The beta version of the Better Notifications for WordPress plugin was released last year, and it lay dormant for many months while its original collaborators searched for a new developer. The plugin was created to allow you to send customizable HTML emails to users based on different actions in WordPress.
Jack McConnell, founder of development agency Voltronik, commissioned the plugin to be built while creating a custom project management system on top of WordPress. “One of the requirements was for notifications of new projects (WordPress categories) via email. I couldn’t find a plugin that sent notifications for events such as these, so I decided to write my own,” McConnell said. He worked with a developer to push the beta out over the course of a weekend, but that’s as far as it went last year.
After finding a new developer, McConnell was able to get the plugin out of beta and develop a roadmap for future releases. Version 1.0 is a major overhaul and a complete re-write of the plugin. New features include:
- Auto-importer: Your old notifications will be imported when updating the plugin
- New ‘Generator’ for easily creating and editing your notifications
- More options and notification types as per feedback via the forums
- Granular control over choosing either user roles or individual users you’d like to send a notification to
- Fully translatable
Each email can be customized using HTML, CSS, and Voltronik’s extensive list of shortcodes, which means you can add your site’s logo, a simple design, and all kinds of content to the emails. You can also set the notifications to go to selected individual users or limit the notifications based on user roles.
In addition to customizing WordPress’ default notification emails (i.e. new comments, registrations, password reset), the plugin adds options for the following:
- New category
- New post updated, published
- New [custom post type] updated, published, pending review
- Custom taxonomy – new term added
Better Notifications for WordPress adds notification customization options for every custom post type you have registered on your site, which can be very useful if your CPT-based plugins don’t include notifications.
If you’re trying to keep a tight rein on new category creation, this plugin will help keep you in the loop. It also makes it easy to brand your site communications better as an alternative to WordPress’ ugly notification emails. The plugin was built to fit into WordPress like a natural part of the admin.
McConnell identifies other scenarios where Better Notifications might be useful:
- Outreach: A blog/news site with hundreds of subscribers – use it to alert them of new blog posts
- Communication: A small, internal WordPress site – use it to alert staff of new posts and comments
- Monitor: A website for a new product or service – use it for notifications of pingbacks and trackbacks
- Security: To receive alerts of password reset requests and their corresponding email address
If you need greater control and customization over WordPress’ email notifications, this plugin handles just about every kind of notice on actions related to publishing. It’s well on its way to becoming a comprehensive tool and McConnell and his team are eager to improve the plugin based on user feedback. Better Notifications for WordPress version 1.0 is now available for download on WordPress.org.