link to your blog that directs the visitor to a different random site off your blog each time pressed. The list of random locations is in your Blogroll list. This could be a fun way of surprising visitors with new great blog reads.
Random Quotes and Text
I love quotes. I’ve been collecting them since I was a small child. I’m sure there is a room in hell filled with tiny scraps of paper with scribbled clever sayings, witty references, and brilliant bursts of literacy just for me. One of my favorites I collected as a teenager still stumps me, but I love it: Ice cream don’t grow hair.
It was natural for me to want to feature random quotes on my WordPress blog, as it is for many. In the beginning, there was only one WordPress Plugin that offered the ability to easily add random text to your blog, Witty Text. Development on that has stopped and I finally found WP Random Quotes Generator by Dustin Barnes. It is very easy to use and allows adding and controlling your random quotes or text from the WordPress Administration Panels. It features a lot of options to configure your random quotes. You can then add the Plugin template tag to your WordPress Theme to put the random text in your header, footer, sidebar, or wherever you want.
The problem I faced switching Plugins was that all my wonderful quotes were in a CSV text file and now they had to get into the WordPress database. I describe the solution to importing my quotes into the database in Importing Quotes Into the Random Quote Generator WordPress Plugin – WP-Quotes.
There is now a WordPress Widget for WP-Quotes – Random Quote Widget For WordPress.
Now, there are many choices for adding quotes to your WordPress blog.
JPF Quotes WordPress Plugin displays random quotes with an image, possibly of the person saying the quote, on your WordPress blog. It includes quotes and images from The Simpsons television show to get you started.
Randomize WordPress Plugin allows you to create any random content on your blog such as quotes, images, header art, random links, or whatever. It is customizable and can be split into categories so you can use multiple versions of this Plugin on your blog.
Random File WordPress Plugin retrieves the name of a randomly chosen file in specific directory and displays the contents. This is great or displaying random images, graphics, or text into your blog.
Quotesfromcsv WordPress Plugin displays random text from a CSV text file, similar to Witty Text Plugin.
Other random quote Plugins include:
- WP RandomQuotes WordPress Plugin
- DonkieQuote WordPress Plugin
- Yet Another Random Quote WordPress Plugin
There are a variety of WordPress Plugins which pull quotes and verses from a variety of external sources to display in your WordPress blog. Examples include:
- Quotation WordPress Plugin grabs a quote from The Quotations Page
- Quotation Plugin by David Hopkins also pulls quotes from The Quotations Page
- Deep Thoughts Daily WordPress Plugin pulls quotes from a Saturday Night Live comedian
- Proverb of the Day WordPress Plugin pulls proverb quotes from the Plugin author’s collection
- Lazarus Long Quotations WordPress Plugin
There are also many religious quote generators for putting a little God into your WordPress blog in the Randomness Plugins category on WP-Plugins.net.
Random Words WordPress Plugin changes the text in your blog comment’s which says “Lorelle says” to “Lorelle adds”, “Lorelle thinks”, or even “Lorelle is speaking here – listen up!” Want to add some random comment verbs to your blog comments to spice up the blog conversation, this is ideal.
There are a ton of random content generating WordPress Plugins out there. Do you have a favorite or two? What do you like to randomize on your WordPress blog?
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