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What would you like in a WordPress Plugin?

50
responses

If you are a WordPress user, plugins should not be new to you. The WordPress Extend lists over 5800 plugins with over 40 million downloads. Plugins range from the obscure but ubiquitous Hello Dolly to the almost essential Akismet and All in One SEO pack. The most popular plugins are the ones that provide a necessary service and have become part of our daily lives.

As I blog, I want to do certain things with my blog. When I first started with WordPress, my Sortable Nicer Archives plugin (Please do not use it, it has gone by the wayside. The plugin lives on in hacked form on our archives.) was a necessity for me because I wanted a cleaner form of archives. I scratched my itch and hacked together something that worked for me. I also needed a way to backup my WordPress database automatically and thus the WordPress DB Backup plugin was born. At one time there were plans of including it in the core but the functionality was better suited in plugin form. When I noticed that a lot of people were searching for similar content, I put together a plugin/hack that allowed me to keep track of searches and then provide a heat map of searched words. I frequent Amazon and I really liked their related purchases section and I ended up emulating that in a plugin (this one is updated, can be used). I recently hacked up a breadcrumbs plugin when I was inspired by a tutorial I found on the web to build Apple like breadcrumbs with CSS (you can see them on action on the blog in case you are reading this from a news reader).

Today as I blog, I still come up with plugin ideas. But I cannot hunker down with code as much as I would love to. I do however, have access to a wide array of wonderful resources with which I can provide the incentive and the platform for developers to get their hands into code that can enhance the blogging experience with WordPress. Thus the WordPress Plugin Competition was born.

Getting back to the original idea of the title. What would you, my readers, like to see in a plugin? Do you need the ability to paste pictures on the WYSIWYG interface? Would you like to arrange pages with a simple drag and drop? Would you like to synchronize your posts with your Flickr pictures and display them simultaneously? Would you like to display your Kindle reading list and be able to post reviews? How about a plugin to edit your blog from the Kindle 2? Would you like your blog to display a disclaimer to every visitor from Google? Would you like to display single ads on each post?

Approximately two weeks are left in the Plugin Competition and I am hoping to spark off some new ideas.

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50
Responses

 

Comments

  1. Mark (386 comments.) says:

    Let me start off the comments with my suggestions.

    I would like to see a customizable glossary plugin that automatically updates the glossary.

    It would also be nice to have a WordPress backup plugin that can manage real backups of files and database (think differential or incremental).

  2. David Lari (9 comments.) says:

    For a non-profit web site I’m working on, I really need a calendar plug-in that is full featured for listing events. There are many plug-ins out there that offer some of the features I need, but lack something. The biggest missing feature is comprehensive repeating events capability. For example, the ability to have an event repeat either weekly, or monthly. Also, for things like plays, where there may be performances for a couple of weeks, every day, but then there might be a day or two that need to be tweaked because there’s a matinee performance. Then the ability to list the events in either a monthly calendar, or as an event list. Widgets for today’s event, and upcoming events. And each event you create should automatically create a post in WP, templating standard information ( event location, name, date, description, etc.) And finally, iCal import and export. I’ve seen almost all these features in some of the event calendar plug-ins, but none have all these features in one plug-in, at least that I’ve been able to find.

    • Sergio Vieira (1 comments.) says:

      Hi David,

      I’m using Ec3 Event Calendar http://wpcal.firetree.net/ at desnivel.pt(in portuguese) for quite some time and it works great. Have you checked it out yet?

      You have one or several events for each post, even a event that would last many continous days, you have an event list and listing the category associated with the events will get you somehow the monthly calendar. Also has ical import.

  3. Dale Challener Roe (1 comments.) says:

    I’d like to see a plugin that would allow a user to set up a template (in the more traditional definition, not a “template file”) for a series of pages…which may be better explained with an example.

    If I create a new page with the custom field “x” then the plugin will automatically create a series of subpages with names and content predefined by the user.

    For myself and for a few clients where I have set up WP as a CMS this would be a great timesaver.

  4. BJohnM (3 comments.) says:

    I’d like a more robust quiz plugin. There is the “quizzin” plugin, but it lacks a few features. My wish list of features for such a plugin would be: 1) ability to use various types of question formats (TF, multiple choice, would do); 2)be able to enter a library of questions for a particular quiz, and have the quiz pull from the library randomly (i.e. put in 150 questions, run a 50 question quiz pulling the 50 randomly from the 150); 3) user may be required to enter name and email with results maintained in DB, and an email of the results sent to an admin address (admin address either site admin, or a specified admin for each quiz); 4) Once test is completed, user is presented with the results (score) along with the questions and a “check” or “X” (optionally shown the correct answer for incorrect questions).

    As I said, Quizzin has some of these capabilities, but lacks a lot of them. I’ve seen a number requests for a similar plugin (lots of educators seem to use WordPress), but no one has yet come up with something I can find that is easy to use on the admin side.

  5. Gary Jones :: BlueFur.com (1 comments.) says:

    It would be neat to have a plugin to make plugins.

    So you have a bunch of drop downs so you can build a plugin in WordPress.

  6. Left_Flank (1 comments.) says:

    I would like to see two kinds of plugins:

    1. A plugin like “Now Reading” but only with an option to use other online bookstores, like Powell’s, and with an easier method of inserting links into posts.

    2. A more convenient, one-stop social media plugin that covers all sites and includes functionality to update, post, edit, and keep stats.

  7. ericdano says:

    A Download manager, like WP Download, but that does just put all the files in one folder.

  8. High Ranking SEO (1 comments.) says:

    A video sitemap plug in… I wrote a script to do it with custom fields and everything but I don’t know how to turn that into a plugin. I don’t really have the time to develop it either, but if you ever try to make a stab at it, I will most certainly be willing to give you all the script I have for it. The one I made complies with Google Webmaster guidelines, but the way it is set up right now you must enter custom fields for the sections of the video…still better than manually doing it by hand in the XML file, but could DEFINITELY be a very useful plugin for people that have a decent chunk of videos on their site (a lot of people). What do you think?

  9. Land (1 comments.) says:

    I would say a plugin that automatically turns wordpress into a solid CMS via plugins. For example:
    You install the master plugin (WordPress CMSizer)
    The WP CMSizer automatically downloads a series of plugins:
    -Ozh’s admin drop down menu, SEO friendly, Tag cloud, Internal linking plugin, etc etc…

    THAT would be awesome. What I do right now is I have edited the wordpress core the way I want it (some edits to the search function, links, etc), put together a whole package of plugins then I upload that whole pack then activate it. It would be nice if that could all happen with one click [Activate] :-)

    Thanks.

  10. Richard says:

    Hi – Thanks for doing this. Great initiative.

    It’d be extremely helpful to have a plugin which enabled me to either:

    (1) list all users on a single screen (rather than 20 or whatever the default number is per screen) so I could copy and paste them all into an Excel spreadsheet); or, better still

    (2) export all user details into a CSV or Excel file.

    Cheers
    Richard

  11. Miami SEO (1 comments.) says:

    @Richard

    You don’t need a plug in to do that. You can use wordpress’s “export”feature and just export the users or you can go right into PhpMyAdmin and just export the user table as a CSV. That’s a really simple one right there…could prolly make that plugin in a matter of an hour.

  12. business stationary (2 comments.) says:

    I have one more. What about a plugin that can automatically create backlinks…I know there is already one out there, but maybe something that is not spammy, just like a human. A recipricol link type plug in? Not sure…something to do with back links.

  13. Derek (2 comments.) says:

    I would really love to see something like this: http://www.mlwebtechnologies.c.....;Itemid=67 or for reviews: http://extensions.joomla.org/e.....88/details .

    This is about the only plug-in essential to a church website/CMS that WordPress lacks to put it in the front running. WEC also has a nice module: http://demo.webempoweredchurch.....ty/prayer/ for an example.

    I have been searching for at least 2 years to no avail for this one plug-in. I might be able to contribute a small amount to such a project. It should certainly be flexible, the RSS feed of the requests is almost a must…but I also like the idea of being able to rotate random prayers on the page, both submitted prayers, and prayers from the liturgy, or Book of Common Prayer, etc. The key features are subscribe options and posting on a “wall” for all public prayers not marked private. Obviously, it needs a mailing list feature.

    Thanks, and I am sure there are many others desiring this same thing.

  14. Milan (17 comments.) says:

    I would like a plugin that allows people to access all the photos in my media library in an elegant way, searchable by description or date.

  15. samtsai (3 comments.) says:

    I’d like a ecard plugin that turns my blog photos into ecards where people can pick and send to friends from my site.

  16. Blogfornoob Bot Com (1 comments.) says:

    i would like a plug-in that is like a toolbar of Facebook

  17. Consciência Planetária (7 comments.) says:

    There are 4 things that I most miss in WordPress:

    1) A menu generator plugin, with the flexibility of Drupal menus. Currently I use NAVT Menu, but it doesn’t support posts, only pages… It would be wonderful if somebody hacked it to include posts support :D

    2) More HTML flexibility on comments, and support for PHP and shortcodes. I understand guests must not be allowed to access such flexibility, but blog admin and authors that already have access to “full” post power definetely should be allowed to use on comments anything that we can do on posts. I have some nice plugins that enhance post features and they simply don’t work on comments, while comments are part of the blog content.

    3) Some way to stop WordPress from breaking PHP tags on posts. I use Exec-PHP to let me use PHP on posts, but WordPress keeps breaking its tags everytime I add/edit a post, forcing me to use phpMyAdmin to access database directly.

    4) More permalink flexibility, as we have in Drupal. There are a few plugins that hack WP engine and makes it better, but if we try to hack it too much we start facing bugs, like pages returning 404 and so on. We really need a full featured and concise “permalink flexibilizer”.

    • Ryan (55 comments.) says:

      If you are lucky someone will upload a new menu plugin to the WLTC plugin competition in the next few days which is able to add posts to a menu for you :) It will also allow you to restyle the menu too and add all sorts of other handy options, not just posts, pages etc.

  18. Hikari (79 comments.) says:

    Hey that Sortable Nicer Archives plugin is nice!

    Please share it with us, I’d love to use it :D

  19. TC says:

    I’d like to see a plugin that will allow you to repost a past article by future schedule (keeping the article alive on site the whole time), AND also display the original published date (displayed as date published on article) AND ping your rss readers/feedburner as a new post (even though it’s an article brought up from the archives)–and of course, keep the original url. I fear it’s impossible, but that’s what I’m lusting after :).

    • Milan (17 comments.) says:

      This reminds me.

      Every day, I put up two scheduled posts: a longer one with a photo and a shorter one without. It would be great to have a plugin that shows checkboxes for each post on future days, letting me keep track of which ones are properly pre-scheduled and which I still need to write.

      I have been doing it with pen and paper, with a three column table (post 1, photo, post 2) and the days of the week running downwards as rows.

  20. david says:

    I am looking for a plugin where only authorized users can export blog articles in to pDF format.If you guys have any idea please let me know.

    Thanks

  21. Jeff R. (7 comments.) says:

    I would like to have a plugin that allows me to access my directories on the server. When I click the wysiwyg img button, I would like a dialog to pop up and show me the files on the server, I double click a file, and it inserts the link for me, just like any windows software.

    I would also like a plugin where if I click on ‘link’, I could then have a dialog box pop up shows all of my posts. When I click a post, it inserts either the slug or the id number. This plugin could also have a set default category so if there is one common place that posts are typically linked at to come up first – or only show.

    I realize the second one would have a performance issue possibly with larger blogs…so I don’t know how that would be addressed. There is one plugin out there that is very basically attempting this…but doesn’t pull it off all that well.

  22. Paul Moxon (1 comments.) says:

    I’d like to see:

    1) A universal dropdown plugin for any list in the side bar (Pages, Authors, etc.).

    2) A plugin to generate bar graphs and pie charts.

    3) A plugin generating “new” and “updated’ badges for pages in the side bar, ala the “Updated Today Banner” plugin.

  23. Bill says:

    I miss a functionality of my old webeditor program. When editing, I really want to be able to highlight something in the editor tab and click on the html tab and have that same area be highlighted so I can find where I’m working easily.

  24. Mandy (1 comments.) says:

    I’d like a plugin that would create an excel file (or CSV) of pages/posts within a specified date range. I haven’t tried WordPress’s export feature but I suspect it contains more information than I need.

    I’d also like to export selected posts (could be by date range) to a text file.

  25. Shane says:

    I’d like to see a more advanced/developed version of Matt’s photo tagging plugin. It’s a great start, but maybe w/ the new taxonomy features of 2.8 it could be taken further.

  26. Jeff R. (7 comments.) says:

    I would second Mandy’s comment. Better exporting of categories. I haven’t investigated a plugin like this in a year, but it didn’t exist at that time, and if she is commenting, maybe it still doesn’t.

  27. business stationary (2 comments.) says:

    Mandy and Jeff,

    Maybe this is a little much, but if you are looking for that functionality, then you can use wordpresses export feature OR you can go into PhpMyAdmin and you will be able to export whatever you want into any format it supports…usually people like CSV…

  28. Donna says:

    The greatest and most unique plugin I’ve ever seen is the no-longer-supported “Does Your Mother Know.” It hides individual posts when accessed by pre-defined IP addresses, and does not depend on user permissions.

    • Milan (17 comments.) says:

      Of course, most ordinary dial-up or broadband connections do not have a constant IP address over time.

      • Donna says:

        Actually, you’d be surprised how long dialup or broadband connections maintain their IP addresses. Weeks or months.

        The plugin also worked with ranges of IP addresses.

  29. Rob Visel (1 comments.) says:

    I would like a plugin that allows a post to be appended to a page, either at the top or bottom of page, as well as the option to post.

  30. Chris (29 comments.) says:

    I would like to see a plugin that allows you to administer several (or many) WordPress installs. Something where you could upgrade all of your installs at one time, upgrade plugins at one time, etc. This might be beyond the scope of this competition, but this has been something I’ve craved for a long time.

    As a side note, the Aegir system for Drupal seems to do these tasks and a lot more.

    • Mark (2 comments.) says:

      I’ll tag on to Chris’ since I would like the ability to download a plugin once and have it update on all 3 sites I run.

      My request is when I click on a plugin’s “view details” link from the plugin screen, to either:
      1) Have the WordPress Extend page opened automatically in a new tab since I’m going to click that link anyway to save a copy of the plugin, or
      2) Just have the ZIP file of the plugin be downloaded when I click the “View Details” link. In other words, act like I went to the Extend page and clicked “Download”. I like to have an archive of the active plugins in case I have to re-install from scratch.

    • Ryan (55 comments.) says:

      Don’t you just want WordPress Mu?

      It allows you to administer as many installations as you want and plugins only need to be updated once across all of your sites.

      • Mark (2 comments.) says:

        That’s a very good point Ryan. It may be exactly what I need. I just tried installing it and hit some database problems. I’ll talk to my web host about trying a different way. I didn’t plan for multiple blogs when I started and don’t want to subdomain under my main blog address.

        THANKS for the suggestion!

  31. Derek (2 comments.) says:

    I would like to see a “Today In History” plugin. I have never been able to find one. A variation for Church History would be a plus.

  32. Resmyrranda (3 comments.) says:

    I would totally LUV and be able to use in my business too, as I’m sure many others would, a plugin that allows us to have a live video chat room. I’m talking about users being able to see my webcam, while we text chat, or even audio chat. Right now all I can find that fits the bill is using embedded code from things like Ustream, Stickam or Camfrog. All fine and good but all need to be implemented from outside WP before they activate. bleh lol I would so much prefer something that is WP specific and cleaner looking than those options. Thanks:)

  33. Steve (2 comments.) says:

    I’d love a “fotobook”-type plug-in that connects to Shutterfly.

  34. Germaine (1 comments.) says:

    I would like to see a “Dear Google, do not cache comments” plugin. Keyword: privacy.

  35. bubazoo (213 comments.) says:

    I would like to see more done with widgets, because I have chosen not to use the sidebar.php file anymore, and one thing I’d like to see, is a custom code widget for instance, that lets you put in custom wordpress code as a widget, so you don’t have to use sidebar.php anymore.

    like for instance, if you wanted a list of links in your sidebar,
    or a list of those small badges, ya know the php badge, RSS badge, XHTML badge, wordpress badge, etc etc, or any kind of custom code that you can think of.
    I’ve yet to see such a plugin. I think that type of plugin would be useful for alot of people, to move them away from sidebar.php and more into the widget system in wordpress.

    Another plugin I’d like to see, is some sort of date image plugin,
    that displays the date that looks like a calendar image, not too many people know how to code those into a blog theme, so it would be nice to ahve a plugin to simplify that a bit.

  36. bhanu (1 comments.) says:

    It could help us if we have a plugin that can give best suggestion for title, tag and keyword according to our post content.

  37. Lea de Groot (1 comments.) says:

    I’d like to see a plugin that reduces the length of the date archive.
    For example, show monthly for this year, and links to yearly prior to that.
    Pparameters could define ‘current’, eg show this week by day then by month
    or (my choice) show monthly summary for this year then group by year.
    An extension of wp_get_archives I guess.
    Too busy to do it myself…

  38. Paul Schlegel (1 comments.) says:

    I started using the AZIndex plugin which myself and many other users love, but it looks like it’s not being updated anymore – something comparable would be great.



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