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An Introduction and a Plugin Review: Admin Links Widget

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April 7th, 2009
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WordPress Plugins

Hello everyone.  My name is Rich Hay and I want to start off by thanking Mark for inviting me to write for Weblog Tools Collection.  I have been a long time reader of this site so it is both exciting and humbling to be given the opportunity to write about WordPress on here. I look forward to our interactions in the future.

I have been banging around the Internet since the early 90’s and put my first website online at GeoCities.com.  The technology has come along way since those days and I have now been maintaining and developing WindowsObserver.com in one form or another since 1995.

So as I was looking around for a subject to write about for my first blog post here I decided I would select what I consider to be a very simple but useful plugin – at least for my aesthetics.

By default when you install WordPress one of the sidebar widgets is the Meta Widget which provide links to do the following:

  • Log In/Out
  • Blog Dashboard
  • RSS Feeds (both posts and comments)
  • A link to WordPress.com

It looks like this when your logged in

metalinkswp

Now everyone of those links are very useful and provide you a quick and easy way to get to the WordPress dashboard to work on your site  For me the only downfall is that this widget is present for everyone who arrives at your site.  I would prefer to not have that admin type menu visible to everyone.

That brings me to the Admin Links Widget created by Keith Murray.  This simple yet very useful widget replaces the default Meta Widget menu which can not be edited easily.  This plugin allows that Admin Links Menu in your sidebar to be configured with more options. The feature that I really like is that this menu is hidden from all of your website visitors except those with admin permissions on your site.

Here is what it looks like in your sidebar:

adminlinksscreenshot

And here are the properties for the widget in your admin panel.  Just select the menu items you want to appear on your sidebar click Done and the Save and it will be ready to go.

adminlinkswidgetpropertiesjpg

As you can see you can add a few menu items that are not available in the default Meta Widget and I also know it does not have the RSS likes either.  Most templates will have those linked in the header somewhere and you can always add those links to your blog roll to have them available as well.

So there you go – simplicity at its best which is the beauty of WordPress and the community that develops all the great features we can add to our sites.  I look forward to looking into this terrific community in the future.

Until next time – stay safe out there!

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20
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Comments

  1. George Serradinho (107 comments.) says:

    Very nice plugin, makes things a lot easier for us admins.

  2. Ben Licher (2 comments.) says:

    Thanks, I’m going to download this one very fast. Saves a lot of clicking!

  3. Brian Meagher (2 comments.) says:

    Welcome Rich.

    I use a hack in my Menu to only display the Admin link to me. But I’d rather switch to using this plugin. But…

    Is this plugin working in 2.7? WordPress.org/extend says it’s only compatible up to 2.5.1, author’s not updated it in a year, and the only 2 comments about it are that it borked their other plugins.

    Maybe Keith Murray could pop in here and tell us more.

    • Ben Licher (2 comments.) says:

      @Brian, it works perfect for me. I use WP 2.7 and One-Theme. I can’t check if guests see it or not. Would anyone be so kind? Go right to the bottom, everything in Dutch :-).

  4. Richard Hay (9 comments.) says:

    Brain,

    Thanks for the welcome.

    I can also confirm what Ben said above – I use it with 2.7 and it works like a champ.

    I will send Keith Murray a note and see if he might update the listing to show it works with the latest version of WordPress.

  5. Blake Ipsen (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for this download- save so much time/effort!

  6. Keith (4 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the review, Rich. Much appreciated!

    @Brian: The plugin does in fact work correctly with WP 2.7, I’ve been running it on my site all the way through the 2.7 release cycle without issues.

    The lack of updates is mainly due to time, but I do keep a close eye on this one because I rely on it too. :)

    I’ve posted an updated version of the plugin (1.3.1) with no real functionality changes, though the compatibility notes should be fixed though so WP shouldn’t complain anymore if you try to install it.

    The WP plugin cache is a bit slow to update, but it should be there in the next day or so.

    Thanks all for the positive comments & feedback!

    • WordPress User (1 comments.) says:

      Great article/tutorial. Thanks for this greatly needed information. Now, a more pressing issue for me is SPAM! BOTS! Argh! How do I keep these menaces to the web society off my blog?

      I used Sabre and yes, it works, but I then ran into a lot of issues with people not being able to register using the capcha. I could not even register using it, as several of the capchas do not reflect the actual input letters and numbers they show.

      I have also used various other plugins and I either run into issues because I am not a phpadmin pro or it’s not actually blocking bots. Others block bots and not spammers.

      Any suggestions? I average 200+ spam posts per day.

      Thank you!

  7. Sriraj (27 comments.) says:

    Good changes, especially for the entries RSS and comments RSS in the default widget as they are almost present in every wordpress theme now.

  8. Shepherd Jim (1 comments.) says:

    Wow! The “Admin Links Widget” plugin is going to save me so much time AND screen space. I’ve always had to to keep a site loaded in two browser tabs. Now, the Dashboard will just a click away from my site.

    Many thanks to author Keith Murray and to you for bringing the plugin to my attention.

  9. Keith (4 comments.) says:

    The new version is showing up in the WP plugin directory as of this morning. Self-hosted WP installs should be picking it up in shortly.

  10. WindowsObserver (55 comments.) says:

    Just grabbed the update from my Admin panel after it was shown as being available – thanks Keith.

  11. khaled (4 comments.) says:

    When you login to any of those links such as manage plugins and manage comment will it not take you to the same admin panel to do all of the tasks thus giving you 8 links to the same admin panel. Or am I missing something here?

  12. WindowsObserver (55 comments.) says:

    khaled – when I click any of those links on my blog it takes me directly to that part of the admin panel. Seems like you have something unexpected happening.

    I also have the latest version installed that Keith released yesterday.

  13. Kim says:

    It’s indeed a very nice plugin. It keeps all admin-related links in one place, and makes it easily integratable in your theme.

    Another useful plugin i suggest using is http://wordpress.org/extend/pl.....admin-bar/. This plugin provides a front side top admin bar, with customizable buttons, based on the wordpress.com admin bar.

    Hoping to be of use ;)


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  1. [...] that my first post has gone live I can officially announce that I am now starting as a regular contributor to the [...]

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  3. [...] to my website using WordPress.  Some are quite simple and as was discussed in the comments on the Admin Links Widget review I did last week, many can be done via hacks within your WordPress theme [...]

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