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The Best Plugins for Gaming Websites

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Website owners will understand the importance of plugins. They improve the gamer’s user experience on your website, but they can also cause harm by allowing visitors to access information that should not be available. Plugins are programs written by developers (like you!) that enhance the functionality of a web browser.

Some famous types of plugins include Flash, Java, and HTML5. There are also many different uses for tech in game development including viewing videos or games, listening to music, or using complex program-like functions like Skype.

However, since multiple websites use their plugin, there are significant compatibility problems with specific browsing software (or ‘web browsers’).

Compatibility problems mean if you have two sites that require two completely different plugins, they might not work together! A good example of this is playing online poker on a site that uses Java to let you play cards – but your web browser does not have the java plugin installed.

The best plugins for gaming websites will allow you to build a website that can work with others and enhance user experience, creating an unforgettable online powerhouse. An excellent example of this is myCRED, BadgeOS, MoolaMojo, and WP User Achievements, all of which use different gamification methods to make things are more fun by rewarding users for positive actions with unique items or privileges. The groundwork has been laid out for you! It is up to your imagination as to what kind of rewards your gamers demand!

If this sounds like hard work, then don’t worry – there are also plenty of plugins available for those who wish for something simple, not too much extra work. Examples of this are already on the list below with GamiPress and BadgeOS.

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Gaming websites should also be aware that plugins are added to their page through third-party content, the same way online games are played, meaning these can come from anywhere. It is essential to check everything before publishing it on your website! With all this said, there is no excuse not to have a great gaming website that you can fully control using plugins today!

What is Gamification?

What is it, and how can gamification benefit you? Gamification is the new wave in online games, rewarding users for positive actions or interactions on a website to encourage competition and create a sense of community between gamers!

Here are some examples of gamification plugins that enable you to do this on your website today!

GamiPress allows users to earn points on their site, which players can then use to purchase special features or unlock new areas of your site. Gamers can use this plugin on WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla!

myCRED is an addon that gives you 12 different gamification tools such as badges and levels, to award players for specific tasks. It also allows leaderboards, so users know who the best gamers are!

BadgeOS is a simple tool for creating and managing rewards or achievements on your website. You get basic tools for all your needs, and it is easy to use with no coding knowledge required!

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MoolaMojo provides 4 unique ways to reward users: money, prizes, and special treatment, giving even more options than GamiPress and BadgeOS combined!

BePro Points offers a straightforward alternative for BadgeOS and MoolaMojo, which provides a unique feature of allowing users to trade points for cash!

Captain Up is the third gamification plugin on this list that allows users to earn reward points, get badges and unlock special features and contests! This plugin works best on WordPress.

WPAchievements is a free gamification plugin built specifically for WordPress. If you don’t want to pay or create your custom badges, Captain Up provides an easy way to make them online – it has over 300 available right now.

User Badges WP User Achievements Plugin creates more than just badges – with 48 different things that gamers can earn on your websites, such as trophies, coins, and gold stars, you are sure to find something suitable for everyone.

Marketing Automation by AZEXO is ideal for those who need even more features than the previous plugins. It isn’t free, but it offers so much choice and variety to help you market your site – choose between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, or RSS feeds!

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KingSumo Giveaway is a plugin that allows you to create and host your very own giveaways on your website. It’s easy to set up and comes packed with features! You can choose between any kind of giveaway to suit your website, including photo contests, quiz competitions, or even simple surveys.

Open Badge Factory provides an online which supports the creation of badges. OBF is an excellent choice if you want to run a campaign but don’t want to create badges by hand!

Learning Management System – Moodle Plugin allows you to integrate your favorite gamification plugins into your LMS platform for incentives for achievements. It is simple to use and even has social media integration!

Gamification plugins offer an easy way to provide excellent content on your website, keeping users engaged and creating a sense of community where every user feels welcome.

Advantages of Gamification

The advantages of gamification are not limited to what you can get out of it yourself – it helps your website appear more engaging for users. Users remember gamification and come back again and again because they feel like a part of the community and enjoy having fun while using your website!

Reddit an Example

For example, Reddit started as a small site where users could post links and comments but soon evolved into one of the most influential websites, with over 1 million subreddits currently available. Growth has happened because Reddit allows its users to upvote or downvote content to promote quality posts or remove spammy ones that they don’t want to see. Other features include unique pages called “subreddits” where people can post all sorts of topics such as food, travel, music, and art.

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Another reason why Reddit is such a success is how it uses gamification. There are countless awards that Reddit users can get for making the site popular, known as “Karma.” For example, getting 1 Karma means you’ve made one post or comment, and 10 Karma means your post has received ten upvotes. Karma encourages people to post and submit more high-quality content to gain more Karma which helps with SEO and subsequently the site will get more recognition.

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Coworking with Elina Vilk

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Each week, we spotlight Marketing Brew readers in our Coworking series. If you’d like to be featured, introduce yourself here.

Elina Vilk is CMO of Hootsuite. She was previously CMO of WooCommerce. Prior to that, she served as head of global small business marketing at Facebook, and she held marketing roles at PayPal and eBay.

What’s your favorite ad campaign? I personally love Febreeze’s #Noseblind campaign—a perfect example of customer-driven innovation. Febreeze hired a number of agencies to do a deep analysis of why sales were dropping. They found that most consumers only used Febreeze before company comes over. Febreeze took those customer insights and packaged that customer behavior into their #Noseblind campaign, which ultimately increased their sales. People resonated with the campaign because it was true to when and why they use the product. “Got Milk?” is also another great brand example of a campaign that practiced customer-driven empathy and innovation. They conducted in-home interviews and discovered that it was actually the absence of milk that fueled people to buy more milk. Extracting those insights became a huge part of the campaign’s success.

One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile: I really love to laugh. I play a lot of pranks on people, and laughter is a large part of my day-to-day life in the workplace. I also treasure authenticity and love real people. Though there’s nothing wrong with being a morning person, you’ll never find me waking up at 5am, doing a morning workout routine, having a well-balanced meal, and starting work at 6am. We spend so much of our time at work, and being authentic to myself is something that I’ll always advocate for myself and my team to be.

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What marketing trend are you most optimistic about? Least? The marketing trend I’m most optimistic about is content marketing. People are starting to see the power content marketing has in its ability to engage, educate, and build meaningful relationships with a target audience. Social media intelligence is another trend I’m excited about. Pulling metrics such as positive and negative engagements, interactions and shares on social can provide a blueprint around who your top buyers (or detractors) are and who your ideal customer is. Social is also the place where your detractors will be vocal about your shortcomings—instead of viewing this as a negative, it’s an opportunity to garner early reads on product improvements, customer service, and the overall customer experience.

The marketing trends that I am least optimistic about are last-click attribution and return on ad spend (ROAS). While I see high value in these metrics, many marketers get caught up in solely measuring these two points as they show the highest ROI. I find that focusing just on SEM utilizes only part of your marketing stack and misses the whole picture. If all we did was invest in SEM and not content marketing, we wouldn’t have any branded demand at all. If content marketing is done correctly, it fuels SEM.

What’s one marketing-related podcast/social account/series you’d recommend? One leader that I admire and follow on social media is Simon Sinek. He’s devoted his career to inspiring people to do the things that inspire them—ultimately leading to a better culture and a better world. I love his approach to encouraging leaders to think about the why versus the what behind their organization.

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Welcome to a More Powerful WP-Admin Experience – WordPress.com News

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Welcome to a More Powerful WP-Admin Experience – WordPress.com News

The wp-admin experience you know and love comes to WordPress.com.

As Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg teased in a January blog post, our team at WordPress.com is working hard to enhance our developer experience. Improving what you see in your dashboard when you log into WordPress.com is one of our biggest goals.

Today, we’re excited to unveil a more powerful wp-admin experience (if you know, you know), which will soon be available to all sites on Creator and Entrepreneur plans. Read on to find out how to get early access.

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Don’t call it a comeback

For many years, the default view for WordPress.com users has been a modernized, more friendly version of the classic WordPress experience. Around the office, we call this interface “Calypso.” It offers sleek post/page management, easy profile edits, built-in tips and resources for starting or growing your site, and more.

While the Calypso interface is ideal for some folks, we’ve heard from a lot of developers that you’d prefer easy access to the classic WordPress dashboard experience. So, we’re doing just that by making it possible for wp-admin to be the default view when you log in. 

Our mission here is to empower our power users—those on Creator and Entrepreneur plans—to leverage WordPress to its fullest. This update promises:

  • Enhanced flexibility: Tailor your interface to seamlessly match your workflow.
  • A familiar, WordPress-centric experience: Enjoy an interface that feels right at home, mirroring the robust capabilities you expect from other WordPress hosts.
  • Superior management for complex sites: Handle sophisticated sites and client projects with ease.

While this initial launch is for Creator and Entrepreneur subscribers, our commitment extends to all WordPress.com users. We’re excited about the possibility of expanding these features to everyone in the future. 

Join the early access list

To access the wp-admin interface you know and love, please join our email list below to be considered for early access.

And stay tuned for even more updates coming your way, including a few menu and navigation changes that you won’t want to miss.


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How We Built a New Home for WordPress.com Developers Using the Twenty Twenty-Four Theme – WordPress.com News

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In the last few weeks, our team here at WordPress.com has rebuilt developer.wordpress.com from the ground up. If you build or design websites for other people, in any capacity, bookmark this site. It’s your new home for docs, resources, the latest news about developer features, and more. 

Rather than creating a unique, custom theme, we went all-in on using Twenty Twenty-Four, which is the default theme for all WordPress sites. 

That’s right, with a combination of built-in Site Editor functionalities and traditional PHP templates, we were able to create a site from scratch to house all of our developer resources. 

Below, I outline exactly how our team did it.

A Twenty Twenty-Four Child Theme

The developer.wordpress.com site has existed for years, but we realized that it needed an overhaul in order to modernize the look and feel of the site with our current branding, as well as accommodate our new developer documentation

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You’ll probably agree that the site needed a refresh; here’s what developer.wordpress.com looked like two weeks ago:

Once we decided to redesign and rebuild the site, we had two options: 1) build it entirely from scratch or 2) use an existing theme. 

We knew we wanted to use Full Site Editing (FSE) because it would allow us to easily use existing patterns and give our content team the best writing and editing experience without them having to commit code.

We considered starting from scratch and using the official “Create Block Theme” plugin. Building a new theme from scratch is a great option if you need something tailored to your specific needs, but Twenty Twenty-Four was already close to what we wanted, and it would give us a headstart because we can inherit most styles, templates, and code from the parent theme.

We quickly decided on a hybrid theme approach: we would use FSE as much as possible but still fall back to CSS and classic PHP templates where needed (like for our Docs custom post type).

With this in mind, we created a minimal child theme based on Twenty Twenty-Four.

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Spin up a scaffold with @wordpress/create-block

We initialized our new theme by running npx @wordpress/create-block@latest wpcom-developer

This gave us a folder with example code, build scripts, and a plugin that would load a custom block.

If you only need a custom block (not a theme), you’re all set.

But we’re building a theme here! Let’s work on that next.

Modify the setup into a child theme

First, we deleted wpcom-developer.php, the file responsible for loading our block via a plugin. We also added a functions.php file and a style.css file with the expected syntax required to identify this as a child theme. 

Despite being a CSS file, we’re not adding any styles to the style.css file. Instead, you can think of it like a documentation file where Template: twentytwentyfour specifies that the new theme we’re creating is a child theme of Twenty Twenty-Four.

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/*
Theme Name: wpcom-developer
Theme URI: https://developer.wordpress.com
Description: Twenty Twenty-Four Child theme for Developer.WordPress.com
Author: Automattic
Author URI: https://automattic.com
Template: twentytwentyfour
Version: 1.0.0
*/

We removed all of the demo files in the “src” folder and added two folders inside: one for CSS and one for JS, each containing an empty file that will be the entry point for building our code.

The theme folder structure now looked like this:

A WordPress child theme folder structure

The build scripts in @wordpress/create-block can build SCSS/CSS and TS/JS out of the box. It uses Webpack behind the scenes and provides a standard configuration. We can extend the default configuration further with custom entry points and plugins by adding our own webpack.config.js file. 

By doing this, we can:

  1. Build specific output files for certain sections of the site. In our case, we have both PHP templates and FSE templates from both custom code and our parent Twenty Twenty-Four theme. The FSE templates need minimal (if any) custom styling (thanks to theme.json), but our developer documentation area of the site uses a custom post type and page templates that require CSS.
  2. Remove empty JS files after building the *.asset.php files. Without this, an empty JS file will be generated for each CSS file.

Since the build process in WordPress Scripts relies on Webpack, we have complete control over how we want to modify or extend the build process. 

Next, we installed the required packages:

​​npm install path webpack-remove-empty-scripts --save-dev

Our webpack.config.js ended up looking similar to the code below. Notice that we’re simply extending the defaultConfig with a few extra properties.

Any additional entry points, in our case src/docs, can be added as a separate entry in the entry object.

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// WordPress webpack config.
const defaultConfig = require( '@wordpress/scripts/config/webpack.config' );

// Plugins.
const RemoveEmptyScriptsPlugin = require( 'webpack-remove-empty-scripts' );

// Utilities.
const path = require( 'path' );

// Add any new entry points by extending the webpack config.
module.exports = {
	...defaultConfig,
	...{
		entry: {
			'css/global':  path.resolve( process.cwd(), 'src/css',   'global.scss' ),
			'js/index': path.resolve( process.cwd(), 'src/js', 'index.js' ),
		},
		plugins: [
			// Include WP's plugin config.
			...defaultConfig.plugins,
			// Removes the empty `.js` files generated by webpack but
			// sets it after WP has generated its `*.asset.php` file.
			new RemoveEmptyScriptsPlugin( {
				stage: RemoveEmptyScriptsPlugin.STAGE_AFTER_PROCESS_PLUGINS
			} )
		]
	}
};

In functions.php, we enqueue our built assets and files depending on specific conditions. For example, we built separate CSS files for the docs area of the site, and we only enqueued those CSS files for our docs. 

<?php

function wpcom_developer_enqueue_styles() : void {
    wp_enqueue_style( 'wpcom-developer-style',
        get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/build/css/global.css'
    );
}

add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'wpcom_developer_enqueue_styles' );

We didn’t need to register the style files from Twenty Twenty-Four, as WordPress handles these inline.

We did need to enqueue the styles for our classic, non-FSE templates (in the case of our developer docs) or any additional styles we wanted to add on top of the FSE styles.

To build the production JS and CSS locally, we run npm run build

For local development, you can run npm run start in one terminal window and npx wp-env start (using the wp-env package) in another to start a local WordPress development server running your theme.

An active wpcom-developer child theme on a local WordPress installation

While building this site, our team of designers, developers, and content writers used a WordPress.com staging site so that changes did not affect the existing developer.wordpress.com site until we were ready to launch this new theme.

theme.json

Twenty Twenty-Four has a comprehensive theme.json file that defines its styles. By default, our hybrid theme inherits all of the style definitions from the parent (Twenty Twenty-Four) theme.json file. 

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We selectively overwrote the parts we wanted to change (the color palette, fonts, and other brand elements), leaving the rest to be loaded from the parent theme. 

WordPress handles this merging, as well as any changes you make in the editor. 

Many of the default styles worked well for us, and we ended up with a compact theme.json file that defines colors, fonts, and gradients. Having a copy of the parent theme’s theme.json file makes it easier to see how colors are referenced.

You can change theme.json in your favorite code editor, or you can change it directly in the WordPress editor and then download the theme files from Gutenberg.

WordPress settings with a red arrow pointing to the Export tool

Why might you want to export your editor changes? Styles can then be transferred back to code to ensure they match and make it easier to distribute your theme or move it from a local development site to a live site. This ensures the FSE page templates are kept in code with version control. 

When we launched this new theme on production, the template files loaded from our theme directory; we didn’t need to import database records containing the template syntax or global styles.

Global styles in SCSS/CSS

Global styles are added as CSS variables, and they can be referenced in CSS. Changing the value in theme.json will also ensure that the other colors are updated.

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For example, here’s how we reference our “contrast” color as a border color:

border-color: var(--wp--preset--color--contrast);

Some plugins require these files in a theme, e.g. by calling get_header(), which does not automatically load the FSE header template. 

We did not want to recreate our header and footer to cover those cases; having just one source of truth is a lot better.

By using do_blocks(), we were able to render our needed header block. Here’s an example from a header template file:

<head>
<?php
wp_head();
$fse_header_block = do_blocks( '<!-- wp:template-part {"slug":"header","theme":"a8c/wpcom-developer","tagName":"header","area":"header", "className":"header-legacy"} /-->' );
?>
</head>
<body <?php body_class(); ?>>
<?php
echo $fse_header_block;

The new developer.wordpress.com site is now live!

The new developer.wordpress.com homepage with a black background, a pixelated W logo, and the headline 'Powerful WordPress Hosting for Developers'

Check out our new-and-improved developer.wordpress.com site today, and leave a comment below telling us what you think. We’d love your feedback. 

Using custom code and staging sites are just two of the many developer features available to WordPress.com sites that we used to build our new and improved developer.wordpress.com.

If you’re a developer and interested in getting early access to other development-related features, click here to enable our “I am a developer” setting on your WordPress.com account.

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the Developer Features page on WordPress.com with an "I am a developer" toggle and cards displaying developer features like SFTP, SSH, WP-CLI, Staging sites, and Custom code

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