Using RokSprocket to present content to users on WordPress can dramatically reduce the amount of time and development effort required to make your site stand out.
RokSprocket is a plugin available for WordPress (and Joomla) which takes existing or custom content and presents it to visitors in a dynamic, beautiful fashion with minimal effort required on the part of the content creator.
In many cases, you need but to set up the RokSprocket item(s), place your widgets, and let the plugin do the rest.
In this article, we will take a look at some tips that can help you get the most out of RokSprocket for WordPress.
One of RokSprocket's biggest features is its advanced filtering capabilities. You can create any number of filters to ensure that the information presented in a RokSprocket widget or embedded instance is exactly what you want to have appear.
By default, RokSprocket wants to display as much content as it can. This includes pages, posts, drafts, published materials, and more. You can narrow down the content it pulls from the WordPress provider by adding filters.
For example, you can tell RokSprocket to only pull content that is a published post, eliminating pages and other content that is not specifically set to the Publish status.
Here are some of the filter options you have with RokSprocket in the WordPress content provider.
Based on this, you can see just how easy it is to narrow down the results to include only the content you want to have displayed.
You can further modify how content appears in RokSprocket by using the Sort rules. This enables you to set up Automatic, Random, or Manual sorting of items that appear in the widget.
Here are some of the things you can sort content by, automatically.
If you wanted to set up a RokSprocket widget that displayed the most discussed posts on the site, you would set up a filter rule to filter out articles that don't have comments, or don't have enough comments. You would then set the comment count sorting rule to sort content by the amount of comments it has, putting the most commented on items at the top.
You could take it a step further and filter out posts that were created within the past week, to ensure that only recent posts appear in this list.
There are several ways you can limit the amount of preview content that appears in a RokSprocket widget. You can set the Preview Length to a specific word count, enabling only a certain amount of words of each item to appear in the widget prior to the Read More link (if applicable).
Alternatively, you can take advantage of one of WordPress' built-in features by utilizing the Post Excerpt field in your posts and setting the Article Defaults setting for Article Text to Post Excerpt. This will pull the text that you specifically set up to appear here and display it as the preview text for each item in the RokSprocket widget.
This will avoid cases where a sentence is cut short by the Preview Length and even allow you the option to write a short tease for the article instead of quoting actual article text.
Did you know you can inject a RokSprocket widget into the middle of a post? Doing this is easy, it just takes copying and pasting the Shortcode in the widget's settings page to do it.
Doing this opens the door to a number of advanced content options.
For example, you can use the Tables layout mode and create a product comparison table in the middle of a post describing the different purchase options available to visitors. This gives your post an extra level of visual appeal, with no coding required.
RokSprocket allows you the option to pull data from existing posts via the WordPress content provider, but you can also create entirely custom content for any RokSprocket widget by using the Simple provider.
This provider basically gives you the ability to build an entire widget filled with content without having to create a single post to back it.
One example of the Simple content provider in action would be a product comparison table. You don't need to create an entire post (or set of posts) at all. You just need to input the data you wish to have displayed in the table in the RokSprocket item settings page.
The same concept applies to just about any RokSprocket widget, each with its own set of points you can add your own content to.
Even if you are using the WordPress content provider, you can use these fields to customize how the concept appears in the RokSprocket widget, without altering the original post at all.
These are just a few of the many things you can do to enhance your WordPress site with RokSprocket. Please feel free to share your favorite RokSprocket tips for WordPress (or Joomla), below.