Easily Add Citations to Quotes With the Better Blockquotes Plugin

Better Blockquotes is a free WordPress plugin created by Devin Price that makes it easy to add citations to blockquotes. When a user clicks the blockquote button with no text highlighted, a dialogue box pops up with options to add a quote, citation, and a citation link.

Better Blockquote Options
Better Blockquote Options

Citations are inserted into the post with HTML5 markup. The blockquote button retains its default behaviour with highlighted text. I tested the plugin on WordPress 4.4 beta 3 and it works as advertised.

I did notice however, that the citation displays immediately after the last character in the quote. I’d prefer to have

a space between the last character and the citation.

Better Blockquotes in the Visual Editor
Better Blockquotes in the Visual Editor

An example of how better blockquotes looks in a post.

How a Blockquote Looks in a Post
How a Better Blockquote Looks in a Post

Based on feedback, Price says he’ll attempt to add it to WordPress core as an enhancement. Is better blockquotes something you’d like to see added to WordPress?


16 responses to “Easily Add Citations to Quotes With the Better Blockquotes Plugin”

  1. I include a lot of citations in my writing. I like the useability of this plugin so far as the back-end is concerned, but hate what it produces on the front-end.

    Depending on the site, I have used endnotes, sidenotes, and/or hovernotes, and I must say that I think all of them provide a much better experience for the reader than this plugin.

    Combining the back-end of this plugin with the ability to display the references as one or more of endnotes, sidenotes, and hovernotes would be much more tempting.

  2. Not something I can see being a good addition to core. I like the plugin and appreciate what it does. But it serves it’s best use as an optional plugin, extending functionality where and when needed. It’s not essential to the blockquote element. If people felt there was a real need to extend functionality then add the cite element as an option within text (as, at its core, thats what this plugin is doing. But even that i think is too specific).

    • WordPress Tavern | Torsten commented on Easily Add Citations to Quotes With the Better Blockquotes Plugin

      I think at the very least, if it goes into core, it should only be available to the visual editor. I think it’s safe to assume, at least for the most part, that if you’re using the text editor, you’re comfortable with code. There are still some hangers-on within the blindness WordPress user space who are using the text editor in place of the visual editor, but with the accessibility experience of the visual editor having vastly improved, that’s no longer a necessary workaround for screen reader users.

  3. Hi Jeffro. Thanks for testing it out and giving feedback! I brought it up in the #core-editor meeting yesterday (https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/11/03/weekly-editor-chat-resumed/) and opened a core ticket (https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/34584).

    Ella had an interesting suggest for perhaps using placeholders instead of a pop-up (similar to what Medium does for some content). You can read back through the conversation if interested in the #core-editor log.

    My plugin doesn’t output any styles, which is the reason blockquote citations will appear differently in various themes (including slightly wonky in yours). Theme authors would need to style blockquote markup and account for citations- but at least we would have standardized markup to base that on.

  4. It should also work for text that’s highlighted, and automatically populate the quote box. It should also account for the fact that quotes often contain formatting themselves.

    And a proper citation (by MLA, APA and Chicago rules) often requires formatting itself, such as normal for author, italic for publication name, back to normal for publisher.

    A plugin that accommodated more of the scope of what citations can and should contain would definitely be worth looking into.


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