WP Plugin of the Week: Bulk Post Creator – Revisited

Update: We just started a new project where we need to copy/paste over 100 articles from PDFs so this is where a plugin like this shines. This plugin will let you bulk create posts or pages by simply typing or pasting each new line as a page.

We noticed this plugin disappeared from the WordPress repository but managed to track down a new version written by Mochammad Masbuchin who’s updated the original version written by Sarah@HowdyBlog.com. His version adds the ability to create the posts in draft mode if needed.

Here’s the new download: bulk-post-creator-plus1

Note: We can’t guarantee the compatibility of the plugin with your particular WordPress site. Make sure to install and test this first on non-critical WordPress site. Use at your own risk.

Original article follows…

One of the less fun things to do when setting up a new WP site is to create new posts or pages. Short of having a “go-to” set of XML content that you can always import onto the site, then you would be pressing a bunch of “Add New” Pages or “Posts” button.

This is where Bulk Page Post Creator plugin can make life easier.  It lets you quickly create a bunch or batch of page or post names quickly. Simply open up the plugin, and type the titles of your posts or pages and click “Create Now.”
The toughest thing to figure out about this plugin is that it shows up as a new option under the “Posts” menu called “Create Bulk Posts” instead of under “Tools.”

If your needs are a bit more sophisticated and need to assign categories, hierarchies, and post time/date stamps to posts and pages, check out the more powerful Mass Page Maker  plugin.

As of January 21, 20112, Mass Page Maker has been removed from the WP.org repository but it may not be a bad thing as that plugin’s user interface and instructions were difficult to grasp.

Thus I am going to give Bulk Page Creator (4 stars with 9 ratings) a try instead.

My favorite plugins of 2011 (so far)

A lot of people ask me what are my favorite WordPress plugins. So here they are in alphabetical order as of June.

I’ve covered a lot of these plugins already but I might omitted a few of them and some of them are new ones I’ve discovered from fellow WordPress designers and developers (like Natalie MacLees of the SoCal WordPress meetup group). All of these are available through the WordPress.org repository so they should be malware free and well-tested. And the beautiful thing is that I have most of the 20+ plugins all running here on WPVerse without any conflicts as far as I can tell.

Click on the Plugin name to go to the WordPress.org plugin page.

After the Deadline (also available as part of Jetpack)
Replaces the built-in spell checker with better spell and grammar checker.

Speed up your WordPress site easily through HTML/CSS and Javascript optimization.

Bad Behavior
Reduce Spam comments from your site

Contact Form 7
One of the easiest ways to set up a quick contact form.

Enable Media Replace
Overwrite existing media library images without deleting them first.

Hikari Category Permalink
Gives you more control over the way posts appear in the URL using categories.

Google Analyticator
Great way to add Goole Analytics track coding and show summary report on your admin dashboard

Google XML Sitemaps
Works in conjunction with SEO plugins to help search engines crawl your site more accurately.

Import Blogroll with Categories
Lets you import links (blogroll) with categories intact

la petite url
Great URL shortner using your own domain

NextGen Gallery
A grand daddy of WordPress plugins that allows you to quickly build WordPress thumbnails and picture galleries. There are tons of add-on plugins to extend it even further.

Page Links To
Redirect pages or post to other URLs.

Enhances WordPress’ built in search function to make it easy for visitors to find content.

Search and Replace
Just wrote about this powerful (and dangerous) tool a few days ago to let you search/replace the WordPress database tables.

Sharedaddy (also available as part of Jetpack)
Allows your visitors to share pages and post with a few clicks. Initial setup could be a lot easier but still a good plugin.

Simple Lightbox
Easily replace full size image links to lightbox viewer.

Twitter Goodies Widget
Nice looking Twitter widget to show your tweets on your sidebar with customizable color schemes.

Widgets Reloaded
Replaces some of the built-in widgets that come with WordPress including a better version of archives, authors, bookmarks (blogroll), calendar, categories, navigation, pages, search, and tags. Some of the widgets like bookmarks are extensive upgrades while others like calendar aren’t as complex.

WP Super Cache
The “That was easy” way to speed up your WordPress site. Can work in conjunction with Autoptimize.

WP CSS button
Add a slick-looking Web 2.0 call to action button with shortcodes.

A few more thoughts on Mars Edit 3

I bought Mars Edit 3 a few weeks ago and wrote a quick review. So time for an update! Here are some things that I really think make it an indispensible tool.

My favorite is that it’s easy to use to cross post from one blog to another. Simply open an existing post to edit, then from the drop down menu select a new blog site and click on publish. You will loose the existing categories and need to re-define them (understandable) but the tags will stay in-tact.

I also realize this maybe a good offline back up tool for your content especially if you increase the number of posts for it to sync. Update: Just noticed the dialog box to increase the post limit has a performance warning. I’ve asked the developer for clarification.

So four things that I wish it would have are…

I wish Mars Edit had the ability to schedule posts to publish on a future date.
Update: I was informed by the developer that you can actually do this. First, open up the selected post to edit and once open, go to drop down menu for “Post”, select “Edit Date” to specify the future date to publish on. It’s too bad this feature is kind of hidden away and not part of the post editor window.


Secondly,  it’d be nice to be able to set line spacing aka leading in the editor. The default font is a bit too small for me but it can be increased but I don’t see a way to increase the leading.

Thirdly, I wish the keyboard shortcut to define a link was not so complicated, a simple Apple + l (for link) would be nice. And why not also allow a right click to assign a link?

And one last feature wish would be for a way to change the author attribution when editing a post.

Other than these relatively minor issues, I readily recommend Mars Edit for writing if you’re on the Mac.

Get it: Mars Edit 3

Must have extensions for Firefox

Other than WordPress, Firefox is one our favorite open source products because it’s a fast and stable web browser. We prefer it to Internet Explorer on Windows because of the wealth of extensions aka plugins available for it.

Here’s our collection of favorite Firefox extensions aka plugins to save you a lot of time when you’re trying to collect or share information or if you happen to be the CEO and webmaster of your startup and need to fine tune and debug your WordPress site.

So these plugins can be organized into two broad categories:  On the top of the Firefox browser toolbar are information collection and sharing . The bottom of the browser (status bar area) hold the design and development tools.

On the top left is Evernote, a multi-platform cloud based note taking system. With the Firefox plugin, you can quickly clip the contents of any web page into your Evernote account. Evernote is available as a web application and also as a dedicated app for virtually every device out there so you can read your notes almost anywhere.

Then’s there’s Delicious, which is a cloud based social bookmarking service. Bookmark, tag, and write down notes for each web site you’ll want to look up later.  Note that Delicious maybe jettisoned soon by parent company Yahoo, you can still export the bookmarks at anytime for now. A possible (paid) alternative is Pinboard but it’s currently without a Firefox plugin.

You can use Goo.gl Lite toolbar add-on to quickly generate a “Goo.gl” (Google’s shortener service) URL of the current page. With one click on it save the current URL to your clipboard immediately.

Email This lets you quickly launch your email client including web based Gmail to quickly send the current page to someone.

Try the amazing Fox to Phone, which will launch the current page from your desktop Firefox onto your Andorid device web browser with minimal intervention. Install the Firefox extension and download the companion app in the Android marketplace. If you’re on an iPhone, try out Firefox Home which will sync your browsing history, local bookmarks, and tabs on your iPhone.

On the bottom are design and development tools:
From left to right, we’ll start with MeasureIt, which lets your measure the pixels by drawing rectangles on the current web page. It’s really useful if you trying to shift pixels around a page.

Want to grab the color value (RGB or Hex) of any web page object/component without snapshoting the screen and pasting it into Photoshop? Try Colorzilla.

Want to write something about the page you’re looking at without opening up WordPress admin? Try ScribeFire. Read my quick review.

If you’re constantly making changes to a single page and want to clear the web browser cache with one quick click? Try Cache Status.

Want to grab a screenshot of the entire web page even if it’s taller than your current monitor resolution? Try Screengrab.

Want to see how your page looks like at 1024×768 resolution or other monitor size without resizing your OS resolution? Try Firesizer.

And finally one of the most popular and useful Firefox extensions of all time, use Firebug to help you debug HTML, CSS, and Javascript. You can use it in a combination with Y!Slow to speed up your web pages.

Summarized list
Information collection and sharing: 
DeliciousGoo.gl LiteEmail ThisFox to PhoneFirefox Home

Design tools: 
ColorzillaScribeFireCache StatusScreengrabFiresizerFirebugY!Slow

Great visual tools for communicating with clients

I know this post isn’t WP related but if you’re doing a lot of web design work, using either app mentioned below could save you a ton of time…

You’ve probably heard the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”? If you and your client just can’t get on the same page using email or even voice communication, why not try using a visual mark-up tool like Skitch or Jing? Skitch is a Mac-only tool that let’s you quickly snapshot your screen, draw arrows, write up annotation/notes, and publish to a web page very, very quickly. How quickly? Well how about under a minute start to finish?  Skitch has been in beta for almost 2 years and they’ve finally released “v1.0” that’s even more polished and better that I ponied up $15 for one year of “pro” features.

How about Jing? Jing’s advantage is that it captures up to 5 minutes of your on-screen activity and you can record your voice during the capture to annotate it. Jing’s also has a cross platform – it works on both Mac and Windows. Like Skitch, I paid for the pro version for $15/year. The only draw back is that Jing’s workflow is not as quick as Skitch but it makes up for that with the screencast function.

Get it: Skitch | Jing

Edit your WordPress site from the front end or public view

Wouldn’t it be great if you could edit your WordPress site as you browsed the site like a regular visitor? Of course you’ve probably noticed that when you’re logged in as an editor or an admin, you’ll see an “edit” button in the meta information area of your site for posts and pages. The down side to that is that clicking on that link takes you into the WP admin post or page editor.

The next step to being able to access admin features while viewing your published site is by installing admin bar. This gives you access to much of WP’s admin functions with a menu bar at top of the site similar to WordPress.com.

What if you wanted something even more direct that allowed you to much more quickly edit your WP site? This is where Front End Editor comes into play. After installing the plugin, login to your WP admin, and then start browsing the site. Want to change the title of your headline? Simple, just double click on it. Or do you want to edit the entire post? Again, just double click on it. In the place of the static text, it’ll bring up the rich text editor with most of the same functionality you get in WP admin.

It’s super powerful and easy. So far it seems to work in conjunction with Admin Bar, so far so good! Watch a quick screencast of this FrontEnd Editor plugin in action.

Update: I’ve noticed that at least with the “Sight” theme mentioned above, Front End Editor causes some problems with the site logo hyperlink and built in social network features.

Get it: Front End Editor

W3 Total Cache debugging

I’ve been going crazy installing the W3 Total Cache plugin on all my WordPress sites up until a few minutes ago without a hitch. On my 4th site, it returned 3 permission errors which were quickly solved by applying the magical 777 permissions to the folders. The fourth error message that stumped me was “advanced-cache.php is not installed.”

This one is pretty easy to fix. First, download a copy of the W3TC plugin onto your computer. Extract the files to a folder, then upload the file inside the zip file called “advanced-cache.php” to the root of your “wp-content” folder of your site using FTP.

Thanks to A. Fatih Syuhud for the fix.

Plugin of the Week: Exclude Pages

One of my favorite things about WordPress 3 is the new navigation bar menu system. In the pre version 3 days, creating a navigation bar was kind of a pain in the butt. Now with WP 3’s menu system you can easily build a navigation in compatible themes.

But what if you’re using a theme that’s not WP menu friendly and you want to hide or remove certain pages from appearing on the navigation bar? That’s where “Exclude Pages” comes into play. It’s a really easy to use WordPress plugin, that puts a module called “Exclude Pages” right in your page admin below the page ordering where you can specify if that page should not appear on the list of pages. It’s a quick and painless way to hide pages from appearing on the navigation bar. Get it: “Exclude Pages