Ever since the ascendance of WordPress as the world’s most popular CMS (Content Management System), a great number of web developers have given up basic PHP programing and turned their heads to using and upgrading this beautiful CMS with new ideas, bringing a revolution to the website creation process. The ever-growing WordPress community is always welcoming new developers and designers filled with new ideas, constantly improving its abilities. There are over 22 000 plugins, templates and add-ons for WordPress built and launched ‘till this day and the number is increasing on a daily basis.
A Word about the Author
Shindiri Studios are active members of the WordPress community, who have been around for quite some time, and they have made some of the most beautiful themes and plugins for this content management system. Their team, packed with experienced designers and developers, has met many great reviews, written mostly by important members of the community. In the past five years they have built their presence and they have made over 8 700 sales so far.
uSquare – Introduction
Maybe their greatest project so far, uSquare, has made a great boom amongst users and developers, within WordPress community. It is a universal responsive grid plugin that has been launched on November 5th, 2012 and has been constantly updated ever since. It can be used to present your content in a unique and interesting way. It is highly customizable and can be used to present your team, products, services, blog posts and much, much more.
Shindiri Studios have offered a live preview of this plugin for 3 different usages: team page, product presentation and logo preview. So, let’s not waste time and let’s head on to a more detailed review of this awesome plugin.
uSquare – Lets Cut to the Chase
At First Glance
Though the preview looks quite simple, it has a powerful builder with a lot of customization options. You can add-up an unlimited number of buttons which will be presented in the simple grid. For the team presentation preview, you can add “squares” in chess table form, which are connected to the image of the team member. These “squares” present basic information, such as the name and profession or position of the person in the company and they are highly customizable. You have an endless choice of colors for the title, the description, content and info label and, furthermore, there are over 500 Google fonts at your disposal.
Transition effects and Social Sharing
You can enable a grayscale transition effect when you hover over the image. This is a beautiful minimalistic effect which improves visual interaction of the plugin, without pulling much resource.
By clicking on the image, the “square” expands, offering more information of the visitor. The speed of the expansion effect can be customized for both opening and closing sequences. The structure of the “square” now consists of a photo, a name, an occupation and a short bio about the person.
Besides that, it has a social share button palette with connections to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Pinterest, as well as a link to the user’s official website and email contact. This is positioned above the description content.
You can add-up additional icons and link them to the page or content of choice. This is suitable for blogs, if you want to link the author with his content and therefore offer your visitors an option for quick-jumping through the website.
The grid can consist of an endless number of “squares” and you can easily re-arrange the position of each “square” by using a Drag-n-Drop method. The plugin is quite responsive and besides the volume of the content, images, buttons and visual effects you implement, it still stays quite responsive. uSquare is clean coded and it is optimized for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer (8, 9 and 10). It is optimized for websites accessed via small electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets with the Android system, as well as devices with retina displays such as iPhones and iPads.
Early Days and Future Plans
uSquare was initially launched as a jQuery plugin. Exactly because of the attention it brought from the users, it was launched in a WordPress version, too. The authors have also developed a whole WordPress theme designed around it. xSquare was launched on March 26th as a responsive theme and it had a lot of eyes pointed at it. It has proven to be a valuable experiment and they are working on more improvements right now.
Installation, Customization and Live Action Preview!
The installation of the uSquare plugin is easy, just follow these simple instructions:
Go to WordPress Admin
Click on “Plugins” from the left hand menu
Click on the “Add New” button located on the top of the page
Click on the “Upload” link
Click on the “Browse” button
Select “usquare.zip” – the file you download from CodeCanyon
Click on the “Install Now” button
The authors have provided you with a preview of the backend customization, where you can check the customization options that this beautiful plugin has to offer.
You can also check out the live preview of uSquare here.
Check out these cool video on how to install and customize the uSquare plugin for your WordPress theme:
Just to Mention…
uSquare has over 3 000 purchases so far and it has made its way to the most popular WordPress plugin top lists. It is regularly updated and you can check the change-log and updates here. If you are interested in some recent works of Shindiri Studios, check out their portfolio on themeforest.net. The authors have opened a support forum for their products and they will be more than glad to answer all your questions in short notice.
This universal grid plugin costs only 12$ and it can play an important part in your plugin directory collection. It can be implemented onto any WordPress website and it is easy to install and customize. If you have anything to add, feel free to discuss in the comment section below.