New WordPress LDS Scripture Linker Plugin for Bloggers

Example of a popup using the new WordPress LDS Scripture Linker Plugin by DearScriptures.com

Example of a popup using the new WordPress LDS Scripture Linker Plugin by DearScriptures.com

For some time I’ve been using the excellent LDS Linker WordPress plugin, developed by Joey Day, to automatically link all scripture references on TempleStudy.com directly to the Church’s online scriptures at scriptures.lds.org.  It worked very well, and continues to be one of the most popular WordPress plugins for LDS bloggers to link their scripture references to the online scriptures.

Recently I was thinking how much easier it would be to just hover your mouse over a scripture reference and see a popup with the scripture reference written out.  It would make reading the scripture references that much quicker in a blog post, rather than clicking a link to another site. 

A couple months ago I began some conversations with Steven Lloyd, developer of DearScriptures.com, the same person who developed the ability to search the scriptures via instant messaging (a feature I use often).  He began work on a WordPress plugin that would give LDS bloggers the ability to have scripture reference popups on their blogs.  Over the last month Steven has worked hard on the plugin.  He asked me for feedback, and I gave him some tips and suggestions along the way.

I’m pleased to announce that the LDS Scripture Linker plugin for WordPress blogs is now available for download and use.  Here is what the plugin does:

  1. Any scripture references written in a blog post are automatically converted into a link when published.
  2. The link contains a hidden popup with the scripture reference written out in full.
  3. When you mouseover the link, the popup appears, displaying the scripture.
  4. When you move your mouse away, the popup disappears.
  5. (If you want the popup to stay, such as when you want to scroll longer references, click on the link.  To make it disappear, click on the “close” link.)

Below are a few examples of what this plugin can do.  The scripture references below were written out normally, without any linking or anything else done before being published.  The plugin does all of the fancy work.  Move your mouse over the references to see the popup of the scripture.  For longer references, click on the link, which will make the popup stick, and you can then scroll the reference; use the “close” link to close the popup.  (Note: This functionality only works if you are viewing the post on the website, and will not show in an email or RSS feed).

As you can see, you can string multiple references together, in different parts of the same chapter, or different chapters of the same book.  You can write out the scripture books in full, or use the standard abbreviations.  Even entire chapters are linkable.

The plugin also includes several customizable options on the administration interface:

  • Customize the link hover color
  • Customize the link click color (for references over 1000 characters)
  • Customize the border color (IE only)
  • Customize the scripture reference box background color
  • Underline or not the scripture links
  • Index the scripture reference text in full on Google, or not

I am very pleased with the work Steven Lloyd of DearScriptures.com has done with this plugin.  I am now using this new scripture linker plugin across all of TempleStudy.com.  It is particularly useful in posts which deal with the scriptures heavily, such as Matthew B. Brown’s excellent guest post about D&C 124.  Check out that post for a great example of this plugin in action.

I hope this plugin provides more value to you here on TempleStudy.com, and across the Bloggernacle where it’s used.  What are your thoughts about this new feature?  Any tips or suggestions?  Please tell us in the comments below.

4 Comments

  1. Posted January 12, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Wow. That’s nice. Saves all the time of doing links manually. I’ve put it on my blog and will play around with it for a while to see if I like it.

  2. Posted January 12, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Pretty Cool.

    As a heads up, I updated my blog to 2.9.1 just after installing this and I ran into the blank admin pages. I narrowed things down to this plugin, then narrowed things down to carriage returns after the final ?> in your php file. I removed those and things appear to be back to good.

  3. Posted January 14, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The plugin has been updated several times in the last few days. Update to the newest version for the latest enhancements and bug fixes.

  4. Antony
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    It looks good. Suggestions:
    1. Verse Numbers hyperlinked to the the scripture in context (link through to scriptures.lds.org for example).
    2. The ability to drag the box into the place you want, useful when you want the text on screen while reading the post and you need to move the box out of the way.

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