WP Options Importer

WordPress can presently export all of its content via WXR, and then import that through the WordPress Importer plugin. That process includes all posts, terms, menus, comments, and users, but it doesn’t touch options. In addition to general settings, options can include widget configurations, plugin settings, theme settings, and lots more. This can be very time-consuming to migrate manually. WP Options Importer aims to fill that void and save us all a lot of time.

WP Options Importer allows you to export all options to a JSON file, and then you can selectively import them into another WordPress installation. The import process is very transparent, and it even shows you what data you’ll be importing. Lastly, it gives you the option to override existing settings or to skip options that already exist.

To activate the WP Options Importer, include a call like this in your site’s theme: wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'options-importer' );

WP-SEO

WP SEO is designed for professionals who want to build a solid foundation for an SEO-friendly website.

It allows you to create templates for the title tag, meta description, and meta keywords on your posts, pages, custom post types, archives, and more. The templates can be populated dynamically with built-in formatting tags like #title# or #author_name#. You can even allow authors to create custom title and meta values for individual entries.

Meanwhile, it leaves other features like Open Graph metadata and XML sitemaps to more-specialized plugins.

For developers, WP SEO is welcoming. It applies filters all over the place, and extending the plugin with your own custom formatting tags is a cinch.

Usage

WordPress SEO allows you to customize the default format of <title> tags, <meta> descriptions, and <meta> keywords for your home page, single posts and custom post types, taxonomy and date archives, and more.

Most of this customization happens on the WP SEO settings page, which you can access in the Dashboard at Settings > SEO.

Basic usage

The settings page has headings for each group of fields you can customize. Groups are hidden by default; click the heading to expand it.

For example, to customize the defaults for your Posts, use the fields under the heading “Single Post Defaults.” To customize the default for author archives, use the fields under the heading “Author Archives.”

When you’re done editing fields, save your changes using the button at the bottom of the page.

A “format” can be regular text. For example, you could set the <title> tag of all date archives to be “Posts from our time machine.”

Formatting tags

The power of formats, though, is in formatting tags, which create dynamic text that responds to the content of the page.

A formatting tag looks like #site_name# or #author# or #archive_date#.

With formatting tags, setting the <title> tag format of your date archive to “Time machine set to #archive_date#” would display something like “Time machine set to September 2014” — and the date would change automatically based on the archive the user looked at.

Some more examples:

  • If you wanted to include the author name and tags by default in your <meta> keywords for all Posts, you could go to “Single Post Defaults” and, under “Meta Keywords Format,” use “#author#, #tags#.”
  • If you wanted to use category descriptions in the <meta> description field, you could go to “Category Archives” and, under “Meta Description Format”, use #term_description#.”
  • If you had a custom “Review” post type and wanted the <title> tag to include the date each review was last updated, you could go to “Single Review Defaults” and, under “Title Tag Format,” use “#title# Review (Updated #date_modified#).

These formatting tags are available out-of-the-box:

  • #archive_date#
  • #author#
  • #categories#
  • #date_modified#
  • #date_published#
  • #excerpt#
  • #post_type_plural_name#
  • #post_type_singular_name#
  • #search_term#
  • #site_description#
  • #site_name#
  • #tags#
  • #term_description#
  • #term_name#
  • #title#

More details about each tag are available under the “Help” button in the upper-right corner of the settings page.

Per-entry and per-term fields

The WP SEO Settings page allows you to set global defaults. But WP SEO also supports setting custom title, description, and keyword values for your site’s individual entries and taxonomy terms.

You can enable these fields on a per-post type basis under the “Post Types” heading on the WP SEO Settings page. Check the box next to a post type to enable the fields, and the fields will appear on the “Edit” page for each post type.

You can enable the fields on a per-taxonomy basis under the “Taxonomies” heading on the WP SEO Settings page. Check the box next to a taxonomy to enable the fields, and the fields will appear in the “Add New” form for each taxonomy and the “Edit” page for each taxonomy term.

Custom meta tags

In addition to the core support for <meta> description and keywords, WP SEO allows you to set custom <meta> tags that are used throughout your site. These are managed under the “Other Meta Tags” heading on the WP SEO Settings page.

For example, if you wanted to add a Google Verification <meta> tag for your site, you could go to “Other Meta Tags,” add “google-site-verification” under the “Name” field, and the value under the “Content” field.

Use the “Add another” button to add as many custom <meta> tags as you need.

Use the “Remove group” button, or just remove the field content, to remove a custom <meta> tag.

Apple News

Features include:

  • Convert Your WordPress content into Apple News Format content.
  • Configure Your Apple News Channel Credentials for Upload.
  • Automatically or Manually Publish Posts from WP to Apple News.
  • Control Individual Posts with Options to Publish, Update, or Delete.
  • Use Bulk Publishing Controls.
  • Handle Banners and Image Galleries.
  • Toggle Advertisements On or Off.

To enable content from your WordPress site to be published to your Apple News channel, you must obtain and enter Apple News API credentials from Apple.

Please see the Apple Developer and Apple News Publisher documentation and terms on Apple’s website for complete information.

Configuration

Information in this section are not a complete walkthrough of the plugin’s configuration. For the complete overview of configuration, please refer to the plugin’s README.md.

Automatically Publish to Apple News

Please note that the “Automatically Publish to Apple News” option, applies to administrators only (more specifically to users with manage_options capability) by default.

All posts published or updated by other users (editors, authors, and custom roles without manage_options capability) don’t get published automatically. Administrator, or any other user with manage_options capability, has to publish those manually from Apple News listing screen ( /wp-admin/admin.php?page=apple_news_index ).

In case you’d like the auto-publish feature being applied to other users as well, take advantage of the apple_news_publish_capability filter and select an appropriate capability.

/**
 * Apple News: allow authors and above to automatically
 * publish their posts on Apple News.
 */
add_filter( 'apple_news_publish_capability', function() {
    return 'publish_posts';
}, 10, 0 );

Allow editors to view Apple News listing screen

Similar to auto-publish feature, the Apple News listing screen( /wp-admin/admin.php?page=apple_news_index ) is available for administrators only by default.

In order to allow other users to see the status of posts and publish those to your Apple News channel, you have to take advantage of apple_news_list_capability filter:

/**
 * Apple News: allow editors and above to see the Apple News
 * listing screen.
 *
 * Users with this capability will be able to push any posts
 * to the Apple News channel
 */
add_filter( 'apple_news_list_capability', function(){
    return 'edit_others_posts';
}, 10, 0 );

Please note that the capability does not apply to viewing the listing only, but also allows users with given capability to publish any posts listed on the screen to your Apple News channel.

Shortcake

Description

Used alongside add_shortcode, Shortcake supplies a user-friendly interface for adding a shortcode to a post, and viewing and editing it from within the content editor.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll need to register UI for your shortcodes. For inspiration, check out examples of Shortcake in the wild.

To report bugs or feature requests, please use Github issues.

Installation

Shortcake can be installed like any other WordPress plugin.

Once you’ve done so, you’ll need to register the UI for your code.

Screenshots

1. Without Shortcake, shortcodes have a minimal UI.

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2. But with Shortcake, TinyMCE will render the shortcode in a TinyMCE view.

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3. And add a user-friendly UI to edit shortcode content and attributes.

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4. Add new shortcodes to your post through “Add Media”.

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Parse.ly

Main plugin features

  • Get started with Parse.ly right away: the plugin automatically inserts the required parsely-page tag and JavaScript on all your published pages and post.
  • Allows you to specify the JavaScript implementation to use: standard, DOM free or asynchronous.

Using the plugin on VIP

  1. This plugin requires an active version of Parse.ly. Sign up for a trial of Parse.ly here.
  2. Download and install the latest version of the Parse.ly plugin from the WordPress.org Directory: https://en-ca.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-parsely/
  3. Activate the plugin from the WordPress Dashboard from the Plugins menu.
  4. Head to the settings page for the plugin under Settings.
  5. Add your Site ID and choose a tracker implementation method (your Site ID can be found in your settings screen). Questions about which tracker to implement? Check the FAQ section below.
  6. Save your changes, your content data will start to populate in our system.
  7. Log into Parse.ly and see your content’s real time performance, set up reports, and evaluate your site’s performance over time.

Feedback, suggestions, questions or concerns? Visit our knowledge base or email us at support@parsely.com to set up trainings, find out how to best use Parse.ly at your organization, and more.

FAQs

Where do I find my Site ID?
Head to your settings screen and copy the value for Site ID.

What tracker implementation should I use?
It’s really up to you and your requirements, but this article in our documentation should help you make a decision. If you still have questions then reach out to us at support@parsely.com.

Why can’t I see the Parse.ly code on my post when I preview?
Our code will only be placed on pages and posts that have been published in WordPress to ensure we don’t track traffic generated while you’re still writing a post/page.

Will Parse.ly break or slow down my site?

Our JavaScript code is written so that it is the very last script that loads on your page.

We host our DNS servers (parsely.com) with a global, distributed DNS system, which has no downtime and extremely fast resolution times across the globe. Our JavaScript code itself is hosted in a global content delivery network (CDN) with edge locations in every global region.

Our code itself is optimized to not impact user experience in any unintended way. It also automatically leverages asynchronous JavaScript loading technologies in newer browsers. For older browsers, we use a sophisticated loading process that loads a few bytes of data from a high-speed CDN (a “bootstrap” file) and then uses an asynchronous JavaScript loading library (the LABjs library mentioned above) to ensure that none of our other assets block your page load.

Once our tracking code is loaded, we drop an extremely small cookie (just a user ID) and asynchronously beacon back information to our analytics server. If our analytics server is down, all that happens is that the actions are no longer tracked – there is no impact on the user experience otherwise.

Our team is staffed by JavaScript experts who know the pain and frustration with crappy third-party JavaScript integrations. We therefore have taken a lot of care to make our tracking code integration a no-brainer, safe decision.

Check out our public Pingdom report showing our uptime and global response times.

How can I use Parse.ly data to improve my site, grow my audience, or accomplish another goal?

The data and information you find in Parse.ly can be used in an unlimited number of ways. Your use may depend largely on your role and specific goals. Luckily, we’re here to help! Check out our blog for use case ideas, or schedule a demo (support@parsely.com) with our team to find out which features will be most helpful for you!

How can I edit the values passed to the JSON-LD metadata?

You can use the after_set_parsely_page filter which sends 3 arguments: the array of metadata, the post object, and the parselyOptions array:

$parselyPage = apply_filters( 'after_set_parsely_page', $parselyPage, $post, $parselyOptions );

Is the plugin Google AMP / Facebook Instant Articles ready?

It is! We are hooked into Automattic’s official plugins for AMP and Facebook Instant Articles. These plugins are part of the VIP platform so you just have to enable “Parsely Analytics” in the “Advanced Settings” menu of the Facebook Instant Articles settings.

What if I have an issue?
Parse.ly clients have full access to our live support team. If you have any problems during integration or while using our product, we’re always here to help. Contact us at support@parsely.com or submit an inquiry on our Help page.

Simple Page Ordering

Simply drag and drop the page into the desired position. It’s that simple. No new admin menus pages, no clunky, bolted on user interfaces. Just drag and drop on the page or post-type screen.

The plug-in is “capabilities aware” – only users with the ability to edit others’ pages (editors and administrators) will be able to reorder content.

Integrated help is included: just click the “help” tab at the top right of the screen.

Comprehensive Sitemaps

Site-wide sitemaps on WordPress.com includes 1,000 entries by default. This plugin allows you to include all the entries on your site into your sitemap.

Installing the Plugin

The plugin needs to be installed via your theme code:

wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'msm-sitemap' );

Setting up Sitemaps

Once you’ve committed the code change to activate the plugin, please open a ticket so that we can generate the sitemap for you. We need to run a one-time process to generate the full archive; it’s rather resource-intensive and something that we can help run in a smooth manner.

Note: if you’re using custom post types and want to include them in the sitemap, you need to explicitly include them via the msm_sitemap_entry_post_type filter.

Co-Authors Plus Social Pack

Easily save an Author’s social media information with their Guest Author profile, as well as attribute Tweets sent from the WordPress.com Sharing Tools to the author that wrote the post, simply by checking the appropriate box on their profile page.

Additionally, Co Authors Plus Social Pack allows marking the Author as a ‘Related’ account to be suggested by Twitter once a post has been shared, making it even easier for your site’s visitors to engage with your authors.

Since all fields are loaded with Guest Author objects, retrieving social media info is as easy as:

$twitter_username = $guest_author-&gt;twitter;
$google_plus      = $guest_author-&gt;google_plus;
$facebook         = $guest_author-&gt;facebook;

SEO Auto Linker

What does this plugin do?

SEO Auto Linker is an update to the much loved SEO Smart Links plugin.

The plugin automatically links words and phrases in your post, page, or custom post type content. Unlike with SEO Smart Links, you no longer have to try and guess what links will appear — you specify them yourself.

How do I set it up?

After activating the plugin, you’ll see a new “SEO Auto Linker” tab in your Dashboard’s sidebar menu:

SEO Auto Linker

There, you’ll see options to add new links.

For more information, please see the full plugin documentation.

What features does the plugin offer?

This plugin lets you set the keywords in a comma separated list, type in the URL that the keywords will link, and set how many links you’ll allow per post. That means you can set auto-links upon first mention of the word, but subsequent mentions will not be linked.

You can also create a block list for certain posts or pages where you don’t want the links to appear at all. Finally, once you’ve set up a link, you can easily disable it later without deleting it altogether.

WP Frontend Uploader

This plugin is useful if you want to power up your site with user generated content and give your users ability to easily upload it. Essentially, the plugin is a customizeable upload form that adds files with allowed MIME-type to your WordPress Media Library under a special tab “Manage UGC”. There you can moderate your user submissions (cause, you know, you’d better moderate ’em):

  • Approve
  • Delete
  • Re-attach to other post/page/custom-post-type

This plugin supports multiple uploads for modern browsers (sorry, no IE). It’s enabled for default form. To use it in your custom shortcode add multiple=”” attribute to input shortcode.

AJAX Comment Loading

What does this plugin do?

When your posts get a lot of comments, performance can be a concern.  Generating all that comment HTML and delivering all that HTML can slow down your page loads.

This plugin will load your pages without comments, and then use a secondary AJAX request to pull down the comments. Navigating through the pages of comments is also handled via AJAX.

How do I set it up?

You need only activate the plugin! For more information, please see the full plugin documentation here.

What features does the plugin offer?

For an example, on a test install with 100 comments per page, we found that the onload event fired 2x faster with this plugin. The HTML was generated by the server 6x faster and downloaded 3x faster. The uncompressed size of the HTML was reduced by a factor of 17.

Initial development of this plugin was commissioned by Google — many thanks!

WP Help

What does this plugin do?

WP Help lets site operators create detailed, hierarchical documentation for the site’s authors, editors, and contributors, viewable in the WordPress.com Dashboard.

The plugin is powered by Custom Post Types and gives you all the power of WordPress to create, edit, and arrange your documentation. Perfect for customized client sites. Never send another “here’s how to use your site” e-mail again!

How do I set it up?

After activating the plugin, you’ll see a new “Publishing Help” tab in your Dashboard’s sidebar menu:

Help

Click “Add New” to add a help article, “Manage” to edit existing articles, and “Settings” to choose how and where your Help articles are displayed. The Help articles will be displayed above or below your Dashboard menu, or as a Dashboard submenu:

Help menu

For more information, please see the full plugin documentation here.

What features does the plugin offer?

  • Add help articles for your site’s users, with all the same features and flexibility you have when adding posts.
  • Nest articles under parents and set default articles.
  • Customize the headlines of your help section.
  • Control where on your Dashboard your help section displays.
  • Easily sync help documents from other WordPress sites, so you need not manually recreate help sections on each of your sites.

External Permalinks Redux

What does this plugin do?

This plugin allows you to point WordPress objects (posts, pages, or custom post types) to a URL of your choosing, which is particularly useful for injecting non-WordPress content into loops. The object appears normally in any loop output, but visitors to the object will be redirected to the specified URL.

How do I set it up?

Once you’ve activated the plugin, you’ll see a new External Permalinks Redux module in the edit post screen:

External

Simply add the URL you want the post, page, or custom post type to redirect to, choose the type of redirect, and update or publish the post.

For more information, please see the full plugin documentation here.

What features does the plugin offer?

The plugin allows you to choose the type of redirect, either temporary (302 or 307), or permanent (301).

Through a filter, the External Permalinks Redux meta box can easily be added to custom post types. There is also a function available for use with WordPress’ add_meta_box function.

This plugin was originally written for use on WordPress.com VIP. It is inspired by and backwards-compatible with Mark Jaquith’s Page Links To plugin, meaning users can switch between plugins without risk of losing any existing external links.

JSON Feed

This plugin adds a JSON output format to common feeds, at http://yoursite.com/(*/)feed/json.

You can use the following query parameters to further customize the JSON feed:

  • jsonp: add a prefix to the returned JSON object
  • date_format: overwrite the site’s date format in the feed contents
  • remove_uncategorized: Remove the ‘uncategorized’ category from the category list

If necessary, use the json_feed_output filter to customize the post array before encoding into JSON.

Safe Redirect Manager

What does this plugin do?

Safe Redirect Manager is an HTTP redirect manager for WordPress. An easy-to-use UI allows you to redirect locations to new URLs with the HTTP status codes of your choosing. The plugin uses the wp_safe_redirect function, which only allows redirects to allowed hosts, for security purposes. The plugin automatically handles the creation of allowed hosts for you.

(Note that this plugin will not allow you to redirect visits to your site’s home/front page. To achieve this, you’ll need to modify your theme code to hook into an early action and with a conditional is_front_page(), call wp_safe_redirect().)

How do I set it up?

Once you’ve activated the plugin, you’ll see a new option, Tools→Safe Redirect Manager in the sidebar menu of your Dashboard. Click the “Create Redirect Rule” button at the top:

Add New Rule

There, you’ll see a form to add and publish the redirect.

Redirect Example

After publishing, there may be a delay of several minutes before the changes take effect. If a redirect isn’t working as expected after 10 minutes, just let us know.

For more information, please see the full plugin documentation here.

Ready to get started?

Drop us a note.

No matter where you are in the planning process, we’re happy to help, and we’re actual humans here on the other side of the form. 👋 We’re here to discuss your challenges and plans, evaluate your existing resources or a potential partner, or even make some initial recommendations. And, of course, we’re here to help any time you’re in the market for some robust WordPress awesomeness.

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