WordPress Plugin Testing and Use Notes

GIS Mapping

Plugin Name: XML Google Maps
Plugin Version Reviewed: 1.14.1
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/xml-google-maps
Reason for trying the plugin: I tried using XML Google Maps here are my notes: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/requires-google-api-key. It didn't work for displaying NexGen Gallery images on an OSM map. It didn't even display the OSM map without inputing a google API key. There was only one thing I did not try and that was using the exact code as seen on the developer's website. I did the beginning "[xmlgm" and then "ID=x]". He used the ngg_gallery shortcode. 04. December 2013 - I went back and tried this again with a Google Maps API v3 key and I still can not get the map to display.
Date installed or tested: 27. October 2013

Plugin Name: WP Visited Countries
Plugin Version Reviewed: 1.1.2
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-visited-countries
Product (Developers') Site: http://wordpress.amellie.net/
Reason for trying the plugin: Uninstalled because when this plugin is deactivated it loses its data. Moved on to use another plugin (Map My Posts) for displaying posts on a map. My review is here: http://wordpress.org/support/view/plugin-reviews/wp-visited-countries
Any Reason to not upgrade this plugin?: Yes - Loses data if deactivated.
Date installed or tested: 14. October 2013

Plugin Name: Leaflet Maps Maker
Plugin Version Reviewed: 3.7
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/leaflet-maps-marker/
Reason for trying the plugin: Looking to plot a bunch of posts based on a relationship. I did not use it because it is a service (pay) based plugin.

Plugin Name: Geoportail Shortcode
Plugin Version Reviewed: 2.4.4
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/geoportail-shortcode
Product (Developers') Site:
Reason for trying the plugin: I was looking for a way to dynamically apply GPX and KML files over a map. This plugin seems to do that. Geoportail. This plugin pulls is base layer from http://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/, which seems to be the French governments' provision of geo-spatial data.
Any Reason to not upgrade this plugin?:
Date installed or tested: 04.December 2013 - Not actually installed. The data source was not detailed enough in the part of the world I was looking to display.

Plugin Name: OS OpenSpace Maps
Plugin Version Reviewed: 1.2.3
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/os-openspace-maps/
Product (Developers') Site:
Reason for trying the plugin: None. This plugin says it is just to display UK Ordnance Survey OpenSpace maps with markers and tracks.
Any Reason to not upgrade this plugin?: N/A
Date installed or tested: 02. December 2013

Plugin Name: Simple KML Generator
Plugin Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-kml-generator
Product (Developers') Site:
Reason for trying the plugin: This plugin looks really cool for taking points (perhaps collected through PODs) and applying a point to them and allowing the CMS to generate the KML file. I could see this working with dialect maps and wordlists.
Any Reason to not upgrade this plugin?:
Date installed or tested: 04.December 2013

27 Oct 2013. I tried (am trying) WP GPX Maps, it requires that one uses a GPX file and then dynamically loads the photos into a map based on time stamp. This is good for persons without a process to geo-embed the metadata in the photos. However, I do this geo-tagging in my image processing workflow. So this means that I would have to create a GPX file from my images. This is not impossible to do but is extra work. I am currently able to do with an nice Java App called Geotag following a hint found here: http://sourceforge.net/p/geotag/discussion/729534/thread/69875478/. GeoTag requires ExifTool and GPSBabel. Both Applications I have previously installed.

But I still can't get the map to center where I want it to, or to show the images. I did get a successful export of a GPX file though a KLM file.

Custom Page Templates for Post and Custom Post Types
Some times I want to have a certain post to have a special format or some special feature added to the post - in particular on my personal blog when I want to publish a post with a "open draft" status. WordPress has a built in feature that Theme Builders can use called "Post Format" but this is limited to the ones provided by WordPress Core. So, in terms of keeping data moveable it would be poor form to reuse these for unique purposes. So, there is another kind of approach and this one is to take the model applied to Page Formats (rather than post formats), and then use a plugin to apply those formats to posts. The same challenge comes about when asking what to do about custom post types and how does one display them on the front end.

There are several plugins out there and it seems that some of them are copies of others. This is certainly where a some consensus and a better UI in Core would, I think, be helpful.
Listing the Plugins:
Custom Post Template: http://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-post-template/
Page Templates for Posts: http://wordpress.org/plugins/page-templates-for-posts/
Post Page: Use Page Template: http://wordpress.org/plugins/posts-page-custom-template/
Page Template Dashboard:
Reveal Page Templates:
Post Template:
Child Page Templates:
Custom Post Type Page Template:
Custom Post View Generator:

Image Presentation

NextGEN Gallery Comments
27 Oct 2013. I looked at this plugin but it only provides template files and requires editing theme files or plugin files. This means a longer checklist on updates. And since updates happen so often, and are so easy, and since I am not using SVN, it makes it logical to skip this "customization".

Font Usage
There are several ways to add free fonts to a WordPress site. The first is to use a third party service (which I don't like because it requires connection to that service). And self hosting via .woff fonts. There are compatibility issues with old browsers with .woff fonts but newer bowsers will all render them.
There are supposedly two plugins which will allow you to install and use .woff fonts.
Any Font and Use Any Font I looked at both of these and decided that neither really did what I wanted and that it would be better to define new custom CSS and host my own .woff font. The two tutorials I used are here: On StackOverFlow and JustCreative.com
I used the following site to create a .woff font: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/tools/webfont-generator

CSV Import
Plugin:CSV 2 Post
Plugin Version Reviewed: 7.0.4
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/csv-2-post/
Product Site: Not listed.
Reason:I am looking for an easy way to import content from XML or CSV to PODs Custom Content types. BulkPress is awesome for simple taxonomies. But for structured data I have yet to find something which works well. This plugin seems to work with the same idea as WP-All import, but with the exception that the navigation sucks and does not follow WP UI guidelines. It did make custom content form me with the correct titles, but none of the custom fields worked. I did not try a second time and gave up and un-installed it. I might come back to it if I don't find a better solution. My ideal solution would be that PODs would have a GUI data import feature.
Date installed: 18. November 2013

Selective Plugins

Plugin: Plugin Organizer
Plugin Version Reviewed: 4.0.1
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/plugin-organizer/
Reason: Many times I need a plugin for a specific job on a certain page. To accomplish this I have found the use of Plugin Organizer to be most helpful.

Academic Plugins

Plugin Name: ZotPress
Plugin Version Reviewed:
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/zotpress/
Product (Developers') Site:
Reason for trying the plugin: I wanted to bring in my endnote and Zotero citations to my blog. This plugin allows for one to connect to one's Zotero server groups. However, I was hoping for local management of citation or the ability to interact with a local server of Zoter as this blog post explainshttp://signalverarbeitung.blogspot.com/2012/08/zotero-data-server-installation.html.
Any Reason to not upgrade this plugin?: No.
Date installed or tested: 06.December 2013

Review it in the same light as: https://hugh.thejourneyler.org/2011/mephaa-bibliography/ highlighting some of the limitations.

Using Footnotes and Endnotes:
seems to be the same as: http://wordpress.org/plugins/ajs-footnotes/

Academic Press

Google Docs Integration:
I might consider moving these notes on Using Google Docs with WordPress to this post. I also might want to add my comments about Zapier.

Functioning in the Admin screens
Plugin: Post Type Switcher
WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/post-type-switcher/

Product Site:
Reason: For those occasions where I need to make a page a post or vise versa.
Any Reason to not upgrade this plugin?:
Date installed: 12. December 2013
Plugin Version:

WP-URL: http://wordpress.org/plugins/term-management-tools/
Product Site:
Reason: For Moving Terms between taxonomies
Any Reason to not upgrade this plugin?:
Date installed: 12. December 2013
Plugin Version:

Posts in Pages type plugins

==To Do==
Determine which Posts-in-Page plugin is right for the job. - I actually think this is better done though a PODs template.
Posts to Page: http://wordpress.org/plugins/posts-to-page/
Posts in Page (installed): http://wordpress.org/plugins/posts-in-page/
Posts for Page: http://wordpress.org/plugins/posts-for-page/ !!! this one looks like it might have some potential.

I should also add the contents from the following posts:
Adding Maps...
Four interesting Plugins (not published)...

Plugin Abandonment

In the open source development world there is a lot of emphases on developing software to solve specific problems, there is much less emphasis on solving those problems well. That is, solving those problems so the most people are serviced, or so that users of software have the flexibility they need (there is also often a lack of commitment to User Experience Design but this is a shameless side plug). And there is often a real lack of collaboration around competing solutions. This is evident in the software which is created for use by linguists (usually also coded by linguists for solving the linguists’ challenges) but this is also evidenced in a different sphere of programing in the WordPress eco-system. In the WordPress eco-system there is a plethora of plugins which are abandoned. WordPress is GPL’d and so these plugins are GPL’d too. However, the repository – the human visual interface to the repository – allows for coders to grab code, and modify it for their ends, but it doesn’t allow for merging once the plugin has been “updated”. (It is true that not all changes are “updates”, sometimes people need one-off solutions.) But the net result is that early 1/3rd of all plugins for wordpress are abandoned. Their developer has been paid and has now ended their relationship with the commissioning client, or the WordPress eco-system no-longer requires the service options provided by that plugin. Matt Jones created an info-graphic to illustrate this point and to bring awareness to the problem. My comments below are my reply to him, with some minor corrections .
Continue reading

Plugins Awry

On Oct 24th I updated some plugins and then I could not access the back end of my WordPress install. Some sort of plugin in conflict. I posted a request for help to the forums. Some one pointed me where to go and I was able find my way into fixing my site. (Server 500 Error and blank pages when I tried to load the back end. But the font end loaded just fine.) I wanted to grab the code that I deleted from the database before I deleted it forever. So I thought I would post it here as a record of what I had running when I encountered the problem. (Something like 76 plugins running…) This was really the most detailed work I have done with PHPMyAdmin… I am shocked how comfortable I have become with the app.


This tutorial show how to use a SQL statement to access the needed table.

Plugins Removed from WordPress Extend search after two Years

I watched the State of the Word address by Matt. There are some very exciting things happening with WordPress. It is always interesting to think that WordPress and FaceBook are almost the same age, they have both had a significant effect on the internet landscape.

In his State of the Word Speech, Matt mentioned that plugins which have not been updated in two years will be removed from the search results on WordPress.org/extend. My question is:

Why choose two years? Why not choose votes of “it doesn’t work” for the past two full points on the development cycle?

So if WordPress 3.2 is the newest release of WordPress, then all plugins which are not voted to have worked on at leasts 3.0 and above would get removed from the search results. With just 2 points on the development cycle it would probably be less time than two years. So, what Matt is proposing is probably a more lenient strategy. By my question is not about what time depth but rather why time depth. Why choose time depth rather than the dynamic that an audience says something is working with the current version of WordPress?

Plugins not used…

In the early days of WordPress (2005) and WP-plugins there was usually only one plugin to do the job. Today there are many. So the task comes to sorting out which plugins are the right ones for the job and which ones are the best.

PDF viewing on site
I have been looking for a solution for giving my visitor the option to view PDFs I create on my site without having to download the PDF.

  • Third Party Services
    • iPaper
      There is a service for this called Scribd.com. They use a technology called iPaper to present your material. As best I can tell, you upload your document and then they convert it to flash and present your content as flash in a custom flash viewer. It works great. There is also a WordPress plugin to pull your hosted content to your WordPress website. Actually there are two plugins at the time of my writing iPaper and Simpler iPaper. I found that iPaper was the easier plugin to work with.
    • GoogleDocs
      If you are into using GoogleDocs then there is a plugin for presenting GoogleDocs in the same way as documents submitted to Scribd.com. It is called Google Doc Embedder.
    • embedit.in
      Embedit.in is another snazzy third party service. I have not tried it but it seems to work well and has some built in analytics for seeing who downloads your document.
    • docstoc.com
      Docstoc.com is yet anther third party service for serving documents.This review pits it and scribid.com against embedit.in
    • Zoho
      Zoho Apps is a rival service to Google Docs, they have a viewer for the files which users create with their online apps or add to their services. So if you are using an office document work flow which uses Zoho Apps you can embed these with ease with viewer. According to this review, Zoho Viewer lets users do three things:

      1. view documents
      2. share document as URLs
      3. embed documents
      4. .

  • Self-Hosted and Self-Contained
    • Self-Hosted SWF
      However, in general, I do not like using third party services, after a while I forget what content I have in “the cloud” and I like to keep as small a digital footprint as possible. So I found a third solution. There is a plugin called WordPressPDF. This one requires that you convert your PDF files to SWF files and then presents them on your site without requiring a third party service. It did require the installation of swftools to do the PDF to SWF conversion. However this seems a small price to pay for leaving a smaller digital foot print.
    • A second solution that I found in use was to use http://www.fpdf.org/ which is a PHP class to view PDFs the technical skill required to implement it was beyond my current time to develop. There was also another viewer mentioned here. with it’s code on Google Code but I could not figure out how to download the whole set of files out of Google Code.

Keeping track of “To Dos”
There are so many cool things you can do with web pages and with WordPress. I needed a way to track all the things that I wanted to do. I have tried three plugins for this.

  • Admin Notes ajax jquery
    The first, Admin Notes ajax jquery, added a blue box at the top of all my admin pages to which I could add “To Do” items however this increased the load time of my admin pages by at least 3 seconds under heavy use. So it had to go.
  • WordPress Admin Notepad Plugin
    The second, WordPress Admin Notepad Plugin, added a single “scratch paper” spot through the settings tab. This was not accessible enough. It seems more ideal for passing notes between users on a WordPress install.
  • Peter’s Post Notes
    The third, Peter’s Post Notes, Is the winner! is by far the best plugin for my uses because it keeps track of notes on a per page or per post basis. So I only see the notes which are relevant to the current post.
  • Note Pad
    A long time ago, I also used Chris Davis’s Note Pad plugin it allowed me to make a note in the admin area and then easily change it to a post draft. I could not get this plugin to work with a current version of WordPress.


Get people to view your site with a browser other than Internet Explorer.

Again there are several plugins. They take two different approaches one is Pro-FireFox (from spreadfirefox.com), the others are anti-IE6.

This is a really sensitive, but serious issue. As a web-developer I do not want people using a browser that is less secure than a modern browser like Firefox 3.5.3+. However, there is another reason to encourage a browser other than IE, and that is I don’t want to have to recode each page in an IE friendly manner. This is just too much work.

  • Spread Firefox
    The spreadfirefox plugin got annoying because it showed it’s logo all the time even when viewed in FireFox and it created a huge footer.. So I yanked it.
  • IE Warning
    The IE Warning plugin was a bit friendlier and had a really cool custom panel where I could customize the CSS applying to the warning.
  • Shockingly Big IE6 Warning
    But in the end I went with the Shockingly Big IE6 Warning because it had the best admin panel and the most customization options.
  • Anti IE6 Army
    Anti IE6 Army was not tested but appears to be a plugin of similar function.

How do you keep a page from showing up in the menu?