Tag Archives: Plugins

AJAX Edit Comments Goes Commercial

AJAX Edit Comments, a popular WordPress plugin that allows commentators to edit their messages for a time after they post, has become a commercial plugin. Jeff of WP Tavern managed to ask the authors a few questions about their decision.

Are there plans to simultaneously develop a free version with the paid version or will the free version be discontinued in favor of the paid one?

I do plan to more-or-less discontinue the free version as far as features. However, I will continue to check the WP Extend version to make sure it works with the latest WordPress version.

Will the plugin continue to be licensed under the GPL?

Absolutely. What we’re trying to do with the new site is provide automatic upgrades (very similar to Gravity Forms), priority support, and affiliate opportunities.

A 5-domain license starts at $10/year for now, though the price will be going up to $50/year after January 31st.

On one hand, I like seeing more plugin developers make some money from their work. On the other hand, I think the pricing will put the plugin out of reach of many of its long-time users.

Modifying The Contextual Help Menu in WordPress

Contextual help menu in WordPressStarting in version 2.7, WordPress has a pull-down “Help” menu in the upper-right corner of the screen, often joined by another menu for configuring display options for the page in question.

By default the “Help” menu doesn’t do much. It gives some useful pointers on the Dashboard and Write screen, but other than that it pretty much just shows links to the Codex and WordPress.org support forums.

What if you wanted to make the “contextual menu” actually…contextual? If you’re a plugin or theme developer, you can add your own helpful information to the menu. It’s as simple as hooking into the contextual_help filter:

function my_contextual_help($text) {
$screen = $_GET['page'];
if ($screen == 'my_plugin') {
$text = "<h5>Need help with this plugin?</h5>";
$text .= "<p>Check out the documentation and support forums for help with this plugin.</p>";
$text .= "<a href=\"http://example.org/docs\">Documentation</a><br /><a href=\"http://example.org/support\">Support forums</a>";
return $text;

add_action('contextual_help', 'my_contextual_help');

The basic idea is to take the default contents of the menu, $text, and replace it with your own content. The $screen variable is used to make sure that the menu is only changed on the plugin’s pages, rather than universally through the Admin.

WP Plugins: The WordPress App Store

WP Plugins: The WordPress App StoreCollis Ta’eed, of Envato fame, posted an interesting link to Twitter recently. A new website called WP Plugins that is trying to be “The WordPress App Store.”

What exactly are they doing? They’ve set up a site reminiscent of the WordPress.org plugin repository, but for commercial plugins. As a customer, you can browse potentially useful plugins, and pay a flat fee (which the author chooses) to download the files. You can also opt to pay a subscription fee to gain access to an exclusive support forum, and instant access to upgrades to the plugin. (Those who pay the one-time fee instead of subscribing have to pay for the upgrades.) The plugins are all GPL, as WP Plugins requires it of all submissions.

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SubHeading Plugin for WordPress

Have you ever wished for an easy way to add a smaller secondary title, a subheading, under your blog posts’ main titles? That’s exactly what the SubHeading plugin does. It adds a subheading field to the Write screen in the WordPress Admin, and a template tag to put in your theme where you want them displayed.

Subheadings in WordPress

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Support Freeware Developers With #DonateFriday

If you’ve been using Twitter for any length of time, you’ve likely run into the phenomenon known as “Follow Friday,” where people tweet a list of users worth following, along with a #followfriday hashtag.

In the past few months something new and interesting started up: Donate Friday. The idea is you’re probably using several free WordPress plugins that take someone’s time and effort to develop. So on Donate Friday you pick one, donate any sum of money, however much you think the plugin is worth to you, and then you tweet about it with the #donatefriday hashtag.

The original post about Donate Friday suggested doing this not only for plugin developers, but theme creators, or anyone else contributing to the WordPress community.

Why not take it a little further? WordPress isn’t the only conglomeration of freeware developers. You probably use some free software (GPL or otherwise) every day that you find essential. Why not give them a little too? You could send a few dollars along to the people behind CyberDuck, Ubuntu, whatever software you like. Pick one every week or two and send them a (non-Starbucks) coffee.

Programmatically Checking if a WordPress Plugin is Installed

When writing a WordPress plugin, it can sometimes be helpful to tell if another plugin is active or not, whether to prevent conflicts or to extend another plugin that you require as a dependency.

Fortunately, there’s a conditional function built into WordPress for just this task.

if ( is_plugin_active('the-plugin/the-plugin.php') ) {
 //do stuff

The is_plugin_active() function accepts the relative path to the plugin (from the wp-content/plugins directory) as an argument, and returns either TRUE or FALSE.

Poll: What is Your Take on Commercial WP Plugins?

Gravity Forms has had some good success selling their (GPL) plugin in recent weeks, and the Shopp plugin has been going for awhile, too. I, myself, have plans to “go commercial” sometime in the coming months as well.

I’d like your opinion on the slow, but definite growth of paid WordPress plugins. Are you glad that developers are finally getting serious about developing and supporting plugins for the long term, and making a business of it? I am.

Commercial WordPress plugins...

  • ...are a great idea. It's nice to see serious businesses centered around extending WordPress. (71%, 10 Votes)
  • ...ruin WordPress for everyone! Everything should be free! (29%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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Note: If you’re reading this in an RSS aggregator, you may have to click through to see the poll.

Personally, I think commercial plugins will greatly increase the quality of available WP plugins, just as has happened with themes.

Would You Pay For Support?

Suppose a major WordPress plugin, such as WP Super Cache, All in One SEO pack or insert-name-of-your-favorite-plugin, decided to go the paid support route, would you pay? If they offered the plugin for free, but sold an optional package with some extras as well access to one-on-one tech support, would you go for the paid option? How much would you be willing to pay? (Obviously it would depend on the plugin…)

Theme developers have already started to establish businesses doing this, and I don’t think plugin developers are far behind. I’ve been considering this strategy a bit lately, and I know Joost de Valk has been as well. The question is: How profitable would such a move be?

Parse a WordPress Plugin’s README.txt With Regular Expressions

I’ve been working on a neat enhancement for my Tweetable WordPress plugin. Already I have a handy “Documentation” link on the plugin’s pages in the WordPress admin. When clicked, it opens a ThickBox dialog pointing to the README.txt file.

Not bad, but it had a few rough edges. Raw markdown doesn’t look look stellar, and then there was the problem with the horizontal scrollbars that would appear from loading a plain text file into the ThickBox. So I made a new script that would load-up the README.txt file and use Regular Expressions to parse some of the more basic markdown syntax into good old HTML.

README.txt, parsed into HTML

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Commercial WordPress Theme Directory? What About Plugins?

Joost de Valk thinks WordPress.org should have a section for commercial GPL-compliant plugins, like the new one for the themes. I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, we plugin authors get to host our own plugins on wordpress.org, and we can get links back to our site etc. But where’s the page for commercially supported GPL WordPress PLUGINS Matt? Don’t you think it’s time you started treating the plugin authors the same way as the theme authors? Or do we have to start a theme war for that first?

On the GPL, Themes, Plugins & Free [Yoast]

Theme developers seem to get more attention than plugin developers, and have for a long time. It’s sad. There are a lot of amazing plugins out there (including mine, of course…), but their developers are by and large not as well-off financially as the theme developers. You have giants like WooThemes selling $80 themes, that are now GPL compliant, but the plugin developers are pretty much just collecting a few donations here and there.

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