It’s Wednesday which means it’s hump day and the week-end is in sight! Today, we’ll take a look at plugins like System Snapshot Report, Folder Slider, Harmonia, Content Blocks, String Locator and Export User Data. As always, make sure you backup and test on a staging site before taking any of these plugins live. We highlight these plugins as applications of interest and not an endorsement or official review. Let’s get plugged in!
System Snapshot Report is a simple admin only plugin that provides a boatload of data about the server and related diagnostics. It provides you with quick-glance data that you can use to troubleshoot any issues you may be having with a WordPress installation. Data output includes version information for WordPress, PHP info, how your posts are displayed, how many users are active, etc. Essentially this is an all in one diagnostic and auditing tool that provides an entire snapshot of your entire WordPress operating environment. I’ve had plugins that provide some of this data, but this is the most comprehensive solution to show me all of the data I could possibly need to learn all about the internal structure of a unique WordPress installation.
Folder Slider presents an alternative to the standard slider input. Generally sliders operate as being fed from either the Featured Image or as a separate slide management area within the slider plugin settings. This particular plugin is unique in that it instead pulls from a folder of images stored online to create the sliders. A basic set of transitions and options apply that allow you to present the images in a clean and aesthetically pleasing way. I’ve grown to appreciate plugins that feed directly from folders. Sometimes you just don’t need the extra management or setup that’s required when you simply want to display a slider of images without all the bells and whistles. This is a good no-frills option that can be updated simply by replacing the files in a folder via FTP.
Harmonia is a very interesting plugin that takes the new 3.6 inline player a bit further. This plugin finds all mp3 links in your content area and replaces the links with an inline audio player, allowing for instant listening. I like plugins that take all of the coding out of the post process, even if the coding is just a shortcode. When plugins like this come along, it makes it so much easier for WordPress novices to expand their content reach without requiring a speck of code. The player is in need of some more customization options, but it worked well for me in my staging tests thus far.
Content Blocks is a mystery plugin from the wordpressdotorg team that is labeled as “exploratory“. This has me intrigued as I hope it does for you as well. I have no idea what it does or how it will work, but I’m going to find out. I can’t wait to see what’s inside the black box.
String Locator is something that I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. It performs a site-wide search of your themes and plugins for a specific string. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been editing a theme or CSS file and missed at least one other instance that I needed to change, but could not locate. This plugin solves that problem by providing an easy to use search function to find all those needles in your theme’s haystack. It’s also good for spotting altered or malicious code that may appear from nowhere.
Export User Data gives you the option to export all of your user data into an Excel sheet for offline viewing. It includes options for exporting your users by role, a range of registration dates and usermeta options. It can export in both CSV and Excel formats. Data that can be exported also includes BuddyPress and bbPress profile data. I recently exported the BuddyPress profile data on a membership site run by a client. We then took the data to invite everyone on the site to connect to the site author on LinkedIn. Though it’s just one simple use, it is nice to have a full export capability that is not a full database.
That’ll do ‘er for today’s plugin bonanza. Make sure you stop back here tomorrow for more of the plugins that could change your life, or at least your reading habits. As always you can contact me on Twitter @marcuscouch or here on WPTavern.