You may have noticed that I have already incorporated a number of plugins into my blog. I have added plugins for breadcrumb navigation, clean post tag displays, management of comment spam, display of recent comments, submission of threaded comments and to capture some site statistics. All of these plugins were freely available. All of these plugins came with source code, installed effortlessly and had been tested by the WordPress Community as a whole.
In nearly all cases a simple Google search, a two-second download, a two-minute installation in five minutes of play time is all that is required to get a plugin and running. On occasion, I will modify the codebase slightly, but the majority the time the plugins include ample configuration settings to provide the exact functionality I need. But when I do need to modify the code base, the code is clear and easy to navigate and tweaks to the code typically take only a few minutes.
With all this said, I really thought I was going to put them — the WordPress Community — to the test today. Today I was looking for a live comment preview plugin. My guess was that someone had already created such an extension. Now it was my job to find it. To my surprise, I found it with a single Google search. The installation instructions were ridiculously simple –download a single file, copy it to your site’s plugins folder and activate. The write-up stated that the extension would work with most themes with no needed changes.
I was so skeptical I did a few additional searches to see if I could dig up any dirt on this plugin. I found only documented praise. There were no complaints. There were no stories of this extension corrupting people’s blogs. There wasn’t even a single comment such as, “I activated the plugin, but it didn’t work. What’s up?” Still, I wasn’t willing to activate the plugin on JohnnyCoder.com just yet. I decided to activate the extension on one of my other blogs (a blog I could “sacrifice”) and I tested. The plugin delivered as promised. Wow.
So Live Comment Preview is now available on JohnnyCoder.com. It’s pretty slick (and it even helped uncover an existing stylesheet issue with the site which still isn’t fixed.) Who knows? Maybe I’ll be bombarded by comments soon. (I doubt it. The plugin is slick but not magical.)