Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The Daily Plugin where we examine the newest and most recently upgraded plugins from the WordPress Plugin Repository. Remember to always test new plugins on a staging or development site first so that you do not risk data loss, conflicts with other plugins or even worse, complete shutdown. Be smart and back up everything before you go to a live site. OK, let’s get plugged in!
Inline Navi is a different take on the carious “post tab” plugin variants that are available. This plugin uses child pages to populate the content of the tabs. This gives a lot of versatility over some of the other “tab” plugins out there. First, you get to use the power of a full post editor to create your tab content. This allows you the opportunity to add any other shortcode or plugin output to be used within the context of the tab content. Other plugins out there do only basic html markup or plain text. I like the functionality. Worth checking out.
MG Webtrends Graphs allows you to insert Google Trends data to your posts or on the fly. It works by embedding a shortcode with one or more keywords to “trend” in the graphic. For example, [mgtrends q=”+windows,+Linux, +mac”] gives you a trending graph for Windows, Linux and Mac all in a comparison line graph. This is done in relative real-time, so it self updates the graphic within your content as time goes on. The load time was a bit of a drag on my testing site, but that’s to be expected with multi-variant external call-outs to Google. I’m not sure I’d have a specific use for it on any of my sites, but I’m sure there’s a good use for something like this out there somewhere! Perhaps a celebrity trend monitoring site? Let me know if you come up with any ideas for usage. I’d be interested to hear some of your ideas for how trends can be used within a WordPress site or subsequent content.
Invoice King Pro helps you to send out invoices and estimates to clients within your WordPress installation. This is especially intriguing to me as I already spend $40 a month on FreshBooks to handle my client invoicing and cost estimates. IKP features different “themes” for each invoice and estimateas which vary in look and feel when printed. Custom themes have been pre-configured and are available as add-ons to the plugin for an additional $5 per “theme”. You begin your setup process by adding all of the custom fields that you intend to use in the invoicing process. Once complete, you enter your client contact information into the system and start the billing! When you have an invoice or estimate to send, it emails to your client the PDF document automatically with the pre-defined mail credentials and reply-to that you set up. So if your client replies to the invoice, it goes straight into your inbox. Once payment is made from the client, you can easily mark the invoice paid and fire off a receipt to the client in the same manner. While this seems to be a robust plugin on the surface, there are a lot of opportunities for improvement. A payment gateway or direct link to PayPal with forwarding invoice information would be an outstanding addition. There is still a long way to go to match FreshBooks or similar services, but this is a really great, bold attempt at cracking the glass by using WordPress. How about modding this so we can all install it on our client’s web sites and it invoices it from there? Perhaps add a countdown timer to shutting down the site if the invoice isn’t paid? LOL. I’m kidding, right?
Join us again tomorrow for another exciting episode of The Daily Plugin. Until then, stop over and say hello to me on Twitter @marcuscouch or leave your feedback in comment form on WPTavern. Someone on Twitter last week said I was “the Willy Wonka of WordPress plugins. But without the stupid hat.” HA!
Google Trends data could be on a password protected page of a client site. Then the client could just check their own stats and know how their site is doing, without tech support. This would help them know when to do more marketing, or what impact their current marketing is having. It would keep SEO artists accountable.