The Daily Plugin: Launchkey, User Languages, Buy Him A Beer

It’s once again time to check out the newest and most recently updated plugins in the WordPress Plugin Repository. Today we have five additions that are worth taking a closer look at. But before you install these on a live site, make sure that you properly test them on a secondary staging site first. That way you know the plugin is an ideal match for you and can work well with the other plugins you already have installed. Remember that this post is not to be considered an endorsement or official review, but a sampling of the newest offerings from the Repository.

LaunchKey - Failure to LaunchLaunchKey is an authentication plugin that promises to “Kill All Passwords” for your WordPress logins. You begin by installing the plugin, downloading the app (iOS or Android) and then confirming your account via email. From there you are to login to and create an app API that will authenticate with your mobile device. Here’s where my investigation halted, at first at least. For the first 45 minutes, no matter what browser I tried, it would never let me log into my account on their website to create the API keys needed. I reached out to Launchkey on Twitter and finally had things working to API key stage after 3 uninstalls and re-installs. Once I had the API keys, it ground to a halt on my first attempt to retry wp-admin login. No matter what I did, {“error”:”invalid_request”} was the result in my browser when routing through their OAuth servers.

After 3 API key changes on their site, it finally worked. So how does it work once it actually gets going? It uses your mobile device to allow you to login to your site based only on your Launchkey username. Once the username is entered, your mobile device is alerted and a notification comes up allowing you to “slide up” a toggle that permits the login. It also allows you to log off simply by sliding the “lock” to the right. One early issue that I found was that no matter what site I had tried to login as, the iPhone app always identified the authentication request as coming from “Launchkey OAuth” rather than any particular site name or URL. I can see where this would get really confusing really fast when dealing with multiple domains. How would I know what site is being logged into? Once more, if I am logging out by sliding on the names, how can I tell what I’m logging out of? It’s an interesting app/plugin combo adding another layer of security to your installation, or at least lending all your site credential trust to a third-party funnel, which has it’s own risks attached to it when misused. I like the concept and appreciate the quick help of the Twitter support team in getting me operational. Personally though, I don’t see the need for the average WordPress user to implement this. It’s not worth the risks or the cumbersome setup time. That’s just my opinion and your own needs may vary. For me, the launch key was turned and the rocket never got very far off the pad.

It’s a neat app. Will I keep it installed? Not at the moment. I’ll check back with this one after they have a few revisions to see if they are ready for Prime Time. For now though, I’ll wait.

Buy Him A BeerBuy Him A Beer is the perfect plugin for Jeff to install on this site. I’d rather call this one “Buy Me some single-malt Scotch”, but for continuity sake, we’ll stick with the beer references. This plugin is not like your typical PayPal based donation prompt. It actually allows you to pick out what beer you would like to buy someone. From a domestic standard to a seasonal microbrew rarity, “Buy Him A Beer” is a fun way to encourage tips or donations in your WordPress installation. The plugin runs on the database at to feed the beer data into the system, but no account signup is required. It’s a great way to prompt donations to your site and fun for the person making the donation. I’ve tested it and it also works for females too, despite the name. I forsee a whole series of this. Buy me lunch, send me a pizza, pay for my dry cleaning and perhaps even feed my starving dog with a nice selection of treats. Of course that’s the marketer in me, always going for those heartstrings in order to make a conversion. Who know if we’ll install this on WPTavern, but it’s worth a shot (or at least a beer).

User Language SwitchUser Language Switch allows you to change the language on the front end or the back-end with just a simple flick of the switch. This is truly helpful if you work with people who speak another language and you want to switch back and forth to edit and work on the same WordPress installation. It also allows you to translate posts back and forth with an association between the native language and the translated versions. Several years ago I worked with a team in Spain on a WordPress project that could have really used a plugin like this for the back-end that we could have toggled languages on. If it ever comes up again, I’ll be sure to give this one a try on a live site.

That will round out today’s batch of plugins. After all that struggle with LaunchKey, I really could use a beer. Anyone want to donate one? lol. Remember to say hello on Twitter @marcuscouch or leave your feedback here on WPTavern. We’ll see you tomorrow for the Friday edition to wrap up your week with some fun new plugins.



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