The theme does not depend on any plugins being installed but some are particularly useful and one in particular, Easy Theme Options, really does make all the difference to ease of use of the theme by removing the need to edit any of the theme code to tweak things.
The plugins in the tables below all link to their page in the WordPress Plugins Directory, or failing that their own external home page. Please bear in mind that plugins in the Directory can be installed automatically by WordPress via the Plugins menu without the need for downloading and uploading files.
There are three plugins that will be directly called by the theme if they are installed.
|Breadcrumb NavXT||Supported in the Sidebar by default.|
|There are a number of plugins that support breadcrumb trails (the things that show you where you are in a site e.g.
|Content Slide||Supported by default but not particularly recommended.|
|The use of the Content Slide plugin was a feature inherited from Scouts 4 WordPress and it was only ever really supported for back compatibility, and as it no longer seems to be in WordPress Plugins Directory it is more of historical interest (the link above goes to the developer's page). The theme has its own built in random image display that exploits taxonomies in the Media Library and that works well for simple use. If you want something more exotic it is easier to drop in a widget.
For those who have access to the plugin and want to use it, the plugin adds a 'Content Slide' entry to the admin menu and this is where the plugin is configured. The image width and height need to be set to 960 and 360 and the border to 0. The squares per height and squares per width should both be 1, the delay between images is a matter of taste but 10000 (ten seconds) is a good starting point and the effect might as well be 'straight' (the 'fade' option seems to knock out the navigation buttons). The rest of the options can be left alone, except the URLs for the images to show and the links.
|Easy Theme Options||Strongly recommended for setting Theme Options.|
|There are a number of plugins that handle making theme options available in the dashboard. This one was chosen because it kept things simple, just adding a Theme Options menu to the dashboard under Appearance. It does need one of its PHP files editing to recognise your options but the Scouting Challenge theme already has a suitable file available to include.|
There are two plugins that are supported by the stylesheet when used as widgets in certain locations. Other plugins may work just as well, possibly even without changes to the stylesheet.
|BNS Featured Category||Suggested for Boxes and supported in stylesheet.|
|There are a number of plugins available that will pick out posts from a single category. This one has the bonus of allowing more than one category to be combined. This is useful when, for example, you have a post category for each of two Beaver colonies but want to combine the posts into one news feed. A suggested use is as a widget installed in one or more of the boxes on the Main Index Template to show the latest news and updates from the Group or particular Sections.|
|PS Sub-pages||Suggested for Sidebar and supported in stylesheet.|
|There are a number of plugins that will create a list of sub-pages or sibling pages of a page you are viewing. Not all of them show signs of being currently maintained. This one seems to work well and its behaviour is supported in the stylesheet. Once installed and activated it simply has to be dropped in to the Sidebar on the Widgets screen with the only configuration required being to tick the 'Siblings' check box if required. It isn't really rocket science to do the same job as this plugin does manually with appropriate calls to wp_list_pages. However using a widget makes the sidebar more configurable.
As of 5/11/2015, the plugin is still using PHP4 style constructors for widgets and these are deprecated in version 4.3 and later of WordPress. If you are running your site in debug mode warnings will be thrown onto the screen because of this. Hopefully the developer will correct the problem but it is very simple to fix.
The following plugin can be configured with its own style sheet. An example one is included with the theme which you can include in the settings.
|There are a number of plugins that will handle Google Calendars, and you can simply embed them with an
There are a number of other plugins that have proved useful when developing a site with the Scouting Challenge theme, and these are listed here for interest.
|Capability Manager Enhanced||Useful if you want users to be able to edit your site.|
|WordPress defines a number of categories of users, such as 'Editor' and 'Author'. These pre-defined users may not have the capabilities you require. For example an 'Editor' can only edit posts, not pages, by default. This is one of a number of plugins that allow the capabilities to be edited. This one is quite simple to use. It only claims compatibility with WordPress 3.7.1. It works fine with 3.8.1 though.|
|Easy2Map||Useful plugin for embedding simple Google Maps.|
|There are several plugins that handle embedding of Google Maps on pages. This is one of the simplest and most elegant. It creates an Easy2Map menu item in the dashboard where a number of maps can be managed in a self-contained way and then embedded in pages and posts using a simple shortcode. Please note that version 1.2.0 of Easy2Map had CSS specificity errors that will affect the formatting of any other table on the page or post where a map is displayed. This has been reported and acknowledged as a bug. It is easy to fix them, it just shouldn't be necessary.|
|Email Obfuscate Shortcode||Suggested|
|This is one of a number of plugins designed to perform e-mail obfuscation.|
|Media Library Assistant||Suggested|
|This plugin provides a number of enhancements to the Media Library including the ability to do quick and bulk edits. It also provides additional shortcodes.|
|This plugin provides shortcodes to handle listing pages and sub-pages and the like. It is basically a wrapper for the
|Page Links To||Suggested|
|If you create a hierarchy of pages, for example having a page named Sections with sub-pages for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts then you will need to address how the page at the top of the hierarchy behaves. It might be you want it to be an actual page, you might want it to be just a placeholder in the hierarchy, or you might want it be a placeholder but redirect to one of the sub-pages. The Page Links To page lets you specify a URL to redirect the page to. You could use it as described to point a top-level page to a sub-page, or you could simply use it to redirect to an external link. Either way it is a useful feature. The URL is set when Pages are being edited. If you don't see the box for it open up the Screen Options at the top and select it.|
|Page Restrict||No longer recommended.|
|This is a very simple plugin that adds an extra entry in the Settings menu which allows you to specify pages and posts that may only be accessed by logged in users. Unfortunately if you set WordPress to display debug notices you will see undefined variable and deprecated function messages appearing and that doesn't inspire confidence so this plugin isn't recommended any more.|
|Remove Howdy||Useful if you dislike the 'Howdy' in the toolbar.|
|The WordPress toolbar that is displayed by default when users are logged in includes a 'Howdy, <username>' entry at the top right which is rather irritating. This plugin simply removes the 'Howdy,'.|
|Restrict Content||Recommended for restricting access to pages and posts.|
|This plugin allows access to the page and post content to be restricted to certain classes of logged in users. Options are added to the page/post editing screens and there is also a shortcode to restrict access to parts of the content. As with all plugins of this type, it is only the content that is restricted. Any Featured Image will be displayed as normal and if Comments are enabled they will be displayed.|
|Search Regex||Useful if you want to do a global search and replace in the database.|
|This is one of a number of plugins that allow you to do a search and replace in your WordPress database. For example if you want to move directories you can search for all mention of the old one and replace it with the new one. It appears in the Tools menu.|
|TablePress||Useful plugin for defining tables.|
|TablePress is an excellent plugin for managing tables without having to write HTML code. An entry is added to the admin menu and there tables can be maintained in a self-contained fashion.|