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Inject Plugin Ideas Here ->

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October 1st, 2009
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WordPress Discussions, WordPress Plugins

As a plugin developer I find the hardest part of the process to be coming up with new ideas that I can turn into a plugin. Sure, there are tons of places out there that list lots of ideas but, I’ve found that it’s hard to find a good idea that will actually make a useful plugin which will appeal to a large audience. Most ideas that are out there floating around are very specific and some would only be useful to only a very select few.

I’ve been searching non-stop for the better part of a month now and have yet to come across an idea that would actually be very useful and also feasible. I want something that I can complete in a decent amount of time and would also leave room for lots of improvement.

So, today I’m here to ask you, the user, what you want. I know this question has been asked a lot but, once more can’t hurt…

What would you most love in a WordPress plugin? Is it something that should be a plugin? Or perhaps a part of the core of WordPress itself? Will many people find it useful? Or just a very select few? If such a plugin were to be created, what would you need it to do? How could it be expanded on in the future? Is it something that should remain a plugin or perhaps one day become a part of the core?

So, lets hear it! Don’t hold back. Even if you don’t think it is a very good idea, I want to hear about it anyway. The best idea of the bunch will become a WordPress plugin! Any other great ideas may also eventually become a plugin. I’m all ears so let’r rip!

We have a special prize for the reader whose idea we use to develop a plugin with. The reader will receive a WeblogToolsCollection hat and stickers in the mail. The winner will be announced in a subsequent post.

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79
Responses

 

Comments

  1. links2funblog (1 comments.) says:

    I’m not sure where to submit this idea so I’ll just submit it as a comment. My idea is really in my a opinion a simple enchantment to the post editor that I for one would find very useful. A button on the post editor toolbar that brings up an inline Google image search panel for easy finding and inserting images straight from the post editor.

  2. Jeff (27 comments.) says:

    How about a plugin that watermarks images? Not a worldchanger, but it’s the latest problem that I’m currently tackling. I can probably hack out a solution with imagemagick myself, but aren’t all plugins ultimately about being a little bit lazy? :)

  3. Scath (4 comments.) says:

    I would love a plugin that allowed you to run your own affiliate marketing program. That would create the custom links for affiliates and track sales via them, with stats you can see in your admin area.

    I don’t like having to send people to yet another site to sign up in order to be an affiliate; it seems counter productive to keeping them coming back to your site and not extremely likely they’ll go sign up to join your affiliate program unless they’re already members of the site you’re running it through.

    For example, I’m starting a subscription site. I want my subscribers to be able to earn $1 for every new subscriber they bring in. With ClickBank, you can’t set lower than a certain amount, which means I’d have to set the subscription rate at a bi-monthly billing rather than monthly. I don’t want to have to do that, or raise the monthly subscription from what I’ve decided on.

    • Milan (7 comments.) says:

      You miss one important point with affiliate networks. If publishers promote several advertisers, their earnings are acumulated on one account, so even if they earn small amounts from one advertiser they’ll still get payed. With single advertiser they may never get paid because of low earnings.

      Also you as advertiser don’t have to deal with additional job of running a that affiliate program (affiliate software, support, finance etc)

      For you it is much better do use affiliate network then to have your own affiliate program.

  4. Dave Starr (3 comments.) says:

    I feel we have long needed a scheduling plugin or module. Especially since we can only see about 20 posts at a time in the edit screens.

    It’s funny but it is almost as if the WP code is written by coders/for coders and bloggers, who only like to write and not play with code are in second place.

    In other words, why can’t I look right now and see on one screen all my pending (scheduled) posts, their dates and time of scheduled posting, and if you really want to “gild the lily”, what about a calendar or graph tool that will highlight future dates and time when there are “holes” (nothing scheduled) in my future editorial calendar.

    • Mihai Secasiu (12 comments.) says:

      You can view more then 20 posts on a screen by modifying the screen options ( that button at the top of the post list page near “Help” )

  5. Breakaway (1 comments.) says:

    I would LOVE an atuo-scheduling plugin.

    I write articles, as well as have articles written by outsourced writers. I’d love a plugin that will automatically just post like X number of posts per day and specified intervals. I get like 50 posts at a time from my writer, abut i dont want 50 in one day, and manually scheduling them can become a burden… so i’d like to just publish, and have the plugin auto schedule it for a date and time based on the specified settings.

  6. zaryl (3 comments.) says:

    I would love a plugin which make blog/website pages display with the typography I’m expect and have the ability to link to a font like cufon, typekit etc. Hope you get the idea.

  7. Stephen Barkley (1 comments.) says:

    I’d love a plugin that collects links to all the other people’s blog posts I comment on and puts them in a sidebar list on mine.

    The audience would be broad – your readers would most often be interested in the information you saw fit to comment on.

    Thanks.

    • The Plaid Cow (1 comments.) says:

      I am fairly certain that Backtype can already do this. I know you can display a list of your comments on other sites, but I’m not sure if the plugin can put it in a sidebar or not.

  8. johnbillion (7 comments.) says:

    You should write a plugin that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.

    • Otto (215 comments.) says:

      That would indeed be a game changer.

    • gestroud (11 comments.) says:

      I had actually made something like this back when I was a grad student. It was nearly perfected, but the Department of Defense showed up, confiscated my computers and all of my notes and had me sign some legal forms. I probably shouldn’t be talking about it, and you probably shouldn’t be reading this. Suggest you stay away from computers for a while, just to be safe. ;-)

  9. Alyssa (1 comments.) says:

    There are plugins that pull tweets in and post them as comments, but they only pull tweets that have the post URL in them. It would be really cool if a plugin could be created that would allow a blog owner to import specific tweets as comments to specific posts. It could be expanded later to automatically import tweets that are replies to a tweet containing the post link.

  10. dotpro (3 comments.) says:

    Hi,

    I would love to see some plugins that integrate or add functionality of Photopost and vbulletin into wordpress.

    I am using some (rss feed) to pull latest threads/posts from vbulletin as well as latest pictures (rss feed) pictures but all that is manual coding and not really a plugin.

    It would be nice if these two scripts worked together in certain ways with wordpress to pull information in posts, on sidebar, within pages, widgets, etc.

    Thanks for the opportunity to post this.

  11. Christopher (18 comments.) says:

    I’m still looking for a free WPMU/buddypress plugin for managing upgrades and blogs using Paypal for payment.

    • Bemused says:

      You want to make money, but want a plugin author to work for free for you? Doesn’t seem very fair to me.

  12. Ujjwal (1 comments.) says:

    An ajax based plugin for live blogging. Minilistic as possible with just time: text display on sidebar or post or page.

  13. lowlight @ HCW (1 comments.) says:

    For sites like mine that use WordPress to host long “posts” (see here for an example), it would be great to have an improved way to list pages.

    Right now I am using wp_link_pages to show a link to the next page, and another to list the page numbers. I would like to be able to have a title for each individual page, and show a drop box displaying each title.

    That’s my plugin idea, something useful for those who use WordPress as a CMS :)

  14. taloWeb (10 comments.) says:

    I would like to find a plugin that we can call as “metaplugin”, that is a plugin where I can define tables (the will became real tables on mysql WP database), then I can add, modify, delete rows on these tables.

    As administrator I would like to add extractions (query), actions (button) and so on naming it with some “placeholder text” that writers can use in posts.

    For example (a very simple one) if I define a table with 2 columns: Name and Date of Birth, then I can define a placeholder for “List of person with the name starting with ‘J’” and then in a post using such a placeholder to list the real list extracted from the DB.

    That’s my dream-plugin, please contact me to analyze further togheter.

  15. Marcel (1 comments.) says:

    A plugin that replaces the default editor of WordPress by the mean and lean NicEdit is one of my big wishes. You know what I mean if you have used TinyMCE on a slow computer with little memory in an internetcafé.

  16. beardedgit (2 comments.) says:

    How about something to resize pictures according to the size/resolution of the viewer’s monitor? I have a flexible-width theme with a wide-ish post area, but have to waste real-estate on large screens by posting smaller pics so as that they don’t overlap the sidebar when viewed on narrow screens. I’d like to be able to post pics that show as full-width for all readers.

    As I see it, there are two options. The easier one would be a simple resize of the original pic, but that would adversely affect the visible resolution of the image. A better idea would be to give the author the option to specify a different version of the pic for each “standard” screen size/resolution.

    It would have to work with pics hosted by third-parties, and be compatible with the various lightbox-type plugins out there.

    Now there’s a challenge!

  17. Peter Ould (1 comments.) says:

    If someone could take Open Flash Chart – http://teethgrinder.co.uk/open-flash-chart/ – and create a WP plugin that had a GUI frontend for designing charts, that would be a massive win methinks.

  18. Xavi (1 comments.) says:

    I would like to see some plugin with NextGEN Gallery options but with the extra of adding videos too. It should have support to upload the video for our server (by ftp for example) or getting him on youtube.

  19. Rox Productions (1 comments.) says:

    A frontend ajax editor.

    Like so…

    1. popup login window
    2. once logged in display a simple admin menu (edit, remove, etc…)
    3. popup editing window with TinyMCE
    4. on save reload page / post

  20. Matt says:

    It would be awesome if there was a way to actually submit & publish (depending upon your user role) content directly from the front end.

    For people for are not familiar with WP or for those who want to have a more community based blog it is a better option than trying to teach the admin interface to someone who just doesn’t understand computers.

    By keeping submissions as simple as possible our community will grow and we will benefit from other’s knowledge that we may not otherwise have.

  21. Andrew says:

    Definable Feeds – you can create any number of RSS feeds and assign specific categories, tags, or even specific posts (from the post page) to that feed.

    • Mark Ghosh says:

      Andrew, if you would not mind, please send us a quick email with your contact information via the contact form above when you get a chance. Thanks!

  22. Bill Masson says:

    Give me a plugin that alerts me via email when a plugin needs upgraded.

  23. Vernal (1 comments.) says:

    I’d love to see a sitemap generator (Like Dagon’s Sitemap Generator) that uses Slickmap: http://astuteo.com/slickmap/

    That would be HOT.

  24. Richard says:

    How about a way of integrating qtranslate with Absolute Privacy and Theme My login? :)

    I’m trying to get them all to work nicely together, and it ain’t happening…

  25. fahirsch (3 comments.) says:

    My brother and I have blog where he comments on wines he drinks and recipes he makes (the blog is in Spanish). I do the technical part. One of the things I do is an index of wines he commented on and another of the recipes he makes. You can see them in http://tinyurl.com/y99c26p and http://tinyurl.com/y8jjoyo. To make them I write the relevant data in a FileMaker base I wrote that generates the code that I then copy-paste into the page.
    The plugin I envision would create user-definable table(s) with user-definable fields. In every post you could add one or more records to the table. And the Index would be updated automatically.
    I may add that the method that I use (with FileMaker) does have an advantage over the proposed plugin: the code it generates is static and does not impact on the MySQL usage, but the use of a cache for the blog would make it minimal

  26. gestroud (11 comments.) says:

    Would it be possible to take a look at Dominion Web’s Open Directory Project software? http://www.dominion-web.com/products/dwodp_live/

    What it does is create a pre-populated, categorized and configurable Internet directory for a PHP-based web site. Users have the ability to restrict categories, display thumbshots of web sites, as well as the ability to adjust text and colors.

    It’s already been ported over to a few CMS and blog software packages; I think it might be a welcome addition to WordPress.

    Here’s an example of it in action using one CMS.

    I have a copy of the package for use with another CMS, but I can’t for the life of me fully figure out how to port it to WordPress. :-( So, if anyone wants to take a stab at it (any reference to a previous commenter’s request for a stabbing plugin is unintended), let me know.

  27. BJohnM (3 comments.) says:

    I would love to have a “quiz” plugin. I know there is “Quizzin,” but it lacks some functionality I’d like. I also think a lot of teachers and other educators might be interested.

    Here’s what I’d want it to have. 1) The ability to create a bank of questions (this could be per quiz, or an open bank). 2) Ability to create a quiz and specify a number of questions, and then select any number of questions from the questions bank. (Or, as noted, create a bank of questions specific to the quiz.) As an example, I’d create 50 questions for a quiz, set the quiz to be 10 questions, and the plugin would randomly select 10 questions from the available 50, and generate a “new” quiz each time it was accessed. 3) Provide the ability for the test taker to supply contact info, and have the results emailed to the test taker and also to a test administrator.

    Then, over time it could be enhanced to add quiz “sections”…pick three from these 10 questions, five from these 15, etc.

    Another future enhancement could be the ability to slug the Users name into a document that could be printed as a “certificate” of completion.

  28. Richard says:

    I have a few annoyances that maybe could be fixed with a plugin:

    1) I have in tha past edited a post, and wanted to edit the next (or previous) one. To do so,I have to go back to the list of posts, and select the one I want to edit. How about a Next/Previous button somewhere on the “Edit Post” page? Or a dropwdown list of posts? Or something like that?

    2) when editing a post, how about having a list of all available short-codes somewhere? It would be extra neat of this included those available from other plugins, but I don’t know if that is feasible. In any case, this could help discovery of shortcodes and their uses.

    that’s it for now!

  29. Lars Tong Strömberg (14 comments.) says:

    A solid backup/rollback plugin would be nice.

    I am also looking for a good, customizable “from RSS reader with comments” plugin. Right now I use Recommended Reading, but so much more could be done in this area to make stuff go from an RSS-reader such as Google Reader to a blog.

  30. Greg Smith (2 comments.) says:

    I would like to have a haloscan comment importer plugin.

    This plugin would read the haloscan export .xml file .The plugin would use the “thread id” element and try to match it with a current entry. If it could not match it, it would store it in the db and provide an interface for manually matching the thread id with a current wordpress entry.

  31. pepe says:

    I’d like a raffle plugin.

  32. Stephanie says:

    How about a plugin that allows one to stream online radio stations from various sources into a player embedded in your sidebar?

  33. Bill Hamilton (2 comments.) says:

    Plugins/improvements I’d like to see:

    1) When a plugin is activated, change the respnonse from “Plugin activated” to “[plugin_name] activated”. If I have to back something out, I’d like to know what it was. I typically activate, test in a separate window, then move to the next plugin.

    2) A “Known conflicts” plugin; I use the Featured Content Gallery and it conflicts with a several plugins. I’ve been able to edit a few (remove duplicate or older jQuery library calls), but some simply do not work with it. Since these are now “known”, it seems reasonable that a plugin could scan my plugins directory and warn me of conflicts when installing (prior to activation) as well as double-checking at the time of activation (another less compliant plugin might have been activated between the install and the activation).

    3) Better management of plugins themselves on the Plugin pages. For example, there are many plugins that provide “sociable” links after a post. Everyone has an opinion on what looks best on their website, but they should test to see which is better or if an improvement in one is better for their website. I’d like to be able to group the plugins more than just “active or inactive” by using my own groups (e.g. doNotUse so that I can remember what was tested but conflicted with others later), I’d like to capture comments (why did it conflict and with what?), and the version (I should be able to keep multiple versions of the same plugin in case that latest update doesn’t work with my version of others, a WordPress update has obsoleted the plugin but I want to upgrade later, etc.), and a rating (the WordPress Plugins Directory is a great start, but that only helps me choose what I want to test, after I test, I need to select between multiple options and for that, I need my own rating capability).

    Thanks,

    Bill

  34. Lynsey (1 comments.) says:

    I’d love to be able to find a good, customizable, elegant e-card plugin. Bonus points if it could draw in the images from Flickr. Possible application: more cute kitten photos.

    A plugin that produced rich stats for the administrator; and visible but more user friendly stats for authors/editors – eg a cluster-type map so the individual post can be mapped on a google map. This would help regional authors get a visual feedback and perhaps help target their writing even more to an audience. It’d be great for the individual authors to see who, what, where, when, and how many etc of course. Possible application: travel writing blogs, any blog with more than one author.

    A plugin that added some umph to comment management – eg sent an email to the author rather than the administrator. Possible application: any blog where the admin might not be the content author.

  35. Robert@PNG (3 comments.) says:

    I remember “tucking” away an idea for a plugin some time ago and when I read this post the other day for the life of me I could not remember. Then suddenly this morning it cam back to me…

    A plugin to backup the state, settings and layout of all widgets!! At present there’s no easy way (other than to open a text file and start cutting and pasting – or perhaps do screen shots) of backing up and restoring widgets.

    R

  36. Peter says:

    I’ve been looking for the definitive Google Calendar interface – including input within the WP Admin pages. There are a number of Google Calendar output plugins, but I can’t find what I want for input. For example, I’ve got a tennis club I’d like to help with scheduling – and I would like to avoid sending them off to a Google login outside of WP.

  37. Todd Pickens (3 comments.) says:

    I first have to say that i am pretty new to WP and am learning by by trial and error. So please excuse and blatant ignorance on my part.

    I use and Love FancyBox, but when is comes to simply placing thumbnails on a gallery page, WP is a constant headache. Here’s one of my gallery pages to show how I use it.

    Thumbs are constantly getting their associated links mixed. Rows have to be manually arranged, etc.

    How handy would it be to have a plugin that grabbed any new image you added to your blog, and based on the flags you set when uploading it, was automatically added it to an associated gallery and sorted that gallery by your preference, newest first, etc.

    Someone please make a a solid comprehensive gallery plugin …or point me to one :O)

  38. Todd Pickens (3 comments.) says:

    …Woops, here’s the link.

    http://www.shapesandlines.com/2d-stuff/

  39. Jason Pelker (7 comments.) says:

    I’d really like to see a simple system for adding/editing database items (i.e. restaurant menus, real estate listings or a classified ad). This seems to be a missing WordPress CMS component. Picture Bento or FileMaker Pro for WordPress. Based on the group shortcode, you could then call the database into the page/post as necessary.

    I found this semi-WordPress plugin: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/222660, but it uses a completely different database to house information, making it a) dangerous and b) novice-unfriendly.

    Anybody have another suggestion?

  40. taloWeb (10 comments.) says:

    Yes Jason, this is something similar to my “ideal plugin”: something that can add tables, queries and so on to WP.
    I’m very interested in this, so we can discuss further if you want.
    Bye

  41. Jason Pelker (7 comments.) says:

    Here’s two business related ideas:
    1) an invoicing plugin to build estimates and charge clients
    2) a Basecamp-like project management plugin

    or both combined into one plugin….

  42. Doug Hill (6 comments.) says:

    I would like a widget that would allow me to drag other widgets into it so that things like my long, long blogroll would not take up so much room and would only open up for people who wanted to see it. Each widget would automatically show as a tab.

    Alternatively, the widgets could be listed on a page as links and be found under a menu item.

    In short, I have features I want on my blog, but I don’t want my screen to be so cluttered with them.

  43. Matt says:

    A better image uploader. The thickbox thingy makes you wait for it to load, then to open your uploaded images, you have to click on gallery…

    What if the uploader remains for the upload process only, and all images uploaded for a post are displayed in the sidebar from where you can just drag and drop into the content area?

    Or what about optimizing the three tabs in the Uploader so Gallery and Media Library can both be used from the first tab itself?

    I have a blog which uses lots of photos, and each photo has to be chosen from the gallery one by one and inserted. After insert, the uploader disappears, and then I have to open it up again. Really slowing down work.

  44. Don Elliott (3 comments.) says:

    Class Scheduler

    I have 8 clients that all currently want a class scheduling and registration plugin.

    In a nutshell it work like this from the admin side:

    Admin creates class-categories (e.g. Math 101)
    Admin creates class-events (e.g. Math 101: Tuesdays at 10:00am)
    Admin creates schedule-page with a shortcode type of entry that calls for all the entire shceudle.

    From the public side it would operate like this:

    Client views schedule, possibly filtering it by class-category, time, etc. – and then selects the class they like.
    Client is brought to that classes page, which would have a registration form (possibly an existing plugin? cForms?)

    I think it’s simple in concept (not so much in coding) and would be HUGELY valuable to a ton of people.

    • Andrew Peacock (1 comments.) says:

      Hi Don,
      Possibly a stupid question, but why do this as a wordpress plugin? Aren’t there other apps that do all the things that you’ve listed, but which aren’t WP?

      Regards,
      Andy

      • Don Elliott (3 comments.) says:

        That’s actually a good question! Our chosen engine for websites as a business is WordPress, and the more that all of our solutions can operate through a single interface the better. We cater to small businesses and are highly service oriented, so I want our clients to be able to go to a single location to manage as much of their online presence as possible – shopping carts, newsletters, events, stats, etc. etc.

        Also it’s important for us to be as automated and efficient as possible, the fewer system we have to support and master the better.

        Thanks for asking!

        -Don

  45. JV says:

    you should come up with some sort of disclosure policy plugin

  46. fahirsch (3 comments.) says:

    Did you choose an idea for a plugin?

  47. myadlan (2 comments.) says:

    Hi. I’m doing a WordPress for my client. I’m suggesting a plugin that can make WordPress more user friendly.

    Some of my client prefer Blogger/Blogspot because the admin interface is simple and user friendly. When they logged into the WordPress, they found it hard.

    So, I think I need a plugin, a very simple one, that only shows three basic menu, such as Post, Appearance, Settings. From the ‘Screen Option’ above, they can choose what to show/hide in the side menu.

    It is better if the plugin can transform the whole WP admin which imitate Bloggers admin interface. Its easier for people learning / migrating to WP step by step.

  48. Robbie Wright (2 comments.) says:

    I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve been looking for the opportunity to partner with someone, or pass my idea along, and get a plugin developed. I work in the financial services industry and one of the hot topics for the last few years has been MFA, or multi-factor authentication. Being as blog security it always a very important topic, I’d like to see a plugin developed that utilizes Verisign’s VIP Authentication Services to get that second authentication factor.

    Verisign’s VIP product has on open API and already has an iPhone app and a Blackberry app. Basically, the login screen would display username, password, and the VIP security code that is retreived from the iPhone app or Blackberry app, just like the RSA key fobs of yesteryear.

    I think a plugin like this would be tremendously successful as Verisign is a very well know company, has an open API for this functionality, which integrates seamlessly with their OpenID solution. Additionally, bloggers are always looking for (free) ways to secure their blog and this would be a simple and effective measure to take to ensure that on one can gain unauthorized access to your blog.

    There’s my two cents and would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Robbie Wright (2 comments.) says:

      Paypal is already using this service, as well as name.com and many others. It does appear, however, that Verisign does charge for this service. Depending on the cost, I’d imagine the folks would still be willing to pay some amount.

      • Jesse (1 comments.) says:

        Hey Robbie (and anyone else interested)

        I have this plugin in the works if you want to drop by my site and shoot me a message, we are about 30 days from launch and will want some beta testers for the plugin.

        Jesse

  49. linton says:

    for the love of God an unbranded simple search-field!!!!!!!!!



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