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This monthâ€™s hot topic has been, without a doubt, Google+. Whether the new social service from the worldâ€™s largest search company will be a â€œFacebook killerâ€ remains to be seen, but one thingâ€™s for certain: This is one social network you donâ€™t want to ignore.
When it comes to getting found, Google+ is fast becoming a great asset for bloggers and content producers thanks to its ever-expanding user base and simple sharing tools. In this post, weâ€™ll show you a few ways to start spreading a little of that Google+ love on your WordPress-powered website.
Display Your Google+ Profile Information
Software developer John Henson from PlusDevs has developed a handy, easy to use WordPress widget that displays your Google+ profile on your blog. The setup is quick and simple: Install the plug-in and drag the widget into your sidebar. Just fill out the form and youâ€™re done.
You can also incorporate the widget into your template with only a few lines of PHP code, giving you the flexibility to place it anywhere within your layout.
Unofficial Google+ user tracking site SocialStatistics.com also offers an embeddable Google+ widget. Simply add your profile to their database and grab the widget code from your page on their site.
Add the +1 Button
If youâ€™re not already using the Google +1 button, consider taking a moment to add it to your site. This is a great way to let users save, promote and find their favorite content. The +1 button only takes a few minutes to integrate with your site and works with any Google profile. While this isnâ€™t a Google+ specific feature, we wouldnâ€™t be at all surprised to see it integrated with the service. Either way, itâ€™s another great way of adding an additional avenue for promotion and sharing.
You can learn more about the +1 button from Google.
Use a Google+ Inspired Theme
Do you love the look of Google+â€™s clean, intuitive layout and unobtrusive interface? For the die-hard fan (or, hey, maybe you run a blog thatâ€™s centered around the service), there are already a few Google+ inspired WordPress themes for your perusal.
WP Plus is a fixed-width, 3 column Google+ inspred WordPress theme supporting custom content menus, styled sticky-posts and valid XHTML/CSS code. Clean, fast-loading and SEO optimized, WP Plus gives your blog the Google+ look and feel in just minutes.
Similar to WP Plus, PlusOne is another 3-column, fixed-width Google+ styled theme that supports custom WordPress menus. Itâ€™s a clean and well-designed theme, but it does take some liberties with how it translates Google+ to WordPress (so it doesnâ€™t look quite as accurate to Googleâ€™s own design).
Reflex+ shares all of the features mentioned in the above two theme but it also brings in jQuery and incorporates AJAX for some tasks, such as the â€œread moreâ€ post navigation, helping it appear more fluid and seamless.
Google+ is still a relatively new service locked behind an invite-only registration system. No doubt as time progresses and the service grows, there will be more options for publishers. Right now there are a couple of options if youâ€™re a developer interested in having a go at creating your own Google+ plug-in.
If youâ€™d like to gain access to the official Google+ API, youâ€™ll need to sign up with Google to register interest in a Google+ developer account. Unfortunately, the API is not yet public. Itâ€™s unclear whether this will change as the service matures, but inquiring about developer access is certainly worth looking into if you want serious Google+ integration and sharing between your site and the service.
For a more portable (and presumably trimmed-down) solution, software developer Jason Striegel has put together a collection of PHP utilities for a locally-hosted Google+ API service. In its current state, the API will allow you to retrieve post and profile data and post to Google+. You can check out his code on GitHub. This is a great option to include within your own distributed code, such as WordPress plug-ins and widgets.
Article source: http://mashable.com/2011/07/22/wordpress-google-plus/