Simple History: 50,000 downloads + preview of v2

This week my WordPress plugin Simple History passed 50,000 downloads.It feels great to see that there is an interest in this type of plugin.Also, by looking at the reviews, I know that the users of it find it very useful.

Actually, one of the most happy users of the plugin is… me!

Yep, I develop the plugin, but I also use it a lot. I install it on most client sites, where it helps me keep track of plugin installs, post updates, and similar. When a client contacts us to let us know something is broken or wrong with their site, we can usually track down the problem fast by going through the site activity using Simple History. It’s a real time-saver!

Anyway, the current version of the plugin works good and looks pretty good too. There are however several aspects of the plugin that could and should be improved. Memory usage is one big thing. Extendability another. And looks a third. So slowly, quietly, I’ve been working on a version 2 of the plugin, that will improve these things, and more.

It may be far from complete, but to celebrate 50,000 downloads I want to share some details of the next version with you:

First we have the looks. Version 2 of the plugin is nicer and clearer…

Screenshot of Simple History 2

…and is shows more information (context) about an event where needed, such as in this case after I installed the plugin Autoptimize:

Screenshot of Simple History 2 showing an example of some detailed output

Then we have the API: more easy to use than before. It’s simple, yet extendable:

[code language=”php”]
// Most basic example: just add some information to the log
SimpleLogger()->info("This is a message sent to the log");

// Log entries can be of different severity
SimpleLogger()->info("User admin edited page ‘About our company’");
SimpleLogger()->warning("User ‘Jessie’ deleted user ‘Kim’");
SimpleLogger()->debug("Ok, cron job is running!");

// Log entries can have {placeholders} and context
// When the log is displayed all placeholders will
// have their values replaced by the key in the context
SimpleLogger()->notice(
"User {username} edited page {pagename}",
array(
"username" => "jessie",
"pagename" => "My test page"
)
);
[/code]

Well, that’s a short intro for version 2 of Simple History. I will add more info on its new domain simple-history.com, so visit that page for more up to date information.

Webbjobb sen sist

I know. Det har varit dåligt med uppdateringar sen sist. Men några sajter har jag vi på MarsApril faktiskt hunnit med. T.ex.:

  • danarne.se – sajt till en av sveriges främst creative direktors när det gäller modevisningar. Vi på MarsApril stod för design och teknik.
  • linassverigeresa.se – kampanjsajt för Linas Matkasse, som firade att de lanserade sin matkasse på 24 nya orter. Vi på MA fixade med databasmodeller och PHP-kodning.
  • koncept.se – webbplats åt arkitekterna på Koncept Stockholm. Vi stod för HTML, PHP, JavaScript och lite allmän rådgivning av tekniken och SEO.
  • modelljaktdomino.se – kampanjsajt för Galleria Domino, med bland annat en facebook-koppling som gjorde att besökarna kunde bläddra och välja bland sina bilder på facebook. Vi på MA fixade det tekniska.

I övrigt har jag jobbat hårt med mina WordPress-plugins. Särskilt Admin Menu Tree Page View har fått en välbehövd uppdatering och kommer nu med expand/collapse av sidor. Måste testas och upplevas!

WordPress 3.1: more CMS than ever

This week has been all about the new WordPress release: 3.1. It is a great release and some of the new features that I really like are the new add link popup that easy let’s you choose among your existing pages and the writing interface that now features a lot less panels than before (something I’ve been bothered by for a long time).

Also, as Matt says: “With the 3.1 release, WordPress is more of a CMS than ever before“.

These words from Matt feels very good for me since most of my plugins for WordPress focus on extending it’s CMS functionality.

So: WordPress 3.1 + CMS Tree Page View + Simple Fields + Simple History = a heck of a CMS!

WPML-compatible version of CMS Tree Page View now available for testing

The last week I’ve been busy modifying my plugin CMS Tree Page View to make it work together with the WPML-plugin, a plugin that let you translate the contents of your site.

As some of you know, my plugin show a tree (like in Windows Explorer or OS X Finder) with all the pages in your site. In this tree you can quickly use expand/collapse to show sub-pages and you can drag-and-drop to change the order or to move pages. To cut it short: It’s page management simplified!

Before this update all the pages belonging to all different languages where mixed together in the tree. With this update however you can now select between all the languages configured in WPML, so the tree will only show one language at a time. I think WPML and CMS Tree Page View both are great plugins and what could be better than both plugins working fine together? 🙂

I am releasing this beta version of CMS Tree Page View so you brave WPML-users out there can test it and report any bugs to me before I upload it to wordpress.org. Download the beta version here: http://bit.ly/c2kmdf and report any bugs to me at par.thernstrom@gmail.com.

And now for a little bonus feature: this beta version of CMS Tree Page View can also show custom post types – a much asked for feature.

Here is a screenshot showing both the WPML-functions and the custom post type in action:

..and support for custom post types!

Good start for my CMS-enhancing plugins for WordPress

Recently I released my first WordPress plugin “CMS Tree Page View” to help manage WordPress installations with many pages, mostly seen on “CMS-like” installations/websites.

So far CMS Tree Page View have had nearly 6.000 downloads, and my introductory screencast have had almost 2.500 views on YouTube. I have also recieved an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from users. Just look at these wonderful quotes that I have revieved in blog comments or through Twitter:

“Wonderful plugin that makes handling pages in WP much much easier.”

“Excellent!”

“Oh my Goodness, I needed this plug in so bad. Thank you, thank you, thank you”

“I love this plugin”

“What a great plugin! Works like charm …”

“Awesome plugin.”

“Awesome! Thank you, CMS Tree Page View is a huge help in organizing “

“Extremely useful for large sites.”

Personaly I must say that I no longer can use WordPress without CMS Tree Page View. I simply depend on it! It’s just that good,  that simple, and that effective. A cornerstone in any WordPress CMS installation for me in the future.

Shortly thereafter – but after a lot of work – I released my second plugin “Simple Fields” to further extend the CMS capabilities of  WordPress. Simple Fields gives WordPress the ability to add almost any kind of content to a single post. Just as with CMS Tree Page View, I can no longer use WordPress without this plugin. Yes, it’s just that good too! 🙂

So far Simple Fields have had nearly 600 downloads and I have received pretty much positive feedback. Not as much as with CMS Tree Page View, but I think that’s OK: Simple Fields is a far more complex plugin, targeted at advanced users, and it requires WordPress 3. So when WordPress 3 is released I expect the number of users and downloads to raise.

Anyway, with this blog post I just want to say “thank you” to all you users out there who download my plugins and give me me positive feedback. You make me wanna keep on doing this! 🙂