WordPress Plugin IFrameWidgets 1.0 Released

| Created: January 30th, 2008
WordPress Plugin News 16 Comments

I’m pleased to release IFrameWidgets v1.0, a WordPress plugin that can stop slow loading JavaScript widgets from breaking your page.

Widgets remain hidden until completely loaded, then appear in whole. If they don’t load, they won’t take up any space on your sidebar. If they load slowly, or hang, they won’t stop the rest of your page from loading.

If You’re On A Beta Version

IFrameWidgets has been in beta for a long time. The last beta version (v0.14) version was released almost two months ago and no problems have been reported with it, so I have promoted it to v1.0 and I’m ‘releasing it’.

There are no changes from v0.14, apart from the version number and date.

The Problem – Slow JavaScript Widgets

We all love adding JavaScript widgets to our sidebars. Widgets for social networks, advertising, traffic exchange, weather conditions, etc…

The problem is sometimes these widgets can be very slow – or they may not load at all. When this happens, it can break your page. Items after the slow widget don’t load, they wait until the widget finally loads or gives up.

How IFrameWidgets Helps

The plugin creates WordPress sidebar widgets (not to be confused with the JavaScript widgets themselves) that run in an IFrame. These are similar to the standard Text widgets, but with the output created in an IFrame.

IFrames load in parallel to the rest of the page. If slow loading JavaScript widgets are placed in an IFrame, they won’t stop the rest of the page loading if they load slowly or hang.

Note: although the rest of the page will load without waiting, your browser will not say the page is Done until the slow widgets have finished loading (or given up).

IFrameWidgets also hides the widgets until they are completely loaded, then displays them. If they don’t load, they won’t take up any space.

Requirements

Should work on any WordPress version / theme with support for WordPress widgets. I am planning a non WordPress widget version in future.

Where Do I Get It?

IFrameWidgets v1.0 can be downloaded from the IFrameWidgets plugin home page. Further information about the plugin and it’s features, including installation / upgrade instructions, is also available on the plugin home page.

16 responses on “WordPress Plugin IFrameWidgets 1.0 Released

  1. K-IntheHouse

    Congratulations on releasing this, Stephen! No changes between the beta version and teh final version? It just gioes out to show what an excellent coder you are. 😛

  2. new zealand map

    What a cool tool for widgets!! I will be recommending this to several bloggers I know as well, since some of them having scripts which hang up on me in explorer and firefox. It gets realy annoying because I enjoy reading their posts.

  3. Stephen Cronin Post author

    Fahmishah, Great! I hope it helps…

    NZ Map, Thanks – I know what you mean… It can really detract from reading a blog which suffers from this. In the past, there was one blog that was so bad, I resorted to only reading it via a feed reader and never commenting!

    1. Stephen Cronin Post author

      Anadolu,

      Not true. IFrames are bad for SEO, so I wouldn’t put your content in an IFrame, but it shouldn’t be a problem with external widgets. That’s not your content, that you want people to search on, and it’s probably a good thing if the search engines can’t see it.

      But using IFrames will NOT result in your site being sandboxed…

      1. Michael@Strickanleitung Mütze

        Hi Stephen

        Cool idea! You are totally right – usually your content is not shown in widgets, and even if, you don’t need to use the iFrame Widget with that widget code.
        One thing that would be really cool: If I could just drag and drop a “normal” widget into the iframe widget then there would be no need to fiddle with code…

        Mike

  4. andy@ecommerce website software

    I second you Stephen. contents in IFrames aren’t usually indexed by the search engines, however they don’t affect the rest of your page’s content getting indexed or ranked. IFrame cloaking on the other hand, is quite another story, as it’s a n intention to show readers one thing, and the search engines another. And in that case, when caught, you might get in the sandbox or banned altogether. =P

  5. Tom @ funny mpeg videos

    This realy is a clever idea. It is so simple in theory but so powerful. This is a must for my list of plugins. Thanks.

  6. Adam Gurney@Extensions Software for XP AND VISTA

    I have a question, will this work with the newer versions of WordPress? I do not want to use it yet until I know, as I messed up one of my WordPress blogs before due to some plugins.

  7. tony@Cheap web hosting.

    Great plugin idea. You should make it so people can set a time limit on java script to load so it will stop loading them after so long. Maybe let people set the time so if any java scripts have problems on some days the site just does not load them after so long.

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