When I started using WordPress, I liked the idea that you can store personal bookmarks on your blog. When I started using it, there are some functions that I wanted so I started searching for a plugin. I couldn’t actually find a plugin that fits my requirements so I decided to start creating my own Web Directory plugin.
I decided to use the existing WordPress tables so that I could re-use existing functions like adding/editing/deleting bookmarks. I wrote down a list of features and functions that I want to put into this plugin.
Some of the current features of the Web directory WordPress plugin include the following:
Add/Edit/Delete directory entries using the current bookmark management functions existing in WordPress
Easy setup of a main Web directory page by just using a single WordPress shortcode in a page you create in WordPress
Easy integration into WordPress themes by detecting and using defined theme stylesheets
Use of pretty permalinks in the Web directory structure to provide better search engine indexing and optimization
Automatic creation of search engine friendly titles and description meta tags when web directory categories are accessed.
- Paging the list of links if the list gets too long
- Support for adding a “site submission” form using the Contact Form 7 plugin
Some of the planned features for the Web directory plugin are:
Support for sub-categories – although the current WordPress core tables already support the creation of parent-child sub category relationships, there are no core functions for doing this.
Backup / restore of categories/bookmarks – I’m also thinking of creating a Firefox plugin to be able to sync my bookmarks.
Some WordPress shortcodes to handle automatic link formatting in posts and other pages.
After downloading the plugin, just unzip it into your WordPress plugins directory and activate the plugin from your WordPress plugins administration page.
Once the plugin has been activated, a sub menu called “Manage Directory” will be created under the “Links” menu of WordPress. There are several steps you need to do to start using the Link Directory plugin.
First, you will need to create a page inside WordPress and insert the [wplinks] shortcode that the Web Directory plugin uses to determine where to insert the contents of the bookmark directory. Check the screenshot below:
You can insert optional text between an opening [wplinks] and closing [/wplinks] shortcode. The text will be formatted in an enclosed div with a class of “intro-box”. This will allow you to format it differently than the rest of the text. As an example, you can checkout the Gerry.Ws directory. I use it to put instructions.
Second, tell the Web Directory WordPress plugin which page is you will be using to display the link directory by selecting it under “Manage Directory”. You can also set a description for your web directory. This will be used when generating the description meta tag of the main link directory page. If you leave it blank, the plugin will generate a description for you.
You can customize the default styles that the Web Directory WordPress plugin use. This will allow you to modify how your link directory will look when it is displayed. Do this by creating a file named kih-web-directory.css inside the directory of the WordPress theme that you are currently using. The plugin will detect it and use that stylesheet instead of the default.
That’s it, you can start populating your WordPress bookmarks table.
Enabling the “site submission” feature
I have incorporated some code to enable users to allow visitors to their site to fill up a form for submitting requests to be added to the web directory as of version 2.6.3. The partial support can be enabled using the Web Directory plugin in conjunction with the excellent Contact Form 7 plugin. You can create your own site submission using Contact Form 7. When the Web Directory plugin detects that the Contact Form 7 plugin is installed, it will load some code stuff that will allow you to use a [linkcat] contact form 7 shortcode. The shortcode enables the display of a “Link Category” select field in your form. The [linkcat] shortcode will take care of retrieving the available WordPress Link Categories from your site database and display it as a select field in your form. At least Contact Form 7 version 2.0 is required for this feature to work and you will still need to create your own form.
You can read a tutorial on how to use the Contact Form 7 plugin with the Web Directory plugin.
- 2.0.2 – 2009-04-16 – created as a plugin
- 2.5.0 – 2009-05-17 – finished basic functioning web directory
- 2.5.5 – 2009-05-29 – fix permalink issues
- 2.6.0 – 2009-06-22 – automatically use a custom style sheet in the site’s default theme dir
- 2.6.1 – 2009-07-17 – added option in manage directories to enable/disable display of
“Websites / Blogs under” prefix label
- 2.6.4 – 2010-02-15 – fixed permalinks to work for blogs under a subdirectory
- 2.6.5 – 2010-05-26 – fixed linkcat validation issue for submission form
- You can also download the plugin from the Web Directory Plugin page at WordPress.org.
- Let me know if you’re using my plugin by following me at Twitter
Updated: May 11, 2011
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