This Month in Plugins – April 2016

The WP Crowd

Meagan Hanes

Published: April 13, 2016

With well over 40,000 plugins in the Official WordPress Plugin Repository, it’s certainly easy to miss what comes in each week. That’s where this post comes in! Let’s jump right in and take a look at some interesting WordPress plugins that caught my eye this past week.

DW-Reactions: Facebook-like Reactions for WordPress

DW-Reactions on the Repo

Emoji Reactions are one of the most interesting evolutions of emoji in today’s hybrid desktop/mobile world. Ushered in by Slack’s use of in-line emoji-based reactions – the likes of which is being prototyped as an early-alpha plugin – and further mainstreamed by Facebook’s expansion of Like into 6 Reactions, many are rapidly embracing the pictograph response. Personally, I’m a huge fan, and am a firm believer that we’re only scratching the surface of what these future hieroglyphics can do for us.

Interested in replicating Facebook’s UI to add Reactions to your WordPress site? Check out DW-Reactions. On activation your posts will be bookended with the Reaction Bar, and only logged in users will be able to click to add one of 6 reactions: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Anger. A few settings can be changed via Options -> Reactions, however I haven’t found a way to modify which reactions or emoji are shown without digging into the plugin’s code. Perhaps a future version will allow for an easier configuration option. I also haven’t seen the generated data integrated in the Dashboard in any way – no comment flag is created, no list of Reactions is displayed. There’s a lot of room for growth here.

As it stands now though, this plugin replicates Facebook’s approach, and features a very snappy UI. I’m excited to see where this one goes.

UpdraftCentral: Manage Your UpdraftPlus Sites In One Spot

UpdraftCentral on the Repo

Ashamedly, I only first used UpdraftPlus just over a month ago, to clone (with permission, of course) an existing WordPress site as a development starting point. The process was dead simple – and for a backup plugin to do such a great job at migrating, I was certainly impressed! There’s certainly a reason why UpdraftPlus has well over a half million downloads.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to see UpdraftCentral on the Repo. Without much fanfare (at least none made its way to me), an official centralized hub tool for UpdraftPlus users has been released in the same vein as InfiniteWP and others in this space.

One of the most challenging tasks in a WordPress freelancer’s career is learning how to scale their business to make more profit, and generating passive income through long-term website hosting and backups from previous clients is an easy way to begin growing. Tools like UpdraftCentral certainly help with this goal: by creating one centralized dashboard where backups of each client’s site can be created with one click, the burdensome and boring task of manually logging into each client’s site is eliminated. The pipeline for plugin updates is also drastically shortened, and can be done in a more secure way, even going as far as making backups after each successful plugin update and test.

What used to take hours – days even, each and every month – now takes minutes. Enjoy your bonus weeks of holiday, or extra revenue you earn while doing more of what you love and less of what needs to be done.

Wapuu Fall: A Lovely Rain of Wapuu Mascots

Wapuu Fall on the Repo

Not every plugin has to be super-serious and functionally-focused. For a large percent of WordPress users, having a creative and expressive site gives back more value than having a marathon runner-lean site.

Why not add some themed fun to your blog while at your next WordCamp by showcasing your own selection of the over 75 custom-created Wapuu mascots! Wapuu Fall creates a festive “snow” of Wapuus displayed on your site’s frontend in various sizes and speeds. It’s as simple as that.

You’ll need to patch in your own Wapuus, as there’s no admin interface at this time. Pick out the ones that inspire you the most, or perhaps the ones of WordCamps you’ve attended! Plugin contributions are always welcome at their Github repo.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few other new plugins this week that made me laugh:

hello_navi: Adds Ocarina of Time’s most loved character to your WordPress Admin Dashboard ala Hello Dolly. Nice first plugin, RoiArthurB!

Block AdBlock: A new “trend” I’ve seen is shaming us AdBlock users. So, if you want to do that, this plugin is your friend. Don’t know why you’d want to – in fact I’m considering forking it, inverting it, and releasing Praise AdBlock in the coming months. It will block all content until you install AdBlock, upon which it’ll show you an A Whole New World GIF from Aladdin.

Scroll To Top Awesome: Sometimes in life you need a Scroll To Top button. Why not make it an awesome one? Just look at those screenshots. Config heaven. Awesome indeed.

Infinite Comment RepliesAllows for comment-ception. Should be a default install on any site where trolling is encouraged, will no doubt increase ad revenue, especially when combined with Block AdBlock above.

BoatDealer: Last but not least, I want to point out how cool it is that these hyper-niche plugins can easily be created and utilized in the WordPress ecosystem. BoatDealer might not be the next WooCommerce – heck, you likely would have never heard about it if I hadn’t written this paragraph – but it solves a given problem elegantly, in a way that its users can understand, and integrates with the platform many hobbyists leverage. Great job, Bill!


This sums it up for April’s edition of This Month in Plugins. Have you discovered a new plugin you’d like to share? Comment below with its link and maybe it’ll star in next month’s post!

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