The Daily Plugin for 6-24-2013

Here is a brief sampling of a few of the newest plugins released in the WordPress Plugin Repository. This is a daily plugin briefing only and does not reflect my endorsement or rating of plugins shown. Use at your own risk. Always test on a staging site for compatibility and functionality with other plugins before using in a production environment.

Inline Preview is an intriguing plugin developed by Christopher Finke that places a preview window next to the editor rather than opening a new tab to view your post. I really like this feature a lot. It also features an “auto-update” cycle in which you can continually see a nearly real-time preview of your work as you create it. I see plugins like this continuing to enhance the writing experience of the WordPress editor. It really helps to keep the writing flow going without the distraction of losing post preview tabs among the 20 or so you probably have open at the time.

Inline Preview Screenshot

Featured Image via URL takes the normal hassle of uploading and selecting a Featured Image and allows you to instead insert the URL of an image to be used as the Featured Image. The image will be grabbed and saved into the Media Library with all supported sizes included. If the featured image is already in the Media Library, the plugin retains the old image and does not import from the URL.

Easy Author Image allows you to upload an author image in your User Profile, which is a good alternative to Gravatar. There are occasions in which I run project sites and would rather use a logo or alternative picture to my Gravatar default image. This plugin just might provide the options that would provide such functionality.

Ping List Pro provides an alternative to the standard pingomatic ping set. Ping List Pro updates the ping list automatically an a daily basis.

WP Awesome FAQ Screenshot - Sample OutputWP Awesome FAQ is a simple integrated FAQ system that presents an accordion style questions and answers dropdown for each question as it is clicked. This plugin is JQuery UI based. To insert into your page or post, simply insert the [faq] shortcode and the plugin will insert all the questions and answers that you have set up on the back end.

p5 : Plenty of Perishable Passwords for Protected Posts lets the author assign multiple disposable passwords for an individual post, page or custom post type. Passwords can also have the option of an expiration. This is something that I will personally test out with some project sites where I would like to show off landing pages or specialized design templates within a content area of my main site. It could also be used for limited time offers that expire with the page content including a video and lead capture form. No matter what your usage or application would be, this seems like an interesting plugin to try if you need multiple people to view a private password protected content item.

Conclusion:

Join us again tomorrow as we dig into the freshest plugins from the WordPress Plugin Repository. Please feel free to provide your feedback on the plugins listed here. Feel free to say hello on Twitter @marcuscouch and let me know what kind of plugin you are on the lookout for. If I find it throughout my daily plugin adventures, I’ll let you know! I’ll also be featuring several in-depth plugin reviews every week in addition to the daily plugin updates. Glad to be serving you here at the Tavern!

9 Comments


  1. Inline Preview […] It would be great to see this plugin have an “auto-update” cycle in which you can continually see a nearly real-time preview of your work as you create it.

    The latest version does have this — it should refresh every 3-5 seconds with the latest preview if you’ve made any changes since the last preview. If it doesn’t, that’s a bug.

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  2. I confess that Post Formats as it has been implemented in the Core for several WP-versions, and WP-v3.6 in particular (hopefully to be released from the trauma ward here shortly…), which was to showcase a new User Interface UI for the PFs, also built into Core … have been a notable head-scratcher for me, which judicious scratching has not relieved.

    Post Formats, as presented, are reminiscent of slightly enhanced Microsoft Outlet Express Stationary. “Yer kidding. That’s it“?

    In operation, they appear to yield a stripped-down, even dummied-down Post. This has not been a need that I noticed calling out for a solution … to fragment the various content-elements that make up a nicer, more-interesting Post, and then post the scraps as posts themselves.

    So honestly, like an unknown sleeping dog, I largely steer clear. We will see in due course, what kinda critter it actually is.
    =====

    The plugin WP Awesome FAQ, given a quickie-pointer here, creates a FAQ-page, by creating a custom Post Format (instead of clicking on stationa…). FAQs are a data-tuple (two pieces – the Q and the A), which is close to as simple as data-structures can get.

    The zip download for the plugin is under 80K, and nearly all of that is the two screenshot-images. The code-file for the plugin is less the 3K, consisting of a mere 70 lines of PHP.

    This is a very simple little program, with which to get some inititial hands-on, nuts-and-bolts familiarity with the actual mechanism behind Post Formats (and how to create custom examples) …. which the debacle of v3.6 convinces me to start doing.

    Plus, I’m a softie for a FAQ. I don’t want the FAQ as a page, and not all in one run-on document, either (that’s what the database is for – to let us get individual items, instead of all the stuff in one ‘pile’), but tinkering with a simple example-program has always been the best way I’ve found, to get started.

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  3. Holy moly!!! WHAT a PLUGIN!
    Love love love it… and it’s even quite handy for testing responsive layouts too :)

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  4. @Ted Clayton

    My ears perked up, at the reference made by WP Awesome FAQ, to custom Post Formats. And for good reason …

    The WordPress Codex page for Post Formats says:

    The Post Formats feature provides a standardized list of formats that are available to all themes that support the feature. … New formats cannot be introduced by themes or even plugins. – [emph. added]

    So we have ~9 official Post Format choices, covering what look like really quite-simplistic options, and no means to create any new Post Formats. Or do we?

    It’s a confusing situation, and it has been for what is becoming “a long time”.
    =====

    For the record, I am not a computer or programming pilgrim. I’ve been focused on a lifestyle outside computerdom that has had me slowly falling behind the emerging or cutting edge in digital culture, throughout the Internet era … but once upon a time I was an advanced student in operating systems, compilers & interpreters, databases etc, mainly using Assembly Language and C.

    I had no real difficulty shifting over to Linux, and work comfortably at the command line prompt (which of course is all anybody had, before GUIs … and they’re all pretty similar). I read hexadecimal. I wrote my first website, by hand with HTML (and later CSS), 15 years ago, made a dozen before deciding to go with dynamic pages, and I dabble with several modest PHP website scripts, on my own localhost.

    However, I can no longer tell what increasingly important parts of WordPress are supposed to be, or become. Explanations for ongoing innovations are all-too-typically problematic. It didn’t seem critical, a few versions ago, and I let it slide – it’ll all clear up in good time.

    Now, though, the much-anticipated Tenth Anniversary Edition of WordPress (v3.6), which was largely centered around a new UI for Post Formats, has crashed. This is serious. The problem was with the UI, or PFs, or something. Nobody knows … nuthin’.

    I understand why WordPress might be feeling that as an organization, they need to go radio-silent and hit the mattresses. But out here in Userland, Headquarters has had since v3.1 to put this new stuff forward in a comprehensible fashion, and instead of getting better, it’s gotten actually a bit scary.

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  5. @Ted Clayton – Alright, I had my little cry.

    Then I did what mighta been done before I got all melodramatic. I took a refresher-tour through the WordPress MySQL database tables.

    Truth is, I have avoided doing this for awhile, because innovations in WP looked like they would need new tables & relationships …. this proliferation being “a” if the “the” primary malady [eg, Original Sin] of conventional, Content Management System CMS website software.

    What a pleasant surprise & relief, to find that my fears were unfounded, and WordPress is actually still using the same mere eleven database tables that it had in years past. Several of these are NOT for the Content, but for stuff like Users & Options, and for optional material like Comments & Links (which many savvy applications of WP can ignore/won’t use … and if we wanted to fork an even simpler, non-bloggy WP, could completely remove).

    [And if we do want a new database table, as we very often do, we install these separately with a plugin, and keep our grubby fingers off the core tables.]

    So my concerns that Types, Formats and Taxonomies, etc, reflected an abandonment of the original simple & transparent design of WordPress’ foundations, were wrong.

    Instead, these names are just new names for the old rock-solid Content data elements … spritzed-up with graffiti spray-paint & glitter nail-polish. The seemingly-new stuff is just new ways of looking at & new terms for, the same-ol’ good-ol’ stuff.

    Under the hood, WordPress remains exactly what I like to see.

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