A lot of people are overwhelmed with the number and variety of WordPress Plugins available. Many admit that they would like to write a WordPress Plugin, but there already is at least two WordPress Plugins to do just about anything you want on your blog.
That’s not true. There are still plenty of needs out there for WordPress Plugins that haven’t been written.
While working on this month long series on WordPress Plugins, I came up with some ideas for WordPress Plugins I want that I didn’t find. And if I want them, the odds are that there are at least two other people out there who would want these, too.
Instant Reply Comment WordPress Plugin: As I have so vocally expressed, I’m terribly unhappy with the way comments are handled in the WordPress Administration Panels. If the WordPress developers won’t fix it, someone has to come up with a WordPress Plugin to make right what should be better. I want a WordPress Plugin that allows me to comment without viewing the post. I want a Plugin that allows responding to blog comments from the Comments Administration Panel. Why should I click on the link to the post, wait for the post page to load, then scroll down past the article to the comment form to leave a comment? And then have to click back through two or three pages to get back to the next comment in the comment queue and repeat the process again? Give me a Plugin that allows commenting right at the point where I manage comments.
Post Preview Button Restored WordPress Plugin: It’s simple but I want the damn Post Preview link back in all WordPress versions. I HATE scrolling down to see the preview of my post after I’ve hit Save and Continue Editing. I have to scroll past the PodPress box and Image management box and the custom fields, excerpts, and, and, and…just get me to the post on time. Many people want the post preview gone as it does make reloading the Write Post panel take longer, uses up bandwidth, and can mix up pageview recordings on ads, but that’s a different issue. Turn that off globally and take the link to the Preview Post away then. For the rest of us and myself, I need to see what the post will look like before I hit Publish. I tend to type fast and make mistakes with codes and tags like links, so I want to make sure the link I just added worked and didn’t turn the entire paragraph into a link. I need to make sure I haven’t bungled a blockquote, picture, or something else. I worked very hard to beg for the Post Preview to be added, then they took away the link that jumps me down to see it. Put it back. Now. Or give me a Plugin that will.
Controlled Post Data Exports WordPress Plugin: I’d like a very controllable and flexible WordPress Plugin to export specific data from my WordPress blog database. For instance, I’d love to be able to export all the post titles from the WordPress Tips section on my WordPress.com blog so I could easily turn that into a list to use in a post or a Site Map. Or filter it down to a list of all post titles (in links) in the WordPress Tips category with the keyword “SEO” in them. That would help me see what I’ve written about SEO so I can use their references in another article I’m writing elsewhere. Or maybe I’d like to convert my database of posts into a book. By giving me the control to export specific categories and posts by date or keyword, I could easily create an export file for importing into a word processing or document management program for editing and sorting.
Search the Post Editor TextArea: Some browsers now incorporate the “find” search through the textarea of a post in the Write Post panel. Some do not. A long time ago, at my begging request, Owen Winkler created a Find Text WordPress Plugin to help us search inside of the post we’re writing in the Write Post Panel. I loved it, but it broke with an upgrade of WordPress. Bring it back. While most people don’t write enough to fill in the post textarea box, some of us write great missives. When they need to be edited for a wrong word or phrase or screwed up tag, we have to scroll through hunting, or copy and paste it into a text editor and search it there. Give us the ability to search our text without leaving the Write Post Panel. Give me a WordPress Plugin that adds a “find” button to my Write Post button bar (in Rich Text Editor mode and NOT) so I can search my post content.
Sort Posts by Title, Author, Category, Comment Count, and Date: Coldforged developed an amazing WordPress Plugin called Enhanced Post View WordPress Plugin. It added more management features to your Manage Posts Panel including sorting the list by date, category, and author. It hasn’t been updated to work with new versions of WordPress and I bemoan the loss daily. I’d love to see the column headers for the Manage posts table changed to sortable links, so I could sort the list of posts by title, author, category, comment count, date, and maybe even more. In fact, that whole panel needs to be changed and updated to make it more streamlined and easier to use, but let’s start simple. Give me a WordPress Plugin with a drop down list to help me sort and manage my posts better. Oh, and give me an option to see more than 20 posts at a time.
Blog Status Announcement or Alert: I would love to see a WordPress Plugin that features a Homeland Security style announcement in the header of a blog (or near it) that announces the status of the blogger’s blogging schedule. For example, I travel a lot and I’d love to have a little announcement appear saying “On the road. Expect a delay in responding to comments for the next 3 days.” or “On vacation for a week – leave your thoughts and I’ll get back to them when my brain has healed.” Or if a blogger realizes that their schedule is just too much for the next few weeks and they can post “Will resume regularly scheduled programming soon” or something that alerts us to the blogger’s awareness that they can’t keep their blogging up at the pace they have been, but letting us know they will be back. Or maybe “It’s a girl!” Or “I got the job!” Things like that. I’ve seen such announcements on various blogs, but I haven’t seen a WordPress Plugin other than Easy Announcement WordPress Plugin, which works but could be easier to work with. It would allow text and maybe a graphic and would not be a Page or a post. Just an easily turned on and off feature controlled through the Administration Panels.
Pre-Publish Reminder List: I write for a variety of blogs, including my own. Each one has its own little idiosyncrasies, things I need to do before I hit the Publish button. For example, here on Lorelle on WordPress, I have to remember to add my signature and tag block, as well as graphic icons to articles within a specific category. On the Blog Herald, I have to remember to write the post excerpt and set the “more” tag, include a bio line, and several other tasks. On Taking Your Camera on the Road, I use the Text Control Plugin which requires a Save and Continue Editing pass, then clicking the checkbox on the just saved post, before I can hit Publish. I want a Pre-Publish Reminder Task List WordPress Plugin that appears in the left sidebar or in the space around the Save and Continue and Publish buttons on the Write Post panel to remind me of the things I have to do before I hit Publish. It needs to be customizable so I can write out the tasks in an Admin Panel menu, with an option to colorize a line or two to catch my eye if I start ignoring the list.
Widgets for WordPress and WordPress.com. Why Not Widgets for WordPress Administration Panels? There are a lot of various WordPress Widgets, functions, and options I would love to be able to add to my WordPress and WordPress.com Administration Panels with widgets. I’d love to control what blog statistics I see where. I’d adore a TO DO list or calendar featuring which dates I have posts on on my Write Post panel, making sure I don’t forget something. I’m often in a hurry and forget to add the Tagging Bookmarklet I use for the tags and signature on this blog. So a “things to do” reminder list would be invaluable, as well as the ability to add that feature directly to the Write Post panel with a Widget. The Post Avatar WordPress Plugin features a list of images you use the most or repeatedly on your blog and I’d love to see that as a Widget for WordPress Administration Panels so I wouldn’t have to go hunting every time I want to reuse one of my category icons you see in the top right corner of this post. There are so many features that could be added to customize the backend administration of your WordPress blog, so why can’t WordPress Administration Panels get widgets? Huh?
Comments Waiting Count: I don’t know why WordPress developers can add a count of the Akismet comment spams in the submenu, and Spam Karma can count the new comment spams waiting for me since the last time I viewed the list, and WordPress developers can’t add a comment count for any new comments since last time I viewed the Comments Panel? I want a WordPress Plugin that does no more than adds a count of the comments waiting in the Comments queue on the Comments submenu tab. If I Save or Publish a post, I want the Comments tab menu to read “Comments (4)” so I will know that I need to click it and see who loves me enough to say something! Getting comments is thrilling. It’s the whole reason to blog. So why not give me a reason to jump up and down and shout “I’ve got comments” and rush to the Comments panel. Give me a Comments Waiting Count WordPress Plugin.
There are WordPress Plugins that help you do specialize things, and then there are WordPress Plugins that make WordPress better. I think these are the latter.
If you could have someone build a WordPress Plugin for any need you have on your WordPress blog, what would it be? Do you think that the Instant Reply to Comments WordPress Plugin is a good idea? What about the Comments Waiting Count WordPress Plugin? What feature would you like to see made pluggable for your WordPress blog?
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