This plugin provides a simple way of displaying up-to-date information about specific plugins hosted on the WordPress Plugin Directory in your blog posts and pages. It is intended for plugin authors who want to display details of their own plugins from the WP Plugin Directory on their blog and want those details to remain up to date. It’s also useful for bloggers who may blog about plugins and would like the details in their blog posts to remain up to date.
You want to blog about a particular plugin on your blog and include various details of it in your blog post (eg. the number of downloads or the last updated date). You could manually type this information into your post but this means that in a few days/weeks/months’ time the information will be out of date.
This plugin allows you to use shortcodes in your blog posts and pages which fetches this information right from the WordPress Plugin Directory, therefore ensuring the information always remains up to date.
Here’s an example
This plugin uses shortcodes so it’s ridiculously easy to include any information about a particular plugin in your post or page:
This plugin has been downloaded [!plugin downloaded] times!
This will produce the following content in your blog post:
This plugin has been downloaded 1,650 times!
The download count will remain current without you having to touch your blog post again.
Is this plugin for me?
This plugin is only going to be of use to you if:
- You are a plugin author and you want a ridiculously easy way to include up to date information about any of your plugins in your blog posts or pages.
- You are the author of a blog that highlights plugins of interest and you want to ensure that information in your posts remains up to date.
- Unzip the ZIP file and drop the folder straight into your
- Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
- Now read the usage guidelines below.
- Write a new blog post or page, or open an existing post or page for editing.
- In the ‘Plugin Info’ box on that screen, type the slug of the plugin like this:
(The plugin slug is the last part of the URL of the plugin’s page on wordpress.org.)
- Add a shortcode to your blog entry like this:
[!plugin downloaded]and save the post. (That’s the word ‘plugin’ and not the slug of your plugin by the way).
- Take a look at your post and the number of dowloads of the plugin will be displayed.
Which attributes can I display?
Below is a list of all the available shortcodes.
- [!plugin author_name] – The plugin author’s name
- [!plugin author_url] – The URL of the plugin author’s homepage
- [!plugin compatibility] – The compatibility concensus with the most recent version of WordPress (as a %)
- [!plugin compat_with] – The version of WordPress used for the compatibility concensus (ie. the latest WordPress version, eg. “2.8.5”)
- [!plugin download_url] – The URL of the plugin’s ZIP file
- [!plugin donate_url] – The URL of the plugin’s donation page
- [!plugin downloaded] – The all time download count with comma-separated thousands (eg. “12,345”)
- [!plugin homepage_url] – The URL of the plugin’s homepage
- [!plugin link_url] – The URL of the plugin’s page on the WP Plugin Directory
- [!plugin name] – The plugin name
- [!plugin profile_url] – The URL of the author’s profile on WP.org
- [!plugin requires] – The ‘Requires at least’ WP version number
- [!plugin rating] – The plugin’s star rating as a whole number out of 5 (given by visitors to wp.org)
- [!plugin slug] – The plugin slug
- [!plugin tags] – A comma-separated list of the plugin’s tags
- [!plugin tested] – The ‘Tested up to’ WP version number
- [!plugin updated_ago] – How long ago the plugin was last updated (eg. “20 days ago”)
- [!plugin updated] – The date the plugin was last updated, formatted according to your Date Format settings under Settings->General (eg. “20 January 2009”)
- [!plugin version] – The plugin version number
Formatted info (eg. links and ordered lists):
Most shortcodes which display a formatted link can have their default link text overridden by adding a ‘text’ parameter. For example: [!plugin homepage text=’Homepage’] will display a link to the plugin homepage with the link text ‘Homepage’.
- [!plugin author] – A formatted link to the plugin author’s homepage with the author’s name as the link text (if the author doesn’t have a homepage this will just display their name)
- [!plugin description] – The full description of the plugin
- [!plugin download] – A formatted link to the plugin’s ZIP file with ‘Download’ as the link text
- [!plugin donate] – A formatted link to the plugin’s donation page with ‘Donate’ as the link text
- [!plugin homepage] – A formatted link to the plugin’s homepage with ‘Visit plugin homepage’ as the link text
- [!plugin link] – A formatted link to the plugin’s page on the WP Plugin Directory with the plugin name as the link text
- [!plugin profile] – A formatted link to the author’s WP.org profile page with the author’s name as the link text
- [!plugin screenshots] – The list of the screenshots attached to the plugin (an <ol> list of <img> tags with descriptions)
- [!plugin changelog] – The list of changelog entries
- [!plugin latest_change] – Just the latest changelog entry
- [!plugin other_notes] – The ‘Other Notes’ section of the plugin
Some less useful raw data:
- [!plugin downloaded_raw] – The all time download count as a raw number (eg. “12345”)
- [!plugin num_ratings] – The number of people who’ve rated the plugin on wp.org
- [!plugin rating_raw] – The plugin’s actual average rating as a score out of 100 (given by visitors to wp.org)
- [!plugin updated_raw] – The date the plugin was last updated, in the format “yyyy-mm-dd”
The geek stuff
The plugin information is collected from wp.org each time you save your post or page. It is updated hourly using WordPress’ cron system and uses the Plugin API available in WordPress 2.7 or later. The plugin data is stored as an associative array in a custom field called ‘plugin-info’, and the plugin slug you enter is saved as a custom field called ‘plugin’. For supergeeks, this means you can also access the plugin data using
get_post_meta(), but I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.
- A shortcode for a standard information box which contains all the essential plugin info in a nice format.
- Possibly allow shortcodes in the title of posts.
- Clickable shortcoces listed on the post editing screen.
- A shortcode for a link to the author’s wordpress.org profile page (pending support in the Plugin API).
- A shortcode for the ‘Other Notes’ section of the plugin (pending support in the Plugin API).
- A simple UI for adding the plugin slug info to posts so you don’t have to use the Custom Fields directly.
- Periodically update the data for all of your plugins from wordpress.org.
This plugin requires WordPress version 2.7 or later.
Version 0.9.0 ZIP file from downloads.wordpress.org
Any comments, questions, queries, suggestions, complaints, etc, please leave a comment!