Plugin Readme files now support video

February 23, 2010 | No Comments Yet

A new feature that will benefit WordPress plugin authors and plugin users alike: you can now add video in the readme.txt file of a plugin. This information will be displayed in the WordPress Just like WordPress posts & pages support shortcodes and oEmbed, so do plugin readme files now. There are two ways of doing this: oEmbed, by entering the URL of the video in its own line, and shortcodes, by entering the type of video and the URL in between square brackets, e.g.:

  • [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EiKx_WSesk]
  • [vimeo http://vimeo.com/173714]
  • [wpvideo OO4thna8]

The feature currently supports three video providers: YouTube, Vimeo, and VideoPress. It must also be noted that object embed codes (the usual way of embedding videos on websites) is not supported, just the two methods above. View the test example here.

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3 backup plugins reviewed

January 12, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Blogging Tips reviews three WordPress backup plugins, DBC Backup, WP-DBManager, and WP-DB-Backup. According to them DBC comes out on top, but go check out the review to see which one meets your specific needs. There’s always the WordPress plugins directory, too.

I prefer to do my backups from within my host’s cPanel so that all of my site gets backed up, not just my WordPress install, but using plugins makes things easier.

In any case, having a backup plan is better than none at all. If you haven’t started or need to brush up on your blog backup habit, there’s no time like the present. And it’s peanuts to install a WordPress plugin these days, so no excuses!

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WordPress Plugins Directory adds user-voted compatibility checker

October 28, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.org Plugin Directory compatibility feature

WordPress plugins listed at WordPress.org’s official plugin directory now have a new feature for compatibility checking. It uses the naturally-helpful WordPress community to gather statistics on how compatible a plugin is for a certain WordPress version. Weblog Tools Collection reports:

Normally, the plugin information within the FYI box tells you which version of WordPress is required and which version the plugin is compatible up to. Unfortunately, the version the plugin is compatible up to is not updated that often which is why some plugins which state that they only work up to WordPress 2.5 end up working with the latest release.

[…] The beauty of this system is that it leverages the community in order to figure out what works with what. However, just because it works for the majority of users is no guarantee it will work on your particular setup. But using these statistics, it should make it easier to figure out whether the issue is with the plugin and WordPress or with your setup.

One of the biggest fears users have when it comes time to upgrade WordPress is whether their plugins will work on the newest version or not. There are a large handful of people who upgrade to the latest version of WordPress as soon as it’s released and the hope is, these folks will visit the plugin page and report their findings for others to take advantage of. If more users see that their plugins work on the newest version, they are more likely to upgrade.

It’s not yet on all plugins, and it doesn’t appear yet inside details screen when you install from within your WP admin, but expect that to change soon. After all, this feature is still in beta.

But the biggest advantage, as WLTC notes in the last paragraph above, is key here. WordPress-powered sites often stay outdated and unable to fight off security attacks because their owners fear for incompatible plugins breaking their site. This checker should help quell those fears. And of course, this is a great incentive to make sure you’re grabbing plugins from the most legitimate source out there.

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Improved search for WordPress Plugins Directory

February 20, 2009 | No Comments Yet

In WordPress 2.7 we’re now able to install plugins effortlessly either by uploading a ZIP files from a local drive or by searching the Plugins Directory from the admin panel (see Plugins > Add New). The problem, however, with the 2nd solution is that it was a pain since search results were not helpful at all!

The good news is, the Automattic team has improved its plugins directory search with the help of Sphinx, which is an SQL full-text search engine.

Currently, the search only indexes the plugin’s title and description/installation/FAQ/etc. (from the plugin’s readme.txt file), but we’ll be adding things like authors and tags soon.

Good to hear they’re actually working on one of the most useful aspects integrated into the admin panel.

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