Tag Archives: plugin

WP125 Patch 1.2.1 Released

If you have already updated to WP125 version 1.2.0, which was released just a few days ago, you would be strongly advised to upgrade to the the new 1.2.1 release, which fixes a critical bug.

If you are running 1.2.0, ads will not be taken down properly when they reach their expiration date, and you will recieve an endless supply of email notifications stating that the ad has been taken down. For every time someone loads a page on your blog, an email notification will be sent. This could quickly fill your inbox, and put unnecessary strain on the server.

This issue was caused by a mistake in an SQL statement that has since been fixed. Please update to version 1.2.1 of the WP125 ad management plugin, via the automatic updater in WordPress, or by downloading it manually.

EDIT: It seems we are up to 1.2.2 now. A couple of other, less major, bugs came up, and have since been fixed.

WP125 1.2.0 Released

Version 1.2.0 of the WP125 ad management plugin has been released. You can download the latest version from WordPress Extend, or you can update using WordPress’s automatic plugin updater.

The latest version streamlines the management workflow, and overall makes the plugin more friendly with WordPress 2.7. The subtle usability tweaks should make it easier to navigate the plugin in the latest WordPress release.

But what about the more major features?

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Don’t Like WordPress 2.7’s Vertical Navigation?

If you’re not comfortable with the new vertical navigation in WordPress 2.7, rest assured that there is an alternative. Ozh’s Admin Drop Down Menu plugin, has been updated to bring horizontal dropdown navigation to WordPress 2.7.

When WordPress 2.7 and its new and optimized user interface came, I thought there was still room for improvements: a horizontal menu gave the admin area more of a “desktop application” feel, and I think it’s superior to a vertical menu. So I updated the Worpdress Admin Drop Down Menu.

One cool feature is a color picker that allows you to customize the colorization of the menu bar. I’m not a huge fan of the gradient that’s auto-applied, which looks too exaggerated, but that’s probably nitpicking a little, I suppose.

The plugin works in most modern browsers, and Internet Explorer too. (I kid, I kid…)

Anyway, if you don’t like the vertical nav, this plugin is for you.

An Interesting Use for WP125

Dave Rigotti has found an interesting new use for my WP125 plugin. It came to my attention recently while I was checking my Technorati link feed.

He is using the plugin, which is usually for displaying 125×125 advertisements in your blog sidebar, to count how many times his RSS button is clicked. So coupled with the Feedburner subscriber count, he has a metric of how many people actually subscribe to the feed after clicking the icon.

If you’re curious, approximately 21% people subscribe to this blog after clicking the big button to the right.

Interesting idea, Dave. I never would of thought of using an ad plugin to test links’ conversion rates. I suppose it’s not too huge stretch, but it’s quite creative.

It’s kind of fun seeing people use my plugins for things I never intended for originally.

Full Posts or Excerpts? How About Both?

Should you display full posts on your WordPress blog’s index, or excerpts? Normally I fall into the camp that says you shouldn’t display ten full posts on your main page, since you end up with more duplicate content, and it takes longer to scroll through the posts.

How about having the best of both options? Have one full post, and the rest can be excerpts.

To set this up, find the Loop in your theme’s index.php file. It should look something like this:

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WP Greet Box

Have you ever opened up your website stats application, Google Analytics for example, and looked at the “referring sites” section? There you are shown the websites that people come from to visit your site the most.

Now wouldn’t it be useful if you could detect where a user is coming from when they visit your WordPress blog, and display a customized message to them? Perhaps a reminder to subscribe to your RSS feed, or to Stumble your post.

WP Greet Box does just that. After dropping the plugin into your /wp-content/plugins/ directory and activating it, you just have to add a <?php wp_greet_box() ?> template tag where you want the messages to appear in your theme.

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Moderate Comments With Adobe AIR

If your WordPress-based blog gets a lot of comments, it can be a pain to keep up on them.

Approving/spamming comments is sadly something that has to be done frequently, otherwise the unmoderated comments tend to pile up. Let’s face it, if you run a fairly high-traffic blog, you don’t want to trek over to the WordPress Admin to moderate comments.

That’s where Daniel Dura’s “Moderator” comes in. Moderator is an Adobe AIR app that brings the unmoderated comments to you. It sits in your Dock or System Tray and notifies you as the comments stack up in the queue. From there, you can approve, spam, or delete the comments after reading them.

The app requires WordPress 2.6+, and you must install a WordPress plugin before using the app. Once WP 2.7 is out, the developer will release a new version of Moderator to take advantage of 2.7’s comment API, which will make the plugin unneccesary.

What Would You Like to See in WP125?

The WP125 Ad Management Plugin has gained quite a sizeable following over the past few months, with nearly 4,000 downloads logged in WordPress/Extend as I write this. (Note that there were likely a lot of downloads before it was accepted into the repository.)

Overall, I think it’s been successful.

The point of the plugin has been to provide an easy way to manage 125×125 ads, rather than relying on hand-coding or more complex ad-serving applications like OpenX. The goal has been to make it the right choice for as many bloggers as possible who want to sell 125×125 ads.

So, how is it? What do you like about WP125? What do you want to see in it? Is there something about it that just bugs you? What killer feature is missing that you just have to have?

The next release of WP125 is in the works currently, and I’m working on it off and on, whenever I have some spare time. Now is a good time to suggest new additions or changes.

This is you chance to voice your opinions about the plugin. Any constructive criticism or suggestions are welcome.

jQuery Plugin: Jcrop

A lot of web apps these days involve images. Twitter, Gravatar, Facebook, you name it. For avatars, sharing photos, or whatever, user-submitted images are a big part of the modern web.

Now, suppose you’re building a web app, and you want to allow a user to upload an image of a certain size or aspect ratio (for whatever your purpose is). Now you can’t guarantee that the user will upload an image of the correct dimensions, and you probably don’t want them breaking your layout by submitting a 1200-pixel-wide image. What do you do?

Provide means for the image to be cropped in-browser. There’s a cool little jQuery plugin called Jcrop that allows users to crop images in browser. It seems customizable enough, letting you re-style the selection box, contstain it to a specific aspect ratio, etc. It works fairly similar to Gravatar’s cropping tool.

WP125 1.1 Released

The WordPress 125×125 ad management plugin has just got better. I’ve just released version 1.1.0, which improves performance, adds several customization options, as well as a few major features.

New is version 1.1:

  • Setting to change the widget title.
  • Option to remove the default ad styling, enabling you to use your own CSS rules.
  • Settings are no longer stored in a database table, but in WordPress’s built-in Options system. This reduces database queries, and improves performance.
  • Admin menu functions are no longer included outside of the WordPress Admin (hehe :D ).
  • A few other tweaks were made of efficiency and security nature.
  • Major feature: If you supply an email address in the options page, you can opt to receive email notifications when ads expire, allowing you to easily send follow-up emails to advertisers, or simply just stay in the know.
  • Major feature: Placeholder ads! If an ad slot is empty, instead of not being shown, a placeholder ad (a.k.a “Your ad here” image) will be shown, linking to your sales page.

Download the plugin here, or just use the WordPress 2.5+ automated plugin updater.

If you have any suggestions, or if you find a bug, please leave a comment or shoot me an email.

EDIT: Everyone using 1.1.0, please upgrade to 1.1.1, unless you don’t mind your ads being unclickable. A stupid mistake on my part caused the issue in 1.1.0. It’s been patched now.

EDIT: Arg!!! I made another mistake. Version 1.1.1 is identical to 1.1.0, and therefore didn’t get the fix. Please use 1.1.2. :D

ANOTHER EDIT: Another bug squished. 1.1.3 is out, everyone. Fixes an issue with the slot dropdown on the Add/Edit page.