Keep Features in WordPress Core to Keep it User Friendly

I’ve read about features being shuffled off into plugins instead of keeping them as part of the main WordPress (core files) which can be downloaded and installed for free (web hosting/ domain required). The problem with features being taken out of WordPress is where they go from there.

Premium versus Free

WordPress itself is still free. Plugins are less often free these days. There could be a free version, a limited version, and in a few cases just a pretty free face advertising the premium plugin. This is what I see happening to any features taken out of WordPress and left to develop as plugins instead. Wave good-bye to your features.

I do understand plugin developers want to be paid too. I have paid for plugins and usually lived to regret it. Paid plugins need to be supported. This does not mean people need to keep buying them, keeping the developer happy with a lot of sales. No, once I buy a plugin (or other software) I like to know it will be supported (if not actively developed it should at least continue to work). Paying for a plugin does not guarantee it will be there, functional, when you want it.

Features in WordPress core tend to be more reliable that way.

Software Conflicts

Another problem with plugins is discovering they are not what you expected and then trying several others hoping to find that one magic plugin that does the job. All plugins are not created equal. They conflict with other plugins and, they don’t always work smoothly with your site theme. Trying several plugins is risky, all that installing, activating and deleting leaves a load of junk on the back end of your site. You don’t see it, but it’s there, lurking, a possible conflict of interest when you least expect it.

Software Evolution

Features in WordPress core are far more likely to keep evolving and getting better than features taken out of it. That is just simple logic.

Look at post formats. They were taken out of WordPress and have been left as an empty little icon you can add to your posts, signifying nothing really because you can’t add style to the post formatting unless you modify the CSS/ HTML of your site files. Not everyone wants to do that. So post formatting is kind of a dead fish. It could be a better solution than page building plugins. It could have meant we did not need page building plugins.

Instead, page building plugins have evolved and page formatting has stalled out somewhere along the way. Formatting would have been less complicated, more user friendly. But, WordPress is run by developers who sell plugins. There is that bias towards being commercially friendly and less user friendly.

 

Has WordPress Jumped the Shark?

I think WordPress is in danger of “jumping the shark”, becoming too complicated and loaded with too many features. Google has mostly forgotten all about Blogger, but it may become a better alternative for a lot of people who just want a simple business site. WordPress seems to be something for people who want to spend time and money on a fancy site with a lot of features. How many businesses really need all of that? Not many.

As someone who has kept sites for many years and used WordPress most of the time, I’m not planning to use a lot of customized posts. I don’t need them. I want to focus on content, not spend a lot of time on formatting.

I will add that if people are building a site to function as a web directory, job board, or any of a hundred other things – WordPress isn’t an essential element. It may even be a hindrance. WordPress is still a customized blog at heart.

Note: I posted this as a comment on WPTavern. The post there was about new custom formatting for WordPress posts. It got me thinking about how WordPress is used, who uses it and whether it is really still sustainable for the general blog user – people who are not web developers and may not want to spend that kind of time or money on a site for their business, or hobby, etc. Most of us have a limited budget. How important is it to have a fancy site with a lot of features versus just having a site up and functioning?

Is WordPress still a good option for putting up a site? Or, do you need to be (or pay) a web designer/ developer to work with WordPress?

WordPress Calendar Plugins

I wanted a holiday calendar. I did not find anything which really did what I wanted. (Just a simple way to keep track of holidays and all those odd international and national days for odd, but interesting and sometimes relevant, things). But, today I found a new list of reviews. Quite sure I have already looked at most of them, but there might be something new.

Chronosly looks good but it has a lot of features I don’t need and that could make it complicated to work with when I just want something simple.

I’d recommend The Events Calendar (Pro, or not) for most people who want a way to list or track events. The developers were quick to write back when I had a question when I tried the plugin earlier. It has good features and I might try it again. Last time it wasn’t quite right for me but I know it hasn’t been left to stagnate in the mean time.

Premium Calendar Plugins

  • Events Calendar Pro
  • Community Events
  • Facebook Events
  • Event Calendar WD
  • EventOn WordPress Event Calendar
  • Business Calendar – WordPress Internal Calendar
  • WordPress Pro Event Calendar
  • Sugar Event Calendar
  • StacheThemes Event Calendar

Free Calendar Plugins

  • Google Calendar Events
  • The Events Calendar
  • Chronosly Events Calendar
  • All-in-One Event Calendar
  • My Calendar

List via  wpmayor.com – Best Calendar Plugins for WordPress (2016).

Plugins to Manage WordPress Multi-Author Blogs

Note: The original post was from 2014. Likely there is a fresher list of plugins but I like to see plugins which have been around for some trial and error.

I don’t run a multi-author site (but I do write for a few). Still, in my experience, Edit Flow is excellent. I did try it myself but decided it had a lot of features I didn’t need (due to the fact that I’m the only one here). From the list, Post Forking, sounds like the one I’d try. But, it hasn’t had an update in three years.  An interesting plugin, but I decided not to try it because it’s not something I’d use very often anyway.

Maybe something on the list will be just what you need. Get the links and reviews from the post at WP Beginner below.

1. Capability Manager Enhanced
2. Co-Authors Plus
3. Restrict Author Posting
4. Revisionary
5. Simple Local Avatars
6. Author Avatars List
7. Edit Flow
8. Author Spotlight (Widget)
9. Post Forking
10. Require Featured Image
11. TinyMCE Spellcheck
12. Email Users
13. Adminimize
14. WP User Frontend
15. Moderator Role
16. Content Progress
17. Cimy User Extra Fields
18. User Submitted Posts
19. Error Notification
20. User Notes
21. Role Based Help Notes

Source: 21 Plugins to Efficiently Manage WordPress Multi-Author Blogs

Useful WordPress Widgets from 2014

This is a list of widgets from 2014. I like to see how the widgets fared over time. One I had looked at fairly recently. Some don’t apply to me, like the Opening Hours widget, which would be really good for a brick and mortar business website.

Source for the full list: 20 Incredibly Useful WordPress Widgets | Elegant Themes Blog.
I’m going to try Biographia. It hasn’t been updated in 3 years but… it sounds interesting, if a bit complicated from the description in the review.

biographica

8. WP Biographia

WP Biographia allows you to add a biography box to your website. It is, by no means, a simple plugin. The settings area has seven different pages. It allows you to define whether the bio is displayed before or after the content area on posts, pages, RSS feeds, archives, and your home page. It can also be displayed in widget areas.

Found an Auto Post for WordPress

I just found this and I’m hoping it will work. There are times I would like to find something new to post about. I have seen other auto posting software but it tends to be very outdated, or not free. I’ve paid for Curation Suite but I don’t really get as much out of it as I thought I would. This looks simpler, and that’s a big plus for me.

Capture
Source: WordPress Auto Poster Download

Dear JetPack…

Can we have a feature to mass update JetPack’s modules for all our WP sites? I have had to reinstall JetPack due to update problems and each time my modules need to be re-set. This is time consuming and a little aggravating to do for several sites. Today 6 of them need to be reset and I can’t find any enthusiasm at all for the job. Could JetPack set this up as WP.com has made it work for updating plugins for all my blogs now?

PS- JetPack should not be on the WP.com updates. It does not work well with others there. The time before I forgot not to update it and this last time I was optimistic and thought it would work this time… But, no. JetPack has some kind of conniption each time I update it on WP.com, especially if I have other plugins to update. Why not just have JetPack update from JetPack and keep module settings there too? Please. The multi-bloggers will love you. For a few minutes at least.

I sent this request to JetPack tonight. I’m sure someone will read it but, tonight, I am still fixing/ adjusting modules cross checking between sites and wishing there was an easier way to do this.

The Forever Login with WordPress

I don’t like logging into my own WordPress sites over and over again. I really don’t like being logged out when I’ve been logged in for hours, or was just logged in a few hours ago, or yesterday. Ideally, WordPress core or JetPack, would refresh the login each time you log in. Instead it is set at every 14 days (so I’ve read).

Out of irritation with the system, I have found a list of plugins which can (I’m only picking one to try so I won’t guarantee them all) keep you logged in. Or, at least let you choose when you are logged out. Some of these plugins are geared for site users, which means anyone registered for your site.

Remember Me – The focus is on keeping the “remember me” option checked, without leaving it for users to… remember to do. There are no screenshots for this plugin and it was adopted by another developer fairly recently. So, I’m not sure this is entirely reliable or just what I want. However, it does have the most recent update.

Remember Me Controls – This is the plugin I’m going to use. It’s simple and leaves me the option to set it or leave things as they are. The plugin developer has a lot of other plugins. There is a screenshot so I know what to expect when I activate the plugin. Overall, it looks like it will work and if I do have a plugin clash or some other problem, the developer is available and seems experienced.

WordPress Persistent Login – This one I’m not sure about trying because there is no set up. Seems there should be something more to it than that. But, it does say the login will not expire at all (unless users choose to actually log out).

Older Plugins – Over one year since last updated.

configure-login-timeout – Another old plugin but this one lets you set the time period for the standard or “remember me” login.

WP Keep Me Logged In – The oldest of the plugins. Will keep you logged in for one year.

A New Feature for PressThis?

pressthisideaSource: WordPress › Support » PressThis Feature: Choose Which Post

This is my suggestion. Probably posted to the wrong place. I never seem to find the same place twice in the WordPress forums.

I think it’s a brilliant idea, of course. I really would be a nice way to build up a post – without having to return to the admin screen on your site every time you just need to add a link, or an extra editorial. Or an image from your computer too.

Will see if it gets any notice.