Yeah I know what you’re thinking. It’s already Thursday and The Daily Plugin has yet to find that perfect plugin that you’ve been “Repository Diving” for all week-long. Well today is your lucky day my friend. Not because we may have found that hidden gem you’ve been on the hunt for, but because we saved you at least one day of having to look for it yourself. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Remember to prevent your own sites from becoming a cesspool of non-functioning calamity, always test these plugins on a staging site. You never know what kind of damage new plugins can do to a site without proper evaluation and investigation. Even the smallest function of a plugin can turn a site and its theme completely upside-down. Also, let’s remember that the plugins that follow are merely a sampling of the newest and most recently updated plugins found in the WordPress Plugin Repository. They are not endorsed in any official capacity. OK, let’s get plugged in!
Mozscape is a recent release from the folks over at Moz (Formerly known as SEOMoz) that allows you to view analytical data from MozScape about the post you are currently editing. Data included in the analysis includes Moz Rank, MozTrust, page authority ranking, Total links (both internal and external) and anchor text metrics. This provides a great opportunity to analyze and re-optimize existing content on your site that you depend on for a constant flow of traffic. I’ve had great experiences using Moz in the past for analysis of client sites. It will be great to incorporate some of the same functionality directly into the WordPress content editor. Give it a shot if you have the least bit of curiosity as to how your writing style coördinates with what should be optimized in your content. You may be surprised to learn that with just a few minor edits and tweaks, you can get a page to rank quickly and keep it there. This is a free usage plugin, but it will require registration to Moz for an API key.
WP Welcome Message displays an intro “pop-up” box for new visitors to your site. The content of the pop-up is created using a standard WordPress rich editor, allowing you to add any kind of content, HTML or short codes to your pop-up. The CSS elements conformed to my site with little challenge. This is a simple, easy way to add a brief introduction to yourself, talk about a special event or promotion, or any other need you see fit.
Automatic Post Date Filler has a lot of intriguing uses, especially for someone like me who adds scheduled content to over 70 different WordPress installs on a monthly basis. The plugin works by setting a custom date and time for scheduled posts. Sort of like a smart playlist, it uses variables like “Current Date + X days” or “Time from the Furthest Scheduled Post + X Minutes” to determine how you would like the system to automatically schedule your next post. This is a fantastic “on deck” model to handle scheduled posts, making sure that all posts are as evenly spaced out as possible when published. It’s also great to prevent a mass post dump from happening all at once by automatically applying the scheduling limitation rules. It also provides an alternative button in your post editor, “Publish Immediately” which will override the scheduling filters and publish without any time alterations.
Better User Profile Fields is something that incorporates a multitude of Social networking profiles into the standard WordPress user profile including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Deviant Art and Tumblr. It can also use this data to populate different elements of your theme or content as well, simply by inserting PHP. For example, to add the Twitter profile URL of the user you would use get_author_meta(‘twitter’). Anyone who is a regular listener to WordPress Plugins A-Z knows that for years I have been screaming out for better usage of user profiles and the fields that we populate in them. This has all the elements to be a great plugin with a lot of great integration possibilities within themes and widgets. Something that has been lacking in WordPress for quite some time.
WP Hashgrid is a pure design and developer tool that acts as a grid overlay to your WordPress site. Implementing the hashgrid.js script to overlay a CSS-customizable grid, this plugin helps to keep things centered and in alignment. In the old days I used to print a grid on clear transparency sheets and tape them to the monitor for modifying and finalizing layouts. My, how far we’ve come! This is a good plugin to do either a full build from the ground up or simply to do an occasional spot check of your designs before launch.
Well that’s it for today’s plugins. One more day in the week to go before the weekend! As always you can say hello and follow me on Twitter @marcuscouch and leave your feedback for these plugins on WPTavern.com.