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Great WordPress Plugins (Small Giants)

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Great WordPress Plugins (Small Giants)

After reading Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big written by Bo Burlingham I have come up with the idea of writing about small plugins that can greatly improve functionality for your blog. If you think a great plugin needs to be huge, you are definitely wrong and you should go see the book I have mentioned right away.

Small Giants will be a series of posts on BetterWP.net reviewing five to ten small plugins each. This is done in the hope to make WordPress users aware of many well-written plugins that haven’t caught much attention. Good things must be shared so everyone can benefit from it, that is also the ultimate goal of this website =). This first article will give you five small giants that help you enhance your post contents, your post query and your plugins if you are developing any.

WP-Footnotes

WP-Footnoteswp-content/uploads/2011/02/a73-wp-footnotes-300x56.gif 300w" sizes="(max-width: 530px) 100vw, 530px" />

WP-Footnotes

WP-Footnotes is a lightweight plugin that does its job very well. Basically it automatically appends your post content with references you use throughout your post, just like when you are working with any word processing application. You mark your notes using an unobtrusive pair of double parentheses, like so:

((a note, a link, etc.))

This plugin will then collect all your notes and conveniently output a customizable list at the bottom of your post (as you can see in the screenshot above).

Customization: This plugin provides plenty of options. You can customize from how the footnotes appear to what HTML markups needed before and after the list. You also have the option to input custom CSS, too. One of the cool things this plugin offers is the ability to combine identical notes, i.e. notes that have the same contents will share the same list item. You can also control when this plugin executes by inputting a priority, simply amazing.

Demo: I have been using this plugin for some time and you can see it in action on almost every blog post I created.

Notes: Please note that you will need at least one space before the first opening parenthesis for this plugin to work, i.e. this: text((note)) won’t work.

Download: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-footnotes/

Text Hover

Text Hoverwp-content/uploads/2011/02/a73-text-hover-300x56.gif 300w" sizes="(max-width: 530px) 100vw, 530px" />

Text Hover

This simple plugin allows you to add explanations, definitions or any text you want in a mouse hover effect (no HTML or fancy stuffs though) to frequently used terms, phrases or acronyms in your posts. You indicate a term using a simple line of text:

BWP => BetterWP.net

All your posts created either before or after plugin activation will be filtered and the filtering is done on the fly without touching your posts’ contents in database.

Customization: By default, this plugin is applied to your post contents, post excerpt, and widget text and is case sensitive. You can change such behaviours either via options in the settings panel or via convenient filters. For example if you would like this plugin to filter your post titles too, you can do so:

// Enable text hover for post/page titles
add_filter( 'c2c_text_hover_filters', 'text_hovers_more' );
function text_hovers_more( $filters ) {
    $filters[] = 'the_title'; // Here you could put in the name of any filter you want
    return $filters;
}

Download: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/text-hover/

Remove Redundant Links

This is a rather overlooked plugin because of its name but it is actually very useful. It allows you to unlink <a> elements pointing to the page being viewed by your visitors by removing the href attribute and adding a descriptive title. It also removes the <link rel="author"> when necessary.

This plugin functions globally which means all <a> elements that satisfy the condition above will be unlinked, not just links in your post contents (this might not be ideal for people who would like to leave at least one link for their visitors to refresh the page, though).

Your unlinked elements will be attached with a CSS class so you can give them any kind of style you want, very convenient.

Customization: Being very simple this plugin doesn’t come with any setting panel but you can still customize it using a filter, like so:

function change_rrl_settings( $settings )
{
    $settings['class']    = 'my_css_class';
    $settings['title']     = 'You are here'; // the descriptive title
    $settings['replace_a'] = 'span'; // replace the anchors instead of unlink them

    return $settings;
}

add_filter( 'rrl_settings', 'change_rrl_settings', 10, 1 );

For a full list of other settings you should take a look at the class.Remove_Redundant_Links.php file in this plugin’s folder.

Download: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/remove-redundant-li ... ant-links/

Plugin Output Cache

POCwp-content/uploads/2011/02/a73-poc-300x56.gif 300w" sizes="(max-width: 530px) 100vw, 530px" />

Plugin Output Cache

Plugin Output Cache is one of the most underrated plugins ever developed, probably because it is too simple and isn’t updated anymore (but still work well, trust me). It is actually a supplementary plugin that can be used by other plugins to cache portions of their output for efficiency. That basically means this plugin by itself will not do a thing but plugin developers can make use of the cache facility this plugin provided whenever appropriate. Of course you will have to tell your plugin users to download and install this plugin first, nothing comes without a catch, you know ;).

To make use of this plugin, you will have to change your plugin’s output function from:

function your_plugin() {
	$result = get_plugin_output();
	echo $result;
}

to this:

function your_plugin() {
	if (defined('POC_CACHE_4')) {
		// $key is some unique string to identify the output
		$result = poc_cache_fetch($cache_key);
		if ($result !== false) echo $result;
	}
	$result = get_plugin_output();
	if (defined('POC_CACHE_4')) poc_cache_store($cache_key, $result);
	echo $result;
}

For more information regarding this plugin please visit its homepage: http://rmarsh.com/plugins/poc-cache/.

Download: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/plugin-output-cache ... put-cache/

Query Multiple Taxonomies

This is a rather advanced plugin but it solves a simple yet demanding need for querying multiple custom taxonomies in a single query_posts(). If you haven’t tried to do so already, you might not know that using this query in WordPress:

query_posts(author=philip-kotler&publisher=prentice-hall);

will not work (author and publisher are two custom taxonomies). This plugin will fix this issue for you and allow you to query just any number of custom taxonomies you want. It also comes with a widget to conveniently display your registered taxonomies (currently without nice permalinks to view taxonomy archives, though – correct me if I’m wrong).

This plugin might become redundant as of WordPress version 3.1 because WordPress 3.1 comes with support for advanced taxonomy queries by default, users of previous versions, however, might still benefit from this awesome plugin.

Download: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/query-multiple-taxo ... axonomies/

Try them out and experience the power of the small giants! Feedbacks, suggestions, ideas? Please comment below, thanks!

query and your plugins if you are developing any.

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  1. Great WordPress Plugins (Small Giants) - Part 2 - Better WordPress

    [...] the previous article in this Small Giants series, I have introduced five plugins that are very useful, but lack [...]

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