If You Could Have Any WordPress Plugin, What Would You Want?

socket to me (by Stitch)

Last week I wrote an article called 5 Annoying WordPress plugins. One of the plugins included was lolcats by Stratos. In the comments, Mike Nichols mentioned that he wanted a good footnotes plugin. Then, Stratos commented and said that he made the lolcats plugin to practice making a plugin and that he really wanted ideas for plugins that people wanted. As a result of that discussion Mike and Stratos worked together to create the YAFootnotes plugin for WordPress. You can see how awesome the plugin is on Mike’s site, Anxiety, Panic & Health.

After some additional discussion with Mike and Stratos, Stratos said that he would like to work on more WordPress plugins but that he wants to know what plugins people want.

So, here’s your opportunity to have a talented PHP programmer utilize his skills to make WordPress plugins that we really want. Stratos will be tracking the ideas in the comments and may add a post and poll over on his site. Request and ask away – Stratos and I will respond.

The first request is to adapt Search Reloaded so that the comments are searched along with the posts. SDK has been asking about this on my post about Search Reloaded.

So, go ahead, ask away.

photo credit: stitch

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  1. says

    A decent client login plugin that gives you the ability to select which posts/pages to hide from non-registered users. The registration process should also have customizable form fields to allow the site owner to decide what information is required.

    All of this should naturally go on in the front-end of the site without the member having to log in to WordPress to do stuff.

    And I’d also like the plugin to make me a fresh cup of tea every hour on the hour.

    Dave’s last blog post – Marketing trick 103: make your customers smile

  2. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Dave – The first one sounds complicated to me but maybe Stratos will understand what you are asking for better than me.

    Sorry but you’re on your own with the tea request.

  3. says

    I’d like a plug-in that allowed me to filter and order posts based on my criteria, not just the date of posting.

    For example, if I had a blog of restaurant reviews with geotagged posts, I could show highest rated near a given location.

    There are some nice plugins already for reviews & geotagging which use custom fields, so I’d like a nice interface to build the SQL and custom page views for me.

    andymurd´s last blog post – An Introduction To HTTP

  4. says

    I’d like a plugin/widget that allows tags to be displayed NOT in tag cloud form. Similar to delicious where tags are displayed as a list with the Top 10 tags and then All tags alphabetized both in a drop down form.

  5. says

    I would like a plugin that gets you number one on google in every keyword. LOL, no seriously I would like a plbgin that allows me to custom build by footer. I am having a hard time putting things in the footer that I want. I am trying to get a lot of information in there, sort of like Problogger.net’s

  6. says

    WordPress’s search function leaves a lot to be desired. I’d like a plugin that did a Google site search. You know, the one that’s like:
    search terms site:anxietypanichealth.com
    If possible, I’d like the results to display within a blog page, but I’d settle for a separate Google page.

    Incidentally, I cannot say enough about Stratos’ work on the YAFootnote plugin. It does exactly what it should, and the code is tight and optimized.

    This is a great opportunity to give him some good plugin ideas!

    Mike Nichols´s last blog post – Dizzy? It May Be an Anxiety Disorder!

  7. says

    @Yael – Great – I hope it works out for you! You’re probably right – there are a lot of people who don’t know how to edit the code and have no interest in doing so.

    @Matt – Thanks for visiting and commenting! I’ll have to see what Stratos thinks but I’m not sure how a plugin would deal with that. It seems more like a CSS and footer style issue. I supposed there could be some sort of footer manager.

    @Mike – Google search can be integrated into a site. I guess it would have that functionality – I haven’t spent too much time with it.

    And the footnotes plugin is great!

  8. says

    Might as well jump in this…got loads of idea never had time to build them myself :p

    The idea I have is fairly simplistic and more in an experimental idea in
    regards of SEO.

    The idea is based around the fact that my site thenexus main traffic source is SE’s (not SocialMedia due to my oversight when I started and grabbing a .tk tld). I get on average 70 or so SE hits and these are fairly targeted as they stick around for a while.

    Now some of the queries from which they land on my page are actually the tags used for the post.

    So in an attempt to expand on this benefit I thought what would work well would be another line beneath the existing tags.

    This area would hold tags grabbed via the yahoo suggestion api as well as the keywords that people followed via SE’s to land on the post (I would suggest a time requirement of 20secs+ before it is added)

    This in my opinion would help you rank for certain keywords that have a proven track record of usefulness for the post in question.

  9. says

    Might as well add a bit more

    @Matt You would require ‘widgetised’ footer etc for that you will have to add something like:

    Have a quick google you should find assistance. One you done that you can add anything there using widgets.

    Re Mikes search Idea prehaps the google ajax api can be used here??

    @ Andy head over to http://www.wickedfire.com/ Woolfe was working on review plugin and was looking for idea to help make it better… Let him know he will proab add it as a function if he already hasn’t done.

  10. says

    ok guys i’ve been monitoring all day so i can have my say… so let’s sum it up…

    @kim i am looking on the search reloaded already. the query it makes to the database has to be changed. i am trying to figure out what it has to be :) so probably, if i come up with a solution i’ll post a how to or a tweaked version… for now i am struggling with stupid results :)

    @dave i didn’t clearly get what you are asking for. from what you said i think kim is right… it’s kinda complicated.. please post further comment or mail me with any clarifications…

    @andymurd this sounds complicated… to my limited experience on developing things that require custom and dynamic building are the most complicated of all…

    @yael well if you still insist on this one i guess i could do it… a simple widget doing that wouldn’t be that hard…

    @matt i am kind of confused on what you are looking for… when you say footer do you actually mean the section where you add copyright and powered by text or do you mean that bottom area that actually holds widgets?

    @mike i think i could do that… the only thing i am worried is copyrights.. i could get the whole google results page and embed it on an iframe in your blog. my main concern is rights to do so though

    @donace i am really confused here… i didn’t really get what you are saying…

    thanks for all the suggestions guys… i am waiting on clarifications on some of you. if you feel you want to mail me please feel free at stratosg [at] stratosector [dot] net i will be glad to hear from you…

    stratosg´s last blog post – It’s the man my friend, not… WordPress!

  11. says

    @Donace – I don’t think I quite understand the SE plugin. Adding additional tags for SEO keyword purposes.

    And thanks for answering other people’s questions.

    @Matt – Great! I really think it’s more of a template than a plugin issue.

    @Mike – I thought you could use Google search as part of an adsense account …? If it earns money, they take money but I don’t think they charge you to use it. And you’re not cheap, you’re frugal ;-)

    @Vered – I wrote the article and couldn’t really come up with anything either. But I did like the idea of the search including the comments.

    @Stratos – Thank you so much for your participation.

    @Manshu – I remember discussing this with you before. Stratos left his email in the comment above yours. If you emailed him directly, he could let you know if he could do this or not.

  12. says

    hmmm lol what I mean is just taking an example off woopra…someone googled ‘super encoding guide’ and ended up on my article ‘http://thenexus.tk/a-basic-guide-to-video-conversion-using-super/’

    So on that article under the normal tags…if they stayed on the article for more than a set time limit (say 20 secs) those search terms (ie super, encoding and guide) would be added to the page like tags and link to the article.

    The second aspect was using yahoo’s suggestion API to add these keywords by default and then eliminate or add to these as people landed on said article.

    Thus keywords that were popular in routing traffic from SE would ‘grow’ like a tag cloud etc.

    Hope that clarifys it a bit :p

  13. says

    ok let’s sum it up people.. what we are looking for here is this list:
    1) the search reloaded tweak/trick
    2) a tag cloud like the one yael said (do we still need this or did we get past it i didn’t get it)

    as for the footer plugin i guess it is a theme thing and not the copyright stuff i said…

    i think that wraps it up… the other ones where filled by plugins suggested by Kim or a couple of the are too complicated (maybe sometime but definitely not now). is there anything else i missed or you want?

    stratosg´s last blog post – Brand your Windows installation

  14. says

    @stratosg For myself, I’d still love to see a tag widget where the tags are displayed as lists: “Top 10” and “All Tags.” So, I don’t think we got past it.

  15. says

    @Sire – I’m glad you found the plugin you needed. Stratos is a great programmer but I don’t think he can create a WordPress taser :-)

    @Yael – I’ll make sure that Stratos gets that information. He’s probably still monitoring the thread.

  16. says

    kim i think i have the little tweak for the search reloaded… when you search for something it brings back both posts that have the term in their title or body (which is actually the default thing) but also brings posts that have it in the comments. is this what you wanted? if so i can make a small blog post on how to apply the thingy…

    PS: the guys that made this have a non GPL license so i can’t distribute it my self. i hope it’s ok i’ll post the tweak :)

    stratosg´s last blog post – Brand your Windows installation

  17. says

    kim i think akismet caught me… i just said that i will post in nonetheless and if they have a problem i’ll remove it.

    also i posted a link back to my new plugin that is what yael wanted. the tag cloud… i hope she sees it…

    stratosg´s last blog post – “My Tag Cloud” plugin

  18. says

    I don’t know why Askimet caught you. Even the link shouldn’t have done that – it should have just gone into moderation. I don’t get that much spam so I usually find the good comments that have gone in and de-spam them.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how your plugin is received :-)

  19. says

    Thanks! I’ve installed the code tweak and it’s working great! I’m going to try to do a recap post on this later this week. I’m still looking for people to suggest plugins too.

  20. says

    Hi Jeremy – Thanks for visiting and for commenting.

    I’ve used the simple tags one and it works pretty well. I haven’t used the other. Stratos is still monitoring this thread so I’ll see what he has to say about the google api. It seems like it would have been done, if it were possible though.

  21. says

    Aahhh – I am familiar with Zemanta. I tried it last spring or summer but thought it slowed down my admin area. I like plugins but I try to do with as few as possible.

  22. says

    @Jeremy – That is a really good idea. I get annoyed getting an email everytime I comment on some sites. It’s cool the first time but not so much after that.

  23. says

    @TheAnand – I haven’t been able to come up with any plugin ideas either. It seems like one of those things where you have lots of ideas until you are asked and then you can’t think of anything.

    @Raju – This page has a list of language plugins. I haven’t used any so I can’t say how they work. I think most of them provide a list of languages and the user selects the one that they want.

    The GG_Translate WordPress Plugin is supposed to translate based on the language the user has set in the web browser – that sounds a little bit like what you want.


  24. says

    are you referring to links in comments. It’s done by a plugin called CommentLuv. If you are referring to the actual post, it’s manual I guess. Kim can clarify :)

  25. says

    Bloggers on wordpress can use plugins like SEO smartlinks and Simpletags (??) for that. but i doubt Kim is using any of those. She knows exactly what she is linking and i doubt any plugin can be so intelligent

  26. says

    @Arun – Thank you for visiting and commenting. I’m not quite sure what you are asking – it about the links within the articles as Raju mentioned? I don’t use a plugin for that – I do it manually. There is a plugin that you might find useful, however, called Zemanta. This plugin assists in finding content, such as photos and links for articles.


  27. says

    @Arun – Great! I’m glad I found what you were looking for.

    @Ken – Thanks for visiting and commenting. And thanks for the info – that is disconcerting.

  28. says

    Breaking away from all the gooey stuff: what I really need is a plugin that selectively loads javascripts and style sheets of other plugins on a page by page basis. WordPress carries around SOOOO much dead weight in scripts that load globally and are used on myabe just 1 or 2 pages on the site. How would you do this.

    In the write page screen, create a new meta box that lists all the plugins installed. As you write a page eg a contact page, you select the contact plugin to load its js and styles ONLY on that page. Using wp conditionals behind the scenes to do the code work.

    Yeah but that would be too time consumin as I always load certain plugins on my post pages! Ok, lets make sets of plugins that you want to load by default on: 1- home page, 2-post pages- 3- archive pages etc… Now these plugin scripts always load .

    Yeah but, I don’t ALWAYS want them to load. Ok, so let’s make another meta box in the write page to select and exclude items from the sets.

    Now we have the best of both selectively include and selectively exclude. The net result is a site that always loads just the scripts and style sheets you want and leaves all the bloat and dead code where it belongs… unloaded untill you need it!!

    Richard´s last blog post – Tetrapak recycling in Cornwall

    • says

      Hi Richard – Wow! You have really thought this out. It almost sounds like something that needs to be built into WordPress rather than just as a plugin. So, for example, even though I only need cforms for my contact page, it is always loaded – right? With your idea it would only load when the contact page is.

      Interesting – this is definitely something that Stratos needs to jump in and discuss – it’s beyond me :-)

  29. Richard Strauss says

    Hi Kim, interestingly cForms is ONE great plugin that allows you to loads its stuff only on the pages you want. That’s aleady built in to the plugin! However, other plugins fare badly, especially those that load jquery and other heavy scripts. On one of my sites, I realised I was loading different versions of jquery from different plugins on every page ammounting to some 200kb of totally wasted overhead. The scripts themselves were only used on the plugin pages which was 3 pages on my site. That’s more wasted overhead and http requests than the content itself! Another benefit is that often we have plugin scripts conflict with each other. Flash, mootools, jquery, ajax they all try and load up in the head of the page and can alomost crash a site before it has even loaded the content. In an ideal world every plugin developer would code their plugins to load scripts only when the plugin needs it (like cForms) but most don’t bother. The proper way to do it is detailed here http://www.prelovac.com/vladimir/best-practice-for-adding-javascript-code-to-wordpress-plugin However giving control back to the webmaster to decide is a good way to make sure scripts are loaded properly in the event the developer has failed to do this. I agree, wordpress core should control scripts better and I guess 2.8 will see some improvements with minification. The problem is the thousands of third party developers, some of which just throw things together that work, but work badly. Many of us who are not programmers have no idea what we are installing, how efficient the scripts is, how safe (security wise) and how much overhead it is loading. A plugin as I suggested here at least takles some of those issues that will never go away and may help to make WP more efficient.

  30. says

    Hi Kim. thanks for that link. I tend to agree with most of what Thaya Kareeson says there. In addition, I think all developers should create a good changelog that details exactly what has been changed between each version. At the code level, this is actually very important, as making an update from one version to another could cause a major problem if new code has been introduced.

    I went on to read about the image sprites “cSprites” plugin from this article and I’m going to give this a try on one of my test sites first to see how well it performs.

    Thanks for the lead, Kim. BTW if anyone is interested a very good test site I use to measure site performance is http://tools.pingdom.com/

    Richard´s last blog post – Sunday roundup 45

  31. David Larsen says

    A plugin that allows me to assign a thumbnail to each post, and then display these thumbnails in a simple gallery, each thumbnail linking back to the original post.
    It doesn’t have to generate the thumbnails, just get them from a custom field or something.
    The gallery should just be a simple grid-based gallery embedded in a page, preferably styled with css.

    I’ve been looking and asking for something like this everywhere, but it seems like it just haven’t been made.

    Hopefully Stratos is home from the vacation by now :-)?

    • says

      Hi David – This post is quite old by now – I don’t think Stratos is currently taking requests.

      That sounds like quite a plugin – it seems like most I’ve come across do part of what you need but not all of it.


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