Easier Excerpts for WordPress is a simple plugin, the first for Pressware Plugins actually, that we recently released.
When you think about combining the tediousness of blogging couple with the proverbial low-hanging fruit, this seemed like a natural choice for a first product. Plus, it falls in line with our goal of trying to help make a better blogging experience.
But if you’re like me, then you like reading some of the back-stories that go into projects like this. So here’s some more information on the plugin, specifically for you bloggers, and then a back-story as to why we chose it, how we chose it, and what’s up next.
Excerpts for WordPress
For those who are interested, you can find the plugin in the WordPress Plugin Repository. You can also download it from within your WordPress dashboard. It’s entirely free.
I’ve found excerpts for WordPress are useful and the longer I’ve blogged, the more I’ve found this to be true especially in instances where you’re sharing posts via email and/or via networks like Google+ (which does generate traffic, all jokes withstanding).
Easier Excerpts allow you to provide a preview of your post to your readers as well as the email marketing service used to email new blog posts to your mailing list. This ultimately drives traffic on your site as your audience reads the remainder of the blog post.
But what exactly does this plugin do, exactly? It’s ridiculously simple:
- The excerpt field automatically expands to fit your content
- It does not introduce any new elements into the dashboard
- It works with new and existing posts
- If you choose to uninstall it, no data will be lost
Excerpts are one of those things that I use daily, and I wanted to make it a little bit easier on myself when putting them together. So I hacked together a small plugin for my particular installation.
But regarding code quality, how it worked, documentation, and presentation? It left a lot of work to do. That is, I would’ve never released it for anyone else. I mean, it was just for me. I knew how it worked, so I was all right with that.
Let’s Make Them a Little Easier
Other people blog, too, though. And if we’re aiming to try to improve other people’s blogging experience through the use of small, tightly-focused plugins then it makes sense to attempt to release something that would do just that, wouldn’t it?
So here are some behind-the-scenes information about Easier Excerpts for WordPress.
1. How We Chose It
When opening Pressware Plugins, we wanted to do three things:
- Give something back to those in WordPress who aren’t developers or designers, but those who use the CMS as a way to blog and help improve their process.
- Release something that would follow the “decisions, not options” ethos that would follow the WordPress Coding Standards, and that would tease a bit of the advanced plugins that are to come.
- Introduce ourselves and the look and feel we’re going for with the suite of plugins we’re working on putting together.
Admittedly, writing post excerpts aren’t exciting. Sometimes they are an afterthought. But even if not, this is one way to help work with a traditionally small text area.
2. Why We Chose It
From the plugin page (and short, sweet, and to the point):
Ultimately, the plugin aims to help streamline one small aspect of your blogging routine.
That’s it. Nothing more.
Ultimately, it’s also meant to demonstrate the type of turn-key solutions we’re looking to build. That is, you install it, you activate it, and then you get on with your work.
This doesn’t mean that some plugins won’t have options pages or settings to tweak, but they’ll be minimal. And, if possible, they won’t exist at all.
3. What’s Up Next?
Right now, we’re working on an improving an existing plugin that I’ve had available for some time on GitHub though it’s in need of a re-write.
On top of that, there are a number of feature requests (and feature ideas) we have for this particular plugin and for where it can go. We’re eager to get to work on it.
As of now, the plugin is set to be a premium plugin but it will continue to fall in line with the mantra of “[streamlining] one aspect of your blogging routine” while also trying to stay out of your way while doing so.