WordPress

Blipper Widget

Blipper Widget displays the latest blip in a Blipfoto user’s photo journal in a widget on their WordPress website.

Blipper Widget aims to partially replace the BlipPress plugin written by Simon Blackbourn. Blipfoto Changed its API some time ago, and Simon’s plugin has sadly never been the same since.

The code is available in a GitHub repository:

The plug-in is available to install in the WordPress Plugin Directory:

You can see a demonstration of the plugin on this website.

To use this widget, you must have an account with Blipfoto. If you don’t have a Blipfoto account, then you can sign up to Blipfoto to get one.

Features

Currently, Blipper Widget:

  • displays the latest blip (image, title and date) in your Blipfoto account in a widget;
  • takes you to the corresponding blip on the Blipfoto website if you click on the image or its title and date (optional; off by default);
  • displays your journal name and a link to your Blipfoto account (optional; off by default); and
  • displays a link to the Blipfoto website (optional; off by default).

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the widget need my Blipfoto username and password?
The widget asks for your username for verification purposes, but does not require your password. It does not ask for your password and it does not have access to your password. The widget uses an OAuth 2.0 access token to authorise access to your Blipfoto account, eliminating the need for your password.
Why doesn’t the plugin seem to do anything?
If you haven’t added any blips to your Blipfoto journal, you won’t see any blips in your widget. Please make sure you have at least one blip in your Blipfoto account.
If you are not logged in and/or do not have permission to change your site’s options and settings, an error may have occurred. If you’re not logged in, log in and refresh the page with the widget on to view the error and fix it. If you don’t have permission to change the settings, then please contact someone who does.
If you have refreshed your OAuth app credentials or access token at Blipfoto, you will need to update these details on the Blipper Widget settings page.
Why does the widget display an error message instead of an image?
Check your Blipper Widget settings. It is most likely that you have mistyped your username or that you haven’t copied your access token correctly. Amend these details, and try again.
You might have hit the rate limit set by Blipfoto. If this is the case, try again in fifteen minutes or so.
Where can I get support for Blipper Widget?
You can use the comment form at the bottom of this page to ask questions and report problems.
There is also a support forum on the plugin’s page in the plugin directory.
Is the image stored on my web server?
No. The image in the blip is not stored on your server: the widget links to the image on Blipfoto.
Does the widget use the original image?
The widget uses the URL of the best quality image made available to it; typically, this is standard resolution. Standard resolution is normally good enough for display in a widget.
Can I display the blips from another account with my access token in my widget?
No. The access token must belong to the account whose username is given in the widget settings.

Installation

You can install this plugin either automatically or manually. The instructions for each method are given below.

Automatic plugin installation

  1. Go to Plugins > Add New.
  2. Search for Blipper Widget. Find the plugin in the search results.
  3. Click Details for more information about Blipper Widget and instructions you may wish to print or save to help setup Blipper Widget. Instructions are provided by the widget.
  4. Click Install Now to install Blipper Widget.
  5. The resulting installation screen will list the installation as successful or note any problems during the install.
  6. If successful, click Activate Plugin to activate it, or Return to Plugin Installer for further actions.
  7. Check the read-me file for further instructions or information.

Manual plugin installation

Installation of a WordPress Plugin manually requires FTP familiarity and the awareness that you may put your site at risk if you install a WordPress Plugin incompatible with the current version or from an unreliable source. You must also have permission to access your server by FTP.

  1. Backup your site completely before proceeding.
  2. Download Blipper Widget to your computer, for example to your desktop.
  3. If downloaded as a zip archive, extract the plugin folder, blipper-widget.
  4. Read the read-me file thoroughly to ensure you understand any installation instructions properly.
  5. With your FTP program, upload the plugin folder to the wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory online.
  6. Go to the plugins screen and find the newly uploaded plugin, Blipper Widget, in the list.
  7. Click Activate to activate it.
  8. Check the read-me file for further instructions or information.

Widget settings

There are two types of settings for this widget. First, there are the those which you will likely only set once and work behind the scenes; you will find these under the Settings admin menu. Second, there are those that affect the display of the widget; you will find these under Appearance > Widgets and in the Customiser. You will need to set up the first type before the widget will work.

On the admin settings page

The first type of settings need to set up are behind the scenes, in Settings > Blipper Widget.

Blipfoto OAuth

Blipfoto uses OAuth 2.0 authentication for your security. This means that Blipper Widget never sees your password.

Before you can use this plugin, you need to authorise access to your Blipfoto account. Don’t worry: it’s not as scary as it looks, and you can revoke access at any time. The instructions below tell you how to authorise access and how to revoke access.

How to authorise your Blipfoto account

To allow WordPress to access your Blipfoto account, you need to carry out a few simple steps.

  1. Sign in to your Blipfoto account.
  2. Open the the Blipfoto apps page in a new tab or window.
  3. Press the Create new app button.
  4. In the Name field, give your app any name you like, for example, My super-duper app.
  5. The Type field should be set to Web application.
  6. Optionally, describe your app in the Description field, so you know what it does.
  7. In the Website field, enter the URL of your website.
  8. Leave the Redirect URI field blank.
  9. Indicate that you agree to the Developer rules.
  10. Press the Create a new app button.
  11. You should now see your Client ID, Client Secret and Access Token. Copy and paste the Access Token only into the corresponding field below.

Remember that if you change your access token on the Blipfoto website, you will need to modify it here accordingly.

How to revoke access to your Blipfoto account

It’s simple to revoke access. We hope you don’t want to do this, but if you do, the instructions are laid out below.

  1. Sign in to your Blipfoto account.
  2. Go to your Blipfoto app settings.
  3. Select the app whose access you want to revoke, for example, My super-duper app.
  4. Press the Save changes button.
Your Blipfoto username

You must also provide your Blipfoto username. This is for verification purposes only.

In the widget settings

The second type of settings you need to set up affect how your visitors see the widget. These settings are in the widget settings either on the widget page (Appearance > Widgets) or in the Customiser. Add the widget to a widget-enabled area. There are a few options controlling the display of the widget.

Widget title

The title of the widget is customisable. The default is My latest blip, but you can change it to what suits you or you can delete it and leave it blank.

Include link to your latest blip

If you want to link the displayed blip back to the corresponding entry on Polaroid|Blipfoto, simply tick this box. The box is unticked by default.

The link has a rel="nofollow" attribute.

Display journal title and link

If you want to include a link back to your Blipfoto journal, tick this box. For my journal, the link will appear as From Panda’s Pics. The box is unticked by default.

The link has a rel="nofollow" attribute.

Include a ‘powered by’ link

If you want a Powered by Blipfoto link to be displayed, tick this box. The box is unticked by default.

The link has a rel="nofollow" attribute.

Known problems and enhancement requests

There is a list of known problems and enhancement requests on GitHub.

There is also a support forum on the plugin’s page in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

    Change log

    0.0.9

    • Tested to ensure compatibility with WordPress 4.7.

    0.0.8

    • Tested to ensure compatibility with WordPress 4.6.1.

    0.0.7

    • Fixed: bug that added link from the image to the blip on Blipfoto whether it was set or not.

    0.0.6

    • Removed: mentions of Polaroid because Blipfoto was rebranded.
    • Ensured: compatibility with WordPress 4.5.2.

    0.0.4

    • Updated: screenshots.

    0.0.3

    • Added: code to remove widget’s setting from the database on deletion.
    • Added: donation link.

    0.0.2

    • Changed: the widget’s settings have been divided into those that act behind the scenes (such as OAuth) and those that directly affect the appearance of the widget front end.
    • Changed: the OAuth settings moved to Blipper Widget settings page under the general WordPress settings menu in the admin area.
    • Added: settings affecting the widget’s appearance to the widget form; specifically including links back to Polaroid|Blipfoto (the blip itself, the user’s journal and Polaroid|Blipfoto). By default, these links are not displayed; the user must opt in to their display.
    • Renamed: the name of the widget from WP Blipper Widget to Blipper Widget, thus dropping the WP.

    0.0.1

    • Initial version.

    Miscellaneous

    I’m making notes following my progress, which you may care to read.

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